Zucchini rice: I mean, it’s not totally rice. But, it’s not all veggies either. I guess you could say it’s the perfect base for your proteins and sauces when you are looking to keep carbs lower, but don’t want a salad! It’s time to stock your fridge with this yummy side dish that goes with everything!

substitute zucchini rice for salad www.lillieatsandtells.com

What You’ll Need to Make Low Carb Herbed Zucchini Rice: 

  • Zucchini or yellow squash, riced. You could also just use frozen cauliflower rice! But I needed something a little more gut-friendly!
  • Bunch cilantro (or another favorite herb like basil, parsley, dill, or a mixture) 
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Frozen garlic cubes, or minced cloves
  • Reduced-fat coconut milk
  • Cooked brown rice

How to Make Low Carb Herbed Zucchini Rice:

Cut your squash into 2-inch chunks. There’s no need to peel your squash because we are ricing our veggies. “Rice” by pulsing squash in a food processor until it’s about the size of rice grains. You might need to do this in batches so you don’t overprocess some chunks while others remain untouched. While you’re ricing your squash, add your cilantro right in there to get it all chopped up at the same time. 

If you don’t have a food processor, don’t worry! I also love to use my little hand-twist salsa maker. It does take more work and you have to work in smaller batches. BUT, I think it does a better, more even job producing little grains of zucchini.

serve up a light side dish www.lillieatsandtells.com

Now that your zucchini is ready to go, heat a large skillet over high heat with a spritz of olive oil. Let me tell you, if you don’t have a large skillet, you need one! No one wants to worry about spillage or cooking one meal in multiple rounds after spending time prepping. Do yourself a favor and get your giant cast-iron here. You don’t necessarily need that huge one for this recipe, but it comes in so handy.

Time to Get Cooking

Add your riced zucchini and cilantro into your heated large cast-iron pan. Sprinkle your veggies with salt and pepper and then cook for five minutes. Make sure you stir your veggies occasionally.

Once the veggies have started to cook, add garlic and coconut milk to your cast-iron pan. Then, cook for another five minutes until the zucchini is very tender. Add your cooked brown rice and combine well. If it’s too watery, continue to cook on low for a few more minutes. Keep in mind, because of all the veggies, this will always be more watery than if you were just eating rice! You just don’t want it to be soup-y. 

 Finish off with salt and pepper to taste, plus any additional fresh herbs or a sprinkle of cheese. 

low carb herbed zucchini rice www.lillieatsandtells.com

Serving Suggestions:

Serve herbed zucchini rice with some yummy grilled protein and some plain rice for the kids! I also like eating the leftovers a little bit more than when you first make it. The rice absorbs more of the water making it feel a little more chewy and substantial.

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Tabouli Salad with Feta, Brown Rice, and Cauliflower

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Low Carb Herbed Zucchini Rice

This low carb herbed zucchini rice really is the perfect pairing for proteins and sauces. I mean, you know I LOVE salad, but it’s nice having another option that goes so well with a variety of flavors. If you are looking for other healthy recipe ideas, check out my macro-friendly cookbooks and meal plan. I never want to skimp on flavor, and they are packed full of yummy recipes that will keep your family happy. Don’t forget to hang out with me on Instagram and TikTok too! I am always sharing what I’m eating on the daily. 
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

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substitute zucchini rice for salad www.lillieatsandtells.com

Low Carb Herbed Zucchini Rice

I mean it’s not totally rice. But it’s nice just a side of veggies. It’s the perfect base for your proteins and sauces when you want to keep carbs lower but don’t want a salad! Keeps great in the fridge to build bowls all week.
5 from 1 vote
Course Bowl, dinner, Low Carb, Lunch, sides
Cuisine California Fresh
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 96 kcal

Disclaimer: the grams I’ve listed manually after each ingredient are accurate for a single recipe, but they will not multiply if you choose the 2x or 3x option. Please make sure and multiply on your own!

Ingredients

  • 3 Zucchini or yellow squash riced* (900 g)
  • 1 bunch Cilantro (or other favorite herb like basil, parsley, dill or a mixture) (40 g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 2 Frozen garlic cubes, or minced cloves
  • 1/4 cup Reduced fat coconut milk (60 g)
  • 1 cup Cooked brown rice (210 g)**

Instructions

  • Cut your squash into 2-inch chunks (no need to peel) and “rice” by pulsing in a food processor until about the size of grains of rice.You might need to do this in batches so you don’t overprocess some chunks while others remain untouched. Add your cilantro right in there to get it all chopped up at the same time.
  • Heat a large skillet over high heat with a spritz of olive oil. Add your riced zucchini and cilantro, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add garlic and coconut milk, and cook for another five minutes until the zucchini is very tender.
  • Add your cooked brown rice and combine well. If it’s too watery, continue to cook on low for a few more minutes.
  • Add more salt and pepper to taste, plus any additional fresh herbs or a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Serve with some yummy grilled protein and some plain rice for the kids!

Notes

I also love to use my little hand-twist salsa maker. It takes more work and smaller batches, but it does a better, more even job producing little grains of zucchini.
Because of all the veggies, this will always be more watery than if you were just eating rice! I loved the left-overs a little bit more. The rice absorbs more of the water making it feel a little more chewy and substantial.
Feel free to use cauliflower rice! I just needed something easier on the gut!
MFP: Lillie Eats and Tells Herbed Zucchini Rice

Nutrition

Serving: 160gFiber: 2gCalories: 96kcalFat: 2.1gProtein: 3gCarbohydrates: 17.5g
Keywords brown rice, cilantro, herbs, low carb, zucchini

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Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Yes to this not being a cauliflower based “rice” I thought it tasted so much better than cauli versions and the texture was a fantastic alternative to using only white/brown rice.

    The zucchini is so mild that it pairs a million ways for lunch and dinner. I love the versatility!
    I am going to make this again but this time double it! Will it freeze well? Wondering if I can put some away to pull out in a few weeks.