Recipes, Tips &
Recent Musings


Speedy Wild Rice and Zucchini Side Dish

Wild Rice and Zucchini Side Dish - photo

This super fast side dish is naturally gluten free, filled with hearty wild rice, loaded with veggies and comes together in 15 minutes – what more could you want!  It spotlights summer’s abundant and nutritious zucchini and tomatoes.

I like to cut the zucchini in half-moon and quarters when I sauté it (you could also grill them in a grill pan if you are grilling meat).  Check out this video for a quick how-to or this video on how to have your kiddos help you chop your zucchini!

how to chop zucchini

A Fast, Easy & Flexible Side Dish

This dish is a fun way to use the Long Grain & Wild Rice 90 second pack from Whole Foods.  If you are shopping someplace else you can certainly make this with another brand as well.  I have made it with regular wild rice too it will just take a little longer and is one more pan to clean at the end of the night which is why I love this shortcut to a fun dish!

My children do not love zucchini cooked or sautéed – they only like it baked into yummy items such as waffles, breads & muffins!  When I make this dish I separate some of the rice, tomatoes, feta, and nuts for them and then add in the zucchini for us! They are still getting a hearty dish packed with juicy antioxidant filled tomatoes!


Fast weeknight side dish using wild rice

Adaptations for this Fast Wild Rice Side Dish

I love feta and always have it on hand, but you can certainly use another cheese- I think goat cheese would be super yummy as well!

I used walnuts because that is what everyone loves the best in our house, but any nut would work.  If you don’t have or like walnuts I would suggest toasted almonds or pine-nuts.

If you adapt, let me know your favorite version to the fast weeknight wild rice and zucchini side dish!

Wild Rice & Zucchini - great gluten free side dish using zucchini

Speedy Zucchini & Wild Rice Dish

No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Course:Side Dish
Keyword:Quick Recipes, Summer, zucchini



  • Slice the zucchini – half moon or quarter pieces
  • Heat a sauté pan to medium heat and add in a ½ TBS of olive oil, the zucchini and ½ tsp salt and cook until soft about 5-7 minutes
  • While the zucchini is cooking, cook the rice according to package instructions and then pour into a small bowl and let cool for 5 minutes
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and put in a medium bowl with the other ½ of TBS of olive oil and ½ tsp salt
  • Toast & chop walnuts – see note
  • When the rice has cooled slightly add and mix it with the tomatoes
  • Add in the feta (see note 3)
  • When the zucchini is done cooking, take it off the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes
  • Add the zucchini to the tomatoes, rice and feta
  • Mix in the walnuts


1. You can make your own rice, but I like to use the package because it is faster and one less pan I have to clean. If you boil the rice yourself, you will need a little extra oil and salt
2. I try and buy walnuts already toasted to make this step easier – you can skip toasting them but it does give them a little more flavor.
To toast:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Toast nuts before chopping them into smaller pieces.
  • Place nuts on an un-greased shallow pan or a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with sides
  • Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until they are golden brown
  • Remove from pan to cool
3. My children do not like zucchini so I set some aside first and then put zucchini and walnuts in
4. You can use any nut (almonds or pine nuts would be my alternative choices) or leave the nuts out if you are allergic
5. You can replace the feta with any crumbled cheese - I think goat would be great too! You can also leave out if you are dairy free!
Did you make this recipe?I would love to see your creations! Snap a picture and tag @kristanwatson or #foodplaygo on Social Media!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

On Instagram

Follow along


You captured me so well! I never thought I was photogenic. Thanks for making me look fabulous!

Because the world deserves a bit more goodness
Because the world deserves a bit more goodness
download my lunch guide for easy packing

Thank you for subscribing!