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Mediterranean Rice Recipe With Vegetables (Baked)

This one-pot Mediterranean rice recipe – packed with vegetables, tangy feta cheese, lemon zest, briny olives, and fresh parsley – captures the essence of Mediterranean flavors.

You’re cooking two sides (rice and veggies) simultaneously in a single casserole dish. Very convenient and a big step up from plain rice!

What to expect

Expect a tender fluffy rice dish packed with vegetables and big Mediterranean flavors like olives, feta and lemon.

This next level delicious side dish can be easily doubled or tripled and made ahead of time. Cooking time will be the same. Add a protein and dinner is done.

The recipe takes just over an hour to prepare, but it’s mostly hands-off except for chopping the vegetables.

Make it your own with a few good variations.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

diced vegetables, basmati rice, broth, lemon, seasonings, oil, butter, feta, pitted olives, parsley.

Rice: Basmati rice is my go-to for this dish as it has a slightly nutty flavor. Any other long-grain white rice such as jasmine rice or American Long Grain rice will work.

Vegetables: I like to use typical Mediterranean vegetables in this dish – zucchini, onions, red peppers, and tomatoes. Mushrooms, eggplant, cauliflower, and green beans are other good choices.

Broth: Use vegetable broth, vegetable stock, chicken broth, chicken stock or water. If using water, you will want to add a bit more seasoning such as basil, thyme, Italian seasoning, fresh herbs, etc.

Add-ins: For Mediterranean-inspired flavors, I add lemon zest, feta, pitted black or green olives and lots of chopped parsley. Leave out what you don’t like.

  • add fresh herbs like thyme, basil, dill or oregano.
  • substitute the olives with capers or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • add red pepper flakes for heat
  • garnish with toasted pine nuts
  • to make yellow Mediterranean rice, add a pinch of turmeric powder and/or cumin.
  • add some raisins with the rice and broth before baking the rice dish.
  • add a protein for a more complete meal – grilled chicken, fish, tofu or meat once the Mediterranean rice is cooked.

Step-by-step instructions

diced vegetables with oil and seasoning in casserole dish.
Place vegetables in a casserole dish and toss with oil and seasonings.
roasted vegetables in casserole dish.
Roast in oven,
rice, broth and roast vegetables in casserole dish.
Add rice and broth.
casserole covered with aluminum foil and lid.
Cover dish tightly and bake for 30 minutes.
baked mediterranean rice with vegetables in casserole dish.
Fluff with fork.
Mediterranean rice with vegetables, feta, olives and lemon in casserole dish.
Stir in parsley, lemon zest, olives and feta. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Mediterranean rice with vegetables, feta, olives and lemon in bowl.

If you prefer your diced vegetables to be more caramelized or golden brown, bake them on a pan lined with parchment paper to spread them out more. Then transfer to a casserole dish and continue the recipe.

Shortcut

  • Buy pre-cut vegetables for roasting.
  • Sauté vegetables in a skillet instead of roasting them to save 20 minutes.

Make Ahead

Store leftover rice in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat, covered, in the microwave for a couple of minutes or in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. The rice can also be frozen, but the vegetables may get quite soft.

What to serve with Mediterranean rice

Since the rice is loaded with vegetables, it can be served as a main meal, perhaps with a ratatouille soup or a fig salad.

It also makes a great side dish for glazed pork tenderloin, sous vide Korean-style chicken wings, balsamic glazed chicken, peri peri chicken and Canadian maple cedar plank salmon.

Or, top the rice dish with a protein for a Mediterranean rice bowl with grilled Mediterranean chicken, marinated flank steak, herbed salmon or tofu.

Recipe FAQ

Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

You can use brown rice in this Mediterranean rice recipe instead of white rice, but you will have to adjust the liquid and baking time. Add an extra 1/4 cup/59 ml broth and bake the rice dish for an extra 15 minutes (total of 45 minutes).

Mediterranean rice with vegetables, feta, olives and lemon in bowl.

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Mediterranean rice with veggies in bowl.
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Mediterranean Rice Recipe With Vegetables (Baked)

This one-pot Mediterranean rice recipe – packed with vegetables, tangy feta cheese, lemon zest, briny olives, and fresh parsley – captures the essence of Mediterranean flavors. Two sides in one!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 3 -4

Ingredients

Vegetables for roasting

  • 3 cups vegetables, diced, Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tsp dried oregano)

Rice

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice, Note 2 (or other long grain rice)
  • 1 cup broth or water, Note 3 (I add about 2 more tablespoons)

Finishing add-ins (use what you like)

  • 8 pitted olives, black or green, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from a small lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN to 425F/218C. Spray an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) with oil. If doubling recipe, use a 10 x 10 inch (25 x 25 cm) casserole dish e.g. pyrex or corning ware. The cooking time will be the same.
  • ROAST VEGETABLES: Place diced vegetables in casserole dish with oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Toss to coat evenly. Place in oven to roast for 30 minutes or until starting to brown.
  • BAKE WITH RICE: Add rice and broth (or water). Cover dish tightly. Use aluminum foil or a cover for casserole dish. I use both. You don't want the steam to escape. Bake for 30 minutes. If the rice is not soft enough, add a little more liquid, cover and cook another 5 minutes or so.
  • FINISHING TOUCHES WITH ADD-INS: Uncover rice dish. Fluff with fork. Add lemon zest, feta, olives and parsley (skip anything you don't like). Stir gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. You can add a little bit of lemon juice, fresh herbs, pepper, etc. For added richness, stir in 1 tablespoon butter if you like.

Recipe Notes

  1. Rice options: Any long-grain rice is fine. You can also use brown rice, but you will have to adjust the liquid and baking time. Add an extra 1/4 cup/59 ml broth and bake the rice dish for an extra 15 minutes (total of 45 minutes). If the rice grains are not tender enough at this point, add a little more broth/water and bake another 5-10 minutes..
  2. Vegetables: I use zucchini, cherry tomatoes, onions and red pepper. Mushrooms and green beans are other options. Use as many or as few types as you like to measure 3 cups of diced veggies.
  3. Broth options: Use vegetable or chicken broth. To make your own, add a heaping teaspoon broth base or powder to 1 cup (237 ml) of water (plus 2 tablespoons). You can use water instead, but add a bit more seasoning (e.g. Italian, oregano, basil, thyme).
  4. Variations:
    • add fresh herbs like thyme, oregano or dill.
    • replace olives with capers or sun dried tomatoes.
    • add red pepper flakes for heat
    • garnish with toasted pine nuts
    • to make a yellow rice, add a pinch of cumin and/or turmeric.
    • add some raisins with the rice and broth before baking the rice dish.
    • make a substantial meal by adding grilled chicken, fish, tofu or meat once the Mediterranean rice is cooked.
  5. Make ahead: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat, covered, in the microwave for a couple of minutes or in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. The rice can also be frozen, but the vegetables may get quite soft. You can make the recipe hours ahead and warm it up before serving. 
 
Nutrition values are estimates. 

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 1115mg | Potassium: 617mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 13126IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 156mg | Iron: 4mg
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