- 1 ¼ c tomato sauce
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into thin rings
- 1 large yellow summer squash, sliced into thin rings
- 1 4.2-oz package vegetarian pepperoni
- 1 c small white beans, drained (and rinsed if you are watching sodium intake)
- 1 ¼ c reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Optional: Fresh or dried basil, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray a 9×7” pan with non-stick spray.
- Put a very thin layer (~ 1/4 c) of tomato sauce over the bottom of the pan.
- Place half of the zucchini rings and half of the squash rings in an even layer over the tomato sauce base.
- Put all of the pepperoni slices in an even layer over the zucchini and squash.
- Gently spread 1/2 c tomato sauce evenly over the pepperoni slices.
- Put 1/2 c of the white beans in an even layer over the tomato sauce.
- Evenly sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over the beans.
- Repeat the layering with the remaining ingredients: zucchini & squash, tomato sauce, white beans, cheese.
- Cover the pan with tin foil that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, and bake for 15 min.
- Remove the foil, and bake for another 15 min, or until the cheese melts and the zucchini and squash are fork-tender.
- Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving. Can top with fresh or dried basil if desired.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 155 calories, 6 g fat, 13.5 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, 15 g protein.
- The flavor of tomato sauce you use will affect how the composed dish tastes. If you like spicier food, use a spicy tomato sauce; if you like more mild meals, choose a more subdued sauce.
- I like Yves brand of vegetarian pepperoni.
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Low-to-medium (depending on whether your
grocery sells vegetarian pepperoni. Mine does.)
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Low
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Very Low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.25
The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?
I created this meal because I had zucchini, squash, and pepperoni that needed to be used soon. I didn’t want to add noodles to them (as I just did a noodle dish last week), so I gambled that white beans might be a nice way to mix things up instead. (The gamble paid off; the beans added a nice texture and balance to the other ingredients in the dish.) I figured that anything baked with tomato sauce and cheese couldn’t be half-bad; and this meal turned out better than that. :)
I think this is a nice “use-up” kind of recipe (i.e., use up whatever items are in the fridge that need to be eaten soon), and it’s also a nice “make-it-fast” kind of meal. But I don’t think I would buy ingredients specifically for this dish again. It’s fine, it’s good; but it’s nothing terribly special. If I was crunched for time at the end of a busy work day and needed to get food on the table for the family, sure, I’d make this again. But it would be because we needed to eat dinner, not because I was looking forward to this dish specifically.
I might add this recipe to my files as a nice weekday “pressed for time” option; but if I want to cook something because I want to cook, I’ll probably pick something else to make.
Update 2/8/11: I had a piece of this bake for lunch today, and the thought came to me, “You know, I think kids would really like this dish.” So if you have children that you are trying to “sneak” some healthier food into, you may want to consider baking this casserole for them; I think they may like it (especially in a re-heated state).