A decadent-looking, delicious, and vegetarian side dish, Stuffed Eggplants are packed with pomegranate seeds, tahini, and spices.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • eggplants are pretty fussy when it comes to food storage. Like most fruit (yes, eggplants are fruit!), they're very perishable and should be used within a week. However, they are in season somewhere in the United States pretty much all year. This is an item to buy fresh.
  • extra virgin olive oil is an important pantry item. It stores for two years unopened, but once opened, keep it in a cool, dark place and use it up within three months.
  • red onion and garlic cloves both store well in the root cellar
  • red bell pepper, like eggplant, doesn't keep well, so buy this fresh.
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • tomato paste is another pantry item that is handy to have on hand. If you use less than an entire can (like in this recipe), you can portion it out on parchment paper in one-tablespoon dollops, flash freeze, then bag, label and store in the freezer.
  • ground cumin, ground cinnamon, dried oregano, red pepper flakes are all standard spices to stock in your basic pantry. These are spices you will come back to over and over again.
  • crushed tomatoes are another great pantry item
  • canned chickpeas are the start to many great dishes, and they should certainly have a spot in your pantry.
  • plain Greek yogurt – even full fat plain yogurt is healthier than sour cream. It’s rich in calcium and a good source of protein. Make sure to pick a yogurt that has live active bacterial cultures and no additives like gelatin or sugar. Once opened, use it within a week. You can also very easily make your own Greek Yogurt at home.
  • tahini is a great storage item and will last quite a while, so long as it's kept away from light and heat. Kept in the freezer, it will store almost indefinitely.
  • fresh lemon juice can always be replaced with refrigerated lemon juice, although there will be a slight difference in taste
  • pomegranate seeds – pomegranates are in season in the United States from September through February, and they can be stored for several months (and ship well).
  • fresh parsley is used for garnish so it is not strictly necessary. But it is nice to have.

Not what you're looking for? Try the much simpler Roasted Fennel Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing.

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If you're sensitive or allergy to seeds, be aware that tahini is made from sesame seeds.

The yogurt topping can certainly be made without the tahini, but the taste will be different.

Because Sometimes You Need an AMAZING Veggie Dish

First – have you ever seen a more gorgeous vegetable than eggplant?

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Pair that with lovely pomegranate seeds and creamy chickpeas, and … well, this is the sort of side dish (or vegetarian main dish) that will make everyone think you spent hours in the kitchen.

Which of course you didn't because who has time for that?

This decadent dish will take about 40 minutes of your time – about 20 minutes to cook the eggplant while preparing the filling and then about another 20 minutes to bake the entire thing while preparing the yogurt topping.

How to Make Stuffed Eggplants with Pomegranate and Tahini

Pre-heat oven to 400F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or Silpat® baking mat.

Place the eggplant halves cut-side-down onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to roast for 20 minutes or just until the eggplants begin to soften up.

After 20 minutes, remove the eggplants from the oven and flip so that the cut side is facing up.

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Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeded part from the eggplants and discard.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper.

Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes soft and translucent, approximately 4-5 minutes.

Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices become fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.

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Add the crushed tomatoes and chickpeas. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired, and stir to combine.

Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Stuff the eggplants with the warm chickpea mixture and return to the oven to roast for another 15-20 minutes, or until the eggplant flesh is really soft and the chickpea mixture is bubbly.

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Meanwhile, whisk the yogurt with the tahini and fresh lemon juice in a small bowl.

Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Set aside.

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Remove stuffed eggplants from the oven and cool slightly.

To serve, top each stuffed eggplant with a spoonful of the tahini dressing, pomegranate seeds, and some fresh chopped parsley.

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Now tell me – who wouldn't be impressed by this?

Print

Stuffed Eggplant with Pomegranate and Tahini

A decadent-looking, delicious, and vegetarian side dish, Stuffed Eggplant is packed with pomegranate seeds, tahini, and spices.

  • Author: Marie Beausoleil
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: North American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 eggplant (halved)
  • 2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper
  • 3 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 15 ounce crushed tomatoes (with liquid)
  • 15 ounce chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (full fat)
  • 3 Tablespoon tahini
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or Silpat® baking mat.
  2. Place the eggplant halves cut-side-down onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to roast for 20 minutes or just until the eggplants begin to soften up.
  3. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes soft and translucent, approximately 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices become fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes and chickpeas. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  6. After 20 minutes, remove the eggplants from the oven and flip so that the cut side is facing up. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeded part from the eggplants and discard.
  7. Stuff the eggplants with the warm chickpea mixture and return to the oven to roast for another 15-20 minutes, or until the eggplant flesh is really soft and the chickpea mixture is bubbly.
  8. Meanwhile, whisk the yogurt with the tahini and fresh lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Set aside.
  9. Remove stuffed eggplants from the oven and cool slightly. To serve, top each stuffed eggplant with a spoonful of the tahini dressing, pomegranate seeds, and some fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 516
  • Sugar: 27
  • Sodium: 309
  • Fat: 17
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Carbohydrates: 80
  • Fiber: 21
  • Protein: 20
  • Cholesterol: 1
Author

Author of A Cabin Full of Food and Going Herbal, mom to a large family, and a survivor of brain cancer, Marie believes that life should be simple, food should be homemade, and the best way to enjoy tomorrow is to prepare for it today.

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