Stuffed eggplant is a delicious, easy, and versatile meal that will make you fall in love with this delicious vegetable.

You can make it with tender oven-roasted eggplants topped with your favorite filling – we show you four. This one’s a healthy recipe, you can serve it as a main or side dish and it’s excellent for a cozy family dinner.

stuffed eggplants

Check out our Best Eggplant Recipes

When developing this stuffed eggplant recipe, we wanted to make something to cook as an easy everyday dinner without compromising taste.

We also wanted to make a modern and healthy recipe, without the heavy meat stuffing of traditional stuffed vegetables, one for a modern family, able to feed flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans alike.

And so we started with the base, made with perfectly roasted eggplant halves seasoned with heart-healthy olive oil, salt, and pepper. Minimal effort, maximum taste!

For the filling, we decided to give you four delicious options:

  1. Melted mozzarella + roasted cherry tomatoes + basil pesto: for the flexitarian who is slowly transitioning to an increasingly plant-based diet. It honestly tastes like pizza, and it’s totally kids friendly.
  2. Yogurt tahini sauce + couscous salad + tahini drizzle: this is a Mediterranean feast on one plate, and we can’t recommend it enough. It’s creamy, tender, crunchy, refreshing, and one of our favorite meals.
  3. Vegan basil pesto + cherry tomatoes + tahini sauce: for the vegan looking for something nourishing, tasty, and fresh.
  4. Avocado spread + cherry tomatoes + crispy roasted chickpeas: for anyone that wants to experience flavor and texture perfection.

You can make everything in about 1 hour while the eggplants roast. Or you can prep most components beforehand, then build and warm up the stuffed eggplants in 10 minutes, just before dinner.

Couscous salad on stuffed eggplant
Mediterranean stuffed eggplant with couscous, yogurt tahini sauce, and tahini drizzle.

Ingredients

Eggplant boats ingredients

Eggplants

Use medium size globe eggplants or Italian eggplants, the ones with dark-purple peel.

Olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme

To season the eggplants before roasting them.

Cherry tomatoes

You can use any small tomatoes, such as cherry, plum, and date tomatoes. We chop them up, season them with olive oil, salt, garlic, pepper, and basil, then roast them on top of the eggplant for a few minutes.

Mozzarella cheese

To add that melty, cheesy feel. Use pre-grated mozzarella made for pizza or a whole one you can shred yourself.

If you are vegan, you can replace it with a vegan mozzarella or other vegan cheese that melts. Alternatively, choose one of the other vegan stuffings in the variations chapter below.

Basil pesto

You can use store-bought or make our quick, healthy, delicious basil pesto at home. Drizzle on top of the stuffed eggplant before serving.

Other ingredients

You can garnish with toasted pine nuts, fresh basil leaves, and freshly ground black pepper.

stuffed eggplants with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and pesto

Instructions

1. Roast the eggplants

Preheat the oven to 430°F or 220°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash and dry the eggplants and cut them in half lengthwise.

Score the flesh of the eggplant with the tip of a knife, and season with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme, rubbing the condiments between the cuts.

scoring the flesh of the eggplant

Arrange on the baking sheet; cut side down. Bake at 430°F or 220°C for 40 to 50 minutes until thoroughly cooked and tender.

To check for doneness, pierce them with a fork; it should slide in easily.

Tip: you can also roast eggplants in an air-fryer for half the time. To do so, cut and season them as above, then air fry them for 12 minutes at 360°F or 180°C cut side up, flip around, and air fry for another 8 to 10 minutes, until brown, a little char, and tender inside.

roasted eggplant boats

2. Make Tomato Mix

Chop the cherry tomatoes and add them to a bowl with crushed garlic, chopped basil, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Mix well and set aside while the eggplants roast.

tomato stuffing

3. Top and melt

Add shredded mozzarella cheese to the roasted eggplants, then add the tomato mix and some more mozzarella.

stuffed eggplant with mozzarella and tomatoes

Return to the oven and broil for 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes get soft and the mozzarella melts.

Arrange on a serving platter and drizzle with basil pesto. Optionally garnish with toasted pine nuts, fresh black pepper, and extra basil leaves.

stuffed eggplants with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and vegan pesto

Variations

1. Mediterranean stuffed eggplant

Couscous salad on stuffed eggplant

Spread a generous amount of tahini yogurt sauce on the roasted eggplants. Top with a few tablespoons of couscous salad, then drizzle with tahini sauce.

You can sprinkle with toasted slivered almonds and a pinch of sumac or other spices like cinnamon, paprika, and cumin.

You can substitute rice salad and farro salad for couscous salad.

2. Pesto & Tomatoes

stuffed eggplants with pesto, tomatoes, and tahini sauce

Spread a generous layer of basil pesto on the roasted eggplants, including between the cuts.

Top with chopped tomatoes mixed with olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, minced garlic, drizzle with tahini sauce, and garnish with fresh basil or mint leaves.

3. Avocado, Chickpeas, and Tomatoes

air fryer chickpeas on stuffed roasted eggplant

Spread a generous amount of avocado spread on the eggplant, add chopped tomatoes mixed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, top with roasted chickpeas or air-fried chickpeas, and sprinkle with parsley or fresh coriander.

