Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > Mediterranean Zucchini Rice | Delicious & Savory with Tons of Vegetables and Protein
All Recipes, Main Dishes / May 11, 2022

Mediterranean Zucchini Rice | Delicious & Savory with Tons of Vegetables and Protein

If you´re looking for a dish that´s packed with flavors, easy to make and super healthy, this Mediterranean Zucchini Rice is your jam. It´s got a ton of Mediterranean flavors, it´s effortless to put together and all done in just 40 minutes.

Mediterranean Zucchini Rice
You can serve this Mediterranean Zucchini Rice as a side dish, next to some grilled fish and a garden salad, or even as a main course next to a crunchy baguette. Either way, this rice promises to fill your body with so much Mediterranean goodness.

Mediterranean Zucchini Rice
To make this dish I used long grain rice. But you can use any rice you like. Though the liquid to rice ratios and cooking times might be different. So make sure to check the package instructions on the rice that you are using.

Mediterranean Zucchini Rice

TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: I sliced half of the zucchini into rounds and lightly sauteed them. The other half I roughly chopped and cooked with the rice. At the end of the cooking, I added the sauteed zucchini rounds over the rice. This adds an incredible presentation as well as another layer of textures & flavors.

Mediterranean Zucchini Rice

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make this Mediterranean Zucchini Rice

Mediterranean Zucchini Rice
4.5 from 4 votes

Mediterranean Zucchini Rice

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 747 kcal
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork


  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 45 ml
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 small onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas 200 grams
  • 2 cups vegetable broth 475 ml
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads .17 grams
  • 1 cup long grain rice 190 grams
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Manchego cheese 30 grams
  • pinch sea salt
  • dash black pepper


  1. Thinly slice 1/2 the zucchini into rounds that are 1/4 inch (.635 cm) thick, season the slices with sea salt on both sides and set aside, cut the other half of zucchini into large chunks, finely chop 1 small onion, roughly chop 6 cloves of garlic and finely grate the tomatoes to end up with 1/2 cup (115 grams) tomato sauce

  2. Heat a large fry pan with a medium heat and add in 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  3. Meanwhile, add the slices of zucchini over paper towels and pat dry, then add them into the pan with the hot olive oil, all in a single layer, saute for 2 minutes per side, then remove from the pan, season with black pepper and set aside

  4. Using the same pan with the same heat, add in the chopped onion, the chunks of zucchini and the chopped garlic, mix with the olive oil, after 3 minutes and the onion is translucent, add in the 1/2 cup tomato sauce, mix together and simmer

  5. After 3 minutes and the tomato sauce has thickened, add in 1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas (drained & rinsed) and season with sea salt & black pepper, gently mix together, then add in 2 cups vegetable broth and pinch in 1/4 tsp saffron threads, turn up the heat to a high heat and bring to a boil, then add in 1 cup long grain rice (rinsed), mix together, place a lid on the pan and lower to a low-medium heat

  6. Once all the broth has been absorbed and the rice is fully cooked through (15 minutes in my case, check rice package instructions), remove the pan from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork, add the sauteed slices of zucchini over the rice and finely grate in a 1/4 cup of Manchego cheese, serve at once, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Saffron Threads I used to make this recipe

Nutrition Facts
Mediterranean Zucchini Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 747 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 17g
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 526mg23%
Potassium 912mg26%
Carbohydrates 106g35%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 1346IU27%
Vitamin C 40mg48%
Calcium 225mg23%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Sandollar

    3 stars
    I have not tried thos yet but I saved it. My concern was the Saturated Fat content / % at 30% instead of a healthier 7%? I’m baffled because the ingredients look like healthy whole foods. Why is Saturated Fat so high?

    14 . May . 2024
    • Spain on a Fork

      It comes from the cheese, and it’s just an estimate, you can add in less cheese if you like 🙂 Much love

      14 . May . 2024
  2. Chrissy

    5 stars
    Wonderful flavours the perfect rice dish to have with some crusty bread and a glass of wine. The family enjoyed it and it’s another of your recipes that I will certainly be cooking again. Thanks Albert.

    24 . Sep . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      25 . Sep . 2023
  3. Jerome

    5 stars
    Great dish! I cooked it for my wife tonight. She really liked it too! Thanks for the recipe, Albert! I wish I could post a picture of it. It looks almost as good as yours. lol

    30 . Jun . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      30 . Jun . 2022
  4. Carol

    Delighted to have successfuly prepared the first delicious recipe from you! Excellent video and taste! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise 🙂

    24 . May . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that Carol!!! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      24 . May . 2022
  5. Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramirez

    I tweaked this only slightly my friend… bloody superb!!! many thanks again!

    17 . May . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 much love

      17 . May . 2022
  6. Pam

    5 stars
    So happy I found your great recipes Fun to make. And the presentation is wonderful
    Thank you for sharing

    14 . May . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      Appreciate the comment! Much love 🙂

      15 . May . 2022
  7. Ramya

    cant wait to make this soon for me can i use vegan cheese i never had mediterranean zucchini rice before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

    11 . May . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      Hope you enjoy Ramya! Much love 🙂

      11 . May . 2022

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