A hearty and delicious meat and vegetable Whole30 Stuffed eggplant!
My husband Jack first made this Whole30 Stuffed Eggplant last winter. At the time, we were both following the Whole30 program as a sort of ‘detox’ after a holiday season of cookies, sweets and comfort food.
Anytime Jack creates a new recipe, he writes the ingredients down in a notebook – just in case we decide down the road that we want to make it again to share here on A Family Feast.
As you might have already guessed, this Whole30 Stuffed Eggplant was a delicious winner! So, with fresh, summertime eggplant available again at the supermarket, Jack found his recipe notes, and we’re finally sharing this satisfying and filling meal here with you today.
Before we go any further, I always feel the need to mention that this recipe (or any of our Whole30 recipes) is a dish that anyone will enjoy, even if you aren’t officially following the Whole30 program! It’s a really delicious recipe that just happens to also be Whole30 complaint!
How do you make Whole30 Stuffed Eggplant?
Italian eggplant are first cut in half and salted to remove any bitterness. Then, the eggplant is lightly fried to cook and soften a bit.
Once soft, some of the inside of the eggplant is scooped out and mixed with a ground beef and ground pork filling that also has lots of vegetables including mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and tomatoes, plus herbs and other seasonings.
Then, the meat and vegetable stuffed eggplant is baked in the oven until fully cooked through and tender.
To serve – and to keep this Whole30 Stuffed Eggplant compliant – we sprinkled the top with nutritional yeast, which is a dairy-free substitutes for Parmesan cheese. If you aren’t eating dairy-free – by all means sprinkle on the Parmesan, or feel free to add additional cheeses to this stuffed eggplant recipe.
You may also like these other summer vegetable recipes:
- Whole30 Spaghetti Squash with Pesto
- Grilled Beef Patties with Mediterranean Salsa (Whole30)
- Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini
- Rataouille Bruschetta (skip the bread if you want to make this Whole30 compliant)
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
2 medium Italian eggplant, about 2-2 ½ pounds total
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 cup baby Bella mushrooms, diced (aka Cremini)
1 ½ tablespoons fresh garlic, diced
1 pound lean ground beef, grass fed if possible to be Whole30 compliant
½ pound ground pork, organic if possible to be Whole30 compliant
4 plum tomatoes, cored and diced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Optional, nutritional yeast as a substitute for Parmesan cheese
Trim the end off each eggplant* and cut them in half lengthwise. Sprinkle the tablespoon of salt over the four halves to remove bitterness and set aside.
In a large skillet or sauté pan over medium high heat, place 2 tablespoons of oil and add pepper flakes. Cook for about 30 seconds then add the onions, peppers and mushrooms and sauté for 7-8 minutes or until just starting to get tender but still a little crunchy. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
Push the vegetables to the outside of the pan and add two more tablespoons of oil in the center and add the beef and pork and cook until no longer pink, pulling in the vegetables as the meat browns, about 4-5 minutes
Add the plum tomatoes and cook for three minutes then add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano and basil and cook for two more minutes. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 400 drees F.
Rinse the salt from the four eggplant halves and pat dry.
In a separate large skillet over medium high heat, add two more tablespoons of oil. Once hot, place two halves cut side down and fry until browned, then flip and cook on the skin side for a few minutes. Total about 5-6 minutes. Repeat with remaining oil and remaining two halves of eggplant.
Remove four halves to your cutting board and with a paring knife and a spoon, scoop out some of the inside eggplant to your cutting board and dice into pieces. Add back to the pan, and sauté a few minutes then add to the pan with the cooked meat and vegetables.
Line the four eggplant halves in a 13×9 inch or larger casserole pan and fill each half using all of the filling.
Cover with parchment and foil and bake for 30 minutes.
If following Whole30, sprinkle with nutritional yeast and serve. If following a low carb diet, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.
*When trimming off the eggplant ends, leave as much still attached as possible so you have room to scoop out the flesh.
Keywords: eggplant, Whole30