Cheesy Zucchini Rice looked pretty. The shreds of green zucchini in the cheesy rice looked like I wanted to eat the whole bowl by myself. I added shredded summer squash to the recipe so it also had yellow shreds to make it even prettier. We were going to eat with our eyes as we shoved the cheesy rice into our mouths. The dish was a simpler version of risotto!
I already had leftover rice I’d made using lime juice and cilantro for a Mexican dinner. I had about 3 cups of flavored rice and decided we’d need to keep the Mexican theme. I shredded a small zucchini and a small summer squash and added it to a large nonstick skillet I’d heated with a generous drizzle of canola oil.
I seasoned the squash mixture with ½ teaspoon of cumin, salt and pepper, and a dash of cayenne. I let it sauté for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally until it was browned up a little.
I added the rice to the skillet and mixed well, then let it heat, stirring occasionally.
When the rice was heated I added a cup of chicken broth, 2 cups of cheese and 2 tablespoons of butter, again stirring to blend the ingredients. I used a combo of cheeses I had on hand, not having 2 cups of any one cheese. My mix was Gouda, Mozzarella, Colby Jack and Sharp Cheddar. Any cheese would be good.
When the cheeses had melted I removed the skillet from the stove and added a large handful of chopped green onions fresh from the garden to the dish. I sprinkled more on top to make it more photographically gorgeous, and served the cheesy zucchini rice with our grilled burgers.
I loved the flavors of cilantro, lime and cumin mixed into the rice and cheese. My P.S. (Princely Spouse) gobbled his food, grunting in a way I translated to “good!”. We were in a hurry to visit his folks that evening and didn’t discuss the food much. But I later heard my P.S. telling his Dad how I’d made the zucchini and rice and was flattered.
They were discussing our garden and what is turning out to be a bumper crop of zucchini and summer squash. That’s a good thing, I have a lot of recipes I want to try yet!
Cheesy Zucchini Rice
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded summer squash
1 teaspoon cumin (if you’re going with a Mexican flavor, otherwise omit)
3 cups cooked rice; chilled so it separates easily (mine was made with lime juice and cilantro)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheese (I suggest stronger tasting cheeses like cheddar and gouda)
Sauté zucchini and summer squash in a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat for 7-8 minutes. It should be lightly browning in places. Stir in cumin if using.
Add rice and break up so there are no large chunks of rice. It will separate more as it heats. Add butter and stir until melts.
Add broth and cheese, stirring until it is melted and heated through.
Adapted from Buns in My Oven