This simple, filling dish is the perfect weeknight meal for your family! You only need a handful of ingredients and about 10-minutes of prep to whip up this chicken zucchini casserole. Oh, and it's freezer-friendly, too!

baked chicken and zucchini casserole, from Shelf Cooking

Say buh-bye to the drive-through window! You can make this chicken zucchini casserole in less time than you'd spend waiting for that burger. And you can feel good about preparing this healthy meal for your family!

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Keep reading to learn how to modify the recipe if you need to, what to do with leftovers, and more. Spoiler alert: this freezer-friendly casserole is a shelf-cooking dream! Who's ready to do this?!


chicken zucchini casserole over rice, from Shelf Cooking

Honestly, we love casseroles because they don't technically need a side dish at all! This recipe has veggies, protein, and dairy all in one dish, so we tend to go light on the sides. But if you want to stretch this meal a little further, here are a few sidekicks you can try:

  • Rustic Bread – We love the crispy crust on this rustic bread! It's great for dipping in the sauce from this casserole. Want to give your meal a sweet twist? Try some of our strawberry jam!
  • Salad – Use whatever greens and veggies you have, and whip up a quick back of homemade vinaigrette.
  • Mashed Potatoes – When in doubt, just make mashed potatoes.
  • Sweet Potato Casserole – The sweet richness of this sweet potato casserole is the perfect complement to this meal!
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Spread the word! Brussels sprouts are actually delicious. Especially this roasted balsamic Brussels sprouts recipe, which also happens to include bacon!
  • Rice – Steamed brown rice is a great option, but any long grain will do!

Canned veggies work great on the side, too! If you're super short on time, just open up a can of carrots, green beans, or corn, and consider dinner done.


chicken zucchini bake on a white plate, from Shelf Cooking

If you need to make an ingredient swap or two, you totally can! This recipe is shelf cooking gold, which means you can shop your fridge and pantry instead of heading out to the store. Try one of these easy substitutions:

  • Chicken Thighs – We used thighs in this recipe because we had a bunch in the freezer! If you have breasts on hand, you can use those instead.
  • Zucchini – If you don't have zucchini, double the amount of squash! Not enough squash? Double the zucchini. You can experiment with other veggies, too, if you need to. Try asparagus, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, green beans, or carrots.
  • Yellow Onion – If you don't have yellow onion, use white or red. No problemo!
  • Pesto – We love us some pesto around here, and this recipe is perfect for using leftover pesto! But, if you're not feeling it, skip the pesto and use your own blend of seasonings and spices with about 1/4 cup of olive oil or melted butter.
  • Cheese – While we used parmesan and mozzarella, you do you! If you'd rather try goat, feta, or both, go for it! We think swiss or provolone would work well, too. Pass the cheese, please!

As you can tell, it's super easy to round up ingredients you already have to bring this casserole to life! Don't be afraid to mix and match. Chicken is so versatile, it's hard to mess it up!


casserole dish of chicken zucchini bake, from Shelf Cooking

So you know how we mentioned this recipe is freezer-friendly? Well, it's one of our new favorite freezer meals! The last time we made this recipe, we tripled it to have two meals for later. This is one of those dishes that's perfect for taking to a new neighbor or pregnant mama, so we say go for it and make some extras! You'll definitely put them to good use.

Our one piece of advice? Don't add the cheese before you freeze! If you're making a batch for later, skip the cheese. Place the leftovers in a freezer-safe container, and label and use within three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator thoroughly, then bake according to recipe instructions. Don't forget to add the cheese!


All that talk of cheese has us feeling hungry, so what do you say we get to that recipe? Easy dinner, here we come!

baked chicken and zucchini casserole, from Shelf Cooking

Chicken Zucchini Casserole Recipe

In the time it takes you to chop a few veggies, you can have dinner in the oven. This chicken zucchini casserole is quick, easy, and here to help bring family dinners back!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 2 lb chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, diced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup pesto
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  • In a large greased casserole dish, lay the chicken flat in a single layer.
  • Brush a small amount of pesto on the chicken.
  • Toss veggies in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and remaining pesto.
  • Add veggies on top of chicken, then top with the cheeses.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.


A quick tip: if your casserole starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil until done.
Keyword chicken zucchini casserole

How stinking good does that look? Excuse us while we drool on our keyboard over here!

We hope your family enjoys this recipe! Even our picky eaters will try new veggies when there's cheese on top, so there's that. 😉

What's your go-to casserole for busy nights? We love trying new recipes, so drop your recommendations in the comments!

chicken zucchini casserole on a plate, from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more weeknight meal inspiration?

Bon appetit!