Summers, as a kid in the 1980s, was filled with long days in the pool with my cousins. If you listen close enough I think whispers of Marco can still be heard to this day floating over the pool with inevitable Polo replies hanging in the air. One classic game known to a select few would be bucking bronco. Perhaps not a well-known game throughout the land but roughly it involved one of us being the bronco and trying to throw the other one off in the shallow end. I can only assume we came up with this artful game after watching the Gerry Rodeo. {Yes, we have a rodeo that still travels through Western New York.}. Another classic was the spooktastic game of Witch where one of us was the witch and a loose game of tag would ensue. The witch whether male or female has to use their best scary voice as you chase the others around. The only safe in this game was the jacuzzi stairs. This also could be replicated in winter in the kitchen where the safe place would be the kitchen rugs and could only be played in the dark.

Once night set in the classic Coffin corn roast would begin. The debate on whether a hotdog should be scorched beyond recognition or grilled like a normal person is still a decisive bitter argument you best be willing to fight in our family around the grill. I myself prefer my hotdog to retain its color with nice grill marks. Whereas my father and aunt believe the only good hotdog is one charred beyond recognition. The afternoon corn would be husked for placement on the fire. Simple and easy like all summer meals should be hotdogs and corn. There would inevitably next come Zucchini Casserole. What’s summer without a zucchini casserole!

A side dish or a main course, Zucchini casserole has it all. The key component you get to use up all that zucchini your garden is overproducing. It’s a comfort food… cheese and tomato sauce. One bite can take me back to being a kid in the summer. It also takes me back to one camping trip with my extended family. Almost every summer my parents would load up the car with me and our dog in the car and head south into Cooks Forest. A week in the woods of the Allegheny Forest, where my family would rent out the cabins. On one such trip, we invited the owners to our family dinner. Let’s just say they weren’t known for their hygiene or cooking skills. What did they bring for their dish to pass Zucchini Casserole? As the dish got passed around the table everyone keenly just skipped it to the next person. I was all ready to pass it on the next until my mother, who is supposed to love me, yells out “Betsy loves Zucchini Casserole!”. Have you ever watched the Burbs when Tom Hanks visits the neighbors and they offer him sardines on a pretzel? Yes, I took one for the team that night, my friends. I ate that zucchini casserole as my family looked on in horror. A day that will live in infamy!

Zucchini Casserole

I’m sure you have your own rendition and this one is my rendition of my mom’s recipe. I’m sure you can grab this off tons of other sites but just in case you haven’t made it lately grab a zucchini and start a new memory or remember the old times.

Zucchini Casserole Recipe


  • Two Large Zucchini
  • One Medium Onion
  • 24 oz Spaghetti Sauce (Make your own for bonus points or grab your  favorite grocery aisle bottle)
  • 28 oz Diced Tomato – If you have fresh tomatoes from the garden it will be better
  • 1 lb ground beef (You can omit this if you want to go vegetarian or make it a side dish)
  • 8oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (Bruce and I are doing noom so I do cut the cheese servings lately to cut calories for us.)
  • Borsari Original Seasoning
  • 2 oz Basil 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grab a 13 x 9. 

Thinly slice the zucchini and onions. Make one layer of zucchini to cover the bottom. Then take half of the sliced onion and place on top of the zucchini. Then repeat for one more layer. 

Brown the ground beef and season to your liking with Borsari Original Seasoning. Add the tomato sauce and stir. Then add your chopped tomato to the goo. Stir away and let simmer for a few minutes. Grab your spoon and take a taste. It may need some more seasoning. Feel free to add a few more shakes of Borsari Original if needed. 

Pour the tomato meat sauce over your zucchini. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for one hour. Once the oven beeps, remove the pan from the oven and add the shredded mozzarella over the top of your goo. Cover once more and place back in the oven for 20 minutes. 

Note: Zucchini comes in all shapes and sizes. I used two and they were pretty hefty ones. You need to eyeball the zucchini and choose two that will make two layers in your pan.

You know the casserole is done when your zucchini becomes a bit translucent. It’s like watching for the pot to boil. I always feel like it should be ready earlier but you must be patient to enjoy it.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: