Damn Delicious

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Rice

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Rice - Made in ONE POT! So easy. So cheesy. So garlicky. A side dish for all of your meals! Can be made with brown rice or quinoa.

Made in ONE POT! So easy. So cheesy. So garlicky. A side dish for all of your meals! Can be made with brown rice or quinoa.

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Rice - Made in ONE POT! So easy. So cheesy. So garlicky. A side dish for all of your meals! Can be made with brown rice or quinoa.

The pictures don’t do this zucchini rice any justice. So for that, I apologize.

You’ll just have to take my word for it. Because really, would I lie to you?

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Rice - Made in ONE POT! So easy. So cheesy. So garlicky. A side dish for all of your meals! Can be made with brown rice or quinoa.

The answer is no. So get to the grocery store and buy your zucchini and cheese. STAT. Because this needs to be made like yesterday.

And if you’re a little bit health conscious, brown rice or even quinoa would be a great substitute.

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Rice - Made in ONE POT! So easy. So cheesy. So garlicky. A side dish for all of your meals! Can be made with brown rice or quinoa.

But the combination of the garlic, cheese and freshly grated zucchini knocks this right out of the park, and you’ll never want plain rice EVER again.

For that, I apologize again.

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Rice

Made in ONE POT! So easy. So cheesy. So garlicky. A side dish for all of your meals! Can be made with brown rice or quinoa.

10 minutes20 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth*
  • 1 cup rice*
  • 2 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Stir in vegetable broth and rice. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in zucchini and cheese; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and let stand until cheese has melted, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.


*Water can be substituted.

*Brown rice or quinoa can be substituted, but cooking time may have to be adjusted as needed.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 259.2 Calories from Fat 101.7
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11.3g 17%
Saturated Fat 6.9g 35%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Cholesterol 31.1mg 10%
Sodium 155.2mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 29.8g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1.0g 4%
Sugars 1.9g
Protein 9.8g 20%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    What a great way to get more veggies in my cheese and rice love it.

  2. Rated 3 out of 5

    This was OK. I know I put in a bit too much zucchini so had the texture of not-quite-cooked-grated zucchini so that didnt help. It could use some doctoring to take it from OK to GOOD. Next time less zucchini and maybe some sauteed onions and mushrooms maybe.

  3. I have a question. Can I substitute cooked riced cauliflower??? I wouldn’t use the broth. I would just cook the riced cauliflower, then add the zucchini, flour, cheese, etc. Do you think it would taste ok??

  4. Can this be frozen & reheated for a later side dish?? 

  5. This was damn delicious! Used brown rice (to make it a little healthier) & chicken stock, since that’s what I had on hand, & OMG, YUM!

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    My whole family loved this dish so much so, I had to shout you out on my blog! Thank you for this amazing dish, I cannot wait to browse your website for more amazing dishes to try.

  7. My family just cleaned the pot. This is a real keeper. Complemented our baked salmon.

  8. Wasnt a big fan with us sadly. 🙁

  9. I can’t see the recipe! Any way you can post it again? Thanks!

  10. My housemate accidentally grew a zucchini-acorn squash crossbreed in her garden.  I used one for this recipe and it was so delicious! Perfect combo of flavors

  11. I tried..its yummy n delicious..

  12. I had high hopes for this recipe. I ended up with a watery tasteless mess. Did you squeeze out your zucchini before adding it to the pot?

  13. I made this and used parmesan cheese instead. It was amazing!

  14. Recipe came out perfect! I took the advice of some commenters and squeezed out the zucchini & added a sautéed onion. An absolute keeper!! 

  15. Can this be made day before?  I was thinking of making for Thanksgiving 

  16. Delicious! My own spin was the following:

    I browned some ground turkey first, then added the garlic in EVOO instead of butter. Additionally, I used about a Tbsp of Italian seasoning and did half shredded zucchini and half riced broccoli. The cheese was a mozzarella, cheddar, Monterey Jack blend and I added some pepper jack. I used the Trader Joe’s frozen organic brown rice packets. Heated one in the microwave and added it when the recipe said to let it soak up the chicken broth. I put the broccoli in with about 5 min left. Then in the last two minutes I added the zucchini and also some spinach before finally adding the cheese. Mmmmmmmm!

  17. Tried this yesterday: Excellent!

    Since all ingredients have a pretty good shelf live (even Zucchinis survive two or more weeks), this recipe has the potential to bwcome a standard!

    Since I had no Cheddar at hand, I used Parmesan.
    With a dash of white wine and the right rice, this becomes a nice Risotto.

    Best from Germany,

  18. Have you ever made this with cauliflower rice? Sounds great but trying to stay away from carbs. 

  19. Any suggestions on how to best reheat?

  20. can you use a different cheese other than cheddar? Such as mozzarella? i am going to give this a try tonight for dinner 🙂

  21. Used brown rice (10 min), chicken broth, scallions, and tried to get as much water out of zuchini with paper towels as i could. 3 cloves of garlic and it sooooooo good. Next time I’ll figure out a way to get more water out of the zuchs but i highly recommend.

