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overhead shot of Beef Zucchini Casserole in a baking dish.

Beef Zucchini Casserole

Katerina | Diethood
Beef Zucchini Casserole is a savory pasta bake loaded with ground beef, veggies, orzo, and lots of melty cheese.
Servings : 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • ½ cup orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound zucchini, cut into ¼-inch round slices
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ½ cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • chopped fresh basil, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375˚F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Cook the orzo according to the directions on the package.
    Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat.
  • Add the zucchini to the heated oil and season with Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until zucchini is crisp-tender.
  • Remove zucchini from the pan and transfer to a large mixing bowl. To the same bowl, add the drained cooked orzo; stir and set aside.
  • Return skillet to the burner and heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
  • Stir in the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Season with remaining salt and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until the ground beef is completely browned and cooked through.
  • Drain fat, if any, then add the beef to the large bowl with the orzo and zucchini.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, ½-cup mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, basil, and thyme. Stir until everything is well combined and cheeses are melted.
  • Transfer the mixture to previously prepared baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.
  • Remove from oven and let stand 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with basil and serve.


Calories: 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 | 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

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked zucchini, easy casserole recipe, ground beef casserole recipes, pasta bake