Vegetarian Dish

potato main dish for vegetarian guest

Hello! I'm a vegetarian and I know how hard it is to find healthy, meatless meals that are also delicious. This recipe for potato main dish will be perfect for you!
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potato main dish for vegetarian guest

This zucchini potato casserole comprises just seven ingredients and just minutes of prep – perfect for serving up as a summery side dish for potlucks, BBQs, and mid-week meals! Plus, this zucchini potato bake recipe is naturally vegan and can be made gluten-free!

Healthy Hearty Zucchini Potato Casserole

As zucchini season hits its stride, it’s the perfect time to try this light and nutritious zucchini potato casserole. Whether you need a way to use up your summer zucchini bumper crop or are just a zucchini fan, this zucchini potato bake is the ultimate summer side. It’s perfect for serving up with various proteins at BBQs, potlucks, gatherings, or even just mid-week meals!

This zucchini and potato casserole combines just a few ingredients and aromatics, adding a cheesy flavor with nutritional yeast and texture with a crunchy breadcrumb addition. Simply slice the veg, combine the elements, and bake! (who doesn’t love a simple bake like this and tomato mushroom polenta bake, pumpkin pasta bake, and frittata-esque potato bake).

zucchini potato casserole in a white baking pan

Even zucchini-wary guests will struggle to dislike this dish, as the breadcrumbs work to keep the zucchini from becoming ‘mushy,’ and the adaptable seasonings mean you can perfectly pair this to any themed spread/main. You can even enjoy this zucchini potato casserole as part of a brunch spread alongside tofu scramble (or polenta scramble), eggless benedict, bagels, fruit salad, etc.

Best of all, this zucchini potato bake is also particularly diet-friendly. It’s dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, plant-based, Paleo, Keto, and can be made gluten-free! So if you love zucchini as much as us, you’ll find this easily slots into your rotation of zucchini dishes time and time again!

The Ingredients and Substitutes

  • Zucchini: Use 3 medium zucchini or 1 ½ larger zucchini. You could also use summer squash.
  • Potatoes: I tend to use russet potatoes; however, red-skinned potatoes, Yukon gold, etc., will also work.
  • Bell pepper: Use the bell pepper of your choice. I usually use red or green – though orange/yellow peppers will work too.
  • Aromatics: All you need is garlic and onion. Feel free to use garlic paste or powder if it’s all you have.
  • Nutritional yeast: This helps to add a cheesy, nutty flavor to the zucchini potato casserole in place of parmesan. You could, alternatively, reduce (or omit) this and use some of your favorite melty dairy-free cheese.
  • Breadcrumbs: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if necessary. You could also use Italian breadcrumbs (seasoned) or panko crumbs (lighter and crisper).
  • Oil: I used olive oil, but you can use another neutral cooking oil of your choice. You could also use an infused oil for extra flavor (like garlic olive oil).
  • Salt & Pepper

3 potatoes, 1 red bell pepper, 3 zucchinis, 1 onion and spices in a white background

Optional Add-ins:

  • Spices/Herbs: Feel free to ramp up the flavor of the zucchini potato bake with extra herbs and spices. Smoked paprika, chili/cayenne powder or chili flakes, oregano, dried rosemary, etc. You can even make versions like Italian zucchini and potato casserole with garlic, rosemary, oregano, etc.
  • Other vegetables: There are several vegetables you can add-just be aware of the size you chop them and their baking time. Mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, kale (holds up better than spinach), cauliflower, corn, etc.
  • Protein: Add extra protein with the addition of legumes (like beans or chickpeas) or even small chunks of tofu or seitan.
  • Cream: For more of a zucchini and potato gratin, you can add a dairy-free cream (like coconut cream) to the mixture (1 ½-2 cups cream). If doing so, add the breadcrumbs to the top along with some optional, dairy-free cheese. Alternatively, you could make a creamy sauce like this vegan scalloped potatoes.

