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Tender bites of chicken with perfectly cooked zucchini and bell pepper in a creamy, cheesy sauce. Make use of abundant summer zucchini and get this low carb Chicken Zucchini Casserole on your menu soon!
This Chicken Zucchini Casserole surprised me. When I’m through testing a new recipe, I always jot down a bunch of notes on my tweaks and anything useful to share when it’s published. My final note on this one was “Holy cow, this was so good!”.
The method for cooking the zucchini ensures it won’t be mushy when baked. The lightened up cheesy sauce is loaded with great flavor. It’s low calorie and low carb and entirely delicious. If you’re looking for tasty ways to introduce your little ones to veggies, this is your recipe.
- Olive oil
- Chicken – Boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Kosher salt
- Garlic pepper – I use salt-free McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic Pepper. Check your label to be sure your brand is salt-free. If not, you’ll need to reduce or eliminate the kosher salt.
- Zucchini – You’ll need 2 large zucchini cut into ½ -inch pieces
- Bell pepper – I like to use a combination of red and yellow bell pepper for pretty color contrast.
- Garlic – Fresh or jarred minced garlic will do.
- All-purpose flour
- Chicken broth – I use Better Than Bullion Reduced Sodium Chicken so I can mix up the exact amount I need for each recipe. Whatever brand you choose, be sure it is low sodium.
- Milk – Whole milk is used instead of heavy cream to make the lightened up cheese sauce.
- Cream cheese – A little reduced fat cream cheese (⅓ less fat Neufchatel) does a lot to add richness to the sauce.
- Mozzarella – Shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese.
- Parmesan – Freshly shredded Parmesan adds a nice salty bite.
- Pepper – Freshly ground black pepper
- Seasoned panko – I use Italian style seasoned panko bread crumbs. Any seasoned panko you like should work just fine. The small amount used as a topping adds nice texture and flavor but doesn’t greatly affect the overall carb count. Feel free to omit them if you’d like.
How to Make Chicken Zucchini Casserole
- Cook the chicken in olive oil and season with a little salt and the garlic pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned.
- Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.
- Add a little more oil to the skillet and the zucchini, bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just beginning to soften. You want them just barely fork-tender so only sauté for about 4 minutes.
- Transfer the zucchini mixture to the bowl with the chicken and set aside.
- Add the butter to the empty pan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour starts to brown, about 1 minute.
- Whisk in the broth and milk.
- Bring to a boil, whisking often to smooth out the sauce as much as possible (a few small lumps are okay).
- Remove from the heat and add the cream cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan and stir until melted.
- Stir in the remaining salt and the black pepper.
- Drain all of the liquid from the chicken and vegetable mixture and stir the mixture into the cheese sauce in the pan. Gorgeous color!
- Transfer the mixture to a baking dish that you’ve coated with nonstick cooking spray.
- Top the casserole with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Sprinkle the panko breadcrumbs evenly over the top.
- Bake until the top is browned and the edges are bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. If desired, set the oven to broil for the last minute of the cooking time to brown the top a little more.
For your family members who aren’t concerned with carbs, Chicken Zucchini Casserole is delicious served with cheese tortellini or your favorite cooked pasta tossed with a little olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
More Family Friendly Zucchini Recipes
- Ground Pork Stir Fry with Zucchini and Mushrooms
- Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Very Veggie Chili
- Loaded Taco Skillet
Chicken Zucchini Casserole
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil divided
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic pepper
- 2 large zucchini cut into ½ -inch pieces
- 1 heaping cup chopped red and yellow bell pepper 2 small bell peppers
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 ounces reduced fat cream cheese (⅓ less fat Neufchatel), cut into cubes
- 1 ¼ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese divided
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons seasoned panko bread crumbs I use Italian style
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Add the chicken to the pan. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and the garlic pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a medium bowl. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and return it to the heat. Add the zucchini, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just barely fork tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the zucchini mixture to the bowl with the chicken and set aside.
- Add the butter to the pan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour starts to brown, about 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and milk. Bring to a low boil, whisking often to smooth out the sauce as much as possible (a few small lumps are okay). Remove from the heat and add the cream cheese, ¾ cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan and stir until melted. Stir in the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and the black pepper.
- Drain all of the liquid from the chicken and vegetable mixture and stir the mixture into the cheese sauce in the pan. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the casserole with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and the breadcrumbs.
- Bake until the top is browned and the edges are bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.If desired, set the oven to BROIL for the last minute of the cooking time to brown the top a little more. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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Adapted from Eating Well