Vegan Cheese Zucchini Casserole with Rice for Vegetarians
Veggie Lovers - and Haters - Unite
Dress it up for company, or dress it down as a great Vegetarian recipe:
This Rice Zucchini Casserole has a variety of functions. It is a great meal all by itself, good for serving ovo-lacto vegetarians who are only cutting out meat and meat products. It contains egg and cheese, and is a great combination of flavors.
We served it with tomato soup for a delicious vegetarian meal. On the other hand, if you are serving guests that love meat, it was a great side dish for an elegant meat choice, like barbecued chicken, ribs, or pork roast. A bit fancier that just plain old rice, the zucchini and cheese mixture gives guests the impression that they are being treated like royalty.
The only problematic thing about the dish is you have to cook the rice by itself before combining. If there is another short cut I haven't thought of yet, please feel free to share it. Actually, microwaving the rice would make it go even faster. I have never tried this, so maybe some experienced cooks and chefs could put their two cents worth in the comments whether rice turns out well in the microwave. (The zucchini does - I know that for sure.)
Even non zucchini loving people tend to like it. So if you have too many zucchini sitting around and don't know what to do with them, by all means try this easy summer side dish or main dish and you may be pleasantly surprised. The ingredients aren't costly and the combination is divine.
The Amazing Zucchini with its Side Kick - Cheese
Ingredients for Zucchini Rice Casserole
- 1 cup rice (long grain or other)
- 2 cups salted water
- 1 T. oil or butter, Cook separately
- 2 lb. zucchini, cleaned with slightly trimmed ends
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup green onions, minced
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil, virgin
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp rosemary
- pinch salt
- dash pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika, sprinkle on top while baking
Step by Step - Cook the Rice first
- Cook Rice separately until tender (about 20 minutes). I like to use long grain, but any type will do. If you have a choice between oil and butter, I think butter makes a nicer, tastier rice, as Shakespeare said "as you like it"!
- Wash and trim zucchini, cook whole in salted water until it can be pierced with a fork. Drain, chop finely, then drain again. SHORTCUT: The zucchini may also be microwaved - first slicing into 1" pieces, microwaved in 2 T. water in a casserole dish until tender. Drain on paper towels, then chop finely.
- In a buttered two quart casserole dish, mix rice, zucchini, cheddar cheese (you may substitute Monterrey Jack), green onions, parsley, olive oil, eggs, and seasonings to taste, except the paprika.
- Sprinkle the paprika on top so that each piece will have a little red powder on top. Visually appealing, it adds to the presentation - which certainly plays a part in making a dish more pleasing to eat!
- Bake the casserole dish at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius until the cheese melts - about 40 minutes. I bake it uncovered for best results - see what works best for your oven.
- Let it sit about a half hour or so (20 minutes are OK) before serving. The rice, cheese and egg mixture will be firmer and easier to slice in squares and put on plates.
|Serving size: One Moderate|
|Calories from Fat||171|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 19 g||29%|
|Carbohydrates 7 g||2%|
|Protein 5 g||10%|
|Cholesterol 94 mg||31%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|