This easy stuffed eggplant recipe begins with tender roasted eggplant halves that are filled with a simple vegan Mediterranean stuffing with couscous, chickpeas, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Great as a vegetarian main or as a side next to your favorite protein.

Tips and step-by-step tutorial included!

Mediterranean stuffed eggplant with couscous and chickpeas

Eggplant is a staple Mediterranean ingredient, and one of my personal favorites! I love cooking it to tender perfection, whether in a hearty stew like this one, simply roasted, or even stuffed!

Earlier, I shared a comforting stuffed eggplant recipe baked in tomato sauce with a spiced meat mixture (so worth a try by the way). This one is for my vegetarian and vegan friends, but meat lovers will enjoy this delicious dish just as much. And it's one to add to your collection classic Mediterranean diet recipes!

Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant

This easy stuffed eggplant recipe is satisfying and packed with bright flavors.

It begins with two standard globe eggplants (the large, deep purple kind), cut into halves, seasoned and roasted until tender and silky.

What's in the stuffing? The delicious vegetarian filling or stuffing is made of decidedly Mediterranean ingredients packed with nutrition and flavor:

  • Quick cooked couscous (the base or main component of the stuffing). Couscous is super easy to cook. 1 cup of dry couscous, add to it 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and let it sit for 10 minutes or so, then fluff with a fork (Earlier, I've showed you how to cook couscous perfectly every time).
  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans). Chickpeas are heart-healthy legumes that add heft to the eggplant stuffing, while providing protein, fiber and other health benefits. They're what makes this recipe just as satisfying as meat-stuffed eggplant.
  • Tomato, green onion, and parsley. This trio of chopped fresh ingredients adds color and brightness. If you want even more of a bright punch, add other herbs you might have on hand like basil, cilantro, or dill.

The third component of this recipe is the seasoning. This is where all the warm and comforting flavor comes in- a simple spice mixture of allspice, coriander, paprika, and a dash of cinnamon. The eggplant and the stuffing both take on a bit of the spice mixture. (Don't hesitate to use different spices to your liking though)

filling of couscous, chickpeas, tomatoes, green onions and parsley

How to make stuffed eggplant?

This vegetarian stuffed eggplant recipe is a snap to make! Think of the process in terms of three main steps (although I break it down a bit more in the recipe box below):

  1. Prepare and Roast Eggplant. Salt the eggplant and let it sweat out any bitterness (optional). Pat dry, then apply extra virgin olive oil and season. Roast until nice and tender and perfectly golden brown.
  2. Prepare the stuffing. Cook the couscous, then combine it with the chickpeas, tomatoes, green onions, parsley, and little bit of seasoning.
  3. Stuff the eggplant! To stuff the eggplant, take the eggplant halves and push the flesh down with the back of the spoon (you're creating "boats" to carry the stuffing). Spoon in the couscous stuffing. And if you like, drizzle with a bit of tahini sauce!

A Few Tips

  • How to choose eggplant? Many people have trouble with the slightly bitter taste of eggplant. This starts with selecting good eggplant. Look for eggplant that is smooth with a shiny skin (no wrinkles). It should feel firm and spring back when you touch it.
  • Salt the eggplant before using in this recipe. Almost any eggplant recipe I make, whether fried eggplant, roasted or whatever, begins with one important step, salting the eggplant. This is optional and there is some debate on whether it helps or not. But I find salting the eggplant and leaving it for a few minutes really enhances the flavor by allowing the eggplant to sweat out its bitterness and breaking it's spongy texture.
  • Roast the eggplant until the flesh is tender and nicely browned (deep golden brown). Under-cooked eggplant is spongy and unpleasant to eat, but when properly roasted, eggplant is silky smooth, sweet and earthy. Be patient and allow the eggplant to roast until super tender, you should be able to easily push the flesh down.
  • To assemble the stuffed eggplant, place the roasted eggplant halves in the serving platter first. This is less messy than having to transfer already stuffed eggplant to a serving dish.
  • To make this recipe ahead, you can roast the eggplant one day in advance. Let it cool completely and properly store it, flesh side up, in a tight-lid container. Bring it to room temperature and follow the recipe to stuff it. (This recipe can be served at room temperature).
  • For gluten free option, use cooked quinoa in place of couscous.
Two stuffed eggplants

What to serve along?

Because these stuffed eggplants are hearty and satisfying, you can easily serve them as a vegetarian main course, starting with a simple soup like this roasted tomato basil soup.

You can also serve them as a side next to things like grilled lamb chops, roasted cornish hen, or fish.

