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This yummy zucchini casserole with ground beef is similar to lasagna, only in a skillet and easier! It focuses on healthy, whole food ingredients.

We use spelt bread or sourdough bread to make the breadcrumbs, since my husband’s arthritis flares when he eats wheat. I just toast the bread a couple times until it is dried out, then rip it into small pieces by hand.

Be sure to look for a pasta sauce with a real food ingredient list… meaning a short ingredient list with only ingredients you can identify as actual, wholesome food. 

This zucchini casserole is LEAP/MRT diet-friendly in later stages due to the Parmesan cheese being untested. Depending on the pasta sauce you choose, some of its ingredients may be untested too.

If you’d like to take the guesswork out of figuring out which foods are triggering your joint pain symptoms, I’d love to help you order your own MRT (Mediator Release Test) and teach you how to find the root causes of your joint pain and reverse them using food as medicine!

Overall, this is another easy family favorite that has been simple to adapt to my husband’s food sensitivities. Enjoy and let me know how it goes!

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Zucchini Casserole with Ground Beef

This zucchini and ground beef skillet meal is healthy AND delicious! With a wholesome sauce and crispy breadcrumbs to top it off, this is sure to be a family favorite!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: casserole, easy recipe, ground beef and rice, healthy, kid-friendly recipe, LEAP diet, skillet meal
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 408kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 24 oz can pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs I use spelt sourdough
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 zucchini or summer squash very thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  • Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and one Tbsp oil. Set aside.
  • In a large cast-iron skillet, brown ground beef over medium high heat.
  • Add pasta sauce and water. Bring to a simmer.
  • Stir in the rice.
  • Top with onion, the carefully arrange zucchini in a single, slightly overlapping layer.
  • Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with remaining Tbsp of oil, and top with breadcrumb mixture.
  • Cover with foil and bake in oven for 10 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake until rice is cooked through and breadcrumbs are golden, about 5-10 more minutes. (Add more water before baking if needed to prevent crunchy rice.)
  • Let cool for 5 minutes before serving!

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Conquer Arthritis with Food Button

Someone needs this!