There are a few components to these stuffed eggplant boats, but most can be prepped in advance. Roast the eggplant and make the orzo filling in advance. Keep them chilled, then assemble and broil!
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- 4 medium eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/ 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces gluten free orzo pasta
- 1 onion, chopped small
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups chopped small mushrooms
- 1/ 2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/ 2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 cup vegan cheese
- 1/ 2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Place the eggplant halves facing flesh side up. Using a sharp knife cut the flesh in diagonal lines, about 1 inch apart (make sure not to cut through the skin). Turn and repeat the same cutting steps so that there is a diamond pattern.
Using the knife, cut around the edge of the eggplant leaving ¼-inch perimeter of skin.
Brush 1 tablespoon of oil on the flesh of the eggplant. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper evenly on top of the eggplant. Bake for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot filled with water to a boil. Cook orzo according to the instructions on the back of the box. Drain water, and set aside.
Heat a large pan on medium and add 1 tablespoon oil, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent.
Add the cooked orzo, cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, ½ teaspoon salt, oregano, basil and thyme to the pan and mix. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Slowly add in the vegetable broth and fresh spinach. Turn off heat and set aside.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and raise temperature to broil. When cool, scoop the eggplant flesh out and mix it with orzo. Be careful not to rip the eggplant's skin.
Divide the orzo filling between the eggplant skins. Sprinkle with cheese and place in the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Let cool slightly and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes. Leftovers last up to 3 days covered in the refrigerator.