If you love stuffed veggies, try these vegetarian stuffed peppers next! You may also like: eggplant rollatini, stuffed peppers, Greek stuffed tomatoes

See more Mediterranean diet recipes. For all recipes, visit us here

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4.74 from 103 votes

Easy Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant Recipe (Vegetarian)

Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish. In the kitchenSuzy Karadsheh
Mediterranean stuffed eggplant with couscous and chickpeas
This stuffed eggplant recipe begins with tender roasted eggplant halves that are filled with a simple vegan stuffing of instant cooked couscous, chickpeas, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. This makes a beautiful vegetarian main or a side dish next to your favorite protein! Serve it warm or at room temperature.
Prep – 20 minutes
Cook – 45 minutes
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Serves – 4 people
Course:
Main Course, Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large eggplants
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO)
  • For spice mixture
  • ¾ teaspoon allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 cup dry couscous I used this one
  • 1 cup canned or cooked chickpeas drained
  • 1 Roma tomato small diced
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • Handful fresh parsley finely chopped
  • To Serve:
  • Tahini sauce per this recipe

Instructions
 

  • Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Season the flesh with kosher salt. Set aside, flesh side up, for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the eggplant to "sweat." Pat dry with a paper towel. (This is an optional step but can make a big difference).
    eggplant cut in halves and salted
  • Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the spices (allspice, coriander, paprika, and ground cinnamon).
  • Pat eggplant dry. Brush the flesh with extra virgin olive oil. Set aside about 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture and use the rest to season the eggplant (rub the spice mixture allover the top of each eggplant half.)
  • Roast the Eggplant. Place eggplant halves, flesh side up, on a generously oiled sheet pan. Bake in the heated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until the eggplant flesh is nice and tender.
    Roasted eggplant on a sheet pan
  • Cook the instant couscous, while the eggplant is roasting. Heat a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Add the couscous and cook briefly, stirring regularly, until toasted. Add 1 cup of boiling water to the couscous and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes until the couscous is cooked (it will double in size).
    Cooked Instant Couscous
  • Make the filling. Fluff the couscous with a fork and season with a dash of salt and the 1 teaspoon of spice mixture you reserved earlier. Add chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, green onions, and parsley. Toss to combine.
    filling of couscous, chickpeas, tomatoes, green onions and parsley
  • If you’re adding tahini sauce, make it according to this recipe.
  • Assemble the stuffed eggplant. Arrange the roasted eggplant on a serving platter, flesh side up. With the back of a spoon, push the flesh down to create somewhat of a cavity for the couscous filling. Spoon in the couscous filling. Drizzle with tahini. Enjoy!
    Assembled stuffed eggplant

Video

Notes

  • Cook's Tip: If you have the time, don't skip salting the eggplant. This step helps the eggplant sweat out its bitterness and also helps break down its spongy texture. 
  • For gluten free option: Use cooked quinoa in place of couscous. 
  • Make Ahead: You can roast the eggplant one night in advance. Let it cool completely and store it in a covered container till the next day. Bring it to room temperature before adding the filling. 
  • Storage: This vegetarian stuffed eggplant will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, but it's best enjoyed fresh. 
  • Visit our online shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients, including extra virgin olive oils, couscous, and all-natural and organic spices used in this recipe. 

Nutrition

Calories: 262.1kcalCarbohydrates: 53.9gProtein: 10gFat: 1.6gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 124.7mgPotassium: 711.8mgFiber: 11.4gSugar: 8.6gVitamin A: 344.8IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 54.8mgIron: 1.7mg
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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. Ann M says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious! I wasn’t sure how much I’d like those spices in the savory dish, but they were fantastic. I salted the eggplant like you said, and it was super creamy. I may add something salty to the filling next time, though. Capers, Kalamata olives, or feta cheese would take this to a whole different place.

  2. Marco says:

    5 stars
    I really like this recipe on busy weekdays. It is easy to make with not so much ingredients but still it is very delicious and taste amazing. I almost make this ones a week.

    Thanks again for a great recipe!!

  3. Rich says:

    5 stars
    Made this exactly as written. It was absolutely delicious, the tahini sauce was a great idea, and we had leftover couscous filling that was great on its own. Came together easily like all your recipes. Thanks!

  4. Sue says:

    5 stars
    I followed the recipe exactly except for adding a clove of minced garlic because I put garlic in everything. The recipe makes way more filling than needed but it's so good on it's own as a salad. My cooked eggplant was very stringy and difficult to eat but tasted good. The addition of your creamy tahini sauce was excellent and makes the filling so rich and creamy. I will definitely make again but without the eggplant.

