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Vegetarian Stuffed eggplant photo

Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant

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5 from 2 reviews


This is a great light dish for summertime. Choose uniformly shaped Italian (globe) eggplants that are of medium size. The larger an eggplant, the larger the seeds. Serve this dish with a salad as a nice meal or as an appetizer for a group. The recipe easily scales up as needed.


  • 1 medium Italian eggplant
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • red pepper flakes
  • 2 firm medium fresh tomatoes, e.g. plum
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 pitted black olives
  • 1 tbsp drained capers
  • ¼ cup dried breadcrumbs (I like to use panko breadcrumbs)
  • 2 stems mint leaves, stems removed, plus some chopped mint for garnish
  • 1 tbsp grated cheese (pecorino or parmigiana)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Prepare the stuffing. Select a medium bowl to hold the stuffing.

  1. Slice the eggplant lengthwise in half. With a melon baller or teaspoon, hollow out the eggplant and place the pulp on a cutting board. Rough chop the pulp. Set the hollowed eggplant aside.
  2. Over medium heat, add a tbsp of olive oil to a medium sauce pan. Add the chopped onion, a pinch of salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sauté until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Finally add the chopped eggplant pulp and sauté until everything is softened. If the pan becomes dry, add a little water or white wine. Place the mixture in the bowl for the stuffing.
  3. Rough chop the tomatoes, capers and pitted black olives and add to the stuffing bowl. Rough chop the mint leaves and add to bowl.
  4. Finally, add the breadcrumbs and cheese to bowl. Mix together and taste. Quite a bit of salt was already added by the olives, capers and cheese. Add salt and pepper as you like. Add a tbsp of olive oil to moisten the mixture; toss to combine.

Prepare the eggplant. Select a baking dish to hold the eggplant halves.

  1. Trim away the the root end of the eggplant. Rinse out each half and lay each half cut side down on a towel to dry.
  2. Hold each eggplant half over the bowl with the stuffing, stuff the eggplant with the prepared mixture filling it but without packing in. Place each eggplant in the baking dish.
  3. Preheat oven to 400℉. Drizzle a little olive oil over each eggplant. Add a few tbsps water to the baking dish to create steam. Grease the underside of a piece of foil with olive oil using a pastry brush, a paper towel or cooking spray.
  4. Cover the dish holding the eggplant with the prepared foil and seal tightly. Bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and check if the eggplant is soft by inserting a sharp knife into the white flesh. If still tough, re-cover and bake for another ten minutes and test again. Finally, bake uncovered for another 10 minutes to brown the eggplant.
  5. This dish can be served hot, room temperature or cold; before serving sprinkle chopped mint on top. If you are going to refrigerate the eggplant for later, allow them to cool to room temp before placing in the refrigerator.


  • Serving Size: 2