Cheesy Zucchini Rice

Easy and cheesy! Even kids love this zucchini rice. It's the perfect side dish for a busy night.

My daughter, it seems, needs some help in the amphibian and reptile department.

You see, she plays Draw Something on my phone (I swear those drawings and misspelled guesses are from the 7 year old and not me!) with my friends and she seems to have issues with frogs and tortoises.

She held out the phone to me in confusion the other day and said “What the heck is this?”

It was green. It had big round bumps for eyes. It said “ribbit” above the photo.

“That’s a frog,” I replied in my best DUH voice.

“But frogs don’t say ribbit. Bunnies do!”

The child argued with me for a good five minutes before finally believing that rabbits do not, in fact, ribbit.

Yes, we homeschool. Why do you ask? 😉

That same friend that drew the frog just received a picture from Emma that said, “tortoise I do not know what tortoise is.”

Okay, first of all, that’s cheating. Draw Something is about drawing, not spelling things out.

Second of all, come on, child. You’re making me look bad.

(I shared some tips on how NOT to lose your mind while homeschooling right here, if you’re interested!)

So, in honor of my child and her new lessons on green slimy animal-like things, I thought I’d share this delightfully greenified rice. It’s so cheesy that you won’t even mind the shreds of veggies floating around in there.

If you have an abundance of zucchini this would be a great way to use it up!

PrintPrint Recipe

Cheesy Zucchini Rice


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium or 2 small zucchini, grated (I used my food processor but a cheese grater would work well, too)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
splash of milk, as needed


Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
Add the rice and stir to coat. Toast the rice, stirring often, just until it starts to turn golden.
Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, turn heat to low, and cover.
Cook, covered, for 15 - 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Remove from the heat and add the butter, grated zucchini, cheddar, and garlic powder. Stir until well incorporated. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
Stir again and add salt and pepper to taste and a splash of milk if you'd like to thin out the texture a little bit.

slightly adapted from Pink Parsley

Need other side dish ideas? Check out my favorites below!

creamy mashed potatoes recipe

The Best Creamiest Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower #recipe

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

honey cinnamon roasted sweet potatoes recipe

Honey Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes

zucchini squash recipe

Summer Squash Gratin

creamed corn recipe

Southern Style Creamed Corn

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216 Responses to “Cheesy Zucchini Rice”

  1. Sam July 21, 2014 @ 1:32 pm (#

    I barely eat rice ever, but this recipe sounded good so I had to try it. Must say it was delicious!


  2. cindy3539 August 4, 2014 @ 1:07 pm (#

    I made this today & I thought it was good. I did omit the salt & put in a couple splashes of soy sauce instead & threw in 1/2 a grated onion. Nice way to disguise squash! Thanks.


  3. Kimberly September 2, 2014 @ 6:25 pm (#

    Thanks so much for sharing this, I had it pinned for a while and tonight was craving some comfort food so tried it out. Yum! It will be in regular rotation during squash seasons.


  4. Amanda May 2, 2015 @ 8:52 pm (#

    Any thoughts on using quinoa instead of rice?


    • Karly replied: — May 3rd, 2015 @ 7:31 pm

      I think it would work fine!


  5. johna June 18, 2015 @ 5:38 pm (#

    Made this for four picky kids who do NOT eat green “stuff”, it was a hit with all four! Thanks for giving me a new, easy rice recipe.


    • Karly replied: — June 19th, 2015 @ 2:53 pm

      Yay! Glad they enjoyed it!


  6. Kim B July 5, 2015 @ 2:10 pm (#

    This looks amazing. But I normally like our dinners to be higher in protein. Has anyone tried adding in ground turkey or beef to this recipe? Would the flavors meld well? Or would chicken go better with this? Thanks!


    • Karly replied: — July 5th, 2015 @ 9:29 pm

      I’ve always served this as a side dish to meat, but I would think ground turkey or chicken would work fine in here. Flavors should be great!


  7. Luci July 27, 2015 @ 7:00 pm (#

    Your zucchini rice recipe was SOOO delicious that I had to make another batch as soon as The first one finished cooking! A great way to use leftover zucchini.


    • Karly replied: — July 28th, 2015 @ 11:05 am

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it!


  8. Emily August 16, 2015 @ 1:36 pm (#

    Made a double batch of this today! First batch as a side dish tonight. Second batch wil be mixed with ground beef and some stewed tomatoes and will be used to stuff zucchini boats! So yummy!


    • Karly replied: — August 17th, 2015 @ 8:39 am

      Ooh, I love the zucchini boats idea!



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