My husband’s unit has a spouse group. We have get togethers once a month in order to hang out a bit, chat, possibly escape for a few hours without kids, etc. We had our February get together last week. We had a potluck and I am tickled to say that the group picked my suggestion as theme for the potluck. I had suggested a “New Year, New Recipe” theme. We all chose a recipe we had never made before to bring to our get together, along with copies of the recipe for everyone to take home. Basically a good excuse to use each other a culinary guinea pigs.
Anyhoo, there were a couple of people who had already said they were going to bring dessert type items, so I decided to make a side dish. I had originally wanted to bring some sausage bites I pinned a few months ago, but I couldn’t find the right type of sausage. So back I went to the drawing board (and my pantry) to see what I could put together. It turned into another case of having exactly what I needed on hand. I had just enough rice, a can of chicken broth, and a zucchini I had been meaning to make with dinner but hadn’t used yet. And so Cheesy Zucchini Rice was brought to the potluck. I mean really, when you just happen to have everything you need on hand, I figure that’s the universe’s way of saying, “Make this one!” I got this recipe from Buns In My Oven.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 or 2 zucchini (grated), depending on size
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- splash of milk if the cheese seems too thick
Grate your zucchini, either in a food processor or by hand. I just did it by hand with an old-fashioned cheese grater. Seriously, zucchini is so easy to grate, I personally don’t see a reason to break out a big, fancy food processor. It’ll take you less than five minutes.
In a medium pan over medium heat, warm up your olive oil. Add the rice, stirring to coat. Keep stirring the rice in the olive oil until it becomes golden.
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Then cover your pan and lower the heat. Allow rice to cook for about 20 mins, or most of the broth has been absorbed.
Take the cooked rice off the heat and add your butter, grated zucchini, cheese, and garlic powder. Stir until everything is mixed well and then cover and allow to sit for 5 more minutes.
Season to taste and serve.
Tweaks and Overall Review
I only tweaked a few things about this recipe, and really I only made my tweaks for convenience’s sake. First off, while the recipe calls for two cups of broth, I just used one standard can (slightly less than 2 cups) and it worked fine. If you’re using broth in one of those resealable boxes, by all means go ahead and use the full 2 cups, but if you just have cans, just use one can and don’t worry if you come up a bit short. Also, while the original recipe calls for shredded sharp cheddar, I used a Mexican cheese blend, because that’s what I had on hand. It turned out fine, in my opinion. A slightly less strong cheese taste than if I had used the sharp cheddar, but still perfectly cheesy and delicious. Finally, I used closer to a full teaspoon of garlic powder (because garlic is delicious and good for you) and as such, didn’t see the need for additional seasoning from salt and/or pepper.
This turned out really well. It was easy to make and I think works as a side for pretty much anything. Add the fact that it’s a wonderfully sneaky way to add some extra veggies to a meal, I’m sold. I’ll definitely be making this again. The other ladies at the potluck agreed. And when I say it was pretty easy to make, I mean I made it while also getting ready for the potluck, making dinner for the older two kids, and putting the baby down to sleep. If I can do all that, make this, and still have it taste good, this is a weekday winner for sure!