I just made this tonight for dinner and as always paid attention to the previous reviews... Used a premade microwavable brown rice package for rice portion and also used low fat turkey smoked sausage for sausage called for. Cut considerable about of time out of this recipe by doing these 2 things. Followed original requirements for cheese sauce. The outcome was okay. I think that I will add hot sauce for more of a bite when I make again. I just think that it needs to be seasoned more to my taste.
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.
47 Reviews for Zucchini Rice Casserole
When reading the recipe, I thought, "The squash is going to be way overcooked/mushy!" So I used the method from the previous reviewer ("anonymous" 7/9/12) with fantastic results! I used what I had on hand: young leeks and sweet banana peppers from a neighbor's garden; yellow squash; colby/jack cheese; and Ballards Smoky Sausage. I didn't have any corn, and don't like jalapenos so those were eliminated. I added a little garlic to the cheese sauce. Wonderful! My boyfriend loved it, went back for seconds! A nice, flexible recipe. Note: Apologies if this review is posted twice, had login issues :)
When initially reading the recipe, I thought, "The squash is going to be way overcooked!" so I used the method from the previous reviewer ("anonymous", 7/9/12) to ensure better veggie texture, His/her technique was spot-on! I substituted some fresh young leeks from my neighbor's garden for the onion, sweet banana peppers instead of bell, Ballard's Smoky Sausage, and colby/jack shreds. Eliminated the jalapenos as I am not fond of them. Wonderful smoky/cheesy flavor & texture, will definitely make again! A nice, flexible recipe that can be adapted to whatever veggies you have on hand/in season.
For better texture veggies in half the time:
Add all veggies in 9x13 pan, drizzle with olive oil and Italian seasoning, roast at 425 degrees for 20 min.
While veggies are roasting, make 2 cups of Minute Brown Rice according to package directions (I still used chicken broth for liquid). Brown sausage, stir rice and sausage together.
Make cheese sauce according to original directions.
Remove veggies from oven, stir in rice/sausage mixture, then cheese sauce mixture. Dollop with cream cheese and pop back in the oven ( at 375 degrees) until bubbly- about 5- minutes.
Voila! Veggies are crisp-tender, and time is cut in half.
Admittedly, I chose a sausage dish more for my husband than myself as I'm not a sausage lover. That being said, I thought the rest of the ingredients would carry the recipe for me. Unfortunately, I didn't feel that was the end result. I did make it without the jalapeno but, otherwise, as stated using summer squash and found that in addition to not caring for the flavor, I was not a fan of the consistency. The rice did give it a little bite, but I thought, overall, it was a bit soft. I did find that the flavor and texture grew on me some the following day when reheated for lunch. Didn't dislike it enough to scrap the entire dish. My husband liked it, but didn't love it. I don't see making this again but, if I did, would include something with crunch like toasted almond slivers.