This zucchini casserole is sauteed squash tossed in a creamy sauce with plenty of cheese, all topped off with cracker crumbs and baked to perfection. An easy and simple make ahead side dish!

When I’m looking to add a vegetable side to a meal, I often turn to classic casseroles such as scalloped corn casserole, broccoli casserole, or this cheesy zucchini version. This is a great way to use up all the squash from your summer garden!

A spoon serving up a portion of zucchini casserole.

My family enjoys zucchini at least once a week – it’s inexpensive, readily available year round, and also happens to be delicious. This zucchini casserole is an all time favorite, and it’s quick enough for a busy weeknight, but elegant enough to earn a place on your holiday table.

This zucchini is a perfect side dish recipe for everyday meals like chicken francese, honey garlic salmon or a crock pot pork roast. You can also make this recipe for Thanksgiving. It goes well with some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes like smoked turkey, pumpkin soup and bacon green bean bundles.

Zucchini Casserole Ingredients

To make creamy zucchini casserole you will need butter, flour, zucchini, onion, garlic, dried thyme, cream, milk, cheddar cheese, buttery crackers, parsley, salt and black pepper.

Cooked slices of squash in a skillet.

How Do You Make Zucchini Casserole?

Make zucchini casserole by first cooking sliced zucchini in butter with onions in a pan until the vegetables are tender. Place the cooked veggies in a bowl. Next, whip up the creamy sauce. Start the homemade sauce by whisking together melted butter and flour in a pan. Add milk, cook for a couple of minutes and then add cream and seasonings. Let the sauce thicken and pour it over the zucchini and stir in cheddar cheese. Pour everything into a baking dish. The finishing touch is a layer of buttered cracker crumbs and more shredded cheese. Bake it in the oven until the cheese is melted. Add a sprinkling of fresh parsley and you’ll be ready to eat.

Zucchini, cheese and sauce in a bowl.

Tips For The Perfect Casserole

  • Crumble crackers by placing them in a Ziploc bag and crushing them by hand or with a small cooking mallet.
  • Skip the bags of pre-shredded cheese at the grocery store, and grate your own cheese instead. The prepared shredded cheese at the grocery store is often coated in preservatives and anti caking agents, and does not melt well.
  • You can toss the cooked squash in the sauce and cheese, then cover and refrigerate the zucchini casserole for up to 6 hours. Add the cracker crumbs and final layer of cheese right before you put the casserole in the oven.

Quick Tip

I typically use Ritz crackers for the topping, but any variety of buttery crackers will work just fine.

A dish topped with crushed cracker crumbs.

Recipe FAQs

Do you peel zucchini?

I recommend leaving the peels on your squash for this casserole,  as the peel is what will keep the slices of squash intact during the cooking process. In general, the peels of zucchini are thin and edible, so there’s no need to remove them. The peel also adds a nice color to the dish!

How long will zucchini casserole last in the refrigerator?

Casserole leftovers will stay fresh in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can reheat the leftovers in a covered dish in the oven, or reheat individual servings in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.

How do you keep zucchini casserole from getting watery.

To keep zucchini casserole from getting watery you want to have thin slices of zucchini that allow water to evaporate while the zucchini cooks. This casserole contains cream and milk which also helps prevent a watery casserole.

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Zucchini casserole with sliced squash in a creamy sauce, topped with melted cheese and cracker crumbs.

Flavor Variations

While I love this casserole as-is, you can absolutely add other ingredients to customize it to your tastes.

  • Protein: Make this a meal by adding cooked and crumbled sausage or bacon, or diced grilled chicken breast.
  • Veggies: Feel free to add other vegetables to your casserole such as bell peppers, mushrooms, yellow squash or other varieties of summer squash.
  • Cheese: Swap out the cheddar for Monterey Jack cheese, pepper jack cheese, sharp cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese.
  • Topping: Not a fan of crackers? Try panko breadcrumbs, French fried onions or even crushed potato chips.
  • Herbs: I use parsley because I always have it on hand, but other great options include basil, chives or dill.

This zucchini casserole is great for summer entertaining, but is also a great addition in the cooler weather months. That combination of rich creamy zucchini and crunchy crackers just can’t be beat.

More Great Side Dish Recipes

Zucchini Casserole Video

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5 from 16 votes

Zucchini Casserole

AuthorSara Welch
A spoon serving up a portion of zucchini casserole.
This zucchini casserole is sauteed squash tossed in a creamy sauce with plenty of cheese, all topped off with cracker crumbs and baked to perfection. An easy and simple make ahead side dish!
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course Side
Cuisine American
Serves 8

Ingredients 

  • 6 tablespoons butter divided use
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 pounds zucchini cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided use
  • 1 1/4 cups buttery crackers crushed
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
  • cooking spray

Instructions 

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Add the zucchini and onion to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove the squash mixture from the pan and place in a large bowl. Cover to keep warm.
  • Wipe out the pan with a paper towel.
  • Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter in the pan. Add the flour and whisk to combine.
  • Cook the flour mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Whisk in the milk and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cream, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook the sauce for an additional 2 minutes or until just thickened. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  • Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Pour the sauce into the bowl with the zucchini and onions. Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese and stir to combine.
  • Pour the squash and cheese mixture into the prepared dish.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cup of shredded cheese over the top of the casserole.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour the butter into the crushed crackers and stir to combine.
  • Sprinkle the crackers over the layer of shredded cheese in the casserole.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese has melted and crackers are golden brown.
  • Sprinkle with parsley. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve.

Notes

  1. I typically use Ritz crackers for the topping, but any variety of buttery crackers will work just fine.
  2. Crumble crackers by placing them with a Ziploc bag and crushing them by hand or with a small cooking mallet.
  3. Skip the bags of pre-shredded cheese at the grocery store, and grate your own cheese instead. The prepared shredded cheese at the grocery store is often coated in preservatives and anti caking agents, and does not melt well.

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 381mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1145IU | Vitamin C: 20.5mg | Calcium: 332mg | Iron: 1.1mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Finally a recipe that makes zucchini taste amazing! Kids thought it was flavor of mac and cheese but with zucchini.

  2. 5 stars
    I do love a good homemade casserole, particularly during the colder weather of fall and winter. My husband loves zucchini so I know he’d enjoy this one.

  3. 5 stars
    Okay, I’ve had squash casserole, which I love, but never heard of zucchini casserole. This looks amazing! I can’t wait to switch it up and try this recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    I love zucchini as a side dish but it can get boring but this creamy zucchini casserole is just the thing to stay out of the recipe doldrums.

  5. 5 stars
    I love zucchini in all the forms I can cook. this casserole sounds very interesting and delicious. One questions, can I make it without using cream n milk? M not vegan but no idea how it will taste with them

    1. You’d have to substitute in some type of other dairy product such as almond milk but I haven’t actually tested the recipe that way!

  6. 5 stars
    This comforting dish was such a hit with the family – we will be making it again very soon! Love zucchini, and this is such a great way to enjoy it.

  7. 5 stars
    This is delicious! I usually use panko bread crumbs whenever I make casserole, but Ritz crackers turned out to be a bigger hits with my family.