Roasted Veggie Rice Bake
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Bon Appetit, Kirsten | My Kitchen in the Rockies
Prep time: 40 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • Pinch of saffron
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 large organic eggplants (about 3 pounds), cut crosswise into ¼-inch rounds, (Kirsten also used zucchinis)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups store-bought organic tomato sauce (such as marinara), divided
  • 1 pound fresh Buffalo mozzarella, cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 2 cups), divided
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan/ Pecorino (4 ounces), divided
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Distribute sliced zucchinis and eggplants evenly onto two rimmed baking sheets. Sprinkle with 1 cup olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for a total of 20-25 minutes. Turn the vegetables once, after 12 minutes, and remove them from the oven when they are done roasting.
  3. In the meantime start the rice filling.
  4. In a large sized pan cook the onions with the left over olive oil until softened on medium heat. Add the rice and cook for about 3 minutes while stirring. Add the saffron and wine. Reduce wine slightly and add the broth. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the rice is al dente, about 6 minutes, don't over cook!
  5. Let's start layering.
  6. Cover the bottom of a 13x9x2 baking dish with 1 cup tomato sauce. Sprinkle evenly with ⅓ of mozzarella and Parmesan. Layer half of the roasted veggies on top. Make sure the veggies overlap and no sauce peaks through. Spread the rice mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle with ⅓ of both cheeses and add half of the remaining tomato sauce. Layer with the rest of the roasted vegetables, cover with the rest of the tomato sauce and sprinkle evenly with remaining cheeses.
  7. Cover the baking dish with foil.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes (longer if you prepared your casserole ahead and kept in the fridge) or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
  9. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese topping is golden brown.
  10. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe by My Kitchen in the Rockies | A Denver, Colorado Food Blog at