Cheesy Salsa Rice with Zucchini and Corn recipe - my new favorite way to take plain rice to a new level! Perfect side dish to tacos, enchiladas or burritos OR turned into a full meal by adding protein. Quick, easy and irresistible!
If you are like me and you are so over plain rice with your dinner - let me introduce you to my newest take on this popular side dish. It's cheesy, packed with flavor and filled with our favorite summer veggies: sweet corn and zucchini! Yes, a big ol' bowl of this, please! Serve it with tacos, enchiladas, burritos or whatever your heart desires and you are all set!
Last week, I found myself with one last zucchini and one corn on the cob from my latest shopping trip. I love both of them together and quickly got on a mission to use them up in something delicious. Last year, I made them into a pasta dish with bacon and the whole thing took only 15-minutes! Summer dishes are supposed to be quick and easy and full of fresh flavor. This rice is no different. I used freshly cooked rice but leftover rice will work just as well.
I will admit that the addition of salsa was a last minute decision and I am so glad I made it! It adds spice and flavor or otherwise the dish could be a little too plain. Neither zucchini nor corn are strong flavor veggies. Our favorite medium heat salsa was just what this recipe needed.
To turn this dish into a full meal, just add protein! Use beans (we love black or Great Northern beans), cooked chopped chicken or cooked ground beef or turkey. This skillet rice is great to make for friends who just had a baby, are recovering from illness or going through life changes like moving. Everyone will love it and love you for it! 😀
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Cheesy Salsa Rice with Zucchini and Corn Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large zucchini washed, peeled, chopped
- 2 fresh sweet corn on the cob OR 1 can whole kernel corn OR a mix of both drained and rinsed
- 1.5 cups cooked rice fresh or leftover
- 1.5 cups salsa any heat level you like
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground paprika
- ¾ cup freshly shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- ¾ cup freshly grated mild cheddar cheese
- chopped green onions for garnish optional
- In a large skillet, heat up olive oil.
- Add minced garlic and sautee for abut 20 seconds, stirring often.
- Add zucchini and corn and sautee until zucchini softens. Stir often.
- Add rice, stir well.
- Add salsa, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Mix everything well together. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Turn of the heat. Sprinkle cheese over the rice mixture. Cover saucepan and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
- Serve or cool completely, place in freezer containers and freeze for later use.
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.
If you like this recipe and make it, snap a photo and share it on INSTAGRAM! Tag me @crunchycreamysweet so I can check it out! 😀
How to make a perfect fluffy rice
I'm all about this rice! It looks delicious.
I love everything about this! I love how Cheesy it is!
This looks truly delicious! I love everything about it!
Thank you, Renee!
What a wonderful summer side dish -- I love the flavors you used!
Thanks so much, Dee!
MM all that cheese, and I love anything with corn! Great recipe girl 🙂
Thank you, Elizabeth!
This would definitely be a hit with my family! Anything with mexican flavors and cheese!
Yes! Same for us! Thanks, Erin!
My mind is going into overload! This looks fantastic! And perfect for back to school!
Right? Thanks, Kacey! 😀
Yummy! I'll have to add this to me list to try!
Yay! Thanks, Jessica!
What a perfect weeknight meal! Looks so good!
Thank you, Des!