Zucchini Italiano Casserole

When zucchini is plentiful in my garden, I slice and parboil it, then freeze it in 4-cup containers for recipes like this. It saves time – and lets us enjoy fresh zucchini year-round! Such a yummy Zucchini Italiano Casserole!

Yield: 4 servings


4 cups thinly sliced zucchini
1 pound ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup cooked rice
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg lightly beaten
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook zucchini in boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until almost tender. Drain well; set aside.
In a skillet, cook beef, garlic, and onion until beef is no longer pink and onion is tender; drain off fat.
Stir in rice, tomato sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine egg and cottage cheese. Layer half of the zucchini slices in a greased 8 in. square baking dish, overlapping slices as needed.
Spoon meat mixture over zucchini; dollop cottage cheese mixtures over meat. Top with remaining zucchini slices.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle cheddar cheese around edges; bake an additional 2-3 minutes or until the cheese melts.