  22. how does it taste the next day? thinking about using this with meal prep. 

  23. I am trying this recipe tonight, in a rice cooker. I just cooked the garlic and butter stovetop then added it into the rice cooker with the rice and broth. My plan is to then add in the cheese and zucchini once the rice is done cooking. Hoping it all turns out ok! Smells good so far!

  24. Can I make this in a rice cooker? I suck at cooking so I’m wondering if and how I’d be able to make this. My rice always comes out crunchy unless I cook it in a rice cooker. Yours looks wonderful! 

    • What a great idea! But unfortunately, without having tried this in the rice cooker myself, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment.

  25. This is a solid recipe! I used brown rice, no broth, I goofed and started the rice cooking before I re-read the recipe 😮
    So I sautéed the garlic in a wee bit of butter, threw in the squash to warm it a bit, then mixed that with the rice and a good quality sharp cheddar.
    The man gave it a 9!

    Thanks for having such great recipes…I appreciate you!

  26. I’ve never shredded zucchini before- how did you do this for this recipe? Thanks!

  27. I make this at least once a week now. It is soooooooo good, and so easy.

  28. Must try! I have 3 zucchini lying in wait to be used, so giddy-up! I love “sneaking” veggies into foods. It’s about the only way I can get he kids to eat them. 

  29. Can I use chicken broth if I don’t have vegetable broth on hand? Will it change the flavor?

  30. I made this as a side for beef tenderloin, and it came out great!

    I only had chicken broth on hand, but I think it gave it a nice flavor. Since the zucchini is added after the cooking, it’s firmer than the rice, and the mix of the two textures together was very good. 

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ll definitely be making this again!

  31. This was so easy and perfect for a vegetarian main dish! I’m slowly coming round to loving zucchini, and next time, I think I’ll add more zucchini (mine were rather small). This dish is far more than the sum of its simple parts. Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper! 

  32. is the shredded zucchini raw when you add it to the rice?  or do I need to steam it?

    • Yes, the zucchini is added raw. The residual heat of the rice will cook it through – but as always, please do what is most comfortable for you and your taste preferences.

  33. Loved the taste.  I used brown rice and I think I under cooked it a bit as it is every so slightly “al dente.”  But this is so easy, especially to take for lunch.  Next time, I think I will take a couple of the other suggestions here, squeeze the water from the zucchini and add a bit of onion.  I’ve got several recipes lined up to try.  Tonight will be Chicken Lazone.  Looking forward to it.

  34. What kind of rice, instant or regular or does it matter?

  35. With a picky one year old, whom requires hidden veggies in every meal, and a pantry that really only has rice and zucchini in the fridge, I was literally just thinking on how I can make zucchini rice. And then Boom! This recipes falls right in my lap. As if it was meant to be!! Thank you kindly. I will be making this tonight!

  36. I made this last night.. both the boyfriend and I loved it! Only change I made was to saute half a small yellow onion in the butter before adding the garlic. I also squeezed the excess water out of the zucchini before adding it to the rice. Super easy and yummy… will definitely be making this again!

  37. How much would you say a serving of this was measurement wise? Even just eyeballing it 1/4c, 1 cup?  

  38. Can I add broccoli as well or instead of the zucchini? And how would I adjust the recipe?

    • Yes, absolutely. You can prepare the broccoli (steamed, roasted, etc.) and stir it in with the zucchini and cheese.

  39. What type of cheese did you use?

  40. What a creative idea! This sounds like a good way to get a veggie into a cheesy side dish.

  41. So I decided to take this idea/recipe and spin it into my breakfast! I took leftover white rice, reheated it and then added it to a skillet with minced zucchini/shallot/garlic and stirred in some mild cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. I then separately grilled some turkey bacon and scrambled an egg and then added it to the rice. It was CRAZY good! 

  42. Looks so good! How can’t it be with cheese and garlic…Those are 2 of the
    best things to go in a dish….Going to be making this for supper. Thanks for
    another delish dish !!!!

  43. Thanks for all your amazing recipes and your infinitely patient replies to the multitude of folks looking for substitutes!  One question I have is this – zucchini vary wildly in size.  How much shredded zucchini would you say you used in this recipe?  1 cup…..2?  Thanks in advance.

  44. Yum!! Cheesy, garlicky with the nice zucchini and rice as a base. This really would go great with anything!

  45. this looks so yummy!! i got to try this one!
    thanks for sharing your recipe!!

  46. Looks great! What would this be a god side dish to?

  47. This looks and sounds amazing. I also love your pot may I ask what kind it is? 

  48. This looks so delicious! I am going to get the stuff this weekend and try it with the quinoa and have it with grilled chicken. My family has recently gone gluten free and I am really trying to keep away from processed foods as well. This side dish will be perfect because my kids are getting sick of salads with every meal (and I have to admit me too!). Thank you so much!