With my bumper crop of garden zucchini I’ve been having fun seeing how many places I can fit it in. Soups, salads, grilled.. it’s all been good. Even baking has been going well. Then I saw a post on Facebook today that gave me a new idea. Loaded baked potato casserole. I’d add diced zucchini as well!
I scrubbed and cut 4 smaller rustic potatoes into about 1” chunks and tossed them with olive oil and seasonings. I laid them out on a sheet pan covered with foil.
Next I washed and cut up a 6” zucchini into 1” chunks and also tossed them with olive oil and seasonings. I laid them on the sheet pan as well.
Finally I decided we needed some chicken, and added two frozen boneless, skinless breasts to the sheet pan.
When my oven had preheated to 425 degrees F, I place the sheet pan into the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes, for a first check. I added 10 more minutes twice, for a total baking time of 40 minutes. The potatoes and zucchini were browning in places but were also very fork tender. I removed the sheet pan from the oven.
Loaded potatoes mean bacon pieces to me. Bacon and chicken go well together in my world. I diced about 6 strips of bacon and fried them until they were browned and crispy.
While the bacon fried I layered the roasted potatoes and zucchini in a 9×13-in foil covered pan. Are you getting that I hate to scrub pans? I foil cover everything so cleanup is faster!
On top of the potatoes and zucchini I layered the roast chicken I’d diced into 1” pieces, then sprinkled the bacon over the top when it was crispy and browned.
My final layer was cheese. Lots and lot of shredded cheese. I used a little of every kind of shredded cheese I had on hand, lots of cheddars and Colby jacks, etc. A few more sprinkles of bacon I’d reserved and it looked like a loaded potato dream.
I slid the pan under the broiler for a couple of minutes, watching carefully until the cheese was all melty and bubbling. I removed the pan and sprinkled a handful of chopped green onions on top and dinner was done.
What can I say? Baked potato goodness! I liked that they were baked ahead of time and just the right texture. The zucchini wasn’t all slimy like it sometimes can be; they were firm and delicious. But topped with a ton of melted cheese, what wouldn’t be?
We ate it as a whole meal, but you could omit the chicken and serve it as a side with any kind of meat. It would also be good made with leftover chicken, grilled or not.
Loaded Baked Potato and Zucchini Casserole
4 medium to small potatoes; scrubbed and cut into 1” pieces with skin on
1 6” zucchini; cut into 1” pieces
Seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 slices bacon; diced
2 cups cheese of choice (I like cheddar, Colby jack, Monterey jack)
Diced green onions
Sour cream for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cover large baking pan with foil
Toss potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and some seasonings. I used about ½ teaspoon of each. Spread in a single layer on the baking pan.
Toss potatoes in the same bowl with another drizzle of oil and seasonings. Spread on the baking pan.
Add chicken breasts to pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until the potatoes and zucchini are beginning to brown and are fork tender.
Fry bacon pieces in a nonstick skillet on medium high until browned and crispy.
Layer the potatoes, zucchini and chicken in a foil lined 9×13-in pan while the bacon cooks. Sprinkle crispy bacon on top, reserving a few pieces for garnish. Cover with shredded cheese and garnish with remaining bacon.
Put pan under broiler for several minutes, watching until the cheese is melty and bubbling.
Garnish with chopped green onions and sour cream, if desired.