Greek eggplant and rice! This easy one-pot meal is a perfect solution for a weeknight (or any night). Fresh eggplant, tomatoes, herbs, and mizithra cheese come together for a delicious and comforting baked casserole.
Updated on January 29th, 2021: New written content, photography, and recipe instructions. Yay! See more details below the recipe, including some original photos!
Originally published on .
Aren't one-pot meals great? I love that they're easy to make – and easy to eat! Baked in the oven for just under an hour and suddenly you have yourself a warm and scrumptious eggplant rice bowl. And then there's the cleanup that's easy too! I first shared the recipe for this dish a little over five years ago. It's one of the most popular recipes on the blog to date, and for good reason! If you haven't made it yet and you're a fan of both eggplant and rice, don't sleep on this one, folks!
🛒 Ingredients list
For your shopping convenience:
- eggplant (~1 pound)
- large sweet onion
- fresh tomatoes on the vine
- garlic cloves
- olive oil
- dried Greek oregano
- bay leaf
- long grain white rice
- vegetable or chicken stock
- mizithra cheese (or substitute Parmesan, which is used in the photos!)
- butter (optional, but recommended!)
- parsley (optional)
- salt + pepper
🥘 Oven-safe cookware
Eggplant and rice is started on the stove and finished in the oven. In order to stick to the "one pot" rule, you'll want to use an oven-safe pan so that you can go straight from the stove to oven with ease. In the past, I've used my 12" cast iron skillet but admittedly, I prefer using my 4-quart stainless steel sauté pan these days because I can soak it in some hot soapy water after cooking, if necessary. Use whatever oven-safe pan you have handy! If you don't own one, it's perfectly fine to transfer the food to a baking dish and call it a two-pot meal. 😉
🧀 What is mizithra?
Also spelled as myzithra, this cheese is a Greek household staple. It's a salt-dried grating cheese commonly made with sheep's milk, though sometimes there are varieties with goat's, cow's, or combined milks too! Ask your local cheesemonger if they have it available. It's worth having! If wrapped properly with wax paper in a tightly sealed bag, it will keep stored in the fridge for months. You can also grate it in advance and keep it stored in the freezer for an even longer shelf life.
Can't actually find the cheese where you're at? Substitute another salty cheese! A close substitute for mizithra is ricotta salata if that's an option available to you – they share a similar taste and texture. Alternatively, go with kefalotiri, Parmesan, romano, or even mozzarella! You can't go wrong with cheesy goodness.
Follow these simple tips to make a bomb eggplant and rice.
Avoid old or softened eggplant
You know the saying "fresh is best?" Yes, yes that should be an obvious thing when it comes to food. The difference here is you can keep an onion in your pantry for a week and it'll be completely fine. Keep an eggplant in your fridge for a week? You risk it becoming a bit overripe, soft, and bitter. Fresh and firm is key for the best taste!
Play with ingredients
One of the best things about eggplant and rice is how versatile it is! Add different veggies, sub out different cheeses, or even add a meaty (or vegetarian-friendly) protein of your choice. Check out the comments below and see various ways people have enjoyed this recipe!
Make it vegetarian or vegan
- Vegetarian? Use vegetable stock instead of chicken.
- Vegan? Same as above and omit the cheese and butter.
Interested in other eggplant recipes?
One Pot Greek Eggplant and Rice
- 1 medium eggplant, about 1 pound
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)
- 3 vine tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ cup grated mizithra cheese*
- 2 tablespoons butter, optional
- 1-2 tablespoons minced parsley for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice the eggplant crosswise in ½ inch slices, then cut into 1 inch pieces.
- Preheat oil in a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add eggplant and stir to coat with the oil. The eggplant may soak up all of the oil; this is normal. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and continue to saute for five minutes, until the eggplant has softened.
- Add onions and saute for another five minutes. The eggplant and onion will both melt down slightly.
- Add tomatoes and garlic and cook for an additional minute. Season with the remaining salt, black pepper, and oregano.
- Add rice and bay leaf and stir to combine.
- Stir in the stock, ensuring all of the rice is submerged (any vegetables sticking out is fine). Top with grated cheese and dot with butter.
- Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake for thirty minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Garnish with parsley and serve!
- Feel free to substitute a salty cheese of your choice if you can't find mizithra. Try romano, parmesan, ricotta salata, kefalotiri, or mozzarella!
- Omitting the cheese and butter and using vegetable stock makes this dish vegan friendly.
- This will serve 4 people as an entree and 6 people as a side.