Middle Eastern stuffed eggplant with spiced ground beef, bulgur and pine nuts. This hearty eggplant dish can stand on its own as a one-pan meal with a side salad and warmed pita bread. But it won't hurt to serve it as a side dish on special occasions!

Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. This is a must-try all star recipe for stuffed eggplants. Roasted eggplants stuffed with a fragrant spiced meat, bulgur and pine nut mixture. So good! See full recipe on TheMediterraneanDish.com

In many parts of the Middle East, this stuffed eggplant dish is referred to as Sheikh Mahshi, which means "stuffed sheikh-style."

Sheikh is a title given to the head of a tribe or household-- someone of higher wisdom and esteem. So what does this have to do with stuffed eggplant?

Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. This is a must-try all star recipe for stuffed eggplants. Roasted eggplants stuffed with a fragrant spiced meat, bulgur and pine nut mixture. So good! See full recipe on TheMediterraneanDish.com

This particular stuffed eggplant recipe is thought of as the star of all stuffed dishes. One that's often reserved for honored guests, it's delicate and tasty that it's deemed,"fit for a sheikh."

Here's the gist. Perfectly roasted eggplant halves serve as boats for a fragrant stuffing mixture of spiced meat, fine bulgur, and pine nuts. The stuffed eggplant boats are then baked briefly in tomato sauce. (By the way, if you're interested in learning more about bulgur wheat and how to cook it, check out my post all about it for simple tips and tricks!)

Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. This is a must-try all star recipe for stuffed eggplants. Roasted eggplants stuffed with a fragrant spiced meat, bulgur and pine nut mixture. So good! See full recipe on TheMediterraneanDish.com

What to serve with Sheik Mahshi Stuffed Eggplant

You can serve this stuffed eggplant as side dish, but it can stand all on its own as a one-pan meal. I like to top the finished eggplants with a little sauce like spicy zhoug or homemade Tzatziki sauce. Even plain yogurt will do well to compliment the saucy stuffed eggplant. All that's needed is some warm pita bread and a side of zesty fresh salad like fattoush, simple chopped salad, or even this herbed tomato salad.

 

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Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. This is a must-try all star recipe for stuffed eggplants. Roasted eggplants stuffed with a fragrant spiced meat, bulgur and pine nut mixture. So good! See full recipe on TheMediterraneanDish.com

Stuffed Baby Eggplant with Spiced Ground Beef, Bulgur and Pine Nuts


Description

All-star stuffed eggplant recipe with a Middle Eastern twist. Roasted eggplant stuffed with a fragrant mixture of spiced meat, fine bulgur and pine nuts.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 large eggplants, stems removed, halved
  • Salt
  • Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, shredded (about ½ cup packed shredded yellow onion)
  • 2 large garlic clove, chopped
  • ¾ lb lean ground beef (you can use ground turkey or lamb as well)
  • 1 tsp ground allspice, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
  • ¼ cup extra fine bulgur, soaked in ¼ cup hot water for 10 minutes then drained (bulgur must be extra fine)
  • ½ cup packed chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 red onion, sliced into rings

Topping suggestions (optional) 


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place the eggplant, flesh side up, on a large tray. Sprinkle flesh with salt and set aside for 20 minutes so that the eggplant "sweats" its bitter juices. Over the sink, gently squeeze the eggplant to extract bitter juices. Wipe dry.
  3. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly oil. Cut 3 slits or shallow lines into the eggplant flesh, then brush generously with olive oil. Lay on the prepared tray, flesh-side down. Drizzle more extra virgin olive oil on top. Roast in heated oven for 30 minutes or until flesh is tender and deeply browned (but not burned).
  4. While eggplant is roasting, make the meat stuffing mixture. In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add ground beef, onions and garlic. Brown beef mixture over medium-high heat until fully cooked through. Season the meat mixture with salt and pepper, ½ teaspoon allspice, and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Remove from heat. Squeeze any excess water out of bulgur, then add to the meat mixture. Add chopped parsley and pine nuts. Give the mixture a good stir. Taste and adjust salt if needed (do not over-salt, especially if using salted tomato sauce later)
  5. When eggplant is ready, remove from oven and set aside briefly. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the tomato sauce, water, and remainder of cinnamon and allspice.
  7. Place red onion slices on the bottom of a casserole dish like this one; top with ½ the tomato sauce mixture. Arrange the roasted eggplant on top.
  8. With the back of a spoon, gently push the eggplant flesh down to make room for the meat stuffing mixture. Spoon the meat stuffing mixture to fill the eggplant cavities you created. Top with the remainder of the tomato sauce mixture.
  9. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake in the 375 degrees F heated-oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
  10. Serve warm topped with your choice of  Zhoug, Greek Tzataziki, or plain yogurt. Don't forget some warm pita bread or your choice of crusty bread to sop up the goodness!

