Zucchini Rice with Cranberries, Bacon, Goat Cheese and Walnuts with Maple-Dijon Dressing

gluten freemeat & poultry
Zucchini Rice with Cranberries, Bacon, Goat Cheese and Walnuts with Maple-Dijon Dressing

Zucchini Rice with Cranberries, Bacon, Goat Cheese and Walnuts with Maple-Dijon Dressing

By now you all know exactly what the spiralizer does: it turns vegetables into noodles.

What you choose to do with those noodles afterwards is what truly makes spiralizing magical. You can even transform your vegetables into rice.

Today, we’re all about the rice – and specifically, an unexpected one: zucchini rice. Zice!

Zucchini Rice with Cranberries, Bacon, Goat Cheese and Walnuts with Maple-Dijon Dressing

I’m going to tell you upfront – you can’t take a grater and make zucchini rice. I tried it. There’s something special about how the vegetables starts off in thin stands that makes it possible to make the most rice-like final product.

I had tried out zucchini rice months ago and had written this recipe, planning on making it during the fall when I just didn’t want to give up zucchini. This dish has all of the makings of an autumn-friendly dish: cranberries, salty bacon, smooth goat cheese and maple syrup. But, it’s made with everyone’s favorite squash: zucchini.

If you haven’t made my rice yet, I hope this motivates you – I actually have a video on my YouTube page which you can watch here. With this zucchini, it’s crucial that you don’t overpulse! If you pulse too much, the zucchini will become too mushy (as if you grated it.) The mushiness of course comes from the high water content.

Zucchini Rice with Cranberries, Bacon, Goat Cheese and Walnuts with Maple-Dijon Dressing

Honestly, this dish barely needs the dressing – the velvety creaminess from the goat cheese with the salty oils in the bacon and the sugars from the cranberries make their own lip-smackingly good taste. Did I really just say lip-smacking? Please forgive me, it’s Friday and I’ve had a long week!

If you’re a vegetarian, skip the bacon and add in some crispy chickpeas (either buy them fresh or learn how to make them in this post.) The bacon’s saltiness works so well with the sweetness in the cranberries, though – it’s tough to beat that flavor! Alas, crispy chickpeas are my jam, so they’re a close second.

Zucchini Rice with Cranberries, Bacon, Goat Cheese and Walnuts with Maple-Dijon Dressing

When would you eat this? For breakfast, lunch or dinner! Seriously. Top this with a fried egg and have it for brunch – or eat this for lunch on a gloomy fall day – it’ll brighten you up and fulfill you for the rest of the day. If you’re having this for dinner, serve it alongside some roasted potatoes or sweet potato fries for some added oomph! Honestly though, it’s perfection on its own.

What do you think of zucchini rice? Are you going to try it?

Nutritional Information & Recipe


Zucchini Rice with Cranberries, Bacon, Goat Cheese and Walnuts with Maple-Dijon Dressing

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 2


  • 1 medium to large zucchini Blade C
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • For the dressing:
  • 1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 tablespoons maple syrup


  • Place the zucchini noodles in a food processor and pulse until rice-like, being careful not to over-pulse, as the zucchini will turn to mush. Set the zucchini rice into a colander and let drip into a sink or bowl while you continue with the rest of the recipe.
  • Place a large non-skillet over medium heat. When skillet heats, add in the bacon and cook until crispy, 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Combine all of the ingredients for the maple-dijon dressing into a small bowl or dressing shaker and whisk together. Set aside.
  • Pour the zucchini rice into a large mixing bowl and press down with paper towels to absorb any leftover excess moisture. Add in the cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese and crumble in the bacon. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine.

