Here we’ve got a casserole that’s definitely not short on cheese but still manages to avoid tasting heavy or overbearing. Rice and cottage cheese keep things fairly light, while thyme adds a bright layer of flavor in the background. Cheddar cheese adds a sharp bite – and that melty cheesiness that you’re always looking for in a casserole – but this bake packs in cups and cups of veggies without sacrificing classic casserole comfort. They say you can’t be everything to everyone, but maybe this casserole proved them wrong.
The considerable veggie quotient here is formed up of zucchini (and some onions), but you can use whatever sort of combination of summer squash and zucchini your heart desires. You can use all zucchini, all yellow squash, or a nice little combo of both. Basically, whatever your taste buds – and your garden – dictate. Summer squash has a way of fading into the background in a bake like this, but the cottage cheese and rice provide a good amount of texture.
While you do need to start with cooked rice and spend a little bit of time sauteeing the onions and squash, this is a really quick meatless main dish to throw together. Serve it with a side salad and some crusty bread, and dinner is done!
Zucchini Cottage Cheese Casserole
45 minutes to prepare serves 4-6
- 3 cups zucchini and/or yellow squash, chopped
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated and divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a casserole dish. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion until starting to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add zucchini and/or squash and continue to sauté until squash has softened, about 3 more minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together rice, eggs, cottage cheese, thyme, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese. Add squash and onion and stir to combine.
- Pour into prepared baking dish and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Adapted from Genius Kitchen.