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Baked Orzo with Mozzarella + Eggplant

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Vegetarian
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Why we love it:

I love a baked pasta for a busy week because it makes a big batch and can be easily reheated by serving or all in the pan. Using orzo and a lighter tomato sauce than a classic baked ziti gives a fresh, veggie packed, mediterranean twist.


  • 1 Eggplant
  • 14 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 rib Celery
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 112 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Lemon (zest)
  • 4 ounces Mozzarella (shredded) (or the soft block not packed in water)
  • 12 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Tomato Paste
  • 112 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 8 ounces Orzo Pasta
  • 1 15-ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 4 cups Spring Mix Salad Greens
  • 2 Tablespoons Salad Dressing

Cooking Instructions


    Dice the eggplant into ½” pieces. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat with the oil and once hot, add the eggplant. Fry for 6 minutes, stirring pieces occasionally.

  • 3. DICE

    Dice the onion, carrot, and celery in small dice. Mince the garlic. After the eggplant cooks, add the other veggies. Add salt, dried oregano, and the zest of the lemon.

    Cook for 3 minutes.

  • 4. CHEESE

    Grate or dice the mozzarella and set aside. Grate the parmesan if needed.

  • 5. TOMATO + ORZO

    Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Finally, add the orzo, stock, and diced tomato. Bring to a simmer.

  • 6. BAKE

    Transfer mixture to an 8 × 11-inch (about 2 quarts) baking dish; add ½ of the cheese and stir a little bit, then settle the ingredients into a flat surface. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil, add the remaining cheese on top and bake 20 minutes longer without the foil.

  • 7. SERVING

    Toss clean lettuce with dressing of choice. Scoop out a serving and add to bowls. Garnish with extra parmesan if desired and serve with salad.

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    this will work for GF pasta or orzo
    omit mozzarella cheese and consider your fav non-dairy cheese
    dot with dollops of chevre during the last 10 minutes of cooking, use some grated sheep’s pecorino romano to get a crispy top
    omit if you dislike, try cauliflower florets, butternut squash, or mushrooms instead
    you can swap out and change veggies to your liking, try peas, green beans, broccoli, brussels, etc

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Either make the entire dish, bake it and chill. Reheat until crispy and browned
  2. OR, dice and sauté the veggies, add tomato paste, then stop. To finish, warm that up and proceed with orzo and stock
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