Hearty, low-carb baked zucchini casserole recipe Layers of zucchini, carrots and onions with a perfectly spiced meat sauce! Gluten Free.
Early fall is such a sweet spot. The harvest is starting to bring in spot-light worthy goodness like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and carrots, but we still have plenty of favorite summer produce like zucchini.
You can think of this Mediterranean-style zucchini casserole as a celebration of that perfect warm-your-heart dish where summer and fall produce share the spotlight. In my opinion, this zucchini casserole is prefect for any time of the year, if you can find quality zucchini in your corner of the world
This zucchini casserole is a riff off one I grew up with. My mom has a way with zucchini, and if you’ve tried her Middle Eastern stuffed zucchini recipe, you already know you’ll like this zucchini casserole.
More about this Baked Zucchini Casserole
The gist. This is a low-carb baked zucchini casserole with ground beef sauce (I used 97% fat-free ground beef, but you can use ground turkey as well.)
The meat sauce is what lends this hearty zucchini casserole all the warmth and flavor. The sauce begins with aromatics (onions and garlic) along with the meat. And once the meat is perfectly browned, we add a trio of all-natural spices–allspice, paprika, and a hint of nutmeg. You can already see how fragrant and complex the meat sauce is! (create 3-pack of spices from our Mediterranean spice collection here.)
We throw the meat sauce along with rounds of zucchini, carrots, and onions into a casserole dish. All that’s left to do is bake until the zucchini and carrots are nice and tender.
What to serve with this zucchini casserole?
People think of casseroles as a side dish, and this zucchini casserole makes a great one. But I often serve it as the main event with a side of Lebanese rice or perfectly crusty bread.
Looking for more dishes to try? Here are a few:
Baked zucchini casserole recipe, prepared Mediterranean-style. Layers of zucchini, carrots, onions w/ a perfectly spiced meat sauce. Low Carb. Gluten Free.
- Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, halved (chop half of the onion and slice the other into rings)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb lean ground beef (97% lean) or ground turkey
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups chopped canned tomatoes with the juice
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 2 to 3 zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
- 2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
- Generous handful chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- In a saucepan, heat 2 tbsp Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add chopped onions (leave the sliced onions for later) and garlic and cook minutes, stirring regularly, until softened and fragrant (do not brown).
- Add meat (ground turkey or lean ground beef). Break the meat up to help it brown. Season with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium-high and cook meat until fully browned, stirring occasionally. If there is any fat or extra liquid at this point, carefully drain and return saucepan back to heat.
- Now season with paprika, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
- Add chopped canned tomatoes with juice, tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or so. Remove from heat.
- Add zucchini, carrots, and sliced onions to the bottom of a casserole dish like this one. Add the meat sauce and spread evenly.
- Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil. Bake in 375 degrees F heated-oven for about 40 minutes. Then uncover, and then broil for a brief few minutes, watching carefully.
- Remove from oven and garnish with fresh parsley. Transfer to dinner bowls, add a drizzle of Private Reserve EVOO. Serve with Lebanese rice or your favorite crusty bread.
- Prepare ahead instructions: you can make this casserole the night before you need to serve it. Follow the recipe up to the first part only of step #7, you can bake covered for 40 minutes, but do not return to the oven for the last few minutes. Let it cool completely before covering and saving in the fridge. You can simply heat uncovered in a slightly lower temperature (350 degrees F heated) oven until warmed through. If you feel the casserole needs a little bit of liquid so it doesn’t dry while heating, add just a little bit of water.
- Store any leftovers in a glass tight-lid container in your fridge for 3 days or so. Or freeze portions as you like (thaw in fridge overnight).
- Recommended for this recipe: Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives). SAVE! Try our Greek EVOO Bundle.
- Recommended for this recipe from our all-natural spice collections: allspice, Spanish paprika, and nutmeg. SAVE! Create your own 3-pack or 6-pack from our all-natural or organic spice collections. Or try our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle!
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