When I was growing up, there were certain foods that my dad refused to eat. Eggplant was high on that list. So high, in fact, that my mom called this Cajun Eggplant Rice Dressing, “Dirty Rice” instead. My dad loved my mom’s dirty rice. She had two dirty rice recipes. One recipe was the eggplant while the other recipe had liver which was another food high my dad’s list. If you happen to run into my dad, please don’t tell him.
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One eggplant is peeled and cubed then tossed into a colander or strainer over a sink. Salt is lightly tossed over the eggplant cubes. The cubes are tossed and salted again. Just let them rest there for a while.
While the eggplant and salt are getting to know one another, heat some vegetable oil in a large pot on medium to medium-high heat. Onions, bell pepper, and celery with the leaves get to do the happy dance in the hot oil… uncovered and stirring frequently. Sprinkle some Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning to give the veggies some flavor. While the veggies are cooking, make some rice according to the package directions. I always add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to my rice.
Once the onions become translucent and all the veggies soften, add the ground meat along with some more Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning and some minced garlic. I use ground turkey, but my mom uses ground beef. One day, I am going to HAVE to try this with ground chicken.
Cook the veggies and ground meat until the ground meat is good and browned. Rinse the eggplant that has been hanging out in the sink. Add the eggplant to the meat with a cup of water. Cover the pot and let it cook stirring occasionally until the eggplant is good and tender. By tender, I mean, you’re unable to find a piece of eggplant. The meat and veggies have become one. Uncover the pot and let the excess water cook out while stirring often. This should only take a few minutes. Once the extra water is gone, turn off the heat, add the rice, and stir it together well.
Are you ready to make some Cajun Eggplant Rice Dressing? Check out the recipe below.
- 1 Eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 cup chopped Onion
- 1/2 cup chopped Bell Pepper
- 1 cup chopped Celery with leaves
- Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
- 4 cups cooked Rice (cooked according package directions and lightly salted)
- 1 lb Ground Meat (I use ground turkey... my mom uses ground beef)
- 1 TBSP minced Garlic
- 1 cup Water
- In a colander in the sink, add eggplant cubes.
- Salt the eggplant.
- Toss the eggplant and salt again.
- Let the eggplant and salt rest in the sink for a while.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium to medium high heat uncovered.
- Add onion, bell pepper, and celery to the oil
- Season the veggies in the oil with 1/2 teaspoon of Tony's
- Allow the veggies to cook uncovered until onion is translucent
- Make rice according to package directions lightly salted. I used 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Add ground meat to the veggies along with another 1/2 teaspoon of Tony's and all the minced garlic.
- Cook the meat until it is well browned.
- Once the meat is well browned, rinse the salted eggplant.
- Add the eggplant to the meat with a cup of water.
- Cover the pot, stirring occasionally, let it all cook until the eggplant is tender.
- The eggplant is not tender until you cannot find any eggplant pieces anymore.
- Uncover the pot and let the excess water cook out. This should only take a few minutes.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add the rice and stir together until it is well mixed.
- Serve and Enjoy!