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Summer Vegetable Stuffed Casserole

With this dish, my kids love their veggies!

You might have noticed by now that we love a good casserole around here. And what’s not to love? It’s a meal in one dish, they’re low on effort and high on comfort, they’re versatile, they taste delicious, and they usually involve cheese. We will admit, though, that while casseroles are convenient and tasty, they’re not always the healthiest option around. With this lovely Summer Vegetable Stuffed Casserole, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s a casserole that’s totally healthy but still has all those other great casserole qualities too.

Seasoned turkey is browned up with some tomatoes, peppers, and onions, and then layered between thin slices of eggplant and zucchini before being baked into a robustly flavored smorgasbord of a dish. (We couldn’t resist adding just a little bit of cheese for the final flourish, but you do what you need to do.)

Our family loves this, and we think that’s just great because we’re always looking for ways to get more veggies on our table. We love how versatile this dish is: you can swap or add in whatever veggies your heart desires, use just zucchini or just eggplant for the layers, or even use some ground chicken sausage in place of the turkey. It’s heart healthy and totally scrumptious, and it’s a staple in our kitchen. We know it will be in yours too!

Serves 6-8

1 hour

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1-2 eggplants, cut into thin, long slices
  • 1-2 zucchinis, cut into thin, long slices
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large pan, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and brown for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add onion and carrot to the pan and saute until starting to soften, 3 more minutes. Add tomatoes and bell pepper and cook until peppers are just tender and tomatoes are broken down, about 4-5 more minutes.
  4. Add garlic and basil and cook one more minute. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place a layer of eggplant slices in bottom of prepared baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the turkey mixture, followed by a layer of zucchini slices. Repeat, alternating for remaining layers, ending with zucchini.
  6. Sprinkle cheese over top of casserole, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, 15 more minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional basil if desired.
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