Would you look at that cozy pan of goodness?
Continuing on last week’s theme of one dish recipes, I bring you this one dish vegetarian Greek rice casserole. To make it, all you do is saute veggies in a skillet, add uncooked rice and broth, and let it get all cozy in the oven. In the end, you get flavorful, tender rice with the little crunchy bits at the bottom. Aka the best part. It’s like paella, but waaaay less intimidating.
I find Greek flavors to be so comforting. That mixture of scallion, dill, and parsley is just the best. Well, basically everything with dill is the best. That’s my favorite herb. Add feta to the mix and we’re at a new level of deliciousness.
I kept this recipe vegetarian using chickpeas as a source of protein, but feel free to use chicken, ground beef or lamb. I might snuggle a few boneless chicken thighs or bite sized pieces of chicken in with the breasts before baking. Brown it first if you’re worried about it cooking through - I think it should be fine but let me know if you try it. Or brown ground beef or lamb with the vegetables before adding rice and broth. You could also make a sort of paella by topping it with raw shrimp towards the end of cooking.
This is also a recipe that you can make as a pantry staple meal. If you’ve got broth, rice, garlic, onions, tomato paste, chickpeas, and frozen spinach on hand, you can easily make this with pantry/freezer ingredients by leaving out the feta and swapping kalamata olives for that briny flavor, and using dried herbs. When you use dried herbs in cooking, you’ll need about 1/3rd of the amount that’s called for fresh.
One Dish Vegetarian Greek Rice Casserole
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup tomato paste
1 bag frozen spinach, drained (wrap in a clean kitchen towel and twist over a sink)
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped dill
2 scallions, chopped
1 1/2 cups white rice
3 cups vegetable broth
1 can chickpeas, drained
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup crumbled feta
1 tomato, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and oregano and cook 1 minute. Add tomato paste, stir, and cook an additional minute. Add frozen spinach and herbs, stir to combine, and cook 3-5 minutes.
Stir in rice and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2-3 minutes. Pour in broth, chickpeas, lemon zest and juice, salt and black pepper and stir to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup of the crumbled feta.
Top the rice mixture with the tomato slices and remaining 1/4 cup crumbled feta. Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Remove foil and briefly place under the broiler to crisp the top. Let sit 5 minutes to cool before serving.
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