Cheesy Zucchini Rice Casserole

5 from 2 votes
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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 zucchini bake is a gluten free casserole that will have everyone eating their veggies.

Still have more zucchini? Try Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins or Greek Chicken Zucchini Boats.

Squares of zucchini casserole served on a blue plate

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.

In fact, 1 cup of raw zucchini has only about 60 calories and 14 grams of carbohydrates, of which 8 grams are from fiber. This is why zoodles have become so popular! SOURCE

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!

Using a spatula to take a piece of the casserole out of a glass baking dish

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

INGREDIENTS

  • Zucchini – cut off the top and bottom, then shred the zucchini with a cheese grater.
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Dry mustard
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • 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.

Need tips on cooking rice? Check out these guides for How to Cook White Rice and How to Cook Brown Rice on the stove, or in the microwave, slow cooker, Instant Pot, or rice cooker.

EQUIPMENT

What you’ll do

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease the baking dish.
  2. Prepare the zucchini by shredding it, placing the shreds in an old kitchen towel, and squeezing tightly to remove the excess moisture.
  3. Stir the yogurt, egg, and seasonings together in a bowl, then mix in the zucchini, rice, and cheese.
  4. Spread the mixture into the prepared dish.
  5. Bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Cut into squares and serve.
Scooping up a piece of zucchini rice casserole out of the baking dish

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.

fork in a piece of Cheesy Zucchini Rice Casserole

Make it a Meal – What to Serve with Zucchini Casserole?

Zucchini Casserole in a squash baking dish
Tablet displaying cover of Easy Side Dishes eBook

More zucchini side dishes

Zucchini casserole served as a side dish with chicken on a blue plate
5 from 2 votes

Cheesy Zucchini Casserole with Rice

Turn your garden abundance and leftover rice into this easy, cheesy gluten free side dish recipe. Packed with veggies and plenty of cheddar cheese, then baked till golden brown and delicious.
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded (about 2-2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 cup leftover cooked rice (white or brown rice)

Instructions

  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Zucchini Casserole with Rice
Amount Per Serving (2 squares)
Calories 128 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 36mg12%
Sodium 397mg17%
Potassium 163mg5%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 339IU7%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 133mg13%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

51 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    I made this about a week or so ago and it was a HUGE hit! I was panicking because I hadnt planned out our meals very well and only had two zucchini to work with! so happy I found your recipe..we loved it..thank you!

    1. Yep, the rice makes it a bit more substantial of a side dish. And helps to hide the zucchini enough for The Big to eat it, since it is one of the few veggies he doesn’t like.

  2. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    I know what you mean, Brianne. I have over 900 fans on my FB page but the most who have seen my posts are about 300 people. Usually it’s under 100. What’s up with that?! Rant away, lady. And I love this cheesy zucchini hodge podge. It’s always the simple, random recipes that end up tasting the best!

  3. I love this hodge podge idea. But more than that, I love how you handled explaining the FB thing to your readers. I’m going to do the same thing soon. I might even quote you! You said it perfectly and kindly and in a way that explained the problem. Well done!

    1. The other night when the hubby wasn’t home, the Bug and I ate little bits of everything (including the last of this dish) and called it dinner. It was perfect, and kept me from throwing stuff away.

          1. Oh I am so glad! Love your addition of herbs and onion. I only had enough time to toss it together and throw it in the oven, so I didn’t know if the onion would cook enough without sautéeing it first. But I bet it made it taste even better.

  4. Oh man, the Facebook thing is SO FRUSTRATING. I feel you! We’re all in this together. 🙂

    On another note, I need as many zucchini recipes I can get. My zucchinis are coming in way faster than I can eat them. Thanks for sharing!

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