Roasted Eggplant Stuffed with Lamb

Eggplant and Lamb 1An edible serving dish made of roasted eggplant halves stuffed with cinnamon and paprika scented lamb. How does that sound for dinner tonight? The eggplant is roasted until the texture is creamy enough to eat with a spoon. The ground lamb is cooked with onion, garlic and aromatic spices. Combined, the eggplant and lamb turn into a meal that is the definition of simple, healthy and delicious.

Can you substitute ground beef, pork or even turkey in this recipe? Certainly. But don’t forget about what lamb has to offer: All eight essential amino acids, several B vitamins, niacin, zinc, iron and lots of conjugated linoleic acid. As with all meat, grass-fed is ideal. Although lamb is more likely to be grass-fed than beef, much depends on where the lamb is raised. Before stocking up on ingredients for this recipe, read this guide for figuring out whether or not lamb is grass-fed. (And check out the tips below for buying perfect eggplant.)

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen:
1 hour



  • 2 eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil, plus more to brush eggplant (30 ml)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste (10 ml)
  • 1 pound ground lamb (450 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (2.5 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika (10 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (a pinch)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (or parsley) (60 ml)

How to Pick Perfect Eggplant:

To avoid bitterness, choosing a good eggplant at the market is more important than pre-salting and rinsing the eggplant. Look for smooth and shiny skin and a firm, but not rock-hard, texture. The stem should have a nice green color, and the area around the stem should also be firm, not mushy. The larger and older an eggplant is, the more likely it will be bitter and seedy. Choose medium-sized eggplants and ideally purchase from a farmer’s market where the eggplants are likely to be young and freshly picked.


Preheat oven to 400 °F/204 °C.

Score the flesh of the eggplant with the tip of a knife in a crosshatch pattern, cutting not quite down to the skin. To make a crosshatch pattern, tilt the top of the eggplant to the right. Cut diagonal lines about an inch apart. Tilt the top of the eggplant to the left. Cut diagonal lines over the first lines so you have a diamond pattern.

Brush the eggplant flesh with a generous amount of coconut oil or olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the eggplant halves, flesh side down, in a roasting pan (lined with parchment for easier cleanup).

Roast 35 to 45 minutes until the skin is collapsing. Remove from the oven. The flesh should be very soft.

Eggplant and Lamb 2

While the eggplant is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil/olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cooking until soft, 8 minutes.

Add the garlic, then tomato paste. Stir, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.

Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the ground lamb. Season the meat with salt, plus the cumin, paprika, and cinnamon. Break the meat up into small pieces as it cooks. When the meat is cooked, mix in the cilantro.

Spoon the ground lamb on top of the roasted eggplants. Serve.

Eggplant and Lamb 2

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16 thoughts on “Roasted Eggplant Stuffed with Lamb”

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  1. This looks delicious! Would be great if you could cover some super-quick options for the bachelors out there Mark – especially those who are terrible in the kitchen and don’t feel like creating something that takes thirty minutes for a 1 person serving. Keep up the great work though!

    1. I know what you are saying, but this was super easy and good. We made it with ground turkey. It also keeps well for leftovers the next day so it is definitely worth the 30-45 minutes.

    2. you could make a batch and freeze the excess; then you have a quick dinner/lunch for another day

  2. You will probably want to drain off most of the fat after browning the lamb unless it is ultra lean. I would also recommend salting and soaking the eggplant if you are unable to get very young ones.

    1. Sacrilege 🙂

      You will probably want to drain off most of the fat

    2. umm…what? Why? WHY drain off the yummy, life-giving fat away? Don’t you want your eggplant to have sauce?

  3. In Greece, we call this recipe “Papoutsakia”, meaning “shoes”. 🙂

    There are only few changes in the recipe compared to the Greek one, mostly having to do with the cheese on top that we usually add in Greece.

  4. Great recipe! My two favorite things in the world, lamb and eggplant haha. Thanks for sharing this… cant wait ti try it out!

    1. Maybe because there’s a tarantula on your face and you’re scaring the children?

      I kid I kid … 🙂

  5. i have to say – this was amazing. My first recipe from this site and I am so happy with it. I made this with ground beef and added some peas and some leek to it. To add some extra fat I topped it with avocado. Thanks for this amazing dish.

  6. I LOVE the combo of cinnamon with beef, so I expect it will be great with lamb. I learned about this combo years ago, you don’t see it often. It was a Lebanese recipe. I’ll be trying this one out on the family this week!