Notes

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keywords: stuffed eggplant, eggplant recipe, stuffed eggplant recipe, roasted eggplant recipe, easy eggplant recipe

More Recipes to Try

Moussaka: Greek Eggplant Casserole

Baked Rigatoni with Eggplant and Tomato

Italian Eggplant Parmigiana 

Egyptian Vegan Stew with Peas and Carrots

Avgolemono: Greek Lemon Chicken Soup 

Mediterranean Vegan Wraps with Roasted Cauliflower 

Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. This is a must-try all star recipe for stuffed eggplants. Roasted eggplants stuffed with a fragrant spiced meat, bulgur and pine nut mixture. So good! See full recipe on TheMediterraneanDish.com

Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. This is a must-try all star recipe for stuffed eggplants. Roasted eggplants stuffed with a fragrant spiced meat, bulgur and pine nut mixture. So good! See full recipe on TheMediterraneanDish.com

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. One of my favorite dishes! Any recommendations on making ahead? Maybe everything up to the point of baking in the final step?

    1. One of my favorite recipes of yours. Since I am vegetarian I use ground soy or even better ground quorn (not found every where to my sorrow) but that is the only change I make and it is delicious!

  2. Became a huge fan of Mediterranean food years ago, thanks to my dear Lebanese neighbors, so was thrilled to find your blog. Your recipes are amazing, Suzy, so authentic! I'll be making this one tonight, but have a question. Recipes says 1 tsp each of cinnamon and allspice, divided, but I only see 1/2 tsp of each used in the recipe. Am I reading correctly? It is early! hehe Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much, Sandra! The remainder of the spices is used in the tomato sauce...thank you for catching that detail.

  3. I Love just about anything eggplant. My recent fried eggplant with rice and tomatoes was a hit at home. Can't wait to try your recipe.

  4. Good dish! A little time consuming but worthwhile. Next time I might do something to thicken the tomato sauce. Maybe add some tomato paste. I'll probably amp up the spices.

    1. Thank you for giving it a try, Susan! I like your ideas for the sauce and spices...this is certainly an easy recipe to adapt to your taste.

  5. Yum. Another keeper recipe.
    Cooking for 1 so I halved the recipe. I had 1/2 an eggplant, some meat mix and tomato sauce left. Next night I sautéed cubed eggplant, made more bulgur, added some fines herbs, and mixed it all up with the meat and tomato sauce. Into a 350 oven for 30 minutes. Another yum and another recipe.
    Thank you!

  6. This recipe is FANTASTIC!!!! Like absolutely one of the best things I have made or eaten. I don't cook often but I love trying new things. Be sure to toast the pine nuts! It makes a big difference IMO.

    1. Don, thank you so much for the thoughtful comment and feedback! I really appreciate you sharing your take on the recipe! It's always fun to see how people adapt using ingredients they have on hand. Thanks very much.

  7. This looks incredible too! It reminds me of one that I make inspired by a Yotam recipe (my foodie crush!)

    1. Hi Nagi! I am humbled. I wonder how many of us have a huge foodie crush on Ottelinghi? 🙂 Yes, he does have a similar recipe, so does Clifford Wright among others. It's such a popular Middle Eastern dish! I love it as well.

  8. Hi Suzy,
    So glad t was at The orgasmic chef blog to see your hosting post and to be introduced to your blog. As a blogger who lives in the Middle East, we here tend to take our traditional dishes for granted. Lately I have been keen with few of my blogging friends to document any Mediterranean recipe to preserve it especially that the new generation tends to like burgers and pizzas only. Not that there is something wrong with that but we here in the Middle East have a very special, healthy and exquisite not to mention delicious cuisine to preserve. Thank you for your work and I hope you visit my humble blog http://www.manalsbites.com.
    Best from Jordan
    Manal

    1. Manal, welcome to The Mediterranean Dish! I am glad you found me. My husband is of Jordanian roots, although he was born and raised in the States. I will stop by and visit your blog soon. Keep on with your good work.

  9. That's a wonderful story of kindness for a little girl who arrived late.

    I love this stuffed eggplant. I'm going to try it with ground lamb this week. It's been cold and I think it wold warm us up nicely.

  10. Susie...it was our pleasure to make Hannah's day. Her face was too sad not to rectify the situation.

    1. Marla, thank you so much for stopping in! And thank you for the kind comment. Hope we stay in touch!

    1. I know, right?! We would have had a rough Saturday, were it not for Brian's kindness!

  11. Loved the story and generosity of your friend! I can just picture big crocodile tears running down your daughter's face! 😀 Thank you also for the recipe for the delicious stuffed eggplant, you're right it, doesn't sound that hard at all!!!