Zucchini marinara bake

A bowl of penne noodles with baked cherry tomatoes and zucchini
Recipe credit

University of Minnesota Extension Department of Family, Health and Wellbeing

About this recipe

Serving size
1 1/2 cups
Time to make
20 minutes preparation; 60 minutes cook time


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 24-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 16-ounce package whole wheat penne noodles


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Add olive oil to large pan. Add chopped onions and peppers, sliced mushrooms, garlic, basil, and oregano and cook gently over low heat (sauté) for approximately 3 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini slices and sauté for 2 more minutes. Zucchini will be slightly crisp.
  4. In a casserole or baking pan, layer ingredients as follows:1/3 of the spaghetti sauce, 1/2 of the vegetables, 1/2 of the cheese, 1/3 of the sauce, remaining vegetables, remaining cheese, and remaining sauce.
  5. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
  6. While the casserole is baking, cook pasta according to package directions.
  7. When the casserole is done, uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Let the casserole sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve it with the pasta.

Tips and variations

  • Add sliced chicken or ground beef for additional protein.
  • If you have leftovers, mix everything together to prevent the pasta from drying out.
  • This casserole is also great served over sliced polenta, brown rice, or other cooked whole grain instead of the whole wheat pasta.

Nutritional info

Total fat
7.7 g
Saturated fat
2.9 g
16 mg
179 mg
Total carbohydrates
14.7 g
Dietary fiber
3.4 g
8.5 g
Total sugar
9.2 g