Mediterranean Lamb Casserole

Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

This easy take on Greek comfort food is rich, meaty, and tangy. The strong lamb is balanced by sweet onions and carrots, and rich eggplant that are all set off with the warm spices. Tomatoes and yogurt give it brightness and the pitas provide texture and toastiness. If you’d like to add a veggie side, try a salad or roasted asparagus or broccoli with lemon zest and olive oil. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 2 cups chopped unpeeled eggplant (from 3/4 lb. eggplant)
  • 1 1/2 cups cups chopped onion (from 1 large [12 oz.] onion)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (from 2 large [7 oz. total] carrots)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 8medium garlic cloves, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp.)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1(15-oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 1(15-oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 cups crumbled pita chips (2 1/2 oz.)
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Lemon wedges

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a 12-inch high sided skillet over medium-high. Add lamb; cook, stirring to crumble, until just browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggplant, onion, and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 7 to 8 minutes. Add oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and cinnamon; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in rice, chickpeas, and yogurt. Transfer mixture to a 13- x 9-inch casserole dish; pour stock over mixture. Cover tightly with foil.

Step 2

Bake in preheated oven until mixture is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove foil; bake an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle with pita chips and feta; continue baking until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with mint and paprika. Serve with lemon wedges.

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