Zucchini Pasta Casserole with thyme. A super easy and healthy casserole that is easily gluten-free. With few ingredients (7 ingredients or less), dinner will be on the table in no time!
If you've read my grandma's baked ziti recipe, you'll know that it used to be my go-to recipe.
I still find myself craving that dish often, so it was about time I start coming up with some variations on my favorite pasta casserole.
Since zucchini season is officially in full-swing, what better way to use a pound of it than in a delicious, cheesy pasta casserole?
A short time ago, I thought I would try to go gluten-free. (I go through that phase every once in a while.) This time I think I survived a whole 5 days.
Because of this, I already had a variety of gluten-free pastas at hand. I actually love many gluten-free pastas because you don't always feel like you're missing out on the gluten! They have really stepped up their game.
(It's the bread that gets me.)
So for this zucchini pasta casserole, I used a fusilli pasta made from brown rice and quinoa that I got at Trader Joe's. I liked the idea of using spiral pasta (the root of the word fusilli comes from “spindle”) for this dish and I genuinely love the brown rice pasta.
My dinner guests couldn't tell the difference in the pasta until I told them! I've thrown my friends some definite curveballs before so this one was fairly tame.
It is definitely THE pasta I would recommend if you want to keep this gluten-free, but you can use any noodles you want.
Gluten-free or not, you gotta admit saying “zucchini fusilli” pasta casserole is fun. (Hashtag: find pleasure in the little things.)
Simply boil the pasta, and saute some oil, onion, zucchini and thyme while you're waiting. Throw it together with some marinara sauce, top it with cheese, and bake!
I use my super big casserole dish for this (10×14) but a 9×13 should work fine. Any smaller than that and it'll probably be pushing it. Or you can always split it up into two smaller casseroles.
Also, I say this feeds 8 but as with most things it depends on how large the serving is. 10-12 servings are possible, I just went with 8 to be on the safe side!
Zucchini Pasta Casserole
- 1 lb. brown rice fusilli gluten-free pasta (or other pasta of your choosing)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil or avocado oil)
- 1 small white onion , diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 lb. zucchini , chopped into rounds
- 3 cups marinara sauce (24 oz. jar)
- 2 cups shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large pot, boil water. Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes (or according to package instructions). Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. Once hot, add the onion and thyme and cook for 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent.
- Add zucchini rounds to the onion mixture and cook for 7-8 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat.
- In a casserole pan (9x13 or larger), place cooked pasta and spread to an even layer. Pour marinara sauce over pasta, top with cooked zucchini mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top.
- Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Recommended and useful items for this gluten-free zucchini pasta casserole recipe:
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