Friday, September 27, 2013

Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole Recipe (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole found on
This Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole is so delicious, I'd even buy zucchini to make it!

(Some photos were updated in this post September 2014.  For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites, and this Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole is something I make every year when I have too much zucchini on my hands.  Zucchini season is just about gone for this year, but if you have a garden or visit the farmer's market, you can probably find enough to make this just once!)

This Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole with cottage cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, zucchini, and green chiles is a great answer to the "What shall we make with zucchini?" opportunity that gardeners face every year. Breakfast casseroles with zucchini are something I make every summer when I have a surplus of zucchini and I'm running out of ways to use it. This version is a recipe where a bit more or less zucchini won't matter, but to keep the zucchini from being watery in the finished dish, I trim away some of the inner white part, and then saute it with the green chiles for extra flavor. I use drained low-fat cottage cheese here to make this creamy without a lot of added fat, but you can also just use more cheese and skip the cottage cheese if you prefer.
When I first posted this recipe I used to make a huge batch of this type of breakfast casserole and freeze it. Through the years I've started to prefer just keeping the casserole in the fridge to eat during the week, so now I make this in a smaller size that makes six servings, which is what is shown in the photos.  (I'll give the recipes for both sizes.  Before you make this you may also want to read Basic Instructions for Low Carb / South Beach Diet Friendly Breakfast Casseroles which has instructions for different sizes of pan and ingredient options for this type of breakfast casserole.)

Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole found on KalynsKitchen.comPut the cottage cheese in a fine strainer, rinse with cold water, and let it drain, leaving just the cheese curds to use in the finished dish. (Or skip this and just use a bit more cheese if you prefer.)

Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole found on
Cut zucchini into fourths lengthwise, then cut away the inner white part, leaving about 1/2 inch of white on the zucchini skin.  Chop zucchini into same-size pieces.  Saute the zucchini over very low heat for about 4-5 minutes.  Then add the can of diced green chiles, stir into the zucchini, and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes. (You don't want the zucchini completely soft, so be sure the heat is low.)

Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole found on
Layer the cooked zucchini, cottage cheese, and grated cheese in a flat casserole dish, pour beaten eggs over the other ingredients, then take a fork and gently stir so ingredients are evenly distributed in the eggs.  Bake until the eggs are set and top is lightly browned.

Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole found on
Just for fun, here's the original top photo from this recipe from the original recipe.  Nowdays I'd greatly prefer to make this in a glass or crockery casserole dish.

Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole found on KalynsKitchen.comAnd here's my favorite way to eat this, with a big dollop of sour cream and some salsa spread over the top!

Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole found on KalynsKitchen.comZucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole
(This recipe makes 4-6 servings as shown in the photos. See below for original recipe which makes 10-12 servings)

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, rinsed and drained well
1 or 2 medium zucchini, about 8 inches long (or even more)
1-2 tsp. olive oil for sauteing zucchini and chiles
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional but recommended, or use any seasoning mix you like on eggs)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 can diced green Anaheim chiles (4 oz. can)
10 eggs, beaten well
1 T cream, half and half, or milk (use milk for South Beach Diet, or you can leave this out)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (use low fat cheese for South Beach Diet)

Preheat oven to 375 F/190C. Spray 7X11 inch or 8X8 inch casserole pan with nonstick spray or olive oil. Put cottage cheese in a colander placed in the sink and rinse thoroughly with cold water to wash off the "cream", then let drain.

Wash zucchini, cut lengthwise into fourths, then cut away the inner white part of the zucchini, leaving not over 1/2 inch thickness of white still on the skin. Discard white part, and cut remaining zucchini strips crosswise into same-size strips.

Put olive oil into nonstick saute pan and saute zucchini over low heat for 4-5 minutes, seasoning with Spike seasoning, salt, and pepper. Then add undrained green chiles and saute another 4-5 minutes. (Zucchini should still be pretty firm when you turn off the heat, so be sure you have it on low.)

Layer zucchini/green chile mixture, drained cottage cheese, and cheese into casserole dish. Beat eggs with cream or milk and pour over other ingredients. Use a fork to gently stir so that zucchini, green chile, cottage cheese, and cheese is evenly distributed in the egg mixture.  Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until mixture is set and top is nicely browned.

Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole
(Larger size from original recipe - makes 10-12 servings)

16 oz. low-fat cottage cheese, rinsed and drained well
1 large zucchini, about 12 inches long (or more)
2-3 tsp. olive oil for sauteing zucchini and chiles
2-3 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional but recommended, or use any seasoning mix you like on eggs)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 can diced green Anaheim chiles (7 oz. can, or use two 4 oz. cans)
18 eggs, beaten well
1/4 cup cream, half and half, or milk (use milk for South Beach Diet, or you can leave this out)
1 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (use low fat cheese for South Beach Diet)

Follow the same preparation method as above, but use a 10x14 inch casserole dish for this larger size, and bake 40-45 minutes.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Made with low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, and milk, this is a great breakfast option for the South Beach Diet. You can make this on the weekend, cut into serving size pieces, and keep in the fridge for an easy breakfast to pop in the microwave before work. (Microwave 1-2 minutes, just until hot to prevent it from getting rubbery.) This type of breakfast casserole can be frozen, but it will release water when thawed in the microwave, so put a paper towel under it before heating. (These days I rarely freeze it, since it keeps all week in the fridge and I prefer it when it hasn't been frozen.)

