Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Eggplant Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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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.

Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Eggplant Recipe image with title

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.

Gluten Free Stuffed Eggplant with Ricotta and Mozzarella in a white baking dish

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!

What You’ll Need

  • 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

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

Baking the eggplant shellsricotta cheese filling for stuffed eggplant parmesanStuffing the eggplants with cheese and sauceBaking the stuffed eggplant in the oven
  1. 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.
  2. Saute the onion, add the reserved chopped eggplant, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, and cook until the eggplant is browned and tender.
  3. Add canned tomatoes and simmer until heated through.
  4. Stir the cheeses and remaining Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
  5. Fill the eggplant shells with the sauce and ricotta cheese mixture. 
  6. Top with more sauce, mozzarella, and additional parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is bubbly and browned.
Taking a bite of Stuffed Eggplant parmesan with cheese pull

BRIANNE RECOMMENDS:

  • 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.
A fork with Mozzarella Ricotta Cheese Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan

Make it a meal

Meatless and veggie-packed

Simply gluten free for everyone

Keto-friendly meal

Pasta dinner

Finished recipe in a white oval serving dish

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More stuffed veggie recipes

Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Eggplant
5 from 1 vote

Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Eggplant

All the best parts of eggplant parm without the work and calories for a meatless dinner or vegetarian side dish.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Adapted from Pink Parsley’s Lasagna-Stuffed Portabellos
Nutrition Facts
Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Eggplant
Amount Per Serving (1 half eggplant)
Calories 350 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 59mg20%
Sodium 905mg38%
Potassium 1012mg29%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 9g36%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 805IU16%
Vitamin C 25mg30%
Calcium 436mg44%
Iron 3.1mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

Originally published on Mar 8, 2012. These photos are such gems!

Eggplant Parmesan stuffed eggplant on plate with a roll
23 Comments
  1. Rebecca Walker

    Hi Brianne–
    (Again, like we know each other 😉 ) It’s my impression that most foodie bloggers are very supportive of each other and actually promote each other’s recipes. I’ve never seen one who didn’t acknowledge modifications or inspirations. In terms of art or science…I’d say I’m an intuitive cook. My husband, a software engineer, is a scientist. On the rare occasions that he cooks, he follows the recipe to the absolute milligram. I look at a recipe as a platform to jump off from. And then it’s “some” of this and “a little” of that. I think I inherited some natural ability from my maternal grandmother, which is great except when other people actually like it and want “the recipe.” I need to start keeping a notebook like you.

    1. I love the personal, friendly greeting! So hi, Rebecca! 🙂 Yes, I have seen that the food blogging community is very kind and supportive. I know what you mean about tossing things together – I had to do something to force myself to write things down.

  2. you are so funny – you did everything exactly right! I’m glad you liked it so much, and I love your idea to stuff it in an eggplant. I definitely want to try it that way next time! 🙂

  3. mmmm…this looks delish! Thanks for submitting to BSI this week. I always feel that if you link and give credit back to the original place you got the recipe from, its all good. I have had many of my recipes ( original and not) remade and reposted. I consider it an honor, as long as there is a post back to me! Posting a recipe you got somewhere without credit to the originator….not cool. I am definitely more of a baker than a cook.

    1. Thanks! Yes, I am learning the ropes of using, changing, and linking back to recipes. What you said seems to be the general conclusion, so now I feel better. But being a newbie, I was a little paranoid. But really, now many recipes are COMPLETELY original. They are always inspired by another recipe, or a dish you had at a restaurant or something. In fact right now I have something in my crockpot that is a little change from a recipe I made and loved from another blog, but we felt it could use a little more kick, and I wanted to add some more veggies into it.

  4. So the thing about copying recipes….there’s a whole etiquette about that in blogworld where you never actually post someone else’s recipe (I know you didn’t do that—you posted about what recipe inspired you and linked to it). If you really did start from someone else’s recipe and modify it, you’d link to the recipe you used, and only post on your blog the changes you made but not the whole recipe.
    That way, you’re sending people to the recipe creator’s site, and you’re keeping them interested in your post too. Then, it’s a very nice thing to “copy” a recipe. There was this one blogger I was really into—she was all about a certain way of eating, and she even has cookbooks that she self-published. Then one day, someone posted in her comments a link to a recipe that was 99% the same, with just one or two things changed and mentioned “I’m glad you checked out the recipe I recommended the other day” or something like that.
    Ever since then, it’s like I can’t trust her—she didn’t give credit to where the recipe came from.
    The way I look at it is that we’re all kind of here for the same thing (in some ways)…and we’re not competing against each other—we can all boost each other up. Sometimes I invent recipes, but sometimes I’m taking what someone else did and modifying it–I want to give them credit because I’m thanking them for the inspiration and starting point!
    I didn’t mean to get preach-y there…it’s just something I’ve learned along the way from other bloggers, and I thought I’d share!

    The eggplant parm lasagna looks super yummy!

    1. Thanks for the insight. I appreciate your experience. I would never just strictly copy another recipe, or even just change it ever so slightly, unless I toally gave credit to the original and said, “Look, I made so-and-so’s recipe, and it was awesome. I just used basil instead of parsley. You should go to their site and try it, ” and then not actually write the recipe, just give the link.

  5. Oh, THANK YOU for the Ryan Gosling fix! I am definitely a cook. that’s why I don’t post too many desserts (well, that and the waistline). I can’t alter baking recipes too much because I don’t know the science at all.

    1. She is a riot with all of those pictures! It’s good to have some bakers and some cooks, right? I cook more, but love to bake. Though I am new at altering baking recipes. I can follow recipes very well, which some people can’t, but I am sure altering them will take some time to get really good. Though I did attempt some cupcakes tonight that are really good. The frosting needs work though.

  6. You’re so much better than reaching out to readers than me. After trying to keep up with the food blogosphere for a few years I’m a tad burnt out. Let me know if you figure out a way to stay informed and also have a life. I like Diane Jacobs(?) Blog Will Write for Food.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, I will check that blog out. I am trying to focus on reaching out to people since I just got started. I don’t have a full time job outside of the home, but keeping up with the house, my little boy, cleaning, cooking, and trying to read and write blogs is tough. And to be a writer, you have to be a reader and a commenter. I owe some people some reads, but I have to go to bed at a reasonable time tonight 🙂

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