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Turkey, Zucchini and Rice Casserole

This recipe combines lean turkey, fresh zucchini, and tender rice with a medley of ricotta, herbs and spices, all baked to perfection.

This outstanding casserole is a delicious combination of fresh zucchini, turkey, rice and an herb ricotta cheese blend.

It makes the perfect comfort meal when you want something hearty and healthy.

Whether you’re looking for a weeknight dinner or a dish to impress guests, this casserole strikes the perfect balance between savory and comforting. Get ready to enjoy every bite of this mouthwatering creation that’s not only delicious but also a fantastic way to sneak in some extra veggies.

Busy Mom Tips

  • In a pinch, buy a packet of microwavable rice. Choose one with simple, FfL-friendly ingredients like brown rice, quinoa, herbs, and spices.
    • Since we only rely on it during time crunches, we opt for Seeds of Change, a budget-friendly choice with predominantly FfL-friendly ingredients available at many grocery stores, including Costco.
  • Purchase pre-chopped veggies.
  • Remove the onions and garlic from the recipe. Even though they add flavor, we’ve skipped them when short on time, and the casserole still turned out delicious. Just pour the sauce directly from the jar into the casserole.

Can I prep this ahead?

If you plan to enjoy this dish during the workweek, we highly recommend doing some prep work in advance.

Prepare Ingredients: To save time without fully assembling the casserole, consider browning your meat, cooking your rice, and chopping your zucchini and onions (if using) on your food prep day or the evening before. When it’s time to make your casserole, you’ll be able to put it together in just 15 minutes.

Prep the Entire Casserole: If you prefer to have the entire casserole ready to pop in the oven at mealtime, follow the preparation instructions (stopping just before baking), cover it, and refrigerate it overnight. When you’re ready, simply take it out of the fridge and bake. This makes mealtime a breeze!

How to shop for the BEST ingredients:

  • Choose WHOLE grain rice (avoid enriched white rice).
  • Look for meat that’s 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised.
  • Choose ricotta and Parmesan cheese that are made with simple ingredients such as milk, cream, salt, enzymes and active cultures.
  • Look for tomato sauce made with recognizable, FfL-friendly, real food ingredients.
  • We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.

How to “reinvent” your leftover Turkey, Zucchini and Rice Casserole:

  • Stuffed Peppers: A great way to put a spin on leftovers from this meal is by adding a little curry and stuffing a pepper. Cut off the top of a bell pepper, remove seeds and stuff pepper full with leftovers. Top stuffed pepper with a small amount of cheese. Place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until pepper softens and center is warm.
  • Top with an over-easy egg for breakfast.

Did you make this recipe?

If you make this Turkey, Zucchini and Rice Casserole Recipe, we would love to hear how it turned out! Leave a comment below sharing what your friends and family thought of it. We love hearing from you and your ideas inspire us all! Don’t forget to tag @fullforlifegal on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! 🌟

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Turkey, Zucchini and Rice Casserole


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Description

This outstanding casserole is a delicious combination of fresh zucchini, turkey, rice and an herb ricotta cheese blend. It makes the perfect comfort meal when you want something hearty and healthy.


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Cut the zucchini into rounds, then halve or quarter them based on their size.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. In a large pan, add 1/2 teaspoon EVOO, turkey, salt and pepper. Brown meat until just cooked through. Remove turkey from pan and set aside.
  4. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon EVOO to pan and sauté spinach until it’s just wilted, approximately 2 minutes. Place spinach in a medium-large bowl and add ricotta, Italian seasoning.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine garlic, onions and tomato sauce.
  6. To assemble casserole, pour a thin layer of tomato mixture on the bottom of an 12×8 nonstick baking pan. Spread half of the zucchini over tomato mixture. Layer 3/4 of the ricotta mixture, half the tomato mixture, all of the brown rice and turkey.
  7. Add another layer of zucchini, a layer of the remaining ricotta mixture and finally a layer of the remaining sauce.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, grate Parmesan cheese on casserole and bake an additional 2 minutes, until cheese has melted.
  9. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with crushed red pepper (optional) and enjoy.

Notes

Substitutions

You can make this casserole with shredded zucchini. If doing so, shred unpeeled zucchini with a grater or food processor. In a strainer, allow zucchini to weep for 10 minutes. Squeeze to draw out excess moisture.

Italian seasoning with 1/2 teaspoon of dried chives and 2 teaspoons of dried basil.

Ricotta with cottage cheese.

General

We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.

Always check for FfL-friendly ingredients.

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Category: Recipes
  • Method: Prep Now, Cook Later
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Hi beautiFULL, We’re Pam & Kalie

Holistic Wellness Specialists and food freedom experts, here to dish out practical advice for a healthier life. Ready to savor real food, joyFULL movement, and a balanced mind-body connection? You're in the right place!

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