This Chicken Zucchini Casserole may become your favorite zucchini recipe. Learn how to make this easy, and low carb recipe for busy weeknight dinners. Perfect casserole with lots of veggies and cheese that even picky eaters will appreciate.
- Is This Recipe Gluten-Free?
- Why It's Yummy
- Recommended Equipment
- How Can I Add Even More Flavor?
- Serving Suggestions
- Low-Carb Serving Ideas:
- Freezing And Storing Instructions
- Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken?
- Common Recipe Questions
- Favorite Zucchini Recipes
- Homemade Casserole Recipes
Is This Recipe Gluten-Free?
Yes, this chicken bake is gluten-free and made with lots of fresh veggies and ground chicken.
Why It's Yummy
- Incredibly tender and creamy - ground chicken in combination with soft baked zucchini under layers of sour cream and cheese - a total crowd-pleaser!
- Budget-friendly casserole - a few simple, economical ingredients make this chicken and zucchini casserole just from scratch without canned ingredients or cream soup needed!
- Easy to reheat - this chicken and vegetable casserole also re-heats super well - either in the oven at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celcius) for approximately 10 minutes or simply pop in the microwave.
- Easily Customizable - use ground beef or ground turkey with zucchini to make this casserole, but so far, chicken and zucchini are my favorite.
- OPTIONAL TOPPING: You can also add a crunchy topping with ritz crackers, crispy bacon or cornflakes just like I did with my, ham and potato casserole or million dollar chicken casserole.
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
You only need a handful of healthy ingredients and 15 minutes to whip up this easy casserole.
- Fresh zucchini - also called courgettes, is the main star ingredient that in my opinion is the best veggie to pair with chicken. It has numerous health benefits, has a soft, delicate texture and is best to use in stuffings, patties, fritters, muffins, cakes and quick breads. Easy and very much kid-friendly and kid-approved too!
- Garlic powder - the essential aromatic you can’t forget in almost every savory dish.
- Carrot - add a little pop of color, texture and sweet taste which in combination with chicken zucchini tastes superb.
- Lean ground chicken - can be substituted with skillet browned and chopped skinless boneless chicken breast, rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken instead. If you want the most tender chicken, use ground chicken. Your next options are ground turkey, ground beef/pork.
- Italian herbs - another needed ingredient for chicken and zucchini casserole. These herbs enhance any simple casserole! But not essential, if you don't have it on hand it will still taste very good.
- Shredded cheese - make sure to cover the top generously so you’ll have a thicker layer of cheese once done. But it’s personal preference, you can also add only ¾ of a cup or less depending on the baking dish. I also love to mix up the cheeses, equal parts of Colby jack, mozzarella cheese and sharp cheddar cheese. Cheese lovers will appreciate it!
- Related: How To Store Zucchini
In a medium bowl grate the zucchini and add 1 teaspoon of salt, set aside for 10-15 min to drain off the excess water.
Remove the excess water using a strainer and spoon or wrap the zucchini in a thin kitchen towel (or a special fabric is also available on amazon) and squeeze tight to get rid of the water.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Once done, gather all the ingredients (except cheese and sour cream) in a large mixing bowl and stir with a spatula or hands until combined.
Prepare a 9x13 or slightly smaller baking dish, spray with cooking oil, and transfer the mixture into the dish.
Even out the top with a spatula and layer the sour cream on top.
Bake the chicken zucchini casserole for 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and add the cheese, bake again for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Garnish with parsley, scallions, or bacon and freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy!
📋 FLAVOR & TEXTURE: Creamy, savory, and mildly tangy flavor profile with earthy notes from zucchini and carrots, all balanced by a delightful cheesy richness.
How Can I Add Even More Flavor?
What makes this simple recipe fantastic is its flexibility. You have the freedom to incorporate various spices and seasonings to your liking.
Don't hesitate to explore your spice cabinet for options like onion powder, paprika, or even red chili flakes to add a touch of heat.
If you happen to have tomato paste, consider including a tablespoon in the mixture to enhance the flavor further.
- Sour cream - depending on your casserole dish size, add more sour cream as needed to cover the entire area as instructed in the recipe. The sour cream used here is mainly to add a little flavor without creating a thick sauce. But feel free to add even more if you prefer this way.
- If you love mushrooms, you can also use this thick mushroom soup instead.
- The smaller the casserole dish the thicker the chicken bake will be. Oval baking dishes work well.
- Loaded it with veggies - carrots and zucchinis add just the right amount of moisture to the casserole but you can also add small amounts of sauteed mushrooms, chopped bell pepper, chopped broccoli florets, corn, peas, marinated drained artichoke hearts.
Being loaded with plenty of zucchini and chicken, this low carb chicken dinner doesn’t necessarily need a vegetable side dish or salad of some sort.
But for a perfect weeknight meal, you can add a little fresh salad (I highly recommend this easy marinated vegetable salad- it goes with anything!) or mashed potatoes (with sweet or regular potatoes).
