Cheesy Zucchini Rice

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This cheesy zucchini rice is ooey gooey and a divine comfort food that makes the best side to any meal. It is so cheesy and delicious, and the best part is that it has a vegetable in it that my kids will actually eat!

If you are wondering what to serve this with then I have got you covered! Serve this delicious side dish with things like this pork schnitzel, these yummy garlic ranch chicken skewers, or this honey butter-baked chicken. It goes with every meal!

A pan with cheesy zucchini rice with a wooden spoon.

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

I love zucchini season. Not only do the best recipes come from it, but I love that I have an overabundance in my backyard. And I especially love being able to sneak it into different recipes so that my kids will eat it. We usually have rice for a side. So why not make it amazing by adding cheese and zucchini!?

We have now made this recipe 3 times since. I am telling you that it is one of the best sides that we have ever had! Everyone gobbled this down and even asked for seconds! You have got to put this on the must-make zucchini recipe list. Everything about this is incredible. From the cheese loaded inside to the zucchini hidden throughout, the flavor is out of this world! It ends up being the star of the dinner table.

Cheesy Zucchini Rice Ingredients

This recipe is so simple and easy! In fact, you probably already have most of these ingredients at home to make this quick side dish. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact ingredient measurements.

  • Chicken Broth: I like the flavor of chicken broth, but you can substitute vegetable broth or beef broth. It will be a slightly different flavor but still amazing!
  • Rice: I use long-grain white rice to go with the zucchini!
  • Butter: The butter adds richness to the dish.
  • Shredded Zucchini: You will end up needing about 2 cups of grated zucchini. This equals out to be about 2 medium-sized zucchini.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: I like to use freshly grated cheese from the block. Then you get the best taste and texture.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: These will enhance all of the flavors in the recipe.

How to Make Cheesy Zucchini Rice

You will be amazed at how simple this recipe is! It’s such a great way to add a veggie to a side dish and make it hearty, flavorful, and filling all at the same time!

  1. Cook Rice: In a medium saucepan, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Then, stir in the rice, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook it for about 20 min until the liquid is gone.
  2. Stir: Remove from heat and add butter, zucchini, and cheese. Stir and let stand for about 5 min. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
The top view of a pan filled with cooked cheesy zucchini rice and a wooden spoon.

Variations and Substitutions

Here are a few tips for making this cheesy zucchini rice casserole work perfectly for you and your family! I love that this side dish goes with just about every meal, so we make this a lot!

  • Rice: You can use different rice, such as jasmine or even brown rice or minute rice. Adjust your cooking times and adjust the broth according to your rice cook times and ratios.
  • Hide: This is a great way to hide veggies! If your kids are scared to see the green, then you can peel the zucchini before you shred it. This will blend in a little bit better.
  • Add-ins: If you want even more flavor, then you can add spices to this recipe to your liking. I would start with some garlic, chili powder, paprika, basil, and maybe even oregano. The possibilities are endless!
  • Cheese: I like the cheddar cheese, but that’s totally a personal preference. You can trade out the type of cheese for one you’d prefer. I also think that parmesan cheese is delicious!
A close up of rice being served on a wooden spoon.

How to Store Leftovers

If you are lucky enough to have leftovers of this cheesy zucchini rice, then you will be happy to hear that it’s super easy to store and also tastes fantastic the next day!

  • In the Fridge: Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Leftovers will accumulate a bit more water as the zucchini softens and you recook it.

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

5 from 1 vote
This cheesy zucchini rice is ooey gooey and a divine comfort food that makes the best side to any meal. It is so cheesy and delicious, and the best part is that it has a vegetable in it that my kids will actually eat! 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 6 Servings


  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup white rice long-grain
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 zucchini medium, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium saucepan, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and add the butter, zucchini, and cheese. Stir and let stand for about 5 minutes. Salt and Pepper to taste.



Originally Posted on August 10, 2015
Updated on July 28, 2022


Serves: 6

Calories237kcal (12%)Carbohydrates27g (9%)Protein8g (16%)Fat11g (17%)Saturated Fat7g (35%)Cholesterol30mg (10%)Sodium444mg (19%)Potassium287mg (8%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar2g (2%)Vitamin A436IU (9%)Vitamin C17mg (21%)Calcium160mg (16%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cheesy zucchini rice, rice, rice recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic


Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    Just made this rice, just picked fresh zucchini from garden. It was the best ? Yum mine came out perfect, followed recipe. Your cod recipe is in the oven . Going to be a great meal. Thank you

  2. This sounds delicious, and easy. I will certainly give it a try. I am eager to try your other recipes, also.

  3. Thank you for the recipe. I created this as a side dish to the Cajun cod entrée. The rice was just OK. The zucchini did create extra liquid at the bottom of the pan so I allowed it to cook out before I added the rice so it wouldn’t be too liquidy. I did add garlic and a few green onions to kick up he flavor. In the future, I would probably try a different side – again this was OK and as a side and as an independent dish, in my experience.

  4. I haven’t made this yet, but wanted your opinion on using frozen riced cauliflower instead of rice?? I would steam the riced cauliflower in the microwave and then continue the recipe from there. I might have to spice it up a little more….but I think I’m going to try it. Being a diabetic, I like to stay away from carbs as much as possible.

  5. My husband and I really enjoyed this recipe. We thought the zucchini would be very apparent, but it blended right in. The recipe is more like a risotto. We will make it again with the abundance of summer squash from our garden!

  6. I tried this recipe for the first time today. It seemed easy and, best of all, I had all of the ingredients in the house! I was skeptical of the rice, but the zucchini and cheese are great additions. The only thing I did differently was substituting olive oil to make it more heart-friendly. We’ll see how it goes this evening!

  7. Will I have to add anything else for flavor if I substitute the chicken broth vegetable broth?

  8. I enjoy this recipe on a monthly basis, very easy and quick. I do add a little extra cheese and going to try with garlic this time.

  9. Loved this dish! I made your crispy Parmesan chicken to go on top of the rice and it was the perfect pairing. I added a little salt and pepper after adding in the cheese and zucchini for a little extra flavor. Thanks for the great recipe! I will definitely be making this again!

  10. Some of these people must have done something wrong? I loved it! So easy and great! Followed directions to the T! Thank you

  11. The zucchini created this juice at the bottom of the rice and something about this tasted off and almost bad. Probably wouldn’t try again 🙁

  12. Made this last night, absolutely delicious! The only thing I changed was adding a few dashes of hot sauce ( because that’s how I roll, lol).

  13. Made this tonight and couldn’t taste the cheese. It needed a lot of salt and pepper. We won’t be making this again. Sorry.

    1. I love the concept but was surprised there’s no garlic. I totally believe the cheesy flavor could be dull. When that happens to me, I use mustard and garlic to sharpen it. Parmesan too sometimes.

  14. This is just what I have been looking for. I’m on a mission to come up with new ways to use courgettes and I like this one because the courgette is hidden beneath that cheese so will appeal to those that won’t eat it but for those wanting a lower card option, the rice can be reduced and the courgette upped!

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