Not your ordinary pasta bake!

Delight your senses and gather around for a whimsical twist on dinner with this enchanted garden pasta casserole. This charming dish stacks up like a double-layer cake, with zucchini, peas, and creamy cottage cheese, finished with a golden, crusty top.

It’s as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate—a true centerpiece for any table!

Pasta Casserole with Cottage Cheese

Skill Level: Intermediate

This recipe is ideal for cooks with some experience, as it involves multiple steps such as layering and baking to achieve a casserole that not only tastes delicious but also holds its shape like a cake.

Health Benefits

This casserole is packed with vegetables, making it rich in vitamins and fiber.

Zucchini offers a high dose of antioxidants and vitamin C, while peas provide protein and essential minerals.

Cottage cheese is a fantastic source of calcium and protein but lower in fat than other cheeses, making this dish a balanced, nutritious option.

Enchanted Garden Pasta Casserole Recipe

Time and Servings

  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Servings: 6


  • Pasta (cavatappi, penne, rigatoni, etc): 12 oz (340 grams)
  • Zucchini, sliced or diced: 2 large
  • Green peas, frozen: 1 cup (150 grams)
  • Cottage cheese: 16 oz (450 grams)
  • Eggs, beaten: 2 large
  • Parmesan cheese, grated: 4 oz (113 grams)
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded: 8 oz (226 grams)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons (30 ml)
  • Italian seasoning: 1 tablespoon
  • Breadcrumbs: 1/2 cup (60 grams)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a springform pan with some olive oil and sprinkle breadcrumbs around the bottom and sides.
  2. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Mix the cottage cheese with beaten eggs, parmesan, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in a large bowl.
  4. Layer the casserole: Spread half the pasta in the bottom of the pan. Cover with a layer of zucchini, then spread all the peas, and half of the cottage cheese mixture. Repeat the layers, finishing with a top layer of mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden and crusty.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unlocking the springform and serving.

Recipe Shortcuts

  • Use pre-sliced zucchini and pre-shredded cheeses to save on prep time.
  • Opt for no-boil pasta, if available, to skip the pasta cooking step.

Tips for Perfection

  • Ensure zucchini slices are thin to cook through evenly.
  • Let the casserole sit for 10 minutes after baking for easier slicing.
  • For an extra crispy top, broil for the last 2-3 minutes.

Optional Ingredients

  • Add layers of spinach or kale for extra greens.
  • Incorporate mushrooms or bell peppers for more flavor and texture.
  • Swap cottage cheese with ricotta for a richer taste.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a side of garlic bread and a crisp green salad to complement the creamy textures of the casserole.

Nutritional Information

Approximate per serving:

  • Calories: 400
  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fat: 18g, Fiber: 4g
  • Calcium: 200mg
  • Iron: 2mg

Storage and Reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until thoroughly warmed.

Origin and Folklore

This recipe borrows from the Italian tradition of layered dishes like lasagna but with a playful, modern twist, emphasizing vegetables and a healthier profile. It symbolizes a celebration of spring’s bounty, often served during gatherings to highlight the season’s fresh produce.

Enchanted Garden Pasta Casserole

With its impressive appearance and delectable layers, this enchanted garden pasta casserole promises to be a new favorite at your family table. It’s a testament to the magic of combining simple ingredients with a bit of culinary creativity.

We have even more casserole recipes here!

Enjoy the art of casserole-making and the joy it brings to your meals!