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Creamy Parmesan Zucchini and Rice Gratin

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  • Author: Roz
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Additional Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale


  • 3 pounds zucchini, shredded with skin left on
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 11/2 cups onions, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups already cooked arborio or jasmine white rice (measure after rice is cooked)
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (or 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 cups grated 5-6 Italian Blend Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Italian Seasonings/Herbs
  • 11/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • butter, softened to prepare the baking dish


  1. Instructions
  2. Preheat oven to 425 (F).
  3. Wash the zucchini, removing any dirt from the skin.
  4. Cut off both ends of the zucchini, but leave skins on.
  5. Shred 3 pounds of zucchini, including the green skin.
  6. Stop shredding when you get to the middle where the seeds are; do not include the seeds in this recipe; discard/composte the seeds.
  7. Place the shredded zucchini a a medium mixing bowl.
  8. Mix in 3 teaspoons of salt into the shredded zucchini; mix well.
  9. Place salted zucchini shreds into a colander and place inside a large mixing bowl.
  10. Allow to sit for 5 minutes while the salt draws the water out of the shredded zucchini.
  11. Throw out the drained zucchini water in the bowl and press down on the zucchini in the colander to get out more water.
  12. Run clean, cold water over the shredded zucchini in the colander to get rid of any remaining salted water.
  13. Press down on the zucchini again to get out more water.
  14. Then take about 4 sheets of paper towels and place the zucchini on them and roll into a ball.
  15. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze more water out . . . it will flow out of the paper towels.
  16. Place the zucchini to the side.
  17. Boil a medium pot of water.
  18. Add the rice and cook for only 5 minutes and no more.
  19. Drain the cooked rice and set aside.
  20. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until very golden brown.
  21. Add the garlic to onions and sauté for another minute or two.
  22. Add the shredded zucchini and blend well into the onions and garlic.
  23. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  24. Add the flour and blend well into the zucchini, onions and garlic.
  25. Warm the milk and/or cream.
  26. Pour the milk and/or cream into the zucchini, onions and garlic and mix well.
  27. On moderate to hot heat, bring the creamy mixture to a simmering heat.
  28. Add the rice.
  29. Add the cheeses.
  30. Add the Italian seasonings/herbs
  31. Taste, taste, taste!
  32. Add 1-½ teaspoon of salt and 1 tsp. black pepper.
  33. With soft butter, prepare a gratin baking dish.
  34. Pour the cream-cheese-zucchini mixture into the baking dish.
  35. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese on top.
  36. Bake for 15 minutes on the lowest rack in the oven.
  37. Check on it.
  38. At this point, place a sheet of aluminum foil on top after the top is golden brown (you don’t want it to burn, but just get to the golden-brown point).
  39. Continue to bake for 10 – 15 more minutes.
  40. Serve immediately.

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