Caramelized Eggplant and Onion Orzo

Cost Per Serving: $1.61
Yields 4 Servings


  • 8 oz. orzo
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, dived
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced (Larger eggplants can be very bitter if you don’t peel them. If you are using smaller, younger eggplants, you can leave the skin on.)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium sweet pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Suggested Additions
  • Diced, cooked chicken breast
  • Shredded or shaved parmesan cheese
  • Crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until barely al dente, about 6-7 minutes. Drain and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Heat 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Arrange eggplant into a single layer in pan. Season with a little salt and sauté until golden-brown and softened, about 6-7 minutes.
  3. Reduce head to medium and push eggplant to one side of pan. Add onion to the center of pan and season with a little salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and stir it into the onions. Push onions and garlic to the side of pan, next to the eggplant, where they will continue to carmelize.
  5. Add peppers and tomatoes to the hot center of the pan. Sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add Balsamic vinegar and sauté an additional 2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the orzo gradually, shaking in a cup at a time, and stirring and scraping constantly. Cook until the orzo gets browned on the bottom of the pan, then scrape it up lightly to toast the pasta, for about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in basil and serve immediately.

**Recipe adapted from Kitchn.

Published by Hays County Food Bank

We are passionately committed to improving lives through food assistance programs, nutrition education, and advocacy.

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