Cheesy Zucchini Rice Casserole
This creamy and delicious Cheesy Zucchini Casserole is a tasty way to turn your garden abundance and leftover rice into an easy side dish. Golden brown on top and packed with plenty of cheddar cheese, this zucchini bake is a gluten free casserole that will have everyone eating their veggies.
Originally published July 28, 2013. Updated on January 20, 2021 with new phots and more helpful information about the recipe.
Zucchini Casserole Recipe Ideas
When late summer arrives, everyone is always trying to figure out what to do with all of their zucchini. Overflowing gardens and farmers markets inspire home cooks and recipe creators. Zucchini recipes are everywhere as people are doing everything they can to put that veggie to good use.
I don’t know about you, but I actually love zucchini all year long. It is always available in the grocery store. Plus it is delicious, easy to cook, and super versatile, showing up in everything from pasta to pancakes to zucchini oatmeal. Not to mention it is nutritious.
What are the benefits of eating zucchini?
Zucchini is extremely low in calories and carbohydrates and naturally gluten free, making it healthy for anyone to eat, regardless of their diet or nutritional needs.
It is high in A and B vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium. Zucchini is rich in antioxidants, and it’s high water and fiber content make it great for digestion, blood sugar control, and heart health. SOURCE
And that is why I created this total hodge podge of a recipe that has become a family favorite. Basically I took some extra zucchini, leftover rice, and basics that I keep in my pantry and fridge. I just tossed it together, and was absolutely floored at how awesome it was. And now it is something we make regularly.
Because you can always use more zucchini recipes!
How to Make Zucchini Casserole
This easy casserole recipe comes together quickly. Just stir the ingredients together and toss it in the oven. Then you’ll have time to prepare the rest of the meal while it bakes.
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!
What you’ll need
- Zucchini – cut off the top and bottom, then shred the zucchini with a cheese grater.
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Dry mustard
- Cheddar cheese
- Leftover cooked rice – you can use white or brown rice that you cooked for another recipe. Or even the leftovers when you order Chinese takeout.
- Cheese grater
- Kitchen towel – for squeeing the liquid out of the zucchini
- Spoon or spatula
- 9×9-inch glass baking dish
What you’ll do
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease the baking dish.
- Prepare the zucchini by shredding it, placing the shreds in an old kitchen towel, and squeezing tightly to remove the excess moisture.
- Stir the yogurt, egg, and seasonings together in a bowl, then mix in the zucchini, rice, and cheese.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared dish.
- Bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes.
- Cut into squares and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you keep squash casserole from getting watery?
The key step is making sure you squeeze all of the moisture out of the zucchini. Also, since leftover rice is often a little dried out, it helps to absorb some of the excess moisture. This will ensure that you have a zucchini rice casserole that is moist and creamy, but not watery.
Is it OK to eat leftover rice?
There has been some concern about risks of food poisoning associated with leftover rice. However, as long as it it stored properly, it is safe to eat for up to several days after it is cooked.
First, avoid leaving it at room temperature for an extended length of time. Try to cool it quickly by dividing it into shallow containers before placing it in the refrigerator. Then be sure to reheat it to a high temperature before eating the leftovers.
Is this a gluten free casserole?
Yes, all of the ingredients in this recipe are naturally gluten free. Rice is also a gluten free grain that is safe to eat for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Make it a Meal – What to Serve with Zucchini Casserole?
- Grilled Flat Iron Steak
- Chili Lime Cube Steaks
- Air Fryer or Baked Hot Dog Taquitos
- Maple Dijon Chicken
- BBQ Turkey Meatballs
More zucchini side dishes
- Potato Zucchini Tots
- Greek Zucchini Noodle Salad
- Caprese Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters
- Zucchini Chips from Kicking Carbs
Cheesy Zucchini Casserole with Rice
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Coat a 9×9-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil.
- Place your shredded zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, egs, salt, dry mustard, paprika, and pepper until smooth.
- Stir in the squeezed zucchini, cheese, and rice.
- Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until slightly set in the middle and lightly browned.
- Slice into 16 squares and serve.