This EASY baked keto zucchini casserole with cheese and sour cream is the best keto vegetarian meal or side dish. Plus, this healthy zucchini gratin is egg free and gluten free.
A keto zucchini casserole is low-carb casserole made with a cheesy wheat-free white sauce. In fact, most regular zucchini casseroles use a combination of milk, flour and butter to create a thick white sauce. However, milk and flour are not keto-friendly. Milk contains a lot of carbs and sugar from lactose and flour is a high-carb ingredient.
So, the trick to achieve a similar texture is to make your zucchini casserole with sour cream, cream and shredded hard cheese. Let’s see the simple ingredients to make your casserole flavorsome:
There’s nothing complicated about making your own baked zucchini casserole. However, there are a few tips and tricks to make the best zucchini casserole. A good cheesy casserole, must be not watery with perfectly baked zucchini tender and not mushy. So let me explain step-by-step how you can achieve perfection in your next zucchini casserole recipe.
This is the most important step to avoid a watery zucchini casserole. In fact, zucchinis are low-carb vegetables made of about 95% of water! Incredible, right? So this said, it means that it is very important to extract the zucchini water before preparing your baked zucchini casserole. Otherwise, the water will release in the pan and you will end up with a watery, diluted cheese sauce. Not what we want right! So, to keep the zucchini crunchy in your gratin, first slice the zucchini with their skin on. Place the slices on a bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and toss well. The salt will naturally extract the liquid from the vegetables within 20 minutes. After this time, drain and pat dry with absorbent paper.
The key to make a good casserole is to bake all the ingredients at the same speed. Therefore, the size of the baking dish matter. So how do you check the size of a baking dish? Well, always look at the volume of your pan, not the size! In fact, not all pans with a similar size have the same height and as a result the volume of vegetables you will be able to fit in would be different. I am repeating myself but this will impact the baking time, texture and can end up with an overcooked casserole. So, always check the volume of your baking dish. It is pretty simple to do so, fill in the baking dish with water and see how much it can take. As a rule of thumb, I am using a 1.5-liter (50-fluid-once or 6-cup) glass pan for zucchini casserole. A square size is always the best to fit the length of one zucchini in a row.
That’s the next important part of making this keto zucchini casserole right: lay the zucchini in rows. This is not to make it pretty at all! It is all about cooking the zucchini slices at the same speed and to ensure we get the same uniform texture on the whole dish. Look at my pictures below to see how I overlap the zucchini slices in single rows. As you can see, there is no layer of zucchini. As a result, you won’t have to worry about bottom zucchinis getting mushy, overbaked compared to the top ones.
This zucchini and cheese casserole has a thick creamy sauce made with sour cream. Therefore, it’s not runny but instead it’s a deliciously thick and cheesy. That’s why you must use a spatula or spoon to spread the thick cheese sauce evenly over the top of the zucchini slices. This will ensure a consistent cheesy flavor.
This is a keto cheesy zucchini casserole so I believe there’s never too much cheese. But hey, this is up to you. You can always decrease slightly the amount of cheese on top of your casserole depending on your taste.
That is the last crucial step. Baked zucchini casseroles require minimal baking time to avoid mushy zucchinis. As a result, only 15-20 minutes are required to make the best zucchini casserole, whether you make it keto or not, this is the best baking time. Then, how do you know if the casserole is good? Well, a casserole is ready when cheese is broiled on top, if some bubbles form on the sides of the dish and if the vegetables are passing the knife test; they must be soft but still tender.
This is a great vegetarian keto meal or side dish to accompany grilled meat. Others delicious vegetarian dishes you can enjoy on keto are:
Made this cheesy zucchini casserole and want to share your feedback, question or a picture of your creation with me? Join me in my Facebook Support Group. I see you there.