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My Favorite Thanksgiving Side

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I know that one day before Thanksgiving is hardly the time to try a new recipe, but I just had to share this one with you, dear readers. My mother has been making this dish for Thanksgiving as long as I can remember, and it is now a staple for my Thanksgiving feasts (I have spent the holiday away from my hometown in NY for the past five years).

This recipe is delicious, quick, and easy – as long as you have a food processor with a shredding disc. You could also attempt this method, but you need a mandoline and it will take A LOT longer than if you use a food processor. Either way, it’s best to make this dish ahead of time (like the day before Thanksgiving, as I did this morning) and then reheat it on Thanksgiving Day, while the turkey is resting. Reheat for 20-25 minutes at 350-375 degrees, or until bubbling again.

Zucchini Rice Casserole (serves 10)

  • 2 lbs zucchini
  • 2 TB butter
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 TB all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half (you can use fat free or full fat)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash the zucchini and trim the ends. Shred the zucchini using a food processor with a shredding disc. Transfer to a mixing bowl and put the steel blade back in the processor. Chop garlic using the steel blade, then transfer to mixing bowl with zucchini. Chop the onion into eighths, then add to the food processor. Chop briefly with the steel blade or using the pulse button, as you don’t want to over process the onion into a mushy pulp.

Melt butter and oil in a large (really large) skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until soft (about 5 minutes), then add garlic and zucchini and sauté for another five minutes, stirring constantly. Sprinkle with flour and continue to stir for one minute or until the flour is completely absorbed. Stir in the half-and-half, rice, 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture into a 9×13 glass baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10-20 minutes before serving. If serving the next day, let cool for 30-45 minutes before putting it in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature for about 30-45 minutes before reheating.

Happy Thanksgiving, and gobble gobble gobble!

About Kelsey

Kelsey is a food and wine lover residing in Napa, California, where she does marketing for a boutique wine collective. She previously lived in San Francisco for over six years, where her blogging journey began. She loves to cook seasonal meals and experiment with new wine pairings. She has been drinking and learning about wine with her father since she was 14, and cooking in the kitchen with her mother since she was 6. Both of her parents taught her well about seasoning and flavors, and she continues to learn more with every meal that is made.

One response »

  1. I’ve never had this dish and it looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing your mom’s recipe.


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