If you miss cheesy beef casseroles on a keto diet, try this creamy zucchini beef casserole instead. This low carb dish is a great way to indulge in keto comfort food while still losing weight.
Don’t have time to prepare a delicious ground beef zucchini casserole from scratch on busy weeknights? Keep reading and I’ll show you how you can meal prep for this easy recipe. That way a keto friendly meal your whole family will enjoy can be on the table in 20 minutes.
Before we talk about how to make this simple zucchini casserole recipe, I wanted to let you know this blog contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you click through. I also link to the same info that helped me lose 100 pounds with a low carb diet. Click through those so the info can help you too!
Keto Zucchini Ground Beef Casserole Ingredients
Ingredients to round out the meat sauce include several common ingredients found in a keto diet. These are a little more minced garlic, heavy cream, and low sugar tomato sauce.
Finally, you’ll layer all of these ingredients over fresh zucchini and then top this delicious casserole with shredded mozzarella cheese.
High Quality Ingredients Matter
In order to make the best layered zucchini ground beef casserole, the quality of the ingredients you use matters.
For instance, instead of picking whatever beef is on sale for the ground beef sauce – seek out grass-fed beef. Using high quality meat in a ground beef recipe is important since conventional brands contain more toxins. Want to know where those extra toxins hang out? In your fat cells!
Whenever your body has toxins it doesn’t know what to do with, it could store them in your fat cells until the coast is clear. If you keep eating low quality foods, the coast may never be clear – which means your body stores these toxins as fat.
If you’re unable to source grass-fed meat near you, check out Butcher Box. They’ll deliver high quality grass-fed beef right to your doorstep.
The same thing goes for zucchini. Since you eat the skin of a zucchini, it’s better to use the organic variety in your zucchini recipe.
When it comes to the low sugar marinara sauce, a sauce that’s low in carbs isn’t the only thing you want to look for. Really dig into the ingredients on the label to make sure the brand you choose doesn’t add highly processed vegetable oils as a cheap filler. Many sauces add canola oil – which is unnecessary and toxic.
A Quick Word About Digestion
While I don’t have time to get into all the importance of digestion that’s functioning well here, if you gravitate towards ground turkey when it comes to your favorite recipes, then your digestion could use some improvement. The same thing goes if you typically choose lean ground beef.
In order to succeed with a keto diet, your body requires healthy fats. You should aim to get the majority of your healthy fats from high quality meats and other foods that are naturally high in fat.
While you may believe this just has to do with your own taste, preferring meats lower in fat is typically a sign that your body isn’t able to digest a higher fat meat on keto.
Take the free Keto Digestion Course to learn more about this, as well as how to eat more delicious recipes filled with healthy fats so you finally get the weight loss results you want.
How to Make a Creamy Zucchini Beef Bake
First thing, preheat the oven to 350 degrees f. Then, slice the zucchini into strips with a vegetable slicer. Next salt the zucchini and allow it to sit out for around 10 minutes. Then pat the zucchini dry and add it into an air fryer for around 5 minutes. This step removes excess moisture.
If you don’t have an air fryer, you could follow the same process as above, and then bake or grill the zucchini for 10 minutes instead.
While lightly crisping the zucchini, start heating the sauce.
Remember to take the zucchini out of the air fryer while making the sauce. You can lay it on a paper towel while you wait to layer the casserole dish with the zucchini.
Creamy Garlic Sauce
To make the creamy garlic sauce, start by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, mix in some of the minced garlic. Depending on where you fall on the notion of defending your home against vampires, use up to 4 full cloves of minced garlic, which amounts to 2 teaspoons.
Cook the garlic until it is lightly browned. Use a wooden spoon to stir on occasion so the garlic doesn’t burn.
Once the garlic is browned, pour the heavy cream into the saucepan. Stir frequently, until the sauce thickens. This should take between 5-10 minutes. Then, pour in the marinara sauce and stir to combine.
Brown the Beef
As you wait for the sauce to thicken, you can begin to brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
While the meat browns, stir in the remaining minced garlic. Use up to 2 cloves garlic, which is 1 teaspoon. Season the beef mixture to taste with oregano. Once seasoned, mix in the chopped onions as well.