- Grains: rice, quinoa.
- Potatoes: fries, mashed potatoes, smashed potatoes or roasted in air fryer. or try sweet potatoes!
- Bread: Accompany it with a generous slice of crusty garlic bread. I personally served mine with rice and garlic toast, which is perfect for savoring all the delicious sauce. For GF bread, we love Schar.
- Salads: light and quick (tomato onion salad, green goddess salad or Mediterranean cucumber salad) or loaded salads like avocado chickpea, avocado corn, broccoli salad and potato salad.
Low-Carb Serving Ideas:
- Sautéed Greens: saute spinach or kale until wilted, add a touch of olive oil and chopped garlic for a speedy and nutritious side. Collard greens can also be used.
- Cauliflower Rice: You can opt for all cauliflower rice or blend it with regular rice for reduced calories and carbs while adding extra veggies.
- Veggies: Air fryer roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted asparagus, glazed carrots, Green Beans.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
- To Store. I suggest storing any remaining casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where it can be kept fresh for 3 to 4 days. When it's time to reheat, simply place it back in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, optionally adding a bit more cheese, and bake for a few minutes until it's thoroughly warmed.
- To Make Ahead. You have the option to prepare this entire chicken zucchini casserole a day in advance and refrigerate it for reheating later. Alternatively, you can choose to assemble its components separately.
Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken?
Certainly, store-bought rotisserie chicken is an option, although it will change the recipe's nutritional content.
- To prepare it, remove and discard the skin, then meticulously separate the meat from the bones, discarding any cartilage.
- Use your hands to pull the chicken apart, dicing the chicken breasts and shredding the remaining meat. Leftover roast chicken can also be used as an alternative.
Common Recipe Questions
It is indeed safe to put raw chicken in a casserole to cook in the oven. It will cook longer than already precooked say, rotisserie chicken. However, it is healthier this way, and consider using diced, shredded, or like in this recipe, ground chicken that will cook very fast. All bacteria are killed once the temperature in the oven reaches 160 degrees.
Usually, it is not needed to peel zucchini before baking, especially when using fresh young zucchini. As with many vegetables, most of the nutritional value comes from the zucchini skin, so it is a good idea to keep it as it is. In this zucchini chicken casserole we use grated zucchini with skin on and during baking it becomes very tender, exactly like we want it to be.
It is not necessary to salt the zucchini before cooking. The fastest way is to grate the zucchini before cooking, leave it in a fine-mesh strainer for 10-20 minutes, and then wrap it in a thin fabric or kitchen towel and squeeze the extra moisture out. Avoid steaming or boiling the zucchini.
The best way to prevent your squash or zucchini casserole from getting watery is to remove the excess water by wrapping the cut or grated squash in a piece of fabric and squeezing out the water. Alternatively, you can saute the veggies before cooking which will also remove most of the excess water.
In brief, you can indeed prepare this baked chicken and zucchini in advance. However, it's worth noting that the optimal approach is to make it just before serving, as the zucchini and squash maintain their texture and freshness when chopped and cooked on the same day.
Keep in mind that freezing the zucchini and squash may result in a softer texture compared to baking them fresh.
Favorite Zucchini Recipes
Homemade Casserole Recipes
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Chicken Zucchini Casserole
- 11-12 ounce (300 g) ground chicken
- 1 medium egg
- 1 medium carrot (grated)
- 1 pound zucchini (grated)
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 3-4 tablespoons sour cream (or more as needed)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste + for zucchini
- 1 ½ cup Cheddar or Colby Jack Cheese
- 1 teaspoon of Italian herb spice (or a mix of dried oregano, garlic, thyme)
- In a medium bowl grate the zucchini and add 1 teaspoon of salt, set aside for 10-15 min to drain off the excess water.
- Remove the excess water using a strainer and spoon or wrap the zucchini in a thin kitchen towel (or a special fabric is also available on amazon) and squeeze tight to get rid of the water.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Once done, gather all the ingredients (except cheese and sour cream) in a large mixing bowl and stir with a spatula or hands until combined.
- Prepare a 9x13 or slightly smaller baking dish, spray with cooking oil, and transfer the mixture into the dish. Even out the top with a spatula and layer the sour cream on top.
- Bake the chicken zucchini casserole for 35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and add the cheese, bake again for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Garnish with parsley, scallions, or bacon and freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy!
- Flavor: Creamy, savory, and mildly tangy flavor profile with earthy notes from zucchini and carrots, all balanced by a delightful cheesy richness.
- To Store: I suggest storing any remaining casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where it can be kept fresh for 3 to 4 days. When it's time to reheat, simply place it back in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, optionally adding a bit more cheese, and bake for a few minutes until it's thoroughly warmed.
- To Make Ahead: You have the option to prepare this entire chicken zucchini casserole a day in advance and refrigerate it for reheating later. Alternatively, you can choose to assemble its components separately.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)