This easy take on classic Eggplant Parmesan is made with jasmine rice stuffing and delivers delicious flavors in every bite.
Filled with cheese, tomato basil pasta sauce and fluffy Minute® Instant Jasmine Rice, our vegetarian Rice-Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan makes a hearty lunch, dinner or delicious side dish that everyone can enjoy.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Scoop out eggplant pulp with spoon or paring knife, leaving 1/4-inch border all around. Season eggplant shells with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.
Place eggplant shells on foil-lined baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle generously with olive oil; bake for 25 minutes or until very tender. Reserve foil-lined baking sheet.
Meanwhile, chop the scooped eggplant; heat remaining olive oil in a pan, add garlic and cook, stirring for one minute. Add chopped eggplant, season with remaining salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant has softened and is starting to brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, combine tomato basil pasta sauce and water; bring to boil. Stir in rice; cover and remove from heat.
Let stand for about 5 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Fluff rice with fork. Stir in cooked eggplant, one cup of mozzarella, ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of parsley.
Stuff rice filling into eggplant shells; transfer to reserved foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and parsley over top. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.
Substitute 4 Japanese eggplants for 2 small eggplants, if desired. Japanese eggplants are great to use in this recipe because they cook in less time. They are also milder in flavor because they have less seeds.
These stuffed eggplants are a comforting and delicious meal, filled with all kinds of aromatic flavors. To give this vegetarian recipe a hearty touch, we’ve added fluffy Minute® Instant Jasmine Rice. Jasmine rice adds a subtle, aromatic flavor and blends with the other ingredients perfectly.
To prepare the rice filling, start by giving your rice a pop of color and flavor by swapping herbed pasta sauce for some of the cooking water. Then, combine the juicy reserves of the eggplant with the cheese and mix in some parsley for extra flavor.
While we love stuffed eggplant, it’s not the only vegetable that you can eat stuffed with a yummy rice mixture. There is a wide array of different kinds of vegetables to enjoy, including bell peppers, tomatoes, squash, avocado and cabbage. Try your hand at classic Rice and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers or Shrimp and Rice Stuffed Avocados. Find these recipes and more stuffed vegetable ideas in our recipe collection.
The great thing about this classic dish is that you can customize it to your liking. For example, try adding an extra protein source to your mixture, such as cooked minced meat, shredded rotisserie chicken or beans and rice. Or, try adding a different type of cheese to your rice mixture for extra goodness.
If you enjoyed this recipe, why not try stuffing another vegetarian recipe into your eggplant. For example, this comforting Vegetarian Chili recipe made with Minute® South West Pinto Beans Rice Cups.
Storing your eggplant properly is important to get the best flavor out of it along with avoiding getting that unpleasant soggy texture.
If you haven’t cut up your eggplant yet, you can store it in a bowl at room temperature. As eggplants require constant airflow to stay fresh, no need to keep it in a closed container. You’ll want to keep your eggplant out of direct sunlight, under ideal conditions your eggplant should keep for a few days.
Alternatively, eggplant will last for around a week if stored in the crisper drawer in your fridge. For best results, you’ll want to protect your eggplant by wrapping it in paper towels. If you have already cooked your eggplant, you’ll want to store it in an airtight container.
Freezing your eggplant will allow it to last the longest. Blanching your eggplant before putting it in the freezer will allow it to stay fresh for months. To blanch your eggplant, wash it with cold water and with a vegetable peeler, remove the skin. Once you have removed the skin, cut it into round chunks and add it into a pot with boiling water. Add a dash of lemon juice, and leave to boil for a few minutes. You can then remove your eggplant and dry the chunks before storing it in a tightly sealed freezer bag.
When selecting your eggplant, you’ll want to choose one with a nice dark color and smooth texture as these indicate that it is fresh. When storing your eggplant, you’ll also want to keep it separate from other produce as this can quicken the ripening process.
As eggplant is so spongy, it soaks up the flavors of herbs and spices very efficiently. Try your eggplant with some oregano or thyme for a classic flavor combination. On the other hand if you’re in the mood for experimenting, try adding in some ground cinnamon.
If you’re craving some Middle Eastern cuisine, try combining your eggplant with spices like chili powder, cumin or turmeric.
If you’re looking for something Mediterranean-inspired to stuff your eggplants with, try this Mediterranean Chicken and Quinoa Delight recipe made with Minute® Organic White and Red Quinoa cups. Feel free to add in some toasted nuts like almonds or pistachios for some added crunch.
Alternatively, for something with more of an Italian flavor, try adapting these Easy Italian Stuffed Peppers made with Minute® Garlic and Olive Oil Jasmine Rice to include eggplant instead. As this recipe is microwaveable, it’s perfect for newer chefs who don’t have so much experience preparing stuffed vegetable recipes.
For something with more of a Latin American flavor, learn how to make this Mexican rice recipe.