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Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Eggplant has everything you love about traditional eggplant parm, and none of the stuff you don’t. There’s still all the veggie goodness, a flavorful sauce, and plenty of cheese. But you have none of the work and calories of breading and frying. Enjoy it as a light and fresh-tasting gluten free dinner recipe, or serve it with pasta or bread for something more hearty and comforting. Either way, the rich meatless eggplant bolognese sauce and cheesy filling are sure to be a new family favorite for Meatless Monday or any day of the week.
You may or may not know that this is an old recipe from the blog. A really old recipe. Like 2012. That’s old in the food blog world, especially my food blog, which was literally, like, a week old when I published it. So it’s funny to look back on what I wrote and where I was at the time.
Let’s go back, back, wayyyyy back…
I was definitely a newbie when it came to writing a blog. Really, I was even a newbie when it came to recording my recipes. Yes, I am a scientist, and in the lab, I was always very exact with my measurements. I think that is why I love baking – formulas, measurements, acids, bases, heat, reactions, solids, liquids, and gases. It truly is a science. Cooking is definitely more of an art. I am not an artist, but when I cook, it is more of a little of this, a little of that, unless I am following someone else’s recipe. So I decided to start making cooking like a science experiment, and my spiral notebook of recipes became my new laboratory notebook. Just now it says salt and baking soda, instead of sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate.
I actually didn’t even read many blogs. So as I was exploring and trying to figure things out, I stumbled upon a recipe at Pink Parsley for Lasagna-Stuffed Portabellos, and immediately began drooling and planning when I would make this amazing-sounding recipe. I love lasagna, but since I am gluten free, the idea of gluten free lasagna without even using pasta – I was in!
Plus I love mushrooms. I was visiting my mom and Mom loves mushrooms. My sister loves mushrooms. My stepfather… uhhh… hates mushrooms. Grrr! But I still wanted lasagna, so I decide to change it up a bit to a version that we would all enjoy.
You see, we all love eggplant parmesan, but since I don’t like the work of eggplant parmesan, I used eggplant instead of portabellos. Just like Eggplant Parmesan Casserole, this is so much easier than breading and frying eggplant slices.
And we all loved it!
None of us were in a pasta mood that night, so we just scooped up the sauce and cheese with some bread. But this would go fabulously with some pasta (regular or gluten-free), or even some spaghetti squash or zoodles. Or even make just the sauce to go with your noodles.
Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
This stuffed eggplant recipe makes a great vegetarian meal or side dish. Ditch the breading and frying and calories and carbs of traditional eggplant parmesan, but take the hearty sauce and blend of three typed of cheese and stuff it in an eggplant shell for a new twist on the classic that is sure to be a new favorite.
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!
- Eggplants – cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh from the eggplant, leaving approximately a half-inch thick “shell”. Chop the scooped-out portion into cubes.
- Olive oil
- Onion – chopped
- Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- Canned chopped or crushed tomatoes – I recommend Tuttorosso brand
- Ricotta cheese
- Parmesan cheese – grated
- Mozzarella cheese – I prefer fresh mozzarella, but the regular kind will work as well
Directions overview – scroll to the recipe card for the full set of instructions
- Salt and drain the eggplant shells, and flip them upside down on a paper towel to draw out some of the moisture, then bake until soft.
- Saute the onion, add the reserved chopped eggplant, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, and cook until the eggplant is browned and tender.
- Add canned tomatoes and simmer until heated through.
- Stir the cheeses and remaining Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
- Fill the eggplant shells with the sauce and ricotta cheese mixture.
- Top with more sauce, mozzarella, and additional parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is bubbly and browned.
- Salting and draining the eggplant is an important step to ensure they don’t give off too much moisture when cooking.
- The faux Bolognese sauce is delicious on its own if you want to make a veggie-packed pasta sauce.
- If you want to make it a meatier dish, brown some ground beef or turkey, then add the chopped eggplant and make the sauce.
Make it a meal
Meatless and veggie-packed
- Julia Child’s Ratatouille
- Air Fryer Gluten Free Zucchini Fritters
- Nutella Swirl No-Churn Pumpkin Ice Cream
Simply gluten free for everyone
- Sundried Tomato Rosemary Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak
- Italian Wedge Salad
- Flourless Ricotta Cheesecake Brownies
- Caprese Grilled Filet Mignon
- Mushroom Cauliflower Risotto from All Day I Dream About Food
- Strawberry Keto Cheesecake Parfaits with Strawberries
- Your favorite pasta (you can even double the sauce or make Vodka Sauce)
- Homemade Garlic Cheese Breadsticks from Grandbaby Cakes or Spinach Artichoke Cheesy Cauliflower Bread Sticks
- Cannoli Ice Cream Cones
More stuffed veggie recipes
- Lasagna-Style Cheesy Ground Beef Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Mediterranean Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Jambalaya Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Bolognese Stuffed Mushrooms
- Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Peppers
Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Eggplant
- 2 medium eggplants
- 1 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning , divided
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 28 oz. can canned Chopped Tomatoes in Puree or Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tablespoons for topping
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella , cut in thin slices
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
- Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh from the eggplant, leaving approximately a half-inch thick “shell”. Cut the scooped out flesh into approximately 1/4 inch cubes and set aside.
- Sprinkle a little salt inside the eggplant shells, and flip them upside down on a paper towel to draw out some of the water for about 5-10 minutes. Blot out some of the water from the shell, and place them cut side down in a glass baking dish sprayed with olive oil or cooking spray. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until eggplant starts to become soft.
- While the eggplant drains and bakes, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until translucent and tender.
- Add the reserved chopped eggplant, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 Kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, to taste. Cook until the eggplant is browned and tender, approximately five minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- While it simmers, make the cheese mixture by combining the ricotta cheese, 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a small bowl.
- After the eggplant shells are done baking, remove fro the oven and spoon about 2 Tablespoons of the sauce into the bottom of each eggplant half. Divide the ricotta cheese mixture evenly between the shells, and top each with another 2 Tablespoons sauce. Reserve extra sauce for serving.
- Lay the mozzarella on top of the stuffed eggplants, and sprinkle with the 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese.
- Baked for 15-20 minutes at 400ºF, or until heated through and the cheese is bubbly and browned.
Originally published on Mar 8, 2012. These photos are such gems!