Maqluba, makluba, ma'alubeh, or as I fondly call it by its literal translation "Upside Down" is a Mediterranean rice dish native to many countries in the Middle East. Traditionally cooked with chicken and fried vegetables, it's a hearty dinner and always a crowd pleaser. This is a healthy one pot Maqluba (Upside Down) that leaves behind a lot of the heavy aspects of the dish without losing it's unique flavor profile.
Upside down, while delicious as can be, can sometimes be a bit heavy due to the fried vegetables. Not to mention, a little less than healthy. So I lightened things up here like I usually do, and baked the vegetables first instead of frying. The results? Honestly not even a detectable difference in taste, but a huge savings in calories and general healthiness.
Maqluba, aka Upside Down is pretty straight forward. It's made using simple ingredients:
Add in a few spices:
- 7 Spice
- chicken or vegetable stock
- salt and pepper
And then top the finished dish with chopped parsley as a garnish and serve with yogurt and a Jerusalem salad.
It's a meal that is good for a couple days, so I usually like to make a big pot and have it handy for a quick lunch the next day.
Enjoy healthy one pot Maqluba aka Upside Down with a Jerusalem salad and yogurt!
For more middle eastern dishes, check out my Za’atar spiced focaccia bread, Lebneh Balls, Baba Ganoush, or 3 ingredient Tomato Dish.Print
HEALTHY ONE POT MAQLUBA (Upside Down)
Maqluba or Upside Down is a traditional middle eastern rice dish that is made in one pot with chicken, vegetables, and rice. This version is lighter and healthier than the traditional one, by baking instead of frying the vegetables and using less oil overall without sacrificing flavor.
- 2 cups long grain rice (I like to use Jasmine or Basmati with this dish)
- 3 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced thin.
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped.
- 1 eggplant, sliced.
- 2 - 3 chicken breasts, chopped into cubes
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 ½ tbsp 7 spice
- optional: ½ tsp turmeric (for color)
- salt and pepper to taste (Start with about 2 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper, adjust as needed)
- Parsley, to garnish
- Preheat oven tp 400F and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Prepare eggplant by salting slices and letting sit for 10 minutes. This helps to draw out the bitter taste eggplant can sometimes have.* Then rinse or blog off excess moisture with a paper towel.
- Arrange the potatoes, cauliflower, and eggplant on baking sheets evenly.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until vegetables are somewhat crispy.
- Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil and add onions. Cook until translucent.
- Add cut chicken breast and brown outside. No need to cook all the way. The chicken will finish cooking when everything is added in.
- Add spices and stir to coat chicken.
- Next, layer the pot with potatoes first, then cauliflower, then the eggplant.
- Now add in rice in an even layer.
- Pour in chicken or vegetable stock and cover with lid.
- Cook on medium/high until a slight boil then reduce heat to low for about 20 minutes or until rice is cooked throughout.
- Remove from heat.
- Get a large platter, a paella dish works perfectly here, and place on top of pot.
- Carefully flip pot upside down onto paella dish.
- Slowly remove pot.
- Using a wooden spoon, scoop out any additional veggies and chick that are left in the pot.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!
*An eggplant with less seeds will be less bitter. Try picking an eggplant that has a round, small indent in the bottom as opposed to a rectangular, deeper indent. The smaller indent means it's a male eggplant and they tend to have less seeds. This selection method has saved me from having bitter tasting eggplants.
MmmMMM! I can almost taste this recipe already. I can't wait to try it. Om nom nom.
I love these simple recipes. It makes putting a healthy quick dinner together easy.
Chicken, rice, and vegetables- I can't see anything to not like! Other than the vegetarian in my household, the rest of us would love this.
Yumm!! Simple ingredients but they look so flavourful! This recipe was really detailed. Thank you!
I did not know this dish at all, so much less any variations on the theme and what to say I always love to expand my tastes!
Super Busy Mum
This looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
Oh wow! That looks absolutely delicious. I have never had Maqluba before, but I need to try this recipe. It has everything I love.
Eileen M Loya
I love one pot meals. This one looks really tasty and I love your healthier version. Adding this to our meal plan for next week.
Ivan M. Jose
This looks delicious! I normally don't like chicken dishes but I can tolerate chicken breast so I can try this. Will this also work with salmon and fish stock?
I don't think Salmon would work here, it would overcook and be a mushy. But you can make this dish with just the vegetables, and serve salmon on the side of it. That sounds pretty tasty!
Oh my goodness! This looks SO GOOD!!! Love the healthier version of this.
Oh sweet baby this looks delicious! I am the worst cook but if it involves a recipe I can sometimes manage. I am excited to try this one and add to my list!
Mmm all of these ingredients sound delicious! I need add this to my upcoming dinner menu.
This looks delicious and healthy! Thank you for putting a detailed recipe so we can recreate at home!
Easy to follow recipe and delicious!
This looks amazing! I would love to try this Middle Eastern dish!
I want this pot!!!!! Damn Jupiter, you have me getting hungrier by the minute!
Wow, this recipe looks awesome! I can't wait to give it a try myself over the weekend, with seitan instead of chicken. 🙂
I will definitely be trying to make this! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I can't wait to personally make and have a taste of it!
This is the first time I heard about this dish. It looks so yummy! Can't wait to try to cook it.