Cheesy Zucchini Chicken and Rice Bake

Cheesy Zucchini Chicken and Rice Bake

From: Half Baked Harvest

Made entirely in one pot in under an hour using healthy vegetables and darn easy, and so darn delicious!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 small/medium zucchini, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati or jasmine rice
  • 1/2 cup dry orzo pasta (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded Havarti cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2-4 tablespoons everything bagel spice (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • fresh basil, for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the zucchini is golden, 5-8 minutes. Remove the zucchini from the skillet and set aside.
  • To the skillet, add the remaining oil and the onion. Cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is seared, 2-3 minutes. Add the butter, garlic, rice, orzo, and thyme, and cook until golden and toasted, 2-3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the zucchini back to the skillet. Add the cayenne and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook, covered for 15-20 minutes, until the rice is mostly cooked.
  • Once the rice is cooked, stir in 1/2 cup of the Havarti and 1/2 cup of the cheddar. If needed, transfer the rice to an oven-safe casserole dish. Scatter the remaining 1/4 cup of each cheese overtop the casserole. Sprinkle on the everything spice and chives.
  • Transfer to the oven and bake 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Switch the oven to broil and broil 1-2 minutes until the cheese on top is becoming crispy. Serve warm with fresh basil.

Recipe Notes

To Make Ahead: Prepare the casserole through step 4. Let cool, then cover and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. To bake, remove from the fridge and let sit at room temp while the oven preheats. Bake as directed.

To Freeze: Prepare the casserole through step 4. Let cool, then cover tightly. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter for 2-3 hours. Bake as directed.

Gluten-Free Orzo
: I love DeLallo brand gluten-free orzo.



BestLife Insider - Health, Lifestyle, Travel and More ...: Cheesy Zucchini Chicken and Rice Bake
Cheesy Zucchini Chicken and Rice Bake
BestLife Insider - Health, Lifestyle, Travel and More ...
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