Who can resist a Mediterranean roasted eggplant recipe? Especially one that’s stuffed AND vegan? I know I can’t!
This simple stuffed Mediterranean roasted eggplant recipe is a versatile dish for 1-2. And it’s perfect for either a tasty side dish or a complete meal on its own. The delicious flavors in this vegan recipe are created using grocery store staples you can find anywhere.
While there are many different ways to enjoy baked eggplant, I think you’ll find that Mediterranean flavors take this simple dish to the next level. This easy recipe contains healthy ingredients that fill you up and taste great. What more can you ask for?
How to Prepare This Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant Recipe
1. Prepare the Eggplant
This yummy Mediterranean dish all starts with eggplant preparation. Eggplant tends to have a bitter taste when it’s baked, and nobody wants that!
To remove the bitterness:
- Slice the eggplant in half,
- Add kosher salt, and
- Place the eggplant face-down in water (½ inch of water).
I recommend soaking overnight, but you can get away with only 2-3 hours if you’re in a rush. Soak up any excess moisture with a paper towel and some additional salt if needed. This also works for eggplant slices or chopped eggplant.
Since this step takes a little extra effort, soak more eggplants than you need. This way, you’ll have some ready-to-make other great eggplant recipes! Some other tasty options include roasted eggplant salad or baba ghanoush. You can even cut thick slices and bread them for yummy eggplant parmesan (a personal favorite).
- Globe Eggplant – Classic eggplant found in any grocery store! Globe eggplant is the perfect size to use for the main dish.
- Italian Eggplant – A smaller version than the globe variety with very tender flesh.
- Chinese or Japanese Eggplant – Also known as “long” eggplant. This variety is long and slender, with soft flesh and thin skin.
- Fairy Tale Eggplant – Palm-sized eggplants that are perfect if you want to make a smaller version of this dish for parties.
TIP: Avoid any eggplant with soft spots or a slimy texture, as these indicators indicate the fruit is spoiling.
This recipe calls for ½ cup of cooked lentils and ½ cup of cooked couscous. Feel free to use the leftovers for other fantastic meals, like this Greek Salad.
If you choose to cook the lentils from scratch, I recommend checking for tiny rocks first. This is easiest to do by pouring the lentils onto a baking sheet and filtering through them by hand.
TIP: Cooking 1 cup of raw lentils yields about 2 ½ cups cooked.
- Place 3 cups of water and 1 cup of rinsed lentils in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Once the water boils, cover tightly and lower the heat.
- Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 10-20 minutes for whole lentils and 6-8 minutes for split lentils.
- Season with salt, and enjoy!
Cooking 1 cup of raw couscous yields about 2 ½ cups cooked.
- Boil 1 ½ cups of water in a medium saucepan.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 cup of couscous with some salt.
- Cover the pan for 5-10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
- Fluff with a fork and enjoy!
Easy Stuffed Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant Recipe
- 1 medium Eggplant medium sized globe eggplant
- 1/2 cup cooked couscous
- 1/2 cup cooked lentils
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced mushrooms or thinly sliced
- 1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced can use 1-tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 small grated carrot or diced into small pieces
- 1 medium diced tomato or use 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 pinch salt season to taste
- 1 pinch pepper season to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 handful vegan cheese Optional
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley for garnish Optional
- 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, chilli, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander FOR THE MIDDLE EAST INSPIRED STYLE
- Soak the eggplant overnight (or at least 2-3 hours) to remove the bitterness. – Cut the eggplant in two – Sprinkle salt on the white inner sides of the eggplant halves– – Soak the eggplant halves salt-side down in about 1/2 inch of water
- Cook the lentils and couscous simultaneously in 2 separate medium saucepans (see above for cooking instructions).
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahreinheit.
- Carve out the flesh of the eggplants with a spoon, leaving a 1/4-inch border to make little eggplant boats.
- Chop up the carved out eggplant flesh together with the mushrooms and red or green bell peppers.
- Saute the vegetables with olive oil over medium heat, stirring regularly.
- Grate the carrot and choop the tomato. Add each to the pan and stir.
- Add the minced garlic and cook until it begins to brown at the edges.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Add the tomato paste and stir well.
- Cook until the vegetables become soft – around 6-10 minutes over medium heat.
- Remove the veggies from the pan and place them into a medium bowl. Add the cooked couscous and lentils.
- Add the oregano and chopped basil to the vegetable mixture.
- Blend in half of the cheese and stir.
- Fill eached carved eggplant boat with the stuffing, and top with the remaining cheese.
- Cook for 40 minutes or until the eggplant is baked and the cheese is lightly browned.
- Garnish with chopped parsley if desired, and serve!
Serving Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant Recipe
Stuffed vegan eggplant is a hearty central dish ideal for a healthy vegan diet. And if you’re looking for some good sides, try it with potato fritters or a side salad. Some other great Mediterranean-inspired sides include bruschetta with cherry tomatoes or vegan cucumber gazpacho.
If you prefer Middle Eastern to Mediterranean flavors, follow all the above steps but swap out the seasonings for:
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder, and
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Stir well, stuff, bake in a hot oven, and enjoy! This Middle Eastern twist tastes just as good as the original.
Absolutely! Store your leftover stuffed eggplant in a glass air-tight storage container for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing this dish. Reheat in the oven at 400°F for about 10 minutes, or until heated through.
Want to top up with something sweet after the meal? Try out my fantastic banana bread!
You can turn this amazing vegan Mediterranean roasted eggplant recipe into an irresistable roasted eggplant dip by tossing the leftovers in a food processor. Adding a splash of fresh lemon juice and some lemon zest helps brighten the flavors. This dip goes great with pita chips, bread, or bell pepper slices.
You can also use chopped eggplant and balsamic vinegar to make a great salad perfect for vegan diets.
The leftover stuffing on its own is perfect to use the next day for wraps. Spread some tahini on a slice of pita bread or a tortilla and fill with your stuffing. SO delicious!
Pin this recipe for later! Or, if you’ve already tried this dish and loved it, please drop me a line in the comment section below!