The original name of this casserole, Zucchini-Rice Casserole, is really quite misleading. So, I renamed it to Let’s Have a Party Zucchini-Rice Casserole. The first time I saw this casserole was at a Church gathering and I was really suspect of it. It didn’t look like any “casserole” that I had ever seen; it looked so….fresh.
I took my first bite, and thought about what I was tasting. I was really surprised at how good it was. I took another bite. What in the heck was I tasting? I couldn’t figure out the flavors. Yes, I said flavors; as in there was a lot more than just one casseroley flavor rolling around in my mouth. Who does that to something and then calls it a casserole?
Anyway, I would love to thank Karen for sharing this great recipe. I can’t remember her last name…Karen…Karen…Hmm, just can’t remember. Sorry. Maybe through the magic of cyberland she will see this blog post and respond and then I can give her full credit because, sheesh, this is a really great recipe.
Cook’s Note: This recipe works best as written. It may seem too dry prior to baking, but the zuchinni and the tomatoes will both provide liquid for the casserole as it bakes. My best advice is to not tinker with the recipe the first time you make this. Make it as written, try it, make notes on what you’d like to change, THEN the next time you make it you can change it.
Let’s Have a Party Zucchini-Rice Casserole
Recipe Source: Karen ?
- 4 1/2 cups cooked rice (1 1/2 cups raw rice cooked in 3 cups water)
- 1 lb Monterey Jack cheese, grated. Reserve ½ C for topping (or a little more) (I used pepper jack)
- 3 medium zucchini, unpeeled, sliced, and parboiled for two minutes (don’t overcook). Drain. (I steam mine.)
- 2-3 large tomatoes, wedged
- 2 cups or more cooked chicken, sliced or cubed (I used 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
- 2 cups sour cream (I used light)–you may want to use more sour cream if you feel that the casserole is too dry, but remember that the vegetables in the casserole will add liquid to the casserole as they cook
- 1-7oz can diced green chilies
- 1 teaspoon Mediterranean oregano (If you use Mexican oregano, use only ½ teaspoon.)
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt or garlic powder
- 1 small green pepper, chopped (I used a poblano pepper this time.)
- 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped with some of the green tops
- 1 small can sliced olives (I used a regular can of olives and sliced them myself.)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon or more fresh parsley, chopped for topping
- Butter a three quart casserole. Combine sour cream, spices, green chilies, green pepper, green onions, and olives.
- Add grated cheese, chicken, and rice. Mix well.
- Carefully fold in tomato wedges and zucchini. Using your hands to do the folding works well. Messy, but effective. 😉
- Spoon into a casserole. Cover with grated cheese and parsley.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes to reabsorb the juices from the zucchini and tomatoes.