Italian Eggplant Risotto Recipe

cook eggplant

Warm and creamy, this Italian Eggplant Risotto Recipe answers the age old question of: “How do I cook eggplant?” Italian Eggplant Risotta is perfect as either a side dish or a filling main course. As written, this recipe is delicious, vegan and top 8 allergen free.

Jump to Recipe

I love to cook eggplant and I love risotto, but both tend to fly under the radar. Eggplant gets a bad rap for being mushy, but that’s simply a result of people not knowing how to prepare it properly (hint: you must sweat the eggplant). Risotto, while appreciated for flavor, has a bad rap for being difficult to make. Risotto is actually pretty straight forward, but it does require a bit of your undivided attention… so grab a glass of wine, and enjoy some alone time at the stove, momma.

Before You Cook Eggplant, Sweat it!

Start by peeling and slicing the eggplant. Lay the eggplant slices out on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt on both sides. Rest the eggplant for 30 minutes, turning over half way through. This process is called ‘sweating’ the eggplant and helps to remove the excess moisture. If you’ve ever had mushy eggplant, I guarantee that it was mushy because this step was overlooked.

cook eggplant
Sweating the eggplant

After 30 minutes, take another paper towel and wipe the excess moisture and salt off of both sides of the eggplant slices. Place the slices on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Broil for 3 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove from the oven and chop the eggplant into 1/4 inch cubes; puree half of the eggplant with an immersion blender. Set the eggplant aside.

Preparing the Risotto

In a medium sauce pan, warm the broth and leave on low. Finely chop the shallots and slice the mushrooms. Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Saute the shallots and mushrooms until tender. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then, add the rice and saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Next, add the wine and undrained tomatoes, cooking until liquid is absorbed. Stir in fresh herbs, Itailian seasoning, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of the warmed broth and cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Repeat the same process, 1/2 cup of broth at a time, waiting until liquid is absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This will take about 20 minutes- I recommend a glass of wine while you add and stir.

When the rice is done, stir in the eggplant puree and diced eggplant. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with grated parmesan or dairy free cheese of choice and a sprinkle of Marash chili flakes to taste. Note: the marash chili is both hot and sweet and is a wonderful compliment to the slightly sweet, nutty flavor of the eggplant. Use only if you like a bit of heat. You can find Marash chili flakes on Amazon.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links

Servings: 4 entree or 6 side dish servings

Prep time 35 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Italian Eggplant Risotto Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup shallot, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms, porcini or cremini
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes, with Italian seasoning. undrained
  • 5-1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • 3/4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • Parmesan or dairy free cheese of choice for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp marash chili flakes for garnish

How to Cook Eggplant Risotto Instructions

  1. Peel eggplant and slice into 1/4-inch rounds. Lay rounds on paper towel and sprinkle with salt on both sides. Let eggplant rest, or sweat, for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. After 30 minutes, wipe off excess moisture and salt from both sides of the eggplant. Chop shallot, mushrooms and herbs while eggplant is sweating.
  2. Place the eggplant rounds on a baking sheet and brush with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Broil for 3-1/2 minutes per side on top shelf of oven. Remove from the oven and chop into 1/4-inch cubes. Take half of the eggplant cubes and puree with an immersion blender. Set eggplant aside.
  3. Warm the broth in a medium sauce pan and leave on low heat. Warm the remaining olive oil in a large saute pan or dutch oven. Add the shallots and mushrooms and saute until shallots are tender. Then, add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Dump in the rice and saute, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the wine and undrained tomatoes, cooking until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Then, add herbs and seasoning and 1 cup of warmed broth, stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until the liquid is absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. When the rice is tender but still slightly firm, remove from heat. Fold in the pureed eggplant and add the chopped eggplant, stirring to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. To serve, garnish with shredded cheese of choice and a pinch of marash chili flakes, if using.

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 2

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply