Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Risotto

Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Risotto

For me, risotto is one of those foods: the kind I love, but would rather pay someone else to make for me. Right up there with croissants, fresh bread, and pad Thai. There are some exceptions, but usually… $18 instead of stirring for an hour? Yes please!

Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Risotto

I actually have no idea how they prepare risotto in restaurants. What poor underpaid soul gets stuck stirring that stuff full-time?!

Luckily, this risotto is different. And that’s because we’re subbing quinoa for the usual risotto rice!

Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Risotto

Unlike arborio rice, which is usually used in risotto, quinoa doesn’t get creamy when it’s cooked slowly. On the one hand, that means that this isn’t your typical creamy risotto. On the other hand, it means you can cook the quinoa separately, then just dump it into the pan with the veggies. Plus you get all the health benefits of quinoa! Deal?

So, naturally, this risotto is a little different from the norm. It tastes more like a cheesy quinoa dish… and how could that be bad? (Rhetorical question.) It’s perfect with fresh summer produce like eggplant, tomatoes, and basil. And the smell of that white wine cooking down? Pure heaven! Enjoying with some extra wine on the side is highly recommended. (I mean, you had to open the bottle…)

Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Risotto

While you’re enjoying your wine, let me take a second for some housekeeping. Google Reader. Do you use it? If so, you’ve probably heard that it’s going away at the end of this month, which is – shockingly – this weekend. Come Monday, we will have no more Google Reader. Sad face.

If you do use Google Reader, I’d urge you to switch to an alternative so that you can keep subscribing to this and other blogs! Feedly and Bloglovin’ are the most popular services, and both are so beautiful you’ll wonder why you ever used the old Reader in the first place. I’ve been using Feedly and loving it! It’s super easy to migrate your old subscriptions – they do all the work for you. Make sure to switch over this weekend so you don’t lose your old subscriptions.

And if you don’t use Google Reader… well, just enjoy that glass of wine!

Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Risotto

4.8 from 8 reviews
Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Risotto
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
Yields: 3-4 servings
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I use sauvignon blanc)
  • 1 lb vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese + extra for serving
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil + extra for serving
  1. First, saute the eggplant. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add eggplant and saute, stirring occasionally, until browned all over. Add garlic, along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and saute until garlic is fragrant, about 1 more minute. Scoop eggplant into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Bring quinoa and vegetable stock to a boil in a small pot. Simmer until quinoa is tender and chewy, about 12-15 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid.
  3. In the same saute pan you used for the eggplant, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.Add the wine and chopped tomatoes, reserving a handful for garnish. Simmer until the wine is syrupy, about 3 minutes. Stir in cooked quinoa.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in remaining Tbsp butter. Stir in the parmesan cheese and basil. Serve immediately, with additional chopped tomatoes, parmesan, basil, and salt and pepper.
Adapted from Food & Wine.


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  • Kelly @ Hidden fruits and veggies June 27, 2013, 6:27 am

    eggplant is one of my favorite things to eat and I somehow only know like 2 ways to eat it. this recipe sounds so good, can’t wait to try it out!

  • Jaclyn June 27, 2013, 7:16 am

    This sounds really yummy. I’m always looking for new ways to use quinoa.

  • taylor @ taylormade June 27, 2013, 7:50 am

    totally agree with your risotto stance — I’d rather pay someone! that’s why it’s one of my favorite things to order at restuarants. this version looks sooo delicious and easy though! healthier too :) I will definitely be giving it a try!

  • Mr. & Mrs. P June 27, 2013, 9:30 am

    What a great way to incorprate some added flavor into quinoa.. Love the addition of eggplant and parmesan

  • Becky @ Olives n Wine June 27, 2013, 10:05 am

    Eggplant parmesan is one of my favorite dishes!! I love this this has similar flavors but in a much healthier recipe. AND, I wish I was drinking a glass of vino while reading this but I’m pretty sure my manager wouldn’t be too happy about that ;)

  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health June 27, 2013, 10:14 am

    The title of this one really threw me for a loop, but it all makes sense now. And I like it! Eggplant parm is some good stuff and I love that you made it healthy with quinoa and flavorful with wine. Give me wine in anything and I’m good! :)

  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl June 27, 2013, 10:23 am

    This is SO right up my alley! I am definitely a major eggplant love and am always looking for new ways to cook with it :).

  • dishing up the dirt June 27, 2013, 2:06 pm

    You are a genius! This sounds so stinking good. I’m always craving risotto and never end up making it because I hate standing in front of the stove stirring for an hour! Did I also mention I love eggplant parm? this recipe is a keeper!

  • Julia {The Roasted Root} June 29, 2013, 12:24 pm

    How did I miss this recipe?? Holy crap this thing looks great! I love eggplant and could definitely see myself making this!

  • Alexa July 11, 2013, 5:00 pm

    This recipe has filled my house with the most amazing aroma! Can’t wait to dig in once the rest of the family comes home. Thanks for sharing!

  • McM July 11, 2013, 9:54 pm

    Just made this for dinner and it was delicious. I didn’t have vegetable stock so just used salted water to cook the quinoa, and it still came out incredibly flavorful. Thanks for sharing!

    • Erica July 12, 2013, 7:13 am

      Awesome, so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Southwestern Man Chef August 24, 2013, 7:21 pm

    Great recipe but would like to offer and edit to the instructions you do not mention when to put the eggplant back in. I assumed when you put the quinoa in but you do not mention it…

    Great eats even for a Cowboy

  • Jennifer @ Delicieux September 15, 2013, 9:15 pm

    Oh this looks absolutely fantastic. I love quinoa risotto. It’s so much lighter and less stodgy than regular risotto.

    • Erica September 16, 2013, 9:13 am

      Thanks Jennifer!

  • Toby October 27, 2013, 5:19 am

    This was fantastic! Just made it tonight for dinner… Had to sub for the wine, and my tomato mixture became very liquidy. Any suggestions? Also, I added all of the eggplant back in when I stirred in the basil. Was this correct? Thanks!!

  • Moline January 27, 2014, 7:04 pm

    This was really nice. I used dry sherry instead of white wine and added mushrooms. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Erica January 27, 2014, 8:39 pm

      Sounds great with the sherry! Thanks for your comment, Moline :)

  • Nowhere Girl February 6, 2014, 10:34 am

    I always prepare my risotto without wine. I’m a 100% abstinent when it comes to alcohol – I both don’t want to be under the influence of a substance that makes people act so stupid and rude and have never found the taste of any alcoholic beverage anything better than bad. So I distrust dishes with alcohol added, have no alcohol at home and couldn’t do anything with all that extra wine anyway.
    I always modify risotto recipes so that they are vegetarian, non-alcoholic and also without onions, a vegetable I definitely dislike. Actually some of my recipes were all made by myself – mushroom and zucchini risotto, carrot and orange tomatoes risotto…

  • Sarah April 11, 2014, 8:14 pm

    This was great! My 10-yr old even loved it. Thank you!


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