Meatball and Zucchini Casserole

I made some meatballs the other day using the Keto Quick Bread in place of regular bread. Then I sliced the meatballs to add to my meatball and zucchini casserole.

Keto casserole ready to bake
Keto casserole with zucchini, meatballs and tomato sauce

Ingredients for the Casserole

  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced and not cooked
  • meatballs sliced, or cooked ground beef (about 1 pound)
  • shredded cheese – I used a combination of mozzarella and parmesan
  • homemade tomato sauce, or jar of sauce
  • 1 container fresh mushrooms, sautéed in butter / oil

Make the meatballs or cook the beef. Make the sauce. I used one can of organic, low sodium tomato sauce and added spices, a spoonful of sugar, some olive oil, and the cooked mushrooms. Slice and cook the mushrooms before adding to the sauce. Shred the cheese.

Put ghee or oil in the pan to prevent sticking and begin the layers. I put my layers in this way: half the zucchini, sliced meatballs, 1/2 half the sauce, 1/2 the cheese. I did this twice. My casserole dish is only a 1.5 Quart, I think – it’s small. Just double everything to make a larger casserole.

Layering the meatballs and zucchini
Layering the meatballs and zucchini

I enjoyed making this meal and it will last me a couple of days – with part of it put into the freezer for a later time.

Keto casserole
Baked

My casserole dish was too small so it bubbled over near the end of cook time. I baked it at 320 degrees for an hour. I wanted it to slowly simmer so it wouldn’t do this. I just about made it.

A longer bake time will help the flavors to mingle. I am happy with this meal. The mozzarella cheese I used was strange and turned into clumps, but the meal had lots of flavor and good healthy ingredients.

Meatball and zucchini caserole
Meatball and zucchini casserole is Keto friendly food

There are plenty of Keto meals floating around the internet to find and follow, but it’s not necessary to continually follow recipes. Once you have a grasp of what foods are low carb, meals like my casserole here can be made up with what’s on hand.

Another tasty tomato sauce casserole you might like is my Poblanos and Beef. The beef could easily be left out of this one.

Check out my Pinterest board where I save favorite Keto / low carb meals.

Poblanos and Beef Casserole Keto Meal

I’m writing this recipe down so I can remember how to make it again. It began with the idea to make stuffed poblano peppers, but I decided to layer them in a casserole dish. These are not hot peppers. They are flavorful and relatively cheap to buy.

poblano peppers
Poblano peppers add flavor without heat

I seldom follow a recipe exactly, but the beef and peppers sounded good, so I began there. I bought Florida grown peppers and used ground beef from the local meat market. I also decided to add leftover stew beef (from cooking my broth) along with mushrooms, onions and garlic.

I’d cooked a spaghetti squash the day before and figured the two would work together. No pasta for me, and not for anyone on a Keto diet plan. But this meal would be delicious served over pasta as well.

spaghetti squash
Spaghetti squash

Making the Meal

Slice poblanos in half and remove seeds. Roast both sides of the peppers in oiled / ghee pan – cast iron. (It may not be necessary to roast the peppers, but I did it.) Place in the bottom of a rectangular casserole dish. The peppers added a wonderful flavor to this dish, so don’t skip them.

Cook ground beef and add chopped onion and garlic when the meat is nearly cooked. After cooking, remove meat and create a layer over the peppers.

Slice a whole container of mushrooms and cook with more onions and some garlic. When done, stir in one can of organic tomato sauce. Add a spoonful of sugar (coconut sugar next time?) to cut the acidity. Dash of spices, such as parsley, basil and oregano. Scoop this out and layer over the meat in the casserole dish.

Shred mozzarella cheese and sprinkle over the top. Bake (covered for part of the time – my cheese dried out) at 350 for 20- 30 minutes until bubbly.

Carbs in this meal, approximately

I estimate that there are approximately 46 grams of carbs in this entire casserole, which means a portion (1/8 of the dish) would contain around 6 grams total. Plus add in a cup of squash = 16 grams or so per serving. I could be off a little bit, but you get the general idea. This is a Keto friendly meal.

  • Ground beef – no carbs, 19 g protein
  • Mushrooms – yes, good for Keto
  • Poblano Peppers – 1 net gram in one pepper
  • Onions -have some carbs, 14 g in one onion – I used only a few slices
  • Garlic – 1 clove, .9 grams
  • Tomato sauce – Organic, 6 g in 1/4 cup
  • Mozzarella cheese – 1 gram or less per serving size
  • Spaghetti squash – 8-10 g, 1 cup
Keto ground beef casserole
This had excellent flavor

Because I am following a time restricted eating program, I only eat two meals a day. This one would be around a total of 22 grams of carbs. If I eat well at breakfast, I can stay under the 50 grams or less recommended for a Keto diet plan.

Photo credit for the squash and peppers goes to Pixabay.