How to Make Zucchini Casserole?

Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions!

  1. Start by preheating the oven and preparing the potato and zucchini. First, rinse both well and then halve lengthwise and thinly slice (around ¼- ½ inch). Try to make the pieces all even in thickness, so they bake evenly.

You can use a mandoline to get all even pieces but be careful when doing so. Otherwise, a sharp knife will work fine.

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl (or directly in your casserole dish) and mix.
  2. Bake for between 50-60 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Keep an eye on it after 45 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn (golden brown is normal).

The resulting dish is a family favorite for any occasion. It also makes for a great rotation dish with other simple casseroles like sweet potato and cauliflower casserole and quinoa vegetable casserole – even green bean casserole

How to Make Ahead and Store?

You can prepare this zucchini potato casserole up to a day in advance. Slice and combine all the ingredients (apart from the potatoes) in your casserole dish and store, covered, in the fridge. The sliced potatoes will need to be stored submerged in water with 1-2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar to keep them from browning. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, pat the potatoes dry, add to the casserole dish, stir, and bake!

Once baked, store any leftover zucchini and potato casserole in an airtight container (or tightly-wrapped) in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

You can reheat the leftovers in the oven or microwave, covered, until heated through.

zucchini potato casserole in a white baking pan

FAQs:

Can I grill the zucchini and potato instead?

If you have a BBQ/grill going and don’t want to turn on the oven, you can still enjoy this dish. First, mix the ingredients, separate them into several foil packets, and then cook on the grill for between 20-30 minutes, until tender.

Can I make this with sweet potato?

Yes – this zucchini and potato casserole is versatile, so sweet potatoes and yams should both work. Just note that cooking times may vary somewhat with different potato varieties. You could even use butternut squash or other squash (like pumpkin) for this zucchini casserole.

How to serve zucchini potato bake?

This is one of those ultimate versatile sides that pair with tons of proteins and mains, including:

  • Proteins: like these seitan or tofu dishes
  • Salads: Pair this zucchini potato casserole with all kinds of salads, including hearty noodle salads to leafy green ones.
  • Stew/chili: Zucchini and potato pair well with many stew and chili recipes.
  • BBQ dishes: Like these grilled tofu steaks, other grilled dishes, and sides like coleslaw, etc.
  • Brunch: Serve alongside all your brunch faves (some ideas mentioned above) – waffles, pancakes, fruit, etc.

The zucchini potato casserole is browning too much – what can I do?

If you notice the zucchini and potato casserole becoming a little too dark on top, add foil to the top of the dish and continue baking for the remaining time.

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  • Don’t slice the vegetables too thin: If you do, the zucchini can become a bit mushy. ¼-inch to ½-inch pieces work perfectly based on how tender you want the bake to be – thinner for more tender results and thicker for a little ‘bite.’
  • For more crisp results: You can optionally broil the casserole for just 1-2 minutes at the end of the cooking process for a crispy top. Just keep an eye as it can burn quickly.
  • Using the leftovers: Not only does this zucchini and potato casserole taste great reheated, but you can even use the leftovers for other uses, including adding to vegan frittatas, omelets, or as a filling for wraps.
  • If the zucchini casserole is too watery: Zucchini are made up primarily of water, making dishes watery on occasion. I’ve not had this issue, but if you do, then I recommend salting the zucchini before baking. Add the zucchini to a colander and mix with 1tsp salt. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then pat away the excess liquid and salt and continue with the recipe. Don’t squeeze the zucchini, as it can become mushy.

More Vegan Zucchini Recipes You’ll Love:

  • Summer Zucchini and Hominy
  • Baked Zucchini Fries
  • Rosemary Zucchini Tart
  • Sesame Zucchini Fritters
  • Creamy Zucchini-Basil Soup
  • Veggie Kung Pao
  • Ohio Valley Vegetable Soup

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

pinterest graphic for zucchini and potato casserole

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