A Spicy Perspective

Old-Fashioned Zucchini Casserole

Baked Zucchini Casserole Recipe – Everyone loves this classic one-skillet dish that is easy to make with fresh zucchini, melty cheese, and a crisp Panko topping!

Plate with zucchini casserole serving on it. Cast iron with casserole in background.

Why We Love This One-Skillet Recipe

What do you do with all those garden zucchinis when your kids refuse to eat them? You bake them with bread crumbs and plenty of cheese… Ta-da! The entire household is happy and you get to pat yourself on the back for getting those veggies into a dinner everyone will love.

No one can resist this simple decadent Cheesy Zucchini Casserole. It’s the perfect way to sneak greens into your family’s diet. Crispy cheese crust around the edges of the pan, crunchy bread crumb toppings, and silky shreds of zucchini and gooey molten cheese inside. Who is going to say no to all that flavor?!

Plus, this simple one-pan recipe does not require a baking dish, bowl, or colander to drain the zucchini!

Top down view cheesy zucchini casserole portion on a plate with fork.

Ingredients You Need

  • Butter – unsalted
  • Zucchini – grated
  • Onion – grated
  • Garlic – minced (or garlic powder)
  • Italian seasoninghomemade or store-bought
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – shredded (or mozzarella cheese)
  • Panko bread crumbs – or traditional breadcrumbs (or gluten-free!)
  • Mayonnaise – whole fat or light
  • Parmesan cheese – grated
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
Hand with metal spoon scooping out portion of casserole from a cast iron skillet.

How to Make the Best Zucchini Casserole Recipe

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Set a large 10-12 inch cast-iron skillet on the stovetop. (Use any oven-safe sauté pan, or transfer later to a baking dish.)

Use a cheese grater to shred the zucchini, onions, and sharp cheddar cheese. Mince or shred the garlic.

Zucchini grated on a cheese grater.

Add the butter to the pan and set the heat to medium. Once the butter has melted, add in the zucchini, onions, garlic, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.

Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly to release the moisture.

Grated zucchini in a cast iron skillet, large dollop of mayonnaise on top of the zucchini.

Then stir in mayonnaise, 1 ½ cups of breadcrumbs, and the grated sharp cheddar cheese.

Get the Complete (Printable) Cheesy Zucchini Casserole Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Hand with measuring cup adding Panko breadcrumbs to the skillet with zucchini, mayo, and shredded cheese.

Stir well, then spread the mixture out into an even layer and remove from heat.

Next, sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of Panko breadcrumbs over the top of the zucchini mixture. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Combination of ingredients smoothed into an even layer in the cast iron skillet.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are crispy and the center is bubbling.

Zucchini casserole with cheese removed from the oven, crispy breadcrumb topping is golden brown.

Recipe Variations

  • Use other summer squash, like yellow squash or crookneck squash. Or use a combo of different squashes! (Speaking of yellow squash, be sure to also try this Cheesy Southern Squash Casserole recipe!)
  • Cheddar is a classic ingredient, but other cheeses are equally delicious in this dish! Try gouda, fontina, pepper jack cheese, or mozzarella.
  • Add a pinch of crushed red pepper to give the cheesy zucchini casserole recipe a kick of spicy heat.
Top down view servings on casserole with zucchini and cheese on a plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I serve with zucchini casserole?

This recipe is terrific to make for a vegetarian main or as a side dish!

Enjoy as a main dish with your favorite old-fashioned comfort sides like crispy Southern Fried Okra, Crock Pot Creamed Corn, and Fluffy Cathead Biscuits. Or lighten things up and serve with a fresh green salad!

As a side dish pair ooey-gooey cheese and zucchini casserole with classics like baked or grilled ham, fried or grilled chicken, pot roast, or prime rib.

How do you keep zucchini squash casserole from getting watery?

It is absolutely key to continually stir the grated zucchini as it cooks. The heat and movement will release and then quickly cook off the moisture.

Note that there will be a bit of liquid in the pan when you go to add the mayo, breadcrumbs, and cheese. But it should not look soupy.

How long do leftovers last in the fridge?

Baked zucchini casserole will keep well for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Let the dish cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge.

I recommend that you reheat in the oven to get that crisp topping back a bit. (Note that it won’t be as perfectly crispy as when originally made!)

Can I freeze zucchini casserole?

Yes, cheesy zucchini casserole can be frozen! Cook the zucchini and assemble the dish per the recipe, but do not add the final breadcrumbs and bake just yet. Instead, transfer the cooked mixture to a freezer-safe pan (I recommend an aluminum pan that can go from cold to hot!) and let cool completely. Next, add the remaining Panko and cheese, then cover tightly with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil.

Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can thaw the casserole in the fridge overnight or heat it from frozen! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; bake thawed for 30 minutes or 50-60 minutes from frozen.

Pro Tip: Cover the pan with foil for the first 40 minutes or so, then remove the foil to let the top crisp up in the last 10+ minutes of baking.

Fork holding bite of cheesy zucchini casserole from the plate to camera.

Looking for More Classic Casserole Recipes?

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5 from 3 votes
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Old-Fashioned Zucchini Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Everyone loves this classic one-skillet dish that's easy to make with fresh zucchini, melty cheese, and a crisp Panko topping!
Servings: 6 – 8 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Set a large 10-12 inch cast-iron skillet on the stovetop. (Or any oven-safe sauté pan.)
  • Use a cheese grater to shred the zucchini, onions, and sharp cheddar cheese. Mince or shred the garlic.
  • Add the butter to the pan and set the heat to medium. Once the butter has melted, add in the zucchini, onions, garlic, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly, to release the moisture.
  • Then stir in mayonnaise, 1 ½ cups of breadcrumbs, and the grated sharp cheddar cheese. Stir well, then spread the mixture out into an even layer and remove from heat.
  • Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of Panko breadcrumbs over the top of the zucchini mixture. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are crispy and the center is bubbling. Serve warm.

Video

Notes

Recipe Variations:
  • Use other summer squash, like yellow zucchini or crookneck squash. Or use a combo of different squashes! (Speaking of yellow squash, be sure to also try this Cheesy Southern Squash Casserole recipe!)
  • Cheddar is classic to make cheesy zucchini casserole, but other cheeses are equally delicious! Try gouda, fontina, or pepper jack cheese.
  • Add a pinch of crushed red pepper to give this dish a kick of spicy heat.
Make Ahead and Freeze: Cook the zucchini and assemble the dish per the recipe, but do not add the final breadcrumbs and bake just yet. Instead, transfer the cooked mixture to a freezer-safe pan (I recommend an aluminum pan that can go from cold to hot!) and let cool completely. Next, add the remaining Panko and cheese, then cover tightly with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil.
Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can thaw the casserole in the fridge overnight or heat it from frozen! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; bake thawed for 30 minutes or 50-60 minutes from frozen. Pro Tip: Cover the pan with foil for the first 40 minutes or so, then remove the foil to let the top crisp up in the last 10+ minutes of baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 444kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 59mg, Sodium: 627mg, Potassium: 467mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 824IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 382mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Sommer Collier

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3 comments on “Old-Fashioned Zucchini Casserole”

  1. this is the perfect use for all those zucchini I harvested from my garden! thank you for sharing this recipe! 

  2. This is a summer favorite at our house! It’s pure comfort food and a great way to eat up all the squash we grow in our garden.

  3. So easy to throw together and has such great flavor! We love it around here.