Want Thanksgiving dinner to be less stressful this year? I’ve got a little secret for you and it involves this Cheesy Zucchini Corn Casserole Recipe so check it out!
Every Thanksgiving I stress a little over the exact menu we will use, but I always know for sure that Cheesy Zucchini Corn Casserole will be on the list because it checks many of the boxes for Thanksgiving sides.
Am I making enough variety? Cade wants Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes but is that too much to have with our FAMOUS Potato Rolls as well? And what about the veggies, plain corn is just boring but how many times do you see that bowl of steamed corn on the table?
Surely I’m not the only one trying to figure out the sides. If you’re in the same boat as us, let me introduce you to a vegetable side dish as awesome as twice baked potatoes but totally includes way more veggies.
What is the WORST Thanksgiving Side Dish You’ve Ever Had?
I feel like we should really talk about this before we ever talk about the side dish recipe we teamed up with Tillamook on to make for you.
What’s the worst Thanksgiving side dish you’ve ever had?
I’ve been trying all week to think of something I hated as a kid.
For sure there was a creamed spinach that tasted like bitter diapers. I don’t even think that’s a thing, but it is now. Did I just ruin your appetite?
OH!! I’ve got one!!!
Lime Jell-O with shredded carrots, pineapple, pears, oranges, lemon pudding on top, and wait for it, SHREDDED CHEESE on top of that.
You all are as Tillamook obsessed as we are, but that combination cannot be good no matter how high quality the cheese is.
Save the cheese, don’t put it on Jell-O.
Cheesy Zucchini Corn Casserole
I know, I’ve distracted you. Let’s get back to the good stuff, the Cheesy Zucchini Corn Casserole.
When I visited Tillamook back in September I felt incredibly nostalgic. It was the area I’d grown up in, the place we had vacationed to a lot on the weekends and a brand I’d grown up with.
I came home totally inspired to take the old and make it new again. There was this old zucchini gratin I remember having at a few gatherings that was so plain and dry that I carefully skipped over it every time it was put on the table. Now that I’m older I can appreciate what the guest was trying to do, provide something other than cold corn on the table, but it needed a facelift.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Zucchini, sliced thin lengthwise
- Tillamook Farmstyle Cut Sharp White Cheddar Shredded Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Tillamook Sweet Cream Unsalted Butter
And a few other little things.
I know what you’re thinking so you just stop it right now.
This isn’t healthy.
Calories do not count on Thanksgiving or have you forgotten?
Also, this entire day is why leggings and sweats were ever invented. Don’t you want to support those who came before you?
Assembling the Zucchini Casserole
Slicing the zucchini lengthwise and then grilling it in a pan to suck out the excess liquid is absolutely essential otherwise you’ll have a watery mess.
After grilling it’s time to make a little sauce with butter, cream cheese and all sorts of goodness. Cook up the peppers, add cream cheese and allow the heat to melt the cream cheese into the veggies.
Use a wooden spoon to press the cream cheese onto the hot veggies to break it up against the side of the bowl will begin to cream things together.
Make a mixture of mayonnaise, cream, eggs, salt and pepper and mix everything together to make a creamy sauce.
Just like a lasagna, the ingredients need to be layered together.
Always butter the dish first to keep things from sticking; holding an open package of butter and smearing it all over the pan.
Now go layer by layer, until you end with Tillamook Cheese and at this point you’ll cover the entire dish with buttered crackers.
It’s like a big, fat, casserole of goodness.
Bake it all up and serve hot!
Here’s the thing, I know that you all know we are in love with Tillamook products, but it’s not just that we love the flavors, it’s also the premium quality that make dishes turn out the way they are supposed to.
Have you ever made something and it ends up too greasy, the cheese doesn’t melt or you can still see the shreds everywhere? That’s because all cheese isn’t made the same or to the same standards.
Same thing goes for butter. Hate to admit it, but it’s true.
Just a little tip, we don’t mention brands when it doesn’t matter, we only do when it changes the way things turn out our taste.
Tillamook Farmstyle Cut Shredded Cheese has the quality, taste and meltability because they uphold higher dairy standards than most brands. It’s actually kind of cool to know that a brand I grew up with also happens to be the brand setting standards in the food world, and now my kids are growing up with it too.
Can You Assemble Zucchini Corn Casserole Ahead of Time?
Here is the absolute best part, this casserole is not only easy to make the morning of, but you can even do it an entire day before!
Assemble the entire casserole and cover with saran wrap in the fridge.
Crunch up the crackers and place them in a bag.
On cooking day, remove the casserole from the fridge 15 minutes prior to baking.
When you’re ready to bake, melt the butter and toss it with the crackers.
Sprinkle everything on top and bake as normal- Add 5 minutes if you didn’t let the casserole sit on the counter for 15 minutes before baking.
How Many Thanksgiving Side Dishes Should I Make?
Actually, that’s all determined by how many people you’re having over. However, you might be like us and already know there are certain dishes you want to eat no matter what, so your guest count doesn’t really matter. If so, I get you completely. These are our must-have dishes.
- Mashed Potatoes and Gravy (or another potato)
- Cranberry sauce
- 2 Different Veggies such as The Real Green Bean Casserole or this Cheesy Zucchini Corn Casserole and Candied Pecan Bacon Brussel Sprouts.
- Rolls such as our Perfect Homemade Rolls or Potato Rolls
- Jell-o. I know some of you are cringing but this Lemon Mandarin orange jell-o is also nostalgic for me.
More CORN RECIPES You Are Sure to Love:
- Secret the the Best Grilled Corn
- Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad
- Slow Cooker Potato Broccoli Corn Chowder with Bacon
- Elote Grilled Mexican Corn Salad
- Grilled Corn Avocado Tomato Salad
- Bacon Ranch Corn Dip
- Ham and Potato Corn Chowder
- Grilled Greek Chicken and Corn Salad
- Mexican Street Corn – Elote
- Fiesta Corn
- Ham Sandwich and Corn Chowder
- Best Creamed Corn
- How to Freeze Corn
- Cilantro Butter Corn
- Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans and Rice
- Cheesy Jiffy Cornbread Casserole
- All our SIDE DISHES here!
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Cheesy Zucchini Corn Casserole
- Butter for preparing the casserole dish
- 4 medium zucchini ends trimmed, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons Tillamook Sweet Cream Unsalted Butter
- 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup heavy cream * see note
- 3 large eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups corn kernels fresh or frozen
- 3 cups Tillamook Farmstyle Cut White Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 15 Ritz crackers or similar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter an 8x8" baking dish. Set aside.
- Brown the zucchini on a stovetop or outdoor grill until golden marks appear. Set aside.
- Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan. Add the jalapeño and bell pepper and cook 3-4 minutes just to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook 10-15 seconds or until fragrant. Transfer vegetables to a small bowl.
- Immediately add the softened cream cheese to the vegetables and stir until it's creamy, pressing the cream cheese against the sides of the bowl as needed to combine.
- In a glass measuring cup, stir in mayonnaise, cream, eggs, salt and pepper and blend until creamy.
- Pour the egg mixture over the warm veggies and stir to combine.
- Place a layer of zucchini at the bottom of a buttered baking dish.
- Spread 1/3 of the corn over the zucchini evenly.
- Spread 1/3 of the egg mixture over the zucchini and corn
- Finally, 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
- Repeat twice more.
- Sprinkle crushed, buttered crackers over the top. Cover loosely with aluminum foil so it doesn't steam.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 30 minutes until crackers are lightly browned. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.