Zucchini Feta Casserole

Posted · 24 Comments

One of our favorites, a dish that exemplifies the good flavors of Balkan cuisine: tangy feta cheese, nutty bulghur, and herbed zucchini.  Leftover brown rice can be substituted for the bulghur and water in this recipe. We add a few flavors foreign to the Balkans, too: soy sauce and cheddar cheese.



Zucchini Feta Casserole
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
  • ¾ cup bulghur (or use 1½ cups cooked brown rice)
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 6 cups thinly sliced zucchini rounds
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated feta cheese (5 ounces)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ¾ to 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  1. To prepare the bulghur, place the bulghur in a bowl and pour the boiling water over it, cover and set it aside until it has absorbed the water and become soft and chewable.
  2. Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until the onions are just translucent.
  3. Add the zucchini, dried herbs, and black pepper and continue to sauté on medium to low heat until the zucchini is tender, but not falling apart.
  4. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
  5. Mix in the feta and cottage cheese.
  6. Add the chopped parsley, tomato paste, and soy sauce to the bulghur (or rice) and mix well.
  7. Assemble the casserole in an oiled 9 x 9-inch casserole dish.
  8. Layer first the bulghur (or rice) mixture, next the sautéed vegetables, and then the feta mixture.
  9. Top with the grated cheddar and the sliced tomatoes.
  10. Bake covered at 350° for 45 minutes.

For crustier cheese, uncover the casserole for the final 15 minutes of baking.
This casserole can be more easily served after it sits for 5 or 10 minutes.

24 Responses to "Zucchini Feta Casserole"
  1. Rebecca says:

    What do you do with the cheddar?!?

  2. Leen Waeghe says:

    I tried it today – it’s supercalifredgalisticexpialidociously delicious and very easy to make. Thank you. I enjoyed that.

  3. Katherine says:

    Delicious! Next time I will add a few sun dried tomatoes to the bulgur and a few pine nuts on top!

  4. Holger says:

    Just found your blog through StumbleUpon, and had to say hello! 😉 I think the rcipee (and of course your thoughts about it) is much more important than the photo. It is true that some foods are very hard to take photos from – anything dark brown is a nightmare for me.. .brownies, stews, chocolate ice cream… But I bet your zucchini casserole tasted wonderful, and I wouldn’t mind a big piece right now! 😉

  5. Kimmer says:

    This is great and I will make it again. I tweaked it by halving the onion and adding 2 cups sliced mushrooms to saute….off the hook!

    • laura says:

      Well that’s a new twist, but sounds healthy, hearty and satisfying. I’m a little amazed that it didn’t come out too crunchy.

  6. Kimmer says:

    Well, it was a serendipitous mistake that I made. I confused bulghur with buckwheat and actuallly used buckwheat in the recipe (exactly as written for the bulghur). I don’t know what the real recipe tastes like, but the buckwheat was just excellent in it. Don’t think I’ll change that.

  7. Rita W Neher says:

    I made this relatively fat free and it was delicious!

  8. Krys says:

    Just wondering would I use dry cottage cheese or 1% cottage cheese

  9. Robin says:

    Excellent! Wonderful blend of flavors.

  10. Rita says:

    Very nice recipe, but needs to be more specific as to what type of bulghur to use as this affects cooking method. Where I live we can get fine, medium, coarse and dark coarse bulghur. Only the fine one can be prepared by simply pouring boiling water over it. The others needs to be cooked like rice in advance.

    • laura says:

      Hi Rita,
      It’s true, we use a bulghur that we simply pour boiling water over. Thanks for pointing that out. You can also substitute cooked bulghur or cooked brown rice in this recipe.

  11. Lorraine says:

    Can you give me any advice on preparing this dish one or two days prior to serving. Thanks, Lorraine

    • laura says:

      You can do all of the assembly including the cheese topping, cover it well and and refrigerate it until when you want to serve it. Bake it covered for 45 minutes, then you may want to uncover it to let it brown for 10-15 minutes. You can also re-heat the baked casserole, but cover it with foil and bake it gently at 25 degrees lower. Give it time to heat thoroughly; the more it bakes the dryer and browner it’s going to get. You don’t want to overdo that.
      Make sure the foil or lid doesn’t touch the cheese as it bakes.

  12. Lorraine says:

    Thank you, Laura. This is very helpful. Lorraine

  13. carol short says:

    can’t wait to try it!

  14. Dave says:

    Since attending grad school in Ithaca in the 1990s and picking up this recipe from the original cookbook, my family and extended family have made this recipe many, many times. It’s truly an awesome combination of flavors and textures and satisfies a variety of tastes and diets.

  15. catherine says:

    I made this for my family an it was all gone.

  16. Sania says:

    Tried the dish at the restaurant…ever since I’ve been craving for that. Knowing that your menu changes daily…I wish I know what days you are usually serving this! Love it!

  17. Tammi Copelli says:

    I have been making this recipe for years. It is one of my favorite zucchini recipes. I love serving it to company as it is not only delicious but also looks beautiful on your plate.

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