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Amy says:
This looks delicious! Can't wait to try it.
Susan McGreevy says:
This recipe looks delicious. Will definitely try it.
Alicyn says:
I would definitely read a Friday post about your health Journey! Love the recipe too. Can't wait to try it!
Tracy Daily says:
The zucchini rice looks amazing! Can't wait to try.
Traci B. says:
Yes - a Friday post on weight loss or on Monday (to to with the healthy idea of Meatless Monday) would be a welcome feature...
cassidystauffer says:
This looks great, I can't wait to try it!!! -Cassidy
Js says:
This is a new twist on zoodling. Thanks. Will be doing this tonight!
lori thatcher says:
Looks yummy.
Dyanne Spease says:
Yes sure. Any inspiration is helpful.
Beth F says:
This dish has all if my favorites. I can't wait to make it tonight.
Lee says:
Where can a purchase s spiral user. With blade C. Chicago
Anne says:
Yes, I would welcome a weekly post about your weight loss journey as I, too, am doing the same and am inspired by your story!
Kim says:
Can you recommend a sub for the goat cheese in this recipe? We have goats, but I strongly dislike goat cheese. Thanks!
Feta would work nicely here!
Keri C. says:
Have you ever tried "drying" the zucchini with a salad spinner?
sewpretty13 says:
I have tried drying zucchini shreds in my dehydrator! I still need to work on it a bit more but it is worth looking into.
Monica says:
Love your blog, so many good recipes for lunch options. This one sound great!
9jan9 says:
I am making it right now can't wait to eat it. I used Feta instead of goat cheese. It would be interesting to read about how you lost the weight.
Val says:
I am new to spiralizing and am so excited to follow your blog. You give me lots of ideas.
Cathy says:
yes, I will be trying this one for sure! Love your recipes!
Suzanne Prechtl says:
This recipe is a "must" make and eat one for me and my family. We will really enjoy it.
Janella says:
I would enjoy the Friday posts!
ELW says:
Yes! A weekly inspiration would be awesome!
Anonymous says:
You are a genius! This looks wonderful, can't wait to make it!!
Lani says:
I'm excited to try this and because my daughter and grandson are now living with me, I think that she'd also like it. My grandson was diagnosed with FOD I think that this recipe will also be safe him.
Melissa M says:
Love your blog! This recipe looks amazing.
Yvonne says:
Definately on this weeks menu list for a quick go to prepared pick me up meal.
Jo says:
I would vote for more recipes and less fitness/weight loss journey stuff.
Krissy says:
Looks delish! This is similar to my favorite salad, zucchini rice would be a great alternative to salad greens.
JS says:
This is so unusual... I never would have thought of putting maple syrup on a salad. I loved it! I also made it using cauliflower rice. Just as good and healthy. My next adventure is to try it with Brocolini Slaw rice. Thank you so very much!
Rej Tatel says:
trying this right now!
Kelly says:
Oh my God! This was AMAZING. I had to submit some leftover salmon for the bacon (only b/c I was all out of bacon) and threw in a bit of crushed red pepper for a bit of a kick, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly...and I was blown away. I was a bit hesitant about the uncooked zucchini, as I usually only like it cooked, but it's perfect this way. Thanks, Ali!
So happy you liked it!! It has quickly become one of my favorites!
Lynn says:
This looks amazing!! Great job on your weight loss journey!!!!
Janna says:
I don't do dairy so I omitted the cheese, and this was fabulous. The flavors work so well together (and I imagine would be even better with the creamy cheese!)...and this was my first time with zucchini "rice" and I loved it! Thank you!
Kelly says:
Could you make this just using zucchini noodles or would moisture be a problem?
Barbara says:
This salad was AMAZING! Love, love, love it! I substituted turkey bacon and feta cheese and it was a taste explosion! If I wanted to leave out the bacon, would chopped smoked almonds be a similar taste? I'm thinking that it would be delicious for my Passover Seder, but I don't want to use even turkey bacon.
I've had to avoid Cauli rice whilst I breast feed my baby and I'm really missing it (not missing the tummy pain it gave her though). I'll have to try this Zice instead

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the soup that broke the internet! 😜🥣haha, just kidding, but after posting this on stories, my DMs were flooded with, "share the recipe!" and then dozens of you made the soup solely based off my story videos (which is why I shared it!)⁣ 👏🏼

I'm still deep in the newborn fog to take proper photos and build an SEO-friendly blog post (it's an hours-long process), so I'm sharing it here in the meantime - just save it to refer back to! you're going to want to make this alllll winter long.⁣ ❄️

potato and brussels sprouts white bean soup w/ or w/o chicken sausage⁣ 👇🏼
serves 4-6

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil⁣
1/2 red onion, diced⁣
2 garlic cloves, minced⁣
2 carrots, diced⁣
1 large celery rib, diced⁣
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed⁣
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary⁣
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme⁣
4 cups vegetable broth (I'm using @bonafideprovisions and it's honestly a game-changer! code INSPIRALIZED for 15% off!)⁣
salt and pepper⁣
1 1/2 pound bag creamer potatoes, halved⁣
1 pound chicken sausage, sliced⁣
12 ounces shredded brussels sprouts⁣
shredded Parmesan cheese (I'm loving @foragerproject's vegan Parmesan shreds)⁣
red pepper flakes to garnish⁣

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while potatoes cook, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add the chicken sausage and cook until browned. add the brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook until sprouts are tender and chicken is cooked through. keep aside. if you're vegetarian, just simply omit chicken sausage.⁣

once potatoes are done, add the chicken and sprouts to the soup, stir, and serve. top with cheese and red pepper flakes.