After the beef is browned, pour the creamy garlic sauce over the beef. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
Bake the Zucchini Ground Beef Casserole
Before you layer the ingredients for this easy keto casserole, spray the baking dish with a non-stick spray. Then layer the dried zucchini into the casserole dish.
Once you cover the bottom of the casserole dish with zucchini, pour the ground beef mixture on top. Finally, sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese on top and bake until the cheese is melted. This should take around 20 minutes.
Once the cheese is bubbling, remove the zucchini beef bake from the oven. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Keto Weeknight Dinners Made Easy
If dinner time is chaotic and you’re looking for shortcuts to get this cheesy keto casserole on the dinner table quickly, next time meal prep the ingredients ahead of time:
- Slice the zucchini and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Layer the zucchini on paper towels to help keep the moisture out.
- Brown the ground beef ahead of time. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to add it into the casserole.
- You could even prep the sauce ahead of time. Just be aware, it may harden in the fridge. If this happens, you can just heat it up on the stove top for a few minutes prior to adding it into the casserole dish.
While I have personally tried to meal prep this entire casserole ahead of time, I believe it would work. You can follow the directions above and store the zucchini beef bake in the fridge until you’re ready to heat it up.
The Zucchini Beef Bake Wrap Up
The best part of easy keto casserole dishes is you don’t need to prepare a side dish. Easy dinners like this are an all-in-one meal your whole family will devour. Plus, it’s a great addition to your low carb meal plan so you finally stick to keto.
If you’d like to add a side, I have plenty of tasty keto side dishes you can test out. This zucchini bake would go well layered on top of coconut cauliflower fried rice. Or you could stick with the creamy garlic theme and add creamy garlic green beans as a delicious side as well.
If you love this keto casserole, but you’re looking for a recipe you can make in less than 20 minutes total, this creamy spicy spaghetti sauce is the perfect alternative.
Want other zucchini recipes keto approved? Coconut fried zucchini makes a great keto side dish.
Don’t forget to save this recipe to your zucchini ground beef recipes Pinterest board. And sharing is caring. Please spread the healthy fat love on social media.
Keep scrolling for the full recipe card and nutrition facts.
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Zucchini Ground Beef Casserole
More Easy Dinner Recipes from Eating Fat is the New Skinny:Print
Zucchini Ground Beef Casserole
A delicious keto zucchini casserole.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: Recipe Serves 6 1x
- Category: Keto Dinner Recipe
- Method: Stove top, air fryer, oven
- Cuisine: Keto / Low Carb
- Diet: Diabetic
- 1 lb 80% lean ground beef
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup low sugar marinara sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 2 zucchini, sliced thin
- 3 tsp minced garlic, divided
Meal Prep and Garlic Cream Sauce
- Slice the zucchini into thin slices with vegetable peeler.
- To be sure dish isn’t watery, dry the sliced zucchini out. First salt it and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Then pat dry with a paper towel. Place it in an air fryer for 5 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can follow the same process, but grill or bake the zucchini in the oven for 10 minutes.
- While lightly crisping zucchini, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat in saucepan.
- Once melted, stir in 2 tsp minced garlic until lightly browned.
- Once the garlic browns, add 1 cup heavy cream to saucepan
- Stir frequently, until sauce thickens (5-10 minutes).
- Once the sauce thickens, add low sugar marinara sauce. Stir well.
While cooking sauce…
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brown ground beef in large skillet.
- While meat browns, add 1 tsp minced garlic and season to taste with oregano.
- Mix in diced onion while the beef browns.
- Once browned, pour thickened sauce over beef mixture and stir.
Combine And Bake…
- Spray a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Layer crisped zucchini on the bottom of the dish.
- Top the zucchini layer with beef mixture.
- Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes.
- Serving Size: Recipe Serves 6
- Calories: 540.8
- Sugar: 3.5
- Sodium: 464.2
- Fat: 44.6
- Saturated Fat: 23.2
- Carbohydrates: 3.1
- Fiber: 1.3
- Protein: 31
- Cholesterol: 130
Keywords: Zucchini Ground Beef Recipes, Layered Zucchini Ground Beef Casserole, Zucchini Recipes Keto