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Zucchini Cornbread Casserole

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Zucchini Cornbread Casserole is a delightful and comforting dish that combines the flavors of zucchini, corn, and cheddar cheese with a delicious cornbread mix. This casserole is perfect as a side dish or a main course and is sure to be a hit at any gathering. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making Zucchini Cornbread Casserole, provide helpful cooking notes, and offer variations to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.

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Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, well drained
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (remove seeds for less spice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Zucchini

  1. Shred and Drain the Zucchini:
    • Shred the zucchini using a box grater or food processor.
    • Place the shredded zucchini in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. This step is crucial to prevent the casserole from becoming too watery.

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the drained zucchini, diced white onion, 12 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese (reserve 4 ounces for topping), thawed corn, diced jalapeño, eggs, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper.
    • Stir until well combined.
  3. Add Corn Muffin Mix:
    • Add the corn muffin mix to the zucchini mixture and stir until just combined.

Step 3: Bake the Casserole

  1. Prepare the Baking Dish:
    • Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Pour the Mixture:
    • Pour the zucchini and corn mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly.
  3. Top with Cheese:
    • Sprinkle the remaining 4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the casserole.
  4. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the casserole is set and the top is golden brown.

Step 4: Serve

  1. Cool Slightly:
    • Allow the casserole to cool for a few minutes before serving to help it set.
  2. Serve:
    • Serve the Zucchini Cornbread Casserole warm, as a side dish or main course. It pairs well with a fresh green salad or your favorite protein.

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Draining Zucchini: Properly draining the zucchini is essential to prevent the casserole from being too watery. Use a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth to squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
  • Cheese: Use freshly shredded cheddar cheese for the best flavor and melting quality.

Variations:

  • Spicy Variation:
    • Add an extra jalapeño or a pinch of red pepper flakes for more heat.
  • Mexican Style:
    • Add 1 cup of black beans and 1/2 cup of salsa to the mixture for a Mexican twist.
  • Gluten-Free Version:
    • Use a gluten-free corn muffin mix to make the recipe gluten-free.
  • Herbed Casserole:
    • Add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs such as cilantro, parsley, or basil for added flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use fresh corn instead of frozen?

Yes, you can use fresh corn kernels if you prefer. Simply cut the kernels off the cob and measure 1 cup.

2. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover Zucchini Cornbread Casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

3. Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed when ready to serve.

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4. What can I serve with Zucchini Cornbread Casserole?

This casserole pairs well with a variety of dishes, including grilled chicken, pork chops, or a fresh green salad. It also makes a great vegetarian main course.

5. Can I freeze this casserole?

Yes, you can freeze the baked casserole. Allow it to cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Zucchini Cornbread Casserole is a flavorful and comforting dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its combination of fresh zucchini, corn, and cheddar cheese, this casserole is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Whether you’re serving it as a side dish or a main course, this recipe is easy to follow and full of delicious flavors. Give this Zucchini Cornbread Casserole a try and enjoy a comforting and satisfying meal. Happy cooking!