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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 gluten free zucchini bake will have everyone eating their veggies.
Zucchini Casserole Recipe – an easy side dish!
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.
That is why I created this total hodgepodge of a recipe that has become a family favorite. I simply took some extra zucchini, leftover rice (yes, rice is gluten free, so it is a gluten free casserole), 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!
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
Here’s an overview of what you’ll need. Keep reading for additional tips and serving ideas, or scroll all the way to the recipe card for the full amounts and step-by-step instructions.
- Zucchini. You’ll need 2 medium zucchini. This recipe is flexible, so don’t worry about measuring an exact amount.
- Plain Greek yogurt. You can use nonfat, lowfat, or whole milk yogurt. Just be sure it isn’t flavored.
- Egg. Just one to bind it.
- Dry mustard
- Cheddar cheese. Shredded sharp cheddar gives it great flavor. You can use white or yellow.
- Leftover cooked rice – you can follow one of the five methods to cook white rice or brown rice, or use leftovers that you cooked for another recipe. Or even the leftovers when you order takeout.
Is it OK to eat leftover rice?
There has been some concern about the risks of food poisoning associated with leftover rice. However, as long as it is 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.
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. Start by preheating the oven to 400°F and grease an 8-inch square glass baking dish.
Drain the zucchini. Cut the ends off of the zucchini and shred it using a cheese grater. Place the shreds in an old kitchen towel, and squeeze tightly to remove the excess moisture.
Combine the ingredients. In a bowl. stir the yogurt, egg, and seasonings together. Add the zucchini, rice, and cheese, and stir until combined.
Bake the casserole. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and set.
Slice and serve. Let cool slightly. Then cut into squares and serve.
Tips for Success
The most important thing is not to end up with a soggy, watery casserole.
Squeeze it Well. The key step is making sure you squeeze all of the moisture out of the zucchini. So wrap it in an old towel and keep squeezing until you see that there is almost no more liquid being released.
Use Leftover Rice. When rice is at least a day old and has gotten cold in the refrigerator, it gets dried out a little. This helps it to absorb some of the moisture from the zucchini.
Don’t Worry About It. If you happen to end up with a zucchini casserole that doesn’t quite hold together in squares, just scoop it out of the pan with a spoon and enjoy. It’ll still taste delicious.
Make it a Meal
Wondering what to serve with cheesy zucchini casserole? I especially love it in the summer with Grilled Flat Iron Steak or Grilled Chicken Drumsticks. But it’s also great to enjoy year-round with some of our favorite family dinners like these:
- Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: While the dish is in the oven, you can easily make Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts alongside it or Honey Mustard Chicken Bites on the stove.
- Kid Favorites: Since anything cheesy is a great way to get the kids eating their veggies, serve it as a side with their favorites like Air Fryer or Baked Hot Dog Taquitos or BBQ Turkey Meatballs.
- Where’s the Beef: You also can’t go wrong by making Chili Lime Cube Steaks or Honey Balsamic Steak Bites to pair with it.
More zucchini side dishes
- Zucchini Tater Tots
- Air Fryer Zucchini
- 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 8×8-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.