    1. Suzy says:

      I’m happy you tried this, Sue! Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed comment.

      1. Serpil says:

        Hi Suzy, could we do this recipe with zuccinis?

      2. Suzy says:

        Hi, Serpil. I haven't tried that, but I think it could work. My only concern is that this filling is quite hearty/bulky, so you'd want to use adequately-sized zucchinis. I do have a few other stuffed zucchini recipes you can look at for other ideas/inspiration: Stuffed Zucchini Boats and Middle Eastern Stuffed Zucchini.

  5. Deborah Gelerter says:

    4 stars
    This was easy to make and yummy but confession here, we didn’t really care for the eggplant part. That said, the spice mix and stuffing was so delicious I was glad to have leftovers for a cold lunch. I’ve made just the “stuffing” part twice more with my variations to taste. I add a dash of salt, a liberal shake of the spice mix (now premixed to have on hand) a couple cloves of minced garlic and toss in a handful of nuts and a small cucumber minced for some extra crunch. I refer to this as a chickpea couscous salad. There’s a bunch of it in the fridge as we speak! Many thanks for launching us toward a go to lunch.

    Oh, and I have already recommended to friends they try toasting the couscous to bring out the nutty flavor. Delish!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Deborah!!

  6. Victor says:

    5 stars
    Just wow!. Delicious and hit the spot too! The seasoning and especially Tahini was very nice touch. Never tried Tahini, but glad I did. I see and tasted what you meant by makes a difference to let the skin cook with the kosher salt.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Victor!

  7. Gregory Vatistas says:

    5 stars
    Made it to a T and it was great.

    1. Suzy says:

      Awesome! Thanks, Gregory!

  8. Sabrina says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely Delicious! I made this exactly according to your recipe. The spices and flavors meld together so well! We will make this again! My family and I loved it!

    1. Suzy says:

      Awesome! Thanks, Sabrina!

  9. Jen says:

    5 stars
    This is such a yummy dish!!
    I rarely eat a meal without meat and rarely cook eggplant, although I've always loved it. This was such an easy, inexpensive, healthy, and tasty recipe! thank you for sharing!!!

    1. Suzy says:

      My pleasure, Jen. So glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Marie says:

    I am roasting the eggplants as I write this. Made the filling and tasted it . Thought it was a little blah. I even added a little cumin, which I love and use alot. Does this get tastier after the tahini sauce tops it. I followed the quantities of spices exactly. Needs a little kick. Going to add a little more lemon juice to filling. Anyone's thoughts??

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi Marie, we do love adding the tahini on top. Also, often times, it is about the freshness and pungency of spices used. You can certainly add more of any spices you enjoy!

  11. Pam says:

    This is such a great concept that could be altered so easily depending upon what you have on hand or what your diet allows. We are currently not eating any starches, so the chickpeas and couscous were out. We just followed the recipe but instead added caramelized onions and red peppers, chopped walnuts, chopped parsley, and feta cheese to the topping. Also, my oven is dead so I "baked" the eggplant in a pan on my grill. It was all spectacular. I'm not rating it though because I really didn't follow the recipe.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing you adaptions for this one! Sounds delish!

  12. Brianna says:

    1 star
    The seasoning was not appropriate for this dish. The cinnamon and allspice gave it a very odd flavor. Also, the tahini sauce was pretty bad. The pictures look way better than the actual dish. Definitely won’t be making this dish again.

  13. Sarina says:

    5 stars
    Just made this for dinner and we loved it. I used crunchy roasted chickpeas (used your recipe) as I like to have something crunchy as well.

    1. Suzy says:

      Great idea! Thanks, Sarina!

  14. Shannon says:

    5 stars
    One of my favorite recipes, I use hummus instead of tahini sauce, and add a couple slices of avocado. Oh so good

    1. Suzy says:

      YUM! Thanks for sharing, Shannon!

  15. Aerial says:

    5 stars
    This is a new favorite dinner in my house! My husband and I usually eat meat at dinner, and this is a delicious, filling meatless meal. I like to add some feta cheese to the stuffing. I also add a little bit of water to the tahini sauce so I can drizzle it all over! Yum yum yum

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Aerial!

  16. Cyndy Bishop says:

    5 stars
    Another excellent recipe! My youngest daughter is vegetarian so I LOVE all the vegetarian recipies you post. She loves couscous but does not like eggplant. Ha ha! She ate this and loved it! I truly appreciate how healthy AND delicious your recipies are.