recipe

Stuffed Eggplants: the tasty, comforting main dish recipe

Total time: 80 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist
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Eggplants are very popular in cuisines around the world—be it Greek, Middle Eastern, Italian, or French. If you’re looking for a satisfying all-in-one main dish, then look no further than these Stuffed Eggplants. This is an easy, comforting recipe and is perfect for summer. The flavor is rich and meaty with a crispy Parmesan cheese topping.

To make it you will need eggplants, ground beef, white wine, Parmesan, Mozzarella, and tomato sauce. The dish is rich in tomato-umami flavor and makes for a filling dinner.  You can also customize the recipe as you want, so make sure to check out our delicious tips below!

What Are The Best Eggplants For Stuffing?

Look for fresh, large eggplants that are firm to the tough. Avoid eggplants that are soft or spotty.

Stuffed Eggplant Ingredients

Eggplants – larger eggplants will work better for this recipe.

Onion – use brown, yellow, or red onion.

Meat – use ground beef or see our substitutes below.

White wine – use high-quality white wine.

Cheese – Parmesan is used for flavor and mozzarella for that perfect cheese stretch!

Breadcrumbs – give some crunch.

How To Make Stuffed Eggplants

Prepare the eggplants by washing and drying them, then cutting them in half. There’s no need to peel the eggplants first, the peel provides the structure for the mince mixture so that they don’t get soggy. Scoop out the flesh, leaving enough behind so that the eggplants remain sturdy. Cut up the pulp with a sharp knife. Brush the eggplants with olive oil and set them aside.

Make the mixture. In a saucepan, sauté a peeled garlic clove in olive oil until fragrant and slightly browned.  Add the tomato puree, season with salt, add the basil leaves and cook for 20 minutes over low heat.

In another pan, add the olive oil, and onion, and add minced meat and fry until cooked. Season with salt and pepper and deglaze with white wine. Add the inner part from the eggplants and cook.

Remove the meat mixture from the heat and transfer it to a bowl. Add the parmesan, breadcrumbs, mozzarella, and tomato sauce (previously prepared) and mix until all is compact and well combined.

To assemble the stuffed eggplants, add one spoon of tomato sauce to each eggplant and fill it with the prepared meat mixture. Add a couple of spoons of tomato sauce to the pan and arrange the eggplants. Add one spoonful of tomato sauce to each eggplant and sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Tips For Making Baked Stuffed Eggplants

To make the dish alcohol-free, use chicken broth instead of white wine. Use vegetable broth if you’re making a vegetarian variation.

Use store-bought tomato sauce, or make your own. If the sauce is a bit too acidic to your taste, you can add a tsp of sugar.

Stuffed Eggplant Variations

Stuffed eggplants are popular in Greek, Italian, and Turkish cuisine, but there are so many ways to customize them to your liking.

Make it vegetarian by using minced mushrooms and rice instead of beef. You can also experiment with other grains like quinoa, bulgur wheat, farro, and barely.

Feel free to substitute the ground beef with other meats like chicken, turkey, or even sausage.

For Middle Eastern flavors, use ground lamb mixed with cooked basmati rice, and add spices like cinnamon, coriander, and cumin. Drizzle with yogurt or tahini sauce.

If you prefer eggplants to be creamier, top the mixture with a béchamel sauce before baking.

Add more flavor by adding more herbs or veggies. The following would work great:

  • Kalamata Olives
  • Roasted red peppers (use store-bought jar peppers, or roast your own)
  • Feta cheese
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Wilted spinach

How To Store Stuffed Eggplant Boats

Store the stuffed eggplants in an airtight container (in the fridge) for up to 4 days.

Can You Freeze Stuffed Eggplants?

This dish is not suitable for freezing. The eggplants will become soggy after being frozen and thawed.

Ingredients
Eggplants
2
Extra virgin olive oil
Onion
1
Ground beef
400 g
Salt
Pepper
White wine
120 ml (1/2 cup)
Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp
Breadcrumbs
3 tbsp
extra parmesan cheese
for the tomato sauce
Extra virgin olive oil
Garlic
1 clove
Tomato sauce
300 ml (1 1/4 cups)
Basil
Salt

Instructions

In a saucepan add the olive oil and a peeled clove of garlic. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and slightly browned.  Add the tomato puree, season with salt, add the basil leaves and cook for 20 minutes over low heat.

Divide the eggplants in half lengthwise and cut the edge with a small knife. Remove the pulp with a spoon.

Chop the pulp on a cutting board.

Brush the eggplants with olive oil and set them aside.

In a pan add the olive oil, and onion and add minced meat and fry over high heat.

Season with salt and pepper and deglaze with white wine.

As soon as the meat is well cooked add the inner part from the eggplants and cook.

Remove the meat mixture from the heat and transfer it to a bowl. Add the parmesan, breadcrumbs, mozzarella, and tomato sauce (previously prepared) and mix until all is compact and well combined.

Add one spoonful of tomato sauce to each eggplant and fill it with the prepared meat mixture.

Add a couple of spoons of tomato sauce to the pan and arrange the eggplants.

Add one spoonful of tomato sauce to each eggplant and sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top.

Bake in the oven at 180°C/360°F for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy stuffed eggplants.

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