This dish falls under the heading of “semi-homemade”. While I consider it very important to have a wide variety of from-scratch meals, it is also necessary to have a repertoire of dishes that are easy to put together for a busy weeknight. The “semi” part comes in the form of a spiced rice packet, and jarred marinara sauce.
It is inspired by Eat. Drink.Smile . Eggplant, Mozzarella and Saffron Rice Bake.
I have made her recipe many times, and it is fantastic. I wanted to make it again, but the eggplant at the supermarket was not looking great, so I modified the recipe to use up some of the veggies I do have.
Baked Zucchini, Mushroom, Spinach and Rice
Vigo yellow rice, 5 oz package (low salt)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
5 oz sliced mushrooms
handful of baby spinach
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3 cups jarred marinara sauce
1 cup shredded cheese (I only put cheese on half the tray, double it for the whole tray)
Make rice according to package instructions.
Heat up olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, and add zucchini and mushrooms. Saute a few minutes until mushrooms soften and zucchini gets light golden. Add half a teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic and spinach, saute a couple more minutes, until spinach wilts.
Pour about a cup of marinara in the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Layer rice on top. Add another cup of marinara, then spread the veggies on top, finishing with another cup of marinara sauce.
Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Cover and bake 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more, till cheese is golden.