This simple Beef Zucchini Casserole is a tasty and gratifying pasta bake, loaded with garlicky beef, tender veggies, hearty orzo, and three types of melty cheese. The correct dinner for colder local weather!
A Garlicky, Beefy Pasta Bake with A great deal of Melted Cheese
Casserole season is correct right here! It’s official. And, I’m kicking us off with this garlicky, beefy, cheesy pasta bake, a.okay.a. beef zucchini casserole. This recipe is solely the ticket to ease us into cozy Fall dinners!
With all its comforting style and warmth, melty deliciousness, my meaty zucchini casserole goes to be on frequent rotation from now until spring. I can nearly guarantee it!
I make this simple casserole with flooring beef, tender-cooked orzo pasta, and veggies, plus tons of cheese (naturally). It’s hearty, it’s filling. It’s each little factor I dream about in a Sunday dinner. The entire components get sautéed in a single pan, after which the oven does the rest.
What You’ll Need
Let’s go over what you’ll should make this delectable beef zucchini casserole. Underneath is a roundup of the weather, with the entire portions obtainable inside the recipe card:
- Orzo: It’s a form of small pasta you’ll discover in most grocery retailers. It seems to be like a bit like rice, nonetheless it’s not a grain! See beneath.
- Olive Oil: For sautéeing the weather.
- Zucchini: You’ll need about 1 pound of zucchini (sizes may fluctuate), sliced into skinny rounds. I used 2 huge zucchini.
- Seasoning: Italian Seasoning, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Onion: Yellow onion, diced
- Garlic: Latest cloves, minced.
- Ground Beef: Lean flooring beef
- Crushed Tomatoes: Canned crushed tomatoes.
- Cheese: Shredded mozzarella cheese, part-skim ricotta cheese, and shredded parmesan cheese.
- Herbs: Dried basil, dried thyme for added seasoning, plus chopped up to date basil for garnish.
Does Orzo Type Like Rice?
Though it seems to be like like huge grains of rice, orzo is unquestionably an Italian pasta comprised of semolina flour. So it tastes like pasta! Orzo is tender, chewy, and company, a bit like a much bigger mannequin of couscous (which will also be comprised of wheat semolina).
Make Beef Zucchini Casserole
- Whereas the oven heats to 375˚F, take out and grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Set this aside and get your orzo boiling in response to the directions on the bundle. Within the meantime, start on the alternative casserole components:
- Prepare dinner dinner the Zucchini: Sauté the zucchini slices in a scorching skillet with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in just a little little bit of oil. After a few minutes, swap the zucchini to an enormous bowl.
- Add Orzo: As quickly as cooked, drain the orzo pasta and mix it into the bowl with the zucchini. Put apart.
- Prepare dinner dinner the Beef: Set your skillet once more on the vary with additional olive oil. Sauté the diced onions, then stir inside the garlic sooner than together with the underside beef. Break up and stir the meat with a picket spoon whereas it browns, tossing in a single different pinch of salt. Proceed to sear the meat until it’s cooked by the use of.
- Combine: Be sure that to empty the cooked beef of any additional fat, then add it to the bowl with the orzo and zucchini. Subsequent, add the crushed tomatoes to the orzo mixture, adopted by the mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan. Give the mixture a sprinkle with the dried herbs, and toss to combine sooner than spreading the mixture into your prepped baking dish.
- Bake: Prime the meat casserole with one different layer of mozzarella cheese and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the casserole is effervescent and cheese is melted. When the casserole is out of the oven, depart it to take a seat down for about 10 to fifteen minutes sooner than garnishing and serving.
Concepts, Strategies, and Variations
How do you make an unbelievable beef zucchini casserole even MORE of successful? Let’s give attention to:
- Drain the Beef: Ground beef tends to leak loads of liquid as a result of it browns. Make sure you drain this off, along with any additional grease, to steer clear of an overly-oily casserole.
