Pop Pop Mercer’s Italian Style Zucchini and Green Beans – a family favorite!


Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving – 1 section
Calories: 214
Total Fat: 11.5 g
Cholesterol: 20 mg
Sodium: 627.0 mg
Total Carbs: 14.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 13.2 g
Points Plus Weight Watchers: 6

This dish is farm to table at its best – and it’s also high in protein!  This casserole was created by my father in law, Bill Mercer, about 25 years ago to please our then grade school daughter who did not eat red meat.   This one-dish meal immediately became her favorite one dish meal and today it remains a special dish for all of us – as well as our friends.  This is an easy family-pleaser and crowd-pleaser. It makes great left-overs too!

Makes 6

Total time: 1.5 hours including 20 minutes of prep time


  • Cooking spray – or no spray needed if using Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil to cover baking sheets – then you simply place food on the non-stick side (dull side) of the foil
  • 1 lb. green beans – trimmed
  • 2 pounds zucchini – cut lengthwise to make long strips about 1/4 inch thick (if you have a mandolin, it’s easier and quicker)
  • 3 cups homemade marinara sauce (I use tomatoes, garlic, carrot, onion, oregano, parsley, basil) or you can use a low-carb brand like  Rao’s Marinara or Trader Joe’s slightly Spicy Arrabiata Sauce)
  • 2 cups light mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper if desired

Preheat the oven to 450F (this is just for roasting the zucchini, then turn down to 350F to bake casserole).

Prepare one or two 13 x 9 or 14 x 10 baking pans with cooking spray or non stick foil. Lay out the zucchini slices and mist with cooking spray.  Roast for about 20-25 minutes at 450 degrees or until lightly browned.

While zucchini is roasting, cook the green beans, covered, in a small amount of boiling water until crisp-tender:

– 10 to 15 minutes for whole or cut green beans

– 5 to 10 minutes for French-cut green beans

Layer the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with a cup and a half of the sauce.

Layer all the cooked zucchini slices (about 2-3 layers) on top of the sauce, followed by all the steamed beans, and then the remaining cup and a half of sauce.  Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.  Place uncovered in oven until cheese melts or about 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. (I like my cheese slightly browned).

Rao’s Sensitive Formula Marinara Sauce is a mild, traditional marinara sauce made with sun ripened Italian plum tomatoes, and sweet Italian cherry tomatoes. This sauce does not contain; onions or garlic and is lower in sodium. Ingredients: Italian plum tomatoes, Italian cherry tomatoes, Italian olive oil, fresh carrots, fresh celery, salt and fresh basil.



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  1. Anonymous

     /  October 3, 2011

    I just want to make sure I’m doing this right…in this recipe, is the sauce the only carbs that are being counted? Since the cheese and the zucchini are on the “can eat” list do we not count these? I have a jar of the “Raos” sauce and there’s 3 net carbs per serving which is a 1/2 cup. In this recipe there are 2 cups and there are 6 servings per recipe….Seems like it would be less than 5 net carbs per serving if I’m doing this right….sorry to be so confusing!! Thanks!

    • Thanks for picking this up! You’re right. – This recipe is technically a 3 net since the Rao sauce you are using is a net 3. Some of the Rao sauces are higher, as in the Homemade Southern Italian Pepper & Mushroom Sauce which a net 4, same with the Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce, and the Homemade Cuore DiPomodoro is actually a net 5. It’s always a good idea to check http://caloriecount.about.com/ to get exact carb count. In your particular case though, less is more! Thank you for the question. It clarifies the sauce differences for everyone.


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