Fall is in the Air – Enter Casserole #1

This weekend  was a great preview to Fall. The weather was nice and cool. Because of the temperature change, I was reminded of a nice Fall casserole dish.  An Italian dish with layers of pasta, zucchini, mushrooms, ricotta cheese and tomatoes. I used Dei Fratelli tomatoes and pasta sauce.  I also created the dish to be lower in fat by not including any meat, using part skim ricotta cheese and low fat mozzarella cheese.  Here’s the recipe with photos in the instructions.  Enjoy!!

Layered Italian Zucchini and Mushroom Casserole

Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 42 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 7 minutes


1 medium zucchini

1 1/2 cups pre-sliced white mushrooms

1 small green bell pepper, halved, cored and seeds removed

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

15oz. tub part skim ricotta cheese

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons dried basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups cooked penne pasta

1 cup Dei Fratelli® Chopped Tomatoes with Onion and Garlic

1 cup Dei Fratelli® Three Cheese Pasta Sauce

2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided


Mandolin slicer or other vegetable slicer with thin slicing blade


Set oven to bake at 350° F. Spray a 2-quart covered casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Scrub and clean zucchini and trim ends off. Slice zucchini and bell pepper with a mandolin to create thin slices. (watch your fingers!)

Place zucchini slices in a microwave-safe bowl. Fill bowl with water, covering zucchini. Place bowl in microwave and cook on high for 5 minutes. 

Drain water from zucchini. Arrange all zucchini slices in a layer in bottom of prepared casserole dish.

Break up mushrooms into bite-size pieces and place in a layer over zucchini. Add bell pepper slices and onion.

Then sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over vegetables.

In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Smooth tablespoons ricotta cheese mixture on top of vegetables and cheese in casserole.

In a medium bowl, combine pasta, tomatoes and sauce. Spread evenly over casserole. Then sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese

and add 1 cup mozzarella cheese.

Cover dish and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove dish from oven.

Remove cover and sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top.

Return to oven uncovered and broil on low setting for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese is golden. Remove dish from oven. Let stand for 5 minutes to cool. Spoon tablespoons of casserole onto plates. Serve warm.

YUMMY!! Can’t wait for Fall Casserole #2

If you would like to add meat to this dish, simply brown meat first and you may want to use a larger baking dish.  I would incorporate meat during the pasta and sauce mixing step. You could also saute the onion and green pepper along with meat with spices if you prefer.


About amrecipes

My love of cooking has taken over. I was on the net one day and saw an ad for a recipe contest. I entered. Then, I entered another. Then another, and so on and when I won a contest... an entire year's worth of tomato products, I was hooked. Since then, I've entered many many different recipe contests. I have won a trip to New York, entries into cook-offs, a recipe published in a Kraft/Paula Deen cookbook and many food products and food related items. I enjoy cooking and entering recipe contests. I hope I spark an interest in others to create something they can be proud of. I'm always getting more ideas from the internet. Wow, I remember not having the internet years ago. It's a God send and I'm trying to cover every inch of the food sites!! Join me in my quest to keep fresh ideas flowing and creating new and exciting dishes.
This entry was posted in casserole, Cheese, Italian Cuisine, Mozzarella, Mushrooms, Sauces, Side Dish, Tomatoes, Vegetables, Zucchini and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Fall is in the Air – Enter Casserole #1

  1. Pingback: Cooking Mandolin | We Dip It Cooking

  2. Pingback: Baked zucchini and mozzarella « Cookpendium

  3. Pingback: Hibachi Chicken Recipe | Igrillbbq

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