- Make It In a Skillet: This casserole recipe could also be made totally in a heavy-bottomed skillet! Sauté the weather as directed. Instead of together with the meat to the zucchini and orzo, drain the underside beef after which add the orzo mixture, tomatoes, and cheese into the skillet with the meat. Stir to combine after which prepare dinner dinner until bubbly. Add the mozzarella after which place the lid over the skillet to melt the cheese.
- Use Ground Turkey: For a leaner casserole, chances are you’ll make this recipe using flooring turkey or flooring rooster as an alternative.
- Completely completely different Pasta: When you’ll be able to’t get your fingers on orzo pasta, be at liberty to sub in a single different small pasta type.
- Further Veggies: Be at liberty to fluctuate up or add far more veggies to this beefy casserole! Try diced carrots, celery, broccoli, or bell peppers.
- Fire-Roasted Tomatoes: That’s one method to truly up the flavour of the tomatoes on this recipe! Use canned fire-roasted tomatoes as a substitute of frequent crushed tomatoes.
Yummy Serving Suggestions
This casserole checks all the containers as a tasty meal all by itself. Protein? Check. Veggies? Yep. Pasta? You’ve obtained it. Nevertheless, in case it is advisable “beef” up your subsequent dinner even further (pun meant), listed under are some simple serving concepts for beef zucchini casserole:
Storing and Reheating Pointers
What sort of casserole would this be if it didn’t reheat like a dream? This zucchini bake is sweet to make ahead to keep up inside the fridge or freezer (see beneath), or to retailer for leftovers in the midst of the week.
- As quickly because it’s cooled off, wrap the baked casserole in plastic wrap or foil to refrigerate for as a lot as 5 days.
- I prefer to advocate reheating this casserole full or in components, inside the oven, lined with foil. Preheat the oven to 350ºF after which bake until the casserole is heated by the use of as quickly as additional. You can also zap platefuls inside the microwave as a sooner alternative.
Can I Freeze This?
- Positive! Cheesy beef zucchini casserole freezes fantastically. Wrap the cooled casserole in a layer of plastic wrap, adopted by a further layer of foil, and freeze it for as a lot as 3 months.
- Thaw the casserole inside the fridge in a single day after which reheat as frequent.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Prepare dinner dinner Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Full Time 1 hr 5 minutes
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Flippantly grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and put apart.
- Prepare dinner dinner the orzo in response to the directions on the bundle. Within the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in an enormous skillet set over medium heat.
Add the zucchini to the heated oil and season with Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Prepare dinner dinner for 5 minutes, or until zucchini is crisp-tender.
Take away zucchini from the pan and swap to an enormous mixing bowl. To the similar bowl, add the drained cooked orzo; stir and put apart.
Return skillet to the burner and heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add inside the onions and prepare dinner dinner for 1 minute. Stir inside the garlic and prepare dinner dinner for 20 seconds.
Stir inside the flooring beef, breaking it up with a picket spoon. Season with remaining salt and prepare dinner dinner for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until the underside beef is completely browned and cooked by the use of.
Drain fat, if any, then add the meat to the massive bowl with the orzo and zucchini.
Stir inside the crushed tomatoes, ½-cup mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, basil, and thyme. Stir until each little factor is successfully combined and cheeses are melted.
Swap the mixture to beforehand prepared baking dish and excessive with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.
Take away from oven and let stand 10 to fifteen minutes.
Garnish with basil and serve.
Vitality: 272 kcal | Carbohydrates: 15 g | Protein: 23 g | Fat: 14 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g | Trans Fat: 0.2 g | Ldl ldl cholesterol: 59 mg | Sodium: 455 mg | Potassium: 573 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 5 g | Vitamin A: 454 IU | Vitamin C: 16 mg | Calcium: 230 mg | Iron: 3 mg | Net Carbs: 13 g
Dietary knowledge is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may fluctuate in response to the weather and devices used. Please use your hottest dietary calculator for additional detailed knowledge.