Zucchini, bacon and rice casserole

One mixing bowl and one casserole are needed to make this cheesy zucchini, bacon and rice casserole. Make it ahead of time and bake it just before dinner. One mixing bowl and one casserole are needed to make this cheesy zucchini, bacon and rice casserole. Make it ahead of time and bake it just before dinner. It happens every summer. Zucchini make their way in my farmer’s market basket saturday after saturday. Although I have a couple of favorite recipes, each week I’m looking for new ideas to use zucchini. One would think I should stop buying them but I don’t. I love zucchini dishes and so does my family.

A quick look around the blog and only this summer you’ll find 3 other recipes using zucchini

crustless zucchini quiche

veggie stuffed bell peppers

vegetable and bacon egg bake skillet

What I love about this zucchini rice casserole is that there’s no need to precook the rice or salt the zucchini and wait for the salt to draw the moisture out. I don’t know about you, but for me it’s a huge time-saver!

Place all the ingredients in a bowl, give it a good stir, spoon in the casserole and bake for 1 hour. Dinner is served!

Make-ahead zucchini, bacon and rice casserole recipe from Roxanashomebaking.com I’ve been making this zucchini rice casserole for years now. Each time I twist it.  I add something, I leave something out. It’s one of my daughter’s favorites. In fact, every time she sees me buying zucchini asks if I’m making the zucchini pie she loves the most. Yup, she’s talking about this casserole and yes, she’s the same daughter that keeps reminding me every time I add a few leaves of spinach to smoothies she’s allergic to anything green. But that’s a story for another time.

Today we focus on how quick and easy is this rice casserole. It’s the perfect side dish, or even main dish and it’s definitely a crown pleaser!

Start by lightly beating the eggs with olive oil and mixing them with the cottage cheese and a good aged cheddar cheese. Once the wet ingredients are mixed, stir in the zucchini, rice and bacon. Optional, some minced garlic. At this point, you can either cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dinner time or bake it in a hot oven. Zucchini, bacon and rice casserole recipe I have tried mixing other vegetables into this cheesy rice casserole, but I have to say I prefer zucchini. It keeps the casserole moist and love the little green flecks of color you get in every bite.

You’ll know when the casserole is done. The smell of crispy bacon wafting from the oven, the golden brown top are signs it’s time to dig in. 

Zucchini, bacon and rice casserole recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Zucchini, bacon and rice casserole recipe

One mixing bowl and one casserole are needed to make this cheesy zucchini, bacon and rice casserole. Make it ahead of time and bake it just before dinner.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 4 oz shredded aged cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb. shredded zucchini (do not drain the excess moisture)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked instant brown rice
  • 4-6 slices cooked bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 2 1/2 quart casserole with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl lightly beat the eggs with the olive oil. Stir in the cottage cheese and cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the shredded zucchini, rice, bacon pieces and minced garlic. Stir until just combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole.
  5. At this point, you either cover and refrigerate until dinner time or bake immediately.
  6. Place the casserole in the hot oven and bake, uncovered for 55 to 60 minutes or until the casserole is puffed and the top is golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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Happy baking,

Roxana

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    Hello! My name is Roxana and I'm a self-taught baker, wanna-be photographer and the writer behind Roxana's Home Baking, where I share original and adapted scratch recipes. 

Here you'll find no fuss, no hassle easy recipes with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.  Read more ....

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Comments

  1. Louise Adler says

    Just want to make sure I’m reading this correctly – the rice and the bacon are not cooked before being put into the casserole?

    • says

      Hi Louise,

      The rice does not need to be cooked in advance. It gets cooked in the casserole with the moisture from the zucchini and cottage cheese.
      The bacon, is cooked. You could probably leave it uncooked, but I prefer crispy bacon pieces.

      Thanks,
      Roxana

  2. Lydia says

    Looks good! Just wondering what the red and green is on top? Tomatoes and an herb? I don’t see it listed in the recipe.

  3. says

    I can’t wait to try this! I love rice casseroles and this one sounds perfect. I think zucchini’s quickly becoming my favorite veggie since it goes well in everything! Even muffins.

    I’ve never tried adding spinach to my smoothies…but there are so many people who do. I definitely could use the vitamins, so I’ll have to give it a go one day.

  4. Elizabeth says

    I love your recipe. It’s really fast and easy.
    Unfortunately, I’m trying to loose weight so I have to check this recipie to find out how and what I can do to reduce calories intake. I use a Recipe Analyzer on HappyForks. It’s very helpful and easy to use analzyer. Now I know that your delicious casserole has 435 per one servings. It’s a little bit too much for me. What do you think about replacing bacon to turkey ham and giving less cheese?

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Thanks for the comment.
      Turkey bacon or turkey ham would be a good substitute for the bacon or you can completely leave it out, making it meatless. Or some shredded roasted/grilled chicken.
      I would not suggest replacing the cheese, especially the cottage cheese. Its moisture helps the rice cook without making it completely dry. Maybe a fat free cottage cheese?
      Please come back and let us know what substitutions you made and how it turned out.
      Roxana

    • says

      Hi Amy,
      Ricotta does not have as much “milky juice” as cottage cheese and your casserole might turn out a little dry if you make the substitution.
      But, if you don’t have cottage cheese, and you must use ricotta cheese, I would add maybe 1/4 cup chicken stock to the casserole.

    • says

      Hi Lana,

      I may or it may not, it depends how moist they still are. If you removed the water excess from the zucchini before freezing them, you should add some chicken (vegetable) stock to the casserole to make sure the rice has enough moisture to cook.
      If you haven’t squeezed the zucchini before freezing, they should work just like fresh one. I don’t see why not

  5. Jonelle says

    Shredded zucchini… I assume you use a cheese grater and finely shred it? (or do you use a mandolin to create more of a very thin slice?) Also, do you peel the zucchini before shredding? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Jonelle,

      Yes, I used a cheese grater to shred the zucchini.
      I don’t peel the zucchini and for this recipe have used a blend of dark and light green zucchini. (I found them at the local farmers market) but you can use only dark green or only light green zucchini. Whatever you have on hand.

  6. Kerri says

    Hi!

    This looks fantastic – have you tried making this ahead, freezing it, and cooking later (not BEFORE cooking)?

    Thanks,
    Kerri

  7. Abby says

    I was super excited about this recipe, but my rice didn’t cook..it was still crunchy. And there was a ton of water in the dish after it cooked. I may try cooking the rice and squeezing out the zucchini next time. Great flavors so I’ll definitely give it another try!

    • says

      Hi Abby,

      So sorry to hear this casserole did not turn out as expected. I have made it lots of times and never had it turned watery.
      The only thing that comes to mind right now is that you may have underbake it.
      The rice usually cooks in 1 hour and the zucchini add plenty of moisture for the rice to absorb, I can’t find another reason why your rice was still crunchy and the casserole was watery.
      Let me know if you give it another try and how it turns out. Thanks,

      Roxana

      • Abby says

        I think I figured out what I did. I used regular rice (the kind that comes in a bag), and I think it was too hard to absorb the water. Made it again with instant rice and the rice cooked and there was no excess water!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Zucchini, Bacon & Rice Casserole This amazing meld of flavors from Roxana’s Home Baking has the addition of protein from cottage cheese. If you don’t have summer zucchini from the garden (say, it’s winter), a frozen bag of zucchini would do in a pinch. Try Zucchini, Bacon & Rice Casserole. […]

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