Comfort Food Zucchini Casserole

TOTAL SHARES 571

Usually, when I think of a casserole, I think fattening, rich, creamy, cheesy, and gooey.  I also think easy – all the ingredients in one dish and throw it in the oven.  And casserole usually equates to comfort food, at least in my book.

Well, this casserole answers the call, it is delicious and tastes much richer than it is at only 4 Points Plus per HUGE serving.  I cut this into 6 servings but you could easily cut it into 8.  If you decide to go with 8 pieces, each serving would be 3 Points Plus.

Notes:

  • Like my Everyday Beef + Bean Chili, this recipe uses pre-prepared ‘tube-style’ polenta.  If you aren’t familiar with this product, make sure to click on the Chili recipe and read about it in the Notes section.
  • Unless you have homemade pasta sauce already in your freezer, save time and use your favorite jarred sauce.  I like Trader Joe’s Rustico Pomodoro Pasta Sauce.  If you use a different sauce, make sure to recalculate the Points Plus.
  • I used Red Onion because I already had one cut for another dish and didn’t want to waste it but yellow onion would work just fine.
  • I used my Prepara Olive Oil Mister to lightly spray the bread crumbs at the end, if you don’t have this or a Misto, then mix your bread crumbs with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle on top.

This freezes and reheats great!

4.8 from 4 reviews
Comfort Food Zucchini Casserole
 
Prep:
Cook:
Total:
 
4 Points Plus per serving -- Based on 6 Servings
By:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 package pre-prepared polenta, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 jar Trader Joe's Rustico Pomodoro Pasta Sauce
  • handful basil leaves
  • handful flat leaf parsley (mostly leaves)
  • ½ small onion (red or yellow)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally into ¼" slices
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • olive oil spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. Take a 9x13 glass baking dish (think Lasagna pan) and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In the food processor, combine parsley, basil, onion, garlic and some salt and fresh ground pepper.
  4. Pulse a couple of times until it looks like this and place into a dish alongside other ingredients.
  5. Slice zucchini on an angle about ¼" thick so they are easy to layer and cook through. Slice Polenta into thin rounds (don't worry if it falls apart a bit). Arrange the rest of your ingredients for quick assembly. Open your sauce and put in a measuring cup. Get your Italian Seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese ready to go in ramekins. Make sure your salt and pepper is handy.
  6. You are going to assemble the ingredients into two layers so plan on using about half of the ingredients for each layer.
  7. First, layer Polenta rounds. Then sprinkle some of the fresh herb, onion and garlic mixture on top.
  8. Next, layer the zucchini, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
  9. Spoon approximately half of the sauce onto the zucchini layer and spread with a spatula or spoon. Sprinkle half of the grated Parmesan.
  10. Repeat to finish the second layer, making sure to end with the grated Parmesan.
  11. Cover casserole with tin foil and bake covered for 40 minutes.
  12. At 40 minutes, pull Casserole out, remove tin foil and sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Lightly spray with olive oil mister and put back into the oven for 5 additional minutes. If bread crumbs are not brown and crispy, switch oven to Broil for an additional 2 minutes of cooking time.
  13. Pull out of oven and let cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.

 

TOTAL SHARES 571

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Comments

  1. says

    I make this with egg plant instead of zucchini. you just need to cook it longer. everyone loves it. they don’t know there is egg plant in it which is great for the kids. one of my favorite recipes and low in calories.

  2. Molly says

    Oh, and I forgot to mention, I had just plain marinara pasta sauce, so I added some sundried tomatoes and some nutritional yeast in the middle, for an extra flavor boost.

  3. Molly says

    Searched high and low for a delicious easy recipe to make with my pre-made polenta. I had a recipe I wanted to try, but I bought the wrong kind (my store only had the pre-made tub kind). So I kept googling and googling…finally finding myself here and thinking that it looked much better than just “fry, add sauce, serve” but easy enough to do without needing to buy extra things on another trip to the store, etc. Thank you! Delicious!

    • EverydayMaven says

      So glad it worked out for you Molly! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to give me the feedback :)

  4. Gloria Moore says

    I would like to know is polenta the same as corn meal mush. It sure looks the same .I never made polenta before.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Gloria,
      I have never made corn meal mush so I am not 100% sure what it is but polenta is made from corn meal so it must be similar?

  5. cancan says

    Yumm I made this and your spicy tofu recipe over the weekend. Both were hits with me!! I make other things for the kids :) I am having more of the zucchini tonight and I have a giant eggplant in the fridge for the eggplant casserole :) Thanks so much!!

  6. Nicole says

    I made this for dinner tonight, and incidentally didn’t have parsley on hand as I had thought. I did have Arugula and I will say that it makes a tasty substitute. Great recipe!

  7. Jamie says

    Just made this again last night and it always suprises me how much my family loves it!

    Question, though…what is the best way to freeze a dish like this? Before baking? After? I actually have never froze a cassarole, but would love to start so dinner is just…ready:)

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thanks Jamie! That is one of my favorites as well! This is a pretty flexible dish so you could definitely assemble, cover well and freeze prior to cooking. When you are ready to cook, uncover and pop in the oven. You will need to lengthen the cooking time to account for the dish being frozen. As for freezing after it’s cooked, I always freeze the leftovers. They reheat great but the polenta can be a little spongy from all the liquid. Enjoy it!

    • EverydayMaven says

      I think that would be delicious! I suggest slicing the eggplant, placing into a colander and salting with kosher salt. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes to drain some of the water out. Let me know how it comes out!!

  8. jennifer says

    Just made it tonight and it came out REALLY well! Used the nutritional yeast instead of cheese and it was super-yummy.

  9. Jamie says

    I cannot wait to try this! I need more WW friendly quick, yummy meals.
    Basically, I *heart* your site altogether:)

  10. Amy says

    Have this in the oven right now! I did make a few changes though….used pesto mixed in with pasta sauce instead of your green mix and added some carmelized onions in between as well. Can’t wait! Super duper easy and I think Mya will like it as well :)

    • EverydayMaven says

      I think the Pesto and onions will be great in there! Enjoy it and I hope Miss M loves it. P.S. it freezes great and makes an excellent “mommy has no time to make herself lunch” lunch with a salad 😉

  11. says

    You sure do know how to cook, this looks delicious and healthy. My husband loves polenta (the exact tubed polenta you used from TJ’s) and I love zucchini. Perfecto!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Yes! I also like to make homemade polenta but I keep those tubes in my pantry for quicker dishes and in this case the round shape makes it really easy to work with. I hope you like it :)

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