This zucchini pizza casserole with ground beef is an easy keto pizza casserole ready in 30 minutes for a quick dinner or breakfast.
If you crave pizza but don’t want the carbs from the crust, this keto pizza casserole with zucchinis is the best option!
We all love a good pizza, but it doesn’t mean you have to bake a pizza crust. Don’t get me wrong I love my keto pizza crust recipe, but some days you want a quick keto dinner and don’t feel like baking.
So, this zucchini pizza casserole has all the flavors of your favorite pizza, cheesy, fatty, loaded with meat and pepperoni with a healthy twist!
How to make zucchini pizza casserole?
A zucchini pizza casserole is an easy-baked casserole made of sliced zucchini as a base ingredient married with tomato passata and your favorite pizza toppings. It is so easy to make a zucchini casserole as long as you follow the simple steps below.
Step 1: kitchen equipment
Before starting this low-carb casserole recipe, it is important that you collect the right equipment.
It may sound obvious, but the success of a casserole is very much linked to the size of your baking dish and to the preparation of the ingredients. So, to make this zucchini pizza casserole you need:
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- A large saucepan or cast iron pan or a slow cooker with a 6-liter volume (24 cups) is the best. It must be large enough to stir fry 2 pounds of zucchini slices and 12 oz ground beef.
- A large baking dish, glass or ceramic, the best size is 13 inches x 9 inches (33 cm x 22 cm).
Step 2: prepare the zucchini
Option 1: Zucchini slices
First, make sure you wash and trim the ends of the zucchinis. You can peel the zucchini but unpeeled zucchinis add fibers and nutrients so I recommend leaving the skin on. Next, you want your keto zucchini pizza casserole to cook evenly, so you must cut the slices with precision. The best is to cut the zucchini in regular 1-inch (2.5cm) thick slices. In fact, cutting the zucchini too thin will result in a mushy casserole. On the other hand, cutting the slices too thick will take ages to bake or result in a crunchy uncooked zucchini casserole.
Option 2: Shredded zucchini
Some people prefer shredded zucchini in their pizza casserole. In fact, grated zucchini cooks faster and if you are not a big fan of zucchini, this will hide this keto-friendly vegetable really well in the casserole.
I chose the first option for this dish, however, I love using grated zucchini to make a zucchini crust.
Step 3: precook ingredients
It is a quick 10-minute step where you cook the beef with the zucchinis and the pizza sauce. The keto pizza sauce is made of tomato sauce, homemade Italian seasoning, and garlic powder to avoid added sugar or carbs.
This pre-cooking step is crucial to remove the water from the zucchini, to cook the beef, and to blend the Italian seasoning flavors.
Note that you can swap the beef for Italian sausage. However, Italian sausage is often seasoned with Italian seasoning so you may want to decrease the spices in the recipe to avoid overpowering flavors.
Step 4: layer the dish
The last step of this recipe for keto pizza casserole is easy. All you are left to do is alternate layers of the cooked zucchini mixture with grated cheese and repeat until the baking dish is full, keeping some mozzarella cheese for the top.
Step 5: add pizza toppings
That is the best part of any pizza casserole, the toppings. First, add the remaining cheese or grated mozzarella to cover the top of the casserole. Next, add the flat ingredients. It can be pepperoni slices, mushroom slices, olive slices, ham. Finally, add the extra keto toppings you love like diced green peppers.
Step 6: bake until bubbly
The secret of a perfectly baked zucchini casserole is the fork-tender zucchini and melted-broiled cheese on top. Depending on the size of the baking dish you are using, the baking time of the casserole will change.
For example, this keto pizza bake casserole baked in a 13-inch x 9 inches (33 cm x 22 cm) pan and was ready after 25 minutes in a hot oven 400°F (200°C), on a regular mode.
However, if your baking dish is larger, you will end up with fewer layers of zucchini and your casserole will bake faster.
As a rule of thumb, your zucchini pizza casserole is cooked when the tomato passata forms bubbles on the side of the dish, cheese is melted on top and the zucchinis pass the fork-tender-test.
If the zucchinis are too hard, keep baking but stop before they get too soft or mushy.
How to serve keto pizza casserole?
This is a great keto breakfast pizza casserole to start the day. If you are looking for breakfast keto recipes without eggs, then, this casserole is a nice alternative. Plus, it is loaded with all you need for your morning macros: fat, protein, and vitamins.
Another option is to serve your pizza casserole as a keto dinner. All your family will enjoy this dish, even the non-keto eaters. After all, a zucchini pizza casserole is a healthy casserole for all pizza lovers!
More pizza casserole toppings
There are plenty of keto pizza toppings you can add to your casserole. The most popular toppings are:
- Pepperoni slices
- Meat – add any extra meat like rotisserie chicken, sausage, etc.
- Herbs – basil, oregano, marjoram, etc.
- More keto veggies – like bell pepper – red pepper or green pepper, asparagus, olives, minced onion
- More cheese – while mozzarella cheese is a classic for pizza there are other delicious cheeses you can use too. For example, I recommend Parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese as a top-layer cheese.
More keto casserole recipes
If you love low-carb casserole recipes try some of the below recipes!
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Keto Zucchini Pizza Casserole
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To assemble the pizza casserole
- 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella or half parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese
- 2 oz Pepperoni Slices
- ⅓ cup Black Olives sliced
- ¼ cup Green Bell Pepper chopped
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Grease a 13-inch (33 cm) x 9-inch (22cm) baking dish with oil spray or butter. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet or slow cooker (choose a big enough pan that fits all the zucchinis and meat, about 6 liters/24 cups).
- Add minced onion and cook until fragrant and translucent.
- Add ground beef - crumbling the beef is the best to create small pieces of meat, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Cook beef for 2 minutes until cooked through.
- Stir in zucchini slices (or grated zucchini) and tomato sauce. Cover the saucepan and simmer for 3-4 minutes until the sauce forms bubbles on the side of the pan.
Assembling the casserole
- Remove from heat and transfer one layer of zucchini beef mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Add shredded mozzarella and continue layers until the pan is full.
- Cover the top of the dish with remaining mozzarella cheese, add pepperoni slices, sliced olives, and green bell pepper. Be creative and add more variety of cheese or meat like ham, chicken, cheddar cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 25 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Cool baked casserole for 5 minutes before serving and avoid burning yourself.
- Divide the whole dish into 6 even portions and serve one portion per meal as a breakfast or dinner.
- Cool baked casserole before storing in the fridge, in an airtight container, or freeze in individual portions.
- Defrost in the fridge the day before and rewarm in a sauce and under medium heat or in the microwave.
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