This Cheesy Zucchini Rice with Bacon is a quick and easy side dish that’s both creamy and nutritious!
Whether you have an abundance of zucchini, or just simply want to learn new ways to introduce the vegetable into your diet, this rice is the way to do it!
Cheesy Zucchini Rice with Bacon
Bacon makes everything better, am I right?!
Couple the bacon with some sharp cheddar and it’s a match made in heaven.
Here’s the basic list of ingredients you’ll need in order to whip up this zucchini rice. As always, you can find the full list of ingredients located in the printable recipe card below.
- Chicken Broth – low sodium (or substitute with water)
- Jasmine Rice
- Zucchini – medium in size *about 1 cup total shredded
- Shallot – or diced yellow onion
- Bacon – I prefer thick cut
- Cheddar Cheese
How To Make Zucchini Rice
Once you start experimenting with different flavor profiles and rice, it will open up a whole new world of side dish possibilities.
Let me show you how easy it is to make homemade rice…
BRING TO A BOIL
Add the chicken broth to a medium size pot and bring it to a boil. You could also use regular water for a less flavorful, but still delicious rice.
Once the broth is boiling, add in the rice and give it a stir. Make sure it starts to boil again, then reduce the heat to medium and cover the pot.
While the rice is cooking, use a separate skillet to cook the bacon and shallot.
Cook until the bacon is crisp and the shallot is nice and tender. Transfer them both to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
ADD BUTTER AND ZUCCHINI
Use a cheese grater to shred the zucchini (this is the kind I use). Once the rice is tender, fluff with a fork and add in the butter, shredded zucchini and salt.
Stir it all together until the butter is melted and the zucchini softens slightly.
ADD CHEESE AND BACON
Finally, stir in the shredded cheese and bacon to the zucchini rice.
I like to leave a little bacon for topping it all off at the end. It’s so delicious!
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
The best part about this simple rice side dish is that it’s so versatile! Here are a couple tips and ideas you can use to make it your own.
- Swap out the zucchini for very finely chopped broccoli.
- Try using a swiss cheese in place of the cheddar for a unique twist.
- Using broth in place of the water needed to cook rice gives the rice an instant boost of flavor. You can definitely skip this step if you don’t have any broth on hand.
- I’m using Jasmine Rice, which is a long grain white rice and requires a 1:2 cup ratio of rice to liquid. If you would like to swap for a different type of rice please keep in mind that this ratio may change.
- Basmati Rice is a 1:1.5 ratio
- Brown Rice is a 1:2 ratio, but will take longer to cook
Make Ahead and Storage
Since this rice only takes about 30 minutes to prepare, I think it’s best when served fresh.
However, preparing rice ahead of time is always nice when you’re in a time crunch. That’s why I love this recipe. It’s super easy to prepare ahead of time and it reheats beautifully.
You can prepare the rice up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
PRO TIP: For best results, wait until you’re ready to serve to stir in the shredded zucchini and cheese.
More Rice Recipes
I love a good rice pilaf or rice side dish. It’s an affordable way to bulk up any meal and my kids always love it.
Here are a few more easy rice recipes I think you’ll really enjoy…
I can’t wait for you to give this easy Cheesy Zucchini Rice with Bacon a try! I know you’re going to love it as much as we do!
Cheesy Zucchini Rice with Bacon
- Bring chicken broth to a boil and add rice; stir. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let cook for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile heat a skillet to medium heat and add bacon and shallots. Cook until bacon is brown and crispy and shallots are tender. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon to a paper towel. Set aside.
- Once rice is cooked uncover and add butter, zucchini, and salt. Stir to combine. Add cheese and stir until the cheese melts completely. Top with the crispy bacon and shallots or stir it in the rice. Enjoy!