This time of year I need quick and easy to make dinners for my family. We have a busy schedule of late afternoon and evening activities, but I still like to get a homemade dinner on the table most nights. Casseroles are a great solution for this, because they are one dish meals that simplify dinner.
It is also getting near the end of our growing season, so I wanted to make a casserole to use the last of the seasonal vegetables. This casserole uses zucchini, tomatoes, summer squash and eggplant, all of which are at the end of harvest season here.
I thought it would be fun to create a meatball casserole that didnâ€™t include pasta, just because we always have pasta with meatballs and it gets boring!Â So this casserole is just vegetables and meat, which makes it perfect for those who want to have a low carb or paleo casserole. And if you arenâ€™t eating low carb then it goes perfectly with a loaf of Italian bread!
Here are some of the things I like to do to make dinner prep easier:
- Make Things Ahead â€“ For this recipe I used meatballs I made a few weeks ago and had frozen.Â It is much easier to make a big batch of meatballs on a weekend, and then I have them when I need them.
- Buy Convenience Foods â€“ If I donâ€™t even have time to make something like meatballs I just by a bag of frozen ones.Â There are so many convenience foods that make dinner prep easier but still let you put your own unique touch on the final product.
- Use Versatile Cookware â€“ I use aluminum pans with metal handles so they can go from the stove top right into the oven.Â Sure you could transfer this casserole to a glass baking dish, but why use extra dishes?
The Country Crock Spread works well for sautÃ©ing the vegetables.Â It has 0g of trans fat per serving, and 70% less fat than butter.Â If you are looking for more casserole ideas check out the Country Crock Pinterest boards, because they have lots of yummy ideas pinned!
- 2 T Country Crock Spread
- 1½ c. zucchini, sliced
- 1½ c. yellow squash, sliced
- 1 c. eggplant, sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 t. Italian Seasoning
- ½ t. red pepper (optional)
- 2 c. fresh tomatoes, sliced
- 12 meatballs, thawed if frozen
- 2 T fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350, and heat a large oven proof frying pan on medium heat.
- Add 2 T of Country Crock and wait for it to melt. Then sautÃ© the zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and onion for 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, Italian Seasoning, red pepper, salt and pepper and cook for about 1 minute more.
- Stir in the tomatoes, then gently push the meatballs into the vegetable mixture so they donâ€™t break.
- Put in the oven and bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.