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Stuffed Eggplant

stuffed eggplant Entree Italian
Stuffed Eggplant
  • Prep 30 min
  • Total 1 hr 20 min
  • Servings 4

Don’t discount the eggplant! This underrated veggie turns downright succulent when cooked correctly and stuffed with ground beef and veggies—it’s a hearty, comforting and a delight to the taste buds. Herbs and pecorino Romano cheese add extra flavor and the toasted breadcrumbs add a satisfying crunch! MORE+ LESS-

Updated July 2, 2019
Progresso Breadcrumbs
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Progresso Breadcrumbs

Ingredients

1
large eggplant
3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2
teaspoon grey sea salt
1/4
teaspoon black pepper
1/2
lb ground beef
1
onion, diced small (about 1 cup)
1
red bell pepper, diced small (about 1 cup)
3
cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2
cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2
cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/4
cups grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/2
cup Progresso™ plain panko crispy bread crumbs
1
whole egg
2
small tomatoes, chopped

Steps

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  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F.
  • 2
    Cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the center, leaving enough meat inside the skin so that it holds its shape when baked. Chop eggplant that has been scooped out of the inside; place in saucepan, cover with water and boil until very soft, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Salt and pepper the beef. Add the seasoned ground beef to the pan, and sauté until all of its liquid is evaporated and the beef begins to brown slightly. Let cool briefly, and chop the cooked beef so that there are no large chunks of meat. In another medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sauté the onion, pepper and garlic together in the oil.
  • 4
    In a bowl, mix together the cooked eggplant, vegetables, beef, herbs, 1 cup of the cheese, 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs and the egg. Fill the scooped-out eggplant halves with this mixture, dividing it evenly between the two halves.
  • 5
    Top with chopped tomatoes, the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, remaining 1/4 cup bread crumbs, and season with salt and pepper. Place on an oiled oven tray or baking dish, and bake for 50 minutes. Let cool briefly; slice widthwise and serve.

Expert Tips

  • Eggplant is from the nightshade family. While it’s commonly lumped in with vegetables, it’s actually a fruit—a berry to be exact.
  • When purchasing eggplant, look for those that are heavy for their size with firm, evenly colored and unblemished skin. Caps and stems should be intact with no mold. Refrigerate eggplant in plastic bags for up to 5 days. There are many varieties of eggplant and colors can range from purple to green to white to striated. For this recipe, you’ll want to use a globe—sometimes also called American—eggplant, which is large and pear-shaped.
  • Eggplant can be bitter. Depending on how the eggplant is used is why some recipes advise salting the chopped pieces first and letting sit in a colander for an hour to remove bitterness. Rinse the pieces under cold water to remove any saltiness and firmly squeeze dry. Be sure to dry pieces with paper towels before continuing to cook.
  • Stuffed eggplant is a classic Middle Eastern dish and you can find riffs on it all through the region and into the Mediterranean—from ground beef stuffed eggplant to lamb stuffed eggplant to vegetarian versions stuffed with grains like couscous, there’s seemingly an endless array of stuffed eggplant recipes in existence.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
500
Calories from Fat
260
% Daily Value
Total Fat
29g
44%
Saturated Fat
10g
49%
Trans Fat
1/2g
Cholesterol
115mg
39%
Sodium
850mg
36%
Potassium
980mg
28%
Total Carbohydrate
32g
11%
Dietary Fiber
9g
36%
Sugars
10g
Protein
28g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
60%
60%
Vitamin C
60%
60%
Calcium
40%
40%
Iron
20%
20%
Exchanges:
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 3 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 3 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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