40 minute (lazy) Greek Stuffed Eggplant with minced meat and tomatoes. Perfect lazy oven baked dinner (stuffing can be prepared in advance) infused by Greek flavor and herbs. Kid-friendly too.
Lovely easy dinner recipe for eggplant boats, stuffed with minced meat, herbs and vegetables. This recipe stands very close to the Turkish Imambayildi which is a baked eggplant with tomatoes.
During eggplant season in Europe (read summer and fall) we make this stuffed eggplant boats every other week.
STUFFED EGGPLANT RECIPE – Ingredients
- Eggplants – halved and scooped, they are the base for this quick and light dinner. The eggplant flesh is combined with the minced meat and other ingredients to make the stuffing. Nothing goes to waste here.
- Minced meat – I’ve used either beef minced meat or a mix of beef and pork minced meat, whatever is available at the store.
- Olive oil – olive oil is used for brushing eggplants before baking. It is also needed for sauteing onions and meat.
- Dill, fresh/dried – used with oilve oil and galic powder to brush in the halved eggplants.
- Garlic (powder & fresh garlic cloves) – garlic powder is used for coating eggplant boats. Fresh garlic is used in stuffing.
- Onion – onion is required for the stuffing. All types of onion go well here (yellow, red or spring onions).
- Tomatoes – it’s always better to use fresh tomatoes when in season. Otherwise, substitute with canned, chopped tomatoes.
- Parsley, fresh – fresh parsley adds some extra lovely notes to the stuffing.
- Oregano, fresh/dried – created a complete feeling in combination with parsley.
- Salt – salt is both used in eggplant coating and stuffing.
STUFFED EGGPLANT – tips and ideas
MEAL- PREP IDEAS
If you are into meal-prepping I suggest making the stuffing in advance. The only change you’ll need to make is prepare the stuffing without eggplant flesh. That would require you to increase the meat/ tomato content. You can throw in some carrots and even fresh chives. Easy peasy!
As any other dinner recipe, there are no rules except it has to be super tasty (to your personal preferences) and possibly healthy (just couldn’t go without saying that), you can play around with ingredients. So, if you prefer to omit adding the eggplant flesh simply cut and freeze for use in future meals. Be sure to increase minced meat as stuffing will reduce size if you leave out the eggplant flesh.
If you use canned tomatoes (1/2 can) and want to use for next day-s meal, place the can on eye level in the fridge. That way you lowers the chance to forget about them (as I sometimes do) and throw them away at the end.
MORE EUROPEAN RECIPES:
- Chicken Meatball Soup with Kale and Rice Noodles (Instant pot friendly)
- Egg Noodles (Spätzle) with cheesy shiitake mushrooms and broccoli sauce
- Cellentani pasta with ground turkey and tomato sauce
- Mini Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel)
- Beef Liver Steak Recipe (for Iron Deficiency)
Stuffed Eggplant Recipe
- 4 medium eggplants, cut in half lengthwise, hollowed out
- 3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp dill (fresh or dried), finely chopped
- Pinch of salt, to taste
- Hallowed eggplant flesh cut in cubes, optional*
- 1 pound 18 oz/500g minced meat , (ground beef or mix of beef & pork)
- 1 large onion head, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, or ½ small can chopped tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh/dry oregano
- 1 tsp salt , or more to taste
- Wash eggplant under cold water, cut out bottoms and cut lengthwise. Then hallow out to approx.. ¼ inch flesh rim (the thinner, the better). Set aside eggplant flesh for stuffing or alternatively cut in cubes and freeze for future use.
- In a small bowl combine vegetable oil, garlic powder, dill and salt and mix well. Then brush eggplant boats with the mix using cooking brush (the eggplant tends to absorb oil quickly, so you need to be quick if using your fingers to coat).
- In large stove pan / saucepot place olive oil and minced meat. Sauté until meat changes color while stirring frequently to prevent stacks (approx.5 min).
- Then add chopped eggplant flesh, onion, tomatoes, garlic, salt, parsley and oregano. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and let simmer until almost cooked (approx. 15 min). Add a little bit of water if needed to prevent burning.
- Once stuffing is cooked, fill in each eggplant with it (heaping). If stuffing seems ‘’water-y’ – that’s even better – that way meal will not get dry when cooked in the oven.
- Place eggplant onto baking dish and bake until top stuffing gets crispy (approx. 10 min) on 180C/360F in your oven.
- Serve immediately or while still warm.
- OPTIONAL: Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese while still hot.
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