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Delicious Variations of Breakfast Casseroles:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Southwestern Egg Casserole from Kalyn's Kitchen
Breakfast Strata Two Ways from Cafe Johnsonia
Mushroom and Feta Breakfast Casserole from Kalyn's Kitchen
Zucchini Breakfast Casserole from Simply Recipes
Breakfast Casserole with Mushrooms, Green Bell Peppers, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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Anonymous said...

My mother used to make a dish similar to this with zucchini, eggs, egg whites, parmesan cheese and green chiles. Can't remember what it was called, but we ate it as a side dish. It was very good. I bet this is good too.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering... this might be a silly question, but I've never rinsed cottage cheese. Do you just put it in a fine strainer?

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, yes we just put it in a strainer and rinsed with cold water, then let drain for 10-15 minutes. It rinses off the "creamy " part and leaves the cheese curds.

Cookin' Canuck said...

Kalyn, I'm so excited to try this casserole! I love egg dishes and my garden is pumping out the zucchini right now. My husband will be very happy with the full can of chiles!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I used to make a broccoli casserole that is somewhat similar to this. This would be a great swap out, given all the zucchini available right now. And, a nice way to work veggies into breakfast!

Winnie said...

This looks really tasty!
I love "cottage cheesy" casseroles...
Will definitely try this soon.

Karina Allrich said...

Breakfast casseroles are the best. And perfect for entertaining house guests. I bet the green chiles really kick it up. Lovely photos!

Cristie said...

Thank you! Thank you! I've gotten so many garden zucchinis this summer that I thought I'd run out of recipes worth trying. (I've made 3 different kinds of zucchini bread and 2 extra-large zucchinis are still waiting in the 'fridge.) This breakfast casserole looks wonderful. Can't wait to try it.

Andrea Winchester said...

WOW that looks fantastic! That would be wonderful to prepare ahead and pop in the oven on a special day. Thanks for the recipe.

Chris said...

That sounds like a great breakfast casserole! The 9 y/o version of me would have denied that I'd ever eat vegetables for breakfast, but heck yeah I'd eat this!

Rebecca said...

This is a great recipe! Would you believe that a regular green chile/egg/cheese casserole is a fave of ours, and I've never thought of adding zuccini to it? Perfect time of year for both zuke and Hatch chiles--thanks for the idea. Looking forward to meeting you soon!

Unplanned Cooking said...

This looks great. I'm always looking for dishes I can prepare while my kids are sleeping ;).

Amy said...

This looks awesome. I have never thought of rinsing the whey off the curds! It would definitely give a different consistency than using straight up cottage cheese! Thanks for the idea.

Angie's Recipes said...

I want 3 breakfasts per day!
Beautiful picture.

Deborah said...

This looks delicious! I also make zucchini pancakes for breakfast at this time of year.

Kalyn said...

So glad people are liking this. Now I want to try zucchini pancakes!

Kevin said...

That is one tasty sounding breakfast casserole! I like the salsa topping!

Wavy Davy said...

Follow up question on the rinsing cottage cheese issue. I've never rinsed cottage cheese either. So why is it desirable to get rid of the creamy part? My wife and I just started on the South Beach diet and I'm really enjoying your recipes.

Kalyn said...

Glad you are enjoying the recipes. No reason you have to rinse the cottage cheese; I just rinse it so it's a bit more like regular cheese when I'm using it in a recipe like this. If it's not rinsed, it will make the egg mixture a bit more moist (which might even be a bad thing at all, let me know if you try it that way!)

A.Hancock said...

I made this last night and brought it to work this morning. I am not big on eggs for breakfast, but this casserole is just awesome! The sour cream and salsa on top just kicks it up and makes it very tasty. Thanks for a great breakfast idea!

Kalyn said...

So glad you enjoyed it!

Recipe Obsessed said...

Dear Kalyn,
This recipe was great! I used only 6 eggs for the smaller recipe, as that was all I had. I also didn't drain the cottage cheese. The recipe was sooooo good! I ate it warmed for breakfast and cold for lunch (w/a salad) all last week, and it was very satisfying. Thank you for what you do. I would be happy to be a fee to be a subscriber. Danni

Kalyn Denny said...

Danni, so glad you enjoyed it, and no need to pay a few, but thanks!

The Torsell Family said...

Yum, Yum & Yummy! Making this for sure!

Kalyn Denny said...

Becca, hope you enjoy. I think sauteeing the zucchini with the green chiles really adds a lot of flavor!

Hildie McQueen said...

I'm definitely trying this, getting tired of scrambled eggs.

Kalyn Denny said...

Hildie, hope you enjoy it.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Still my all-time favorite breakfast! I make a zucchini casserole all year, with (don't tell anyone) zucchini from the supermarket, and while it's not as good as garden zucchini, it's still a great year-round breakfast dish.

Kalyn Denny said...

Lydia, I buy zucchini pretty much all year too, so I understand completely! And I love this for breakfast.

Donna said...

Looks absolutely wonderful - cottage cheese is an under -used ingredient, IMHO.

Kalyn Denny said...

Donna, I love cottage cheese used this way (to add creaminess without a lot of fat.) Once again we are on the same wavelength!

Danielle Diaz said...

So excited to try this recipe! What are your thoughts on using egg whites vs. whole eggs?

Kalyn Denny said...

Danielle, I prefer whole eggs for flavor and convenience, but if you like egg whites they will certainly work.

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