Cheesy Zucchini Brown Rice is a comforting side dish the whole family will love! Whole grain, gluten free, vegetarian and loaded with zucchini and cheese!
Who’s ready for the three day weekend?! I know I am. We don’t have anything big planned, hopefully a hike in the mountains and grilling of course. I intend to fully soak in the “unofficial” last weekend of summer. I really can’t believe it’s almost over and to say I’m a little sad is an understatement. Even though we’re having gorgeous weather right now, when I look ahead at the weather I see it slowly getting cooler each week. I think I might cry a little when I see that our high will only be in the 60’s.
If you live somewhere where the summers are not kind…I’m talking to you Arizona, you’re probably ready for fall and welcoming it with open arms. While I’m not quite ready to start sharing pumpkin recipes, I refuse to do it until fall officially starts, I can at least share this comfort food side dish. Cheesy Zucchini Brown Rice, you are going to love it!
There’s lots of recipes for cheesy rice, but most of them lack anything nutritious. They’re made with white rice, butter and cheese. Yes, when I was a kid this would have been up there with mac and cheese as far as my favorite things to eat, but I’ve learned I can’t eat the same way I did back then. To boost the nutrition of this comfort food side dish I did several things.
First was to ditch the white rice and replace it with whole grain brown rice. There’s more fiber and it will fill you up faster and keep you full longer. With all the other goodies in here you won’t even notice that it’s brown instead of white. You can also use instant brown rice if you don’t have the patience or time to wait for the it to cook. There are two cups of shredded zucchini in here because we need all the veg to balance all the cheese. Instead of going with a full fat cheddar cheese, I swapped it for part skim mozzarella and parmesan cheese (the real stuff). To give this Cheesy Zucchini Brown Rice extra creaminess I stirred in some plain Greek yogurt right at the end. Everything is done in one pot and if you use the instant brown rice it will be on the table in 15 minutes! It’s a delicious and easy way to get a serving up vegetables and whole grains in for the day!
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice (instant brown rice if you're in a hurry)
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (1 cup if using instant brown rice)
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded zucchini, excess liquid squeezed out
- 3/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- In a medium sized saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Swirl the oil around the bottom of the pan to coat it then add in the onion and garlic.
- Sauté for a couple minutes until the onion starts to soften.
- Season with lightly salt and pepper and add in the dry brown rice, toasting it for a minute before adding in the vegetable broth.
- Pour in the vegetable broth in with the rice mixture and bring to a boil.
- Once it starts to boil, cover with a lid and lower the heat to medium-low.
- Simmer the rice for approximately 40 minutes if using regular or 10 minutes if using instant.
- Once the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked add in the shredded zucchini and cheeses and stir until combined and the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt.
- Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 469mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 17g