Cheesy Zucchini Rice

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Finely shredded zucchini and a handful of sharp cheddar cheese are mixed into fluffy white rice to make this quick and easy zucchini rice side dish.

cheesy rice with zucchini in black bowl

Zucchini Rice

Are you familiar with the ever-popular “let’s sneak vegetables into all the things” mentality? Blended into sauces, tucked into baked goods, or buried under melted cheese, there are many ways to get vegetables on the table.

While this has never really been something I needed to do, I can appreciate that many people fight the good fight just to get their kids to eat some greens. Fortunately, for the most part, my family enjoys vegetables for what they are, so we like to make the most of the actual vegetable flavors.

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bowl filled with rice and shredded zucchini

Zucchini and Rice

Cheesy zucchini rice is a great way to change up the ways you’re eating vegetables and still enjoy the vegetable flavors. The zucchini flavor here is ever so slight, adding a bright freshness without overwhelming summer squash flavor.

Speaking of flavors, is squash ever really an overwhelming flavor though? Zucchini has a delicate, subtly sweet flavor with a slightly nutty undertone.

It is tender and slightly juicy, with a texture that is slightly firm yet easy to chew. When cooked, it takes on a slightly buttery taste and texture, making it a great addition to a fluffy bowl of rice.

Serve this with salmon for a light and tasty meal or with this steak and pepper stir fry for something a little bit heartier.

rice with zucchini in pot

Rice with Zucchini Recipe

To make this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

  • chicken or vegetable broth
  • long grain or Jasmine rice
  • shredded zucchini 
  • butter
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper 
  • fresh Italian parsley
zucchini and butter with rice

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

As fresh and inviting as this zucchini rice recipe is, if I had to describe this dish with one word, it would actually be “easy.” Sometimes that is what matters most when it comes to getting dinner on the table, and there is nothing wrong with that.

While your rice is cooking, shred some fresh zucchini. You don’t need anything fancy to do this. (This simple box grater makes short work of everything from zucchini to cheese. Just watch your fingertips and knuckles!)

Cheese topped zucchini shreds in pot of rice

When the rice is done, remove it from the heat and stir in the zucchini, butter, and cheddar cheese. Cover with a lid and let it rest for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Because the rice will be cooked in broth and store-bought and homemade broths can vary greatly in their saltiness, wait to season the rice when it is finished cooking.

Taste the finished zucchini rice and add salt as needed before serving.

cheesy zucchini rice in pot with fork

Zucchini Side Dish Recipes

Zucchini with Corn is a side dish worth talking about and sharing at your next cookout.

Parmesan zucchini can best be described as crispy and delicious, the best way possible to eat zucchini. Seriously so good my kids devoured seconds.

Air fryer zucchini is both tender and crisp, with beautifully caramelized edges. The air fryer is perfect for small portions.

This delicious Zucchini Pasta Salad combines fresh, ripe vegetables with a tangy homemade vinaigrette.

Zucchini noodles are lighter than traditional noodles, but with a similar neutral flavor, making them a refreshing and easy summer side dish.

Do you have a whole lot of zucchini that needs to be used? Try making these cheesy as can be zucchini pizza boats, spicy taco zucchini boats, chicken parmesan zucchini boats, or bbq chicken stuffed zucchini.

Zucchini Rice with butter and cheese in black bowl

Zucchini Rice

Finely shredded zucchini and a handful of sharp cheddar cheese are mixed into fluffy white rice to make this quick and easy zucchini rice side dish.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup long grain or Jasmine rice
  • cups shredded zucchini (2 small or 1 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley


  • Combine the broth and the rice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 14-16 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the zucchini and the butter. Stir in the cheese and top with a lid for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper, only as needed.


Calories: 206kcal · Carbohydrates: 28g · Protein: 6g · Fat: 8g · Saturated Fat: 4g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g · Monounsaturated Fat: 2g · Trans Fat: 0.2g · Cholesterol: 21mg · Sodium: 489mg · Potassium: 319mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 3g · Vitamin A: 466IU · Vitamin C: 19mg · Calcium: 96mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @bestvegetablerecipes or tag #bestvegetablerecipes!
cheesy rice with zucchini
black bowl with rice and zucchini

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