You're going to fall in love with this Mediterranean-inspired quinoa stuffed eggplant recipe. It's full of flavor, packed with veggies, and takes just 30 minutes to make!
I've been on a serious Mediterranean food kick lately. Just gimme all chickpeas, hummus, parsley, cucumber, and tahini. I love the freshness and flavors, and both of these elements get put to good use in this stuffed eggplant recipe.
This baked eggplant is stuffed with quinoa, tomatoes, and mushrooms. It's a really simple dish to put together, uses just a handful of ingredients (many of which I bet you already have!), and it’s ready in about 30 minutes.
Our stuffing is a simple blend of quinoa, tomatoes, finely chopped mushrooms (which aren't technically Mediterranean but give a nice meaty texture to the recipe), shallots, garlic, and a few spices, that get sautéed in some olive oil until it's sizzling hot.
Then just scoop it into the soft eggplant, bake for another few minutes and all that’s left is to add a savory tahini drizzle and dig in!
Why You’ll Love This Stuffed Eggplant Recipe
Here’s what makes this recipe a hit:
- Hearty and satisfying. Quinoa adds protein, you get some healthy fats from the olive oil and tahini, and the fiber in all the veggies makes this stuffed eggplant super filling.
- Tahini sauce. I mean, need I say more? It's my favorite way to make salad dressings (check out my Maple Tahini Dressing and Chili Lime Tahini Sauce), make energy balls with it, and sometimes just drizzle it on avocado toast!
- Quick and easy. You’ll be able to prep the filling while the eggplant bakes, which means more efficient use of your time! Dinner’s done in just 30 minutes.
- Customizable. There’s so much you can do to make this recipe your own. Don’t be afraid to put your own unique spin on it!
What You’ll Need
Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need when making this stuffed eggplant. Make sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact quantities for each ingredient.
- Eggplant – There’s a world of delicious eggplant varieties out there, but you want a standard globe eggplant for this recipe.
- Olive oil
- Shallot – If you can’t find shallots, yellow onion is the best substitute.
- Button mushrooms
- Whole canned plum tomatoes – Plus juice from the can.
- Quinoa – Here’s how to cook quinoa.
- Ground cumin – Ground cumin is a common spice in Mediterranean cooking. It has an earthy flavor that works well with so many vegetables.
- Salt and pepper
- Tahini – Tahini is made with ground sesame seeds; you can usually find it with nut butters at the grocery store or make your own tahini.
- Lemon juice
- Garlic powder
- Water – Just a bit, to thin the sauce so it’s easy to drizzle.
Should Eggplant Be Peeled Before Baking?
No, you don't need to peel the eggplant before baking, and you don’t need to take the skin off before eating it either. The skin on an eggplant is edible and healthy.
How to Make Stuffed Eggplant
Here’s how easy it is to make this stuffed eggplant recipe:
- Prepare. Preheat your oven to 425ºF, then cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the flesh.
- Bake. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and drizzle it with a tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with salt, then bake it for 20 minutes.
- Make the filling. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet and add the shallots and mushrooms. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened. Stir in the tomatoes, quinoa, and spices, and cook until the liquid evaporates.
- Stuff the eggplant. Once the eggplant has cooked for 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF. Stuff each half with the tomato-quinoa mixture and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Make the drizzle. While the eggplant bakes, whisk together the tahini, lemon, garlic, water, salt, and pepper.
- Serve. Plate the eggplant, drizzle with the tahini sauce, and garnish with parsley.
Tips for Success
Follow these additional pointers for perfect stuffed eggplant:
- Use high-quality canned tomatoes. I like Tuttorosso whole plum tomatoes for the best flavor.
- Choose a young eggplant. Young eggplant that’s freshly picked doesn’t have the bitterness of older eggplants, which means you can skip salting it prior to cooking. Look for eggplant that’s smooth, glossy, and deeply colored, with a top that’s green, not brown. It should also be firm when you gently press the sides.
- Don’t add too much water to the drizzle. When you first start whisking together the tahini sauce, it can feel like you need more water, but keep whisking and it will get smoother. Then you can decide how much water to add to thin it out.
If you’d like to switch things up, here are a few simple variations for this recipe:
- Add cooked brown rice instead of quinoa.
- For more Mediterranean flavor, stir in some feta cheese (vegan feta to keep it plant-based) into the stuffing before baking.
- Use the filling to stuff bell peppers, zucchini, or delicata squash.
- Garnish with crispy chickpeas.
How to Store Leftovers
Store leftover stuffed eggplant in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can eat it cold, warm it up in the microwave, or place it in a baking dish, cover, and reheat in a 350ºF oven until warmed through.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
If you want to freeze this recipe, place the stuffed eggplant in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat according to the instructions above.
More Mediterranean Recipe to Try
- Baked Grain-Free Falafel Bites
- Saffron Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad
- One-Pot Moroccan Lentils + Quinoa
- Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
- Mediterranean Tostadas
- Vegan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Mediterranean Quinoa
- One-Pot Mediterranean Quinoa with Spinach + Chickpeas
Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce
- 1 eggplant
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 medium shallot diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 cup chopped button mushrooms about 2 cups whole
- 5 – 6 Tuttorosso whole plum tomatoes chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato juice from the can
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley + more to garnish
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Water to thin
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the flesh. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 20 minutes.
- While the eggplant is cooking, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Once add all the shallots and mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, quinoa and spices, and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
- Once the eggplant has cooked for 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF and stuff each half with the tomato-quinoa mixture. Bake for another 10 minutes.
- When ready to serve, whisk together tahini, lemon, garlic, water and a touch of salt and pepper. Drizzle tahini over eggplants, sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!