Sauteed Broccoli and Zucchini Casserole

October 28, 2013

Sauteed Broccoli and Zucchini Casserole

Let’s talk about picky eaters; and just to be clear, adults picky eaters not preschoolers.
It’s a fact that everyone prefers some foods over others; but some adults take this tendency to an extreme. Or better yet, some adults act as if they’re still toddlers; eating only foods such as plain pasta, pizza, French fries, burgers, grilled chicken, sweets etc. No veggies, no fruits, nothing that is not familiar or that has a strong taste.
I know quite a few people belonging to this not so rare specie. The, “I’m past 30 but I still don’t eat veggies, fruits or anything that I haven’t tried before!”
One in particular pops into my mind: my cousin Stephen. You see, this guy - who just turned 30 - still eats very few veggies and almost no fruit, at all (I once offered him a strawberry and he gave me the most repulsed face ever!)
With such a narrow dietary spectrum, he drives his poor girlfriend Elena nuts.
She likes to eat healthy food, but with a guy like that around her, she has to work extra hard to do it.
Picture this, every night she has to cook two meals: One for her (with veggies) and one for him (without veggies). I know, nightmare on Elm Street.
So, when the other day she sent me the recipe for a vegetables casserole packed with broccoli and zucchini, claiming that “...even Stephen ate it and he actually loved it!” I was all over it.
If the King of picky eaters, digged this casserole, then it must be winner.
Turns out, it REALLY IS!

Sauteed Broccoli and Zucchini Casserole

I like to call this dish casserole, but you might as well label it as a crustless tart or quiche (as Elena does). You can eat it with your hands, it holds together pretty well.
It all starts with broccoli and zucchini, sauteed and properly seasoned. The filling is beaten eggs, a splash of milk and some basil. Super simple.

Sauteed Broccoli and Zucchini Casserole

It may look like I used a ton of cheese. I really didn’t. It’s merely 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. No biggies.
Needless to say it, I truly love this casserole. It’s that good.
Trust me, even the most picky eater will fall in love with it. And before you’ll know it, you’ll have a veggie eater in your family. Just like Stephen now claims to be...

Sauteed Broccoli and Zucchini Casserole
Sauteed Broccoli and Zucchini Casserole                                                          Print this recipe!

Serves 4

¾ lb / 12 oz / 350 gr broccoli florets (about 4 cups)
2 medium zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ teaspoon fine grain sea salt, divided
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
A pinch of red pepper flakes
3 free-range organic eggs
½ cup / 115 ml milk (any choice of milk)
A handful of fresh basil, chopped
A pinch ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C), place a rack in the middle. Line a 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and saute for about 2 to 3 minutes until translucent. Add broccoli florets, zucchini rounds, black pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt, red pepper flakes and about ¼ cup of water.
Cover with a lid and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes stirring every so often. The vegetables should brown a bit and must be thoroughly cooked, but still retain some of their crunchiness. If needed add more water, a couple of tablespoons at a time. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, in a large bowl whisk eggs, milk, ¼ teaspoon of salt and nutmeg for a couple of minutes until fluffy. Finally add chopped basil and stir to combine.
Add the vegetables to baking dish and spread them on an even layer. With the back of a spoon press them down gently.
Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Serve warm.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 140 calories, 5.75 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbs and 12 grams of protein.


  1. Loving this casserole Mike!
    About your cousin; why the poor girlfriend has to cook for him?
    I say, let him cook for himself. I bet he'll start eating vegetables after a couple of days and just to avoid starvation. :-D

    1. I don't think she minds that much, she likes to cook and he likes to eat. It looks like a perfect match to me.

  2. Trust me, if that guy were my boyfriend, he'd be in charge of making his own supper! There's just no way in hell that I'd be making a second dish just to please "His Highness". Never did it for my own kids so I wouldn't even be remotely open to the idea of doing it for a full grown man.

    Besides, I could never be with a man that is so closed-minded that he refuses to expand his culinary horizons and that has such little consideration for his health...

    That being said, that crustless quiche casserole thingy looks quite yummy! I have no doubt that I too, would really dig it!

    1. Tbh he's a great guy, I just like to give him a hard time.
      Yes, he's not a great cook and he's not very fond of veggies, even though he tries to eat more lately, we have to give him that.
      But I guess that in the end Elena doesn't mind cooking for him, they won't be still together after all this time otherwise :-)

  3. Awesome, now I know what to make for dinner tonight! :)

  4. I am so glad that I don't have to deal with picky eaters. This casserole would be a hit in our house of veggie lovers.
    Your cousin..oh myy,..he needs to make his own meals.

  5. Loving this casserole, easy and delish. My boyfriend doesn't cook either but I don't mind. I can't do any DIY or repairs iaround the house so I guess in the end it all balances out.

  6. It definitely sounds like a winner to me!

  7. Hmm, I thought there would be tons of cheese but no...Hm, pinned! Love it!
    Yeah, I'm still amazed at people in their 30's who want to lose weight and do not like veggies/fruits, drink diet coke and enter calories in fitness pal. Yeah...

    1. I know right? It looks like it's slathered with cheese but no, just three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. That's about it!

  8. This looks so good. I miss my quiche!! Great substitute!!

    1. This casserole can definitely make up for your lost quiche, it's a total crowd pleaser!

  9. Sometimes "pickiness" stems from a childhood where "Mom boiled every vegetable to death" and the kids were forced to "clean their plates"! Growing veggies in a garden or shopping for them and preparing them as they should be can often win people over. It worked for me with asparagus, celery, beets and mushrooms to name a few.

  10. This was so delicious. My 8 year old son declared that he wants to make this when he grows up....
    now that's inspiring!

    1. Your 8-year old is quite the man. Eating broccoli and zucchini already? He's quite the foodie already...good for him (and for you!) :-)

  11. I'm new to your blog but am loving it. Your recipes are awesome. Looking forward to whats next.

  12. You have hit upon my favorite veggie! Zucchini! This sounds great and I will
    surely be making it soon.

  13. It's in the oven baking now. Smells YUMMY! Thank you for the idea. Had so much broccoli and zucchini on hand and thought I Had to make 2 separate dishes!

  14. Hi Mike, can I use goat cheese vs parm?

  15. Hi! I've merely googled "recipe zucchini broccoli" (which are the two veggies in my fridge that need to be eaten about now) and look what a lovely dish came up! Thank you so much, Imma cook that right away. I must do some tweaking as to the kind of cheese and so on, but I'm really looking forward to that, thank you so much for sharing this recipe!