I changed the Jack cheese for Pecorino cheese, and I use white rice, and I eliminate the cream cheese at the end. I am looking forward to do it again.
Zucchini Rice Casserole
From EatingWell: May/June 2009
We pack extra vegetables into this cheesy baked rice casserole. Plus we substitute brown rice for white, reduce the cheese by half and swap turkey sausage for pork sausage. If you're bringing it to a potluck, plan to reheat it before serving.
49 Reviews for Zucchini Rice Casserole
I substitute Field Roast Grain Meat Mexican Chipotle vegetarian sausage instead of the turkey sausage. Not because I'm vegetarian (because I'm not), or because it's a NW company (but that's cool!); it's because the recipe is friggin delicious that way. I tried it as written once, and this substitute makes a world of difference...for the better.
Like another reviewer, I just didn't see the point in all that cooking time in the oven for the rice. So, I precooked the rice in the chicken broth on the stove. Sauteed the onions and peppers in a little drizzle of olive oil. Prepared the cheese sauce mixture, combined all the ingredients in a baking dish, topped it with cheese and baked it for about 15-20 minutes. Saves a lot of time, and it came out great!
First time making this, and it was a hit.
I did substitute quinoa for brown rice. I also substituted almond milk, but couldn't get sauce to thicken (also used rice flour -- I'm gluten free). I only had one pepper so I added some shaved brussel spouts. Had butcher make some turkey sausage using andouille seasoning. I didn't use all the cheese and forgot the jalepenos :-(.
I can definitely see making this again. I like the suggestions on roasting veggies first so they aren't so mushy. Also, my quinoa got burnt around edges on the second round of baking --- not sure it was necessary as there wasn't much liquid left anyway.
Delish! But the 1-1/2 hours to pre-bake the rice and veggies the is totally unnecessary, especially since the veggies are cooking in broth so you don't gain any 'roasted' taste in the oven. Just cook the rice in broth in a saucepan on the stovetop for the usual 20-25 minutes while you pan-sauté the veggies in a bit of butter or olive oil to shave an hour off the prep time -- in my opinion this adds more flavor! I also used a full pound of Italian chicken sausage, and couldn't find pickled japs so I used a can of chopped fire-roasted green chiles to top. Yummy and filling comfort food!