Tip: you can bake the roasted chickpeas with the eggplants on the side on the same baking tray.

Serving suggestions

We generally serve roasted stuffed eggplants for dinner with:

  • Pita bread (flour, instant dry yeast, sugar, olive oil, etc.)
  • Easy side salad (lettuce, celery, cherry tomatoes, red onion, olive oil, etc.)
  • Hummus (chickpeas, cumin, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil, etc.)
  • Naan bread (flour, sugar, instant dry yeast, garlic, olive oil, parsley, etc.)
  • No knead focaccia (rosemary, flour, sugar, water, instant dry yeast, sea salt, etc.)

Questions

Do you eat the skin of stuffed eggplants?

You can eat the skin of stuffed eggplant if you want. It’s full of nutrients and fiber. However, if you prefer, you can just eat the eggplant flesh and the stuffing.

Do you need to purge the eggplant to remove bitterness?

No, there’s no need to purge the eggplant with salt or soak it because modern eggplants are engineered not to be bitter. Purgin eggplant is an old practice that is, in most cases, unnecessary.

Make ahead & storage

Make ahead: you make the pesto beforehand, the tomato mixture up to a day in advance, and you can roast the eggplants up to 2 days in advance. Then put the dish together right before dinner, warm the eggplants, and in just over 10 minutes, you can have a delicious dinner.

Refrigerator: store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, then reheat in the oven, microwave, or air-fryer before eating.

Freezer: we don’t recommend freezing this recipe.

More eggplant recipes

If you love cooking with this versatile vegetable, check out our selection of favorite eggplant recipes:

stuffed eggplants

Stuffed Eggplant

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 4 votes
Stuffed eggplant is a delicious, easy, and versatile meal that will make you fall in love with this delicious vegetable.
You can make it with tender oven-roasted eggplants topped with your favorite filling – we show you four. This one's a healthy recipe, you can serve it as a main or side dish and it's excellent for a cozy family dinner.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Main Course, Side dish
Cuisine: American Italian

Ingredients

FOR ROASTING THE EGGPLANT

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon thyme fresh or dry

FOR THE STUFFING

  • 2 cups mozzarella or non-dairy cheese, shredded
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes quartered
  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 15 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts optional

Instructions 

ROAST THE EGGPLANT

  • Preheat the oven to 430°F or 220°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash and dry 2 medium eggplants and cut them in half lengthwise.
    Score the flesh of the eggplant with the tip of a knife, and season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme, rubbing the condiments between the cuts.
    seasoning eggplant boats
  • Arrange on the baking sheet; cut side down. Bake at 430°F or 220°C for 40 to 50 minutes until thoroughly cooked and tender or air fry for 20 minutes turning around once.
    To check for doneness, pierce them with a fork; it should slide in easily.
    roasted eggplant boats

MAKE TOMATOES MIX

  • Chop 3 cups cherry tomatoes and add them to a bowl with 1 clove garlic (crushed) ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 15 fresh basil leaves, and ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Mix well and set aside.
    tomato mix

 TOP AND MELT

  • Add shredded mozzarella to the roasted eggplants, then add the tomato mix and some more mozzarella.
    stuffed eggplant with mozzarella and tomatoes
  • Return to the oven and broil for 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes get soft and the mozzarella melts.
    Arrange on a serving platter and drizzle with basil pesto. Optionally garnish with toasted pine nuts, fresh black pepper, and extra basil leaves.
    stuffed eggplants with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and vegan pesto

Video

Stuffed Eggplant: a veggie-packed dinner idea

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1/2 stuffed eggplant.
VARIATIONS
Check out our variations chapter for more stuffed eggplant ideas.
MAKE AHEAD & STORAGE
Make ahead: you make the pesto beforehand, the tomato mixture up to a day in advance, and you can roast the eggplants up to 2 days in advance. Then put the dish together right before dinner, warm the eggplants, and in just over 10 minutes, you can have a delicious dinner.
Refrigerator: store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, then reheat in the oven, microwave, or air-fryer before eating.
Freezer: we don’t recommend freezing this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 310kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Potassium: 829mg, Dietary Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 1487IU, Vitamin B6: 0.3mg, Vitamin C: 32mg, Vitamin E: 2mg, Vitamin K: 32µg, Calcium: 350mg, Folate: 72µg, Iron: 2mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 57mg, Zinc: 2mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. I am on the Daniel Plan and I didnt have all of the ingredience. It was delicious with the eggplant, spices, and garlic powder brushed with Extra Virgin olive Oil.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m always looking for quick, easy recipes. This didn’t turn out quite the way I hoped. But I’m sure that was my fault. I only had one eggplant which wasn’t a problem. I did question putting the cut side down and roasting for almost an hour.i checked after 40 minutes and the cut side down was burnt and stuck to the parchment paper. I scooped out what I could, mixed it with the tomatoes and pesto and baked it separately with cheese on top. It came out good. Easy and healthy way to use up veggies