Easy Moroccan Stuffed Eggplant (beef or lamb)

Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb - fresh out of the oven

Try this irresistible, simple recipe for stuffed eggplant: oven-roasted eggplant halves topped with Moroccan spiced lamb or beef. Low-cal, low-carb, low effort and utterly delicious!

Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb - fresh out of the oven

Moroccan stuffed eggplant

You’ll often hear me declaring quite passionately that I think eggplant is one of the most underrated vegetables around. They’re cheap. They’re meaty. And they’re fabulously versatile, used in cuisines worldwide like Asian, Italian, Greek and Indian, prepared through various cooking methods including frying, steaming, roasting and simmering.

Today, we’re smearing, roasting and stuffing. Well, topping, not scooping-and-stuffing, in a manner that gives it a semi-stuffed vibe. Think of this as a mid-week take on traditional stuffed eggplant dishes you find in Arabic cuisine that involves hollowing out eggplants, stuffing with rice, meat, herbs and nuts, often baked in a tomato sauce. Sounds magnificent, doesn’t it? And it is. but there’s a lot more pots and pans involved! We’re going simple today. You can make this tonight, after work!!

Making Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb

Nice close up of said soft juicy eggplant!

Scooping Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb

Ingredients in Moroccan stuffed eggplant

The base flavouring for this Moroccan stuffed eggplant is a homemade Chermoula spice mix which does double duty as the spice paste for the eggplant as well as flavouring the meat filling.

Chermoula spice mix for Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb
Homemade chermoula spice mix does double duty
Chermoula spice mix paste for Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb

Chermoula spice mix

Chermoula is a Middle Eastern / African spice mix that comes in both wet paste and dry spice mix form. We’re using the dry blend today.

The spices – The majority of the spices are pantry staples, but don’t make a special trip out if you’re missing one or two…or even three! There’s enough in the blend that you can substitute with something else – suggestions are in the recipe notes.

Olive oil and lemon juice – These are used to make the paste. I like to use lemon juice to add a bit of tang as well as cutting down on the oil required to make a smear-able paste.

Ingredients for Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb

The meat filling (lamb or beef)

Here’s what you need to make the meat filling. You can use lamb or beef, though if I had my pick I’d choose lamb as it’s a classic pairing with Middle Eastern flavours.

3 teaspoons of the Chermoula spice blend is used to flavour the filling. In addition to this, we have garlic and onion for aromatics, and a little tomato paste to bind the filling together.

Ingredients for Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb

The eggplant

Choose eggplants around 250g/8oz and 17cm/7″ long. Don’t worry about exact size – adjust toppings accordingly. If you end up with larger eggplants, the topping layer might be slightly thinner, but the dish will still be packed with flavor.

Salt helps remove moisture from eggplants. More on this below!

Ingredients for Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb


And lastly, the toppings! It really finishes this dish so I urge you to use them. The pine nuts are a great finishing touch, though other nuts will make an adequate substitute (almonds, macadamia, walnuts, or seeds).

If you’re anti-coriander/cilantro, switch with parsley!

Ingredients for Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb

How to make Moroccan Stuffed Eggplant

As mentioned above, I call it stuffed because describing it as a “topped” eggplant just doesn’t seem to capture the essence of this dish. 😂 But actually, it’s not properly stuffed – which means no scooping necessary, which means it’s easier to make. Win!

Sweating the eggplant (recommended)

Sweating the eggplant to remove excess water is a recommended but not essential step. It seasons the flesh as well as drawing out excess water that otherwise pools in the eggplant which dilutes flavour when you’re eating it. But you can mostly get around this problem by simply cutting slits in the skin to let the water escape as it roasts.

How to make Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb
  1. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Keep the cap/stem in tact and cut through it, it helps hold the eggplant together once roasted and soft.

  2. Diamonds – Using a small sharp knife, cut 2.5cm/1″ diamonds into the flesh, cutting down as far as you are comfortable without piercing the flesh.

  3. The said diamonds!

  4. Salt – Sprinkle the surface with salt and rub it in. It’s good to get it into the slits but even if you just rub the surface, the salt will make it’s way into the slits.

  5. Sweat for 30 minutes. I put the eggplant upside down in a colander to allow the water to drip out.

  6. Squeeze like sponge to remove the excess water then pat the surface dry.

Making the “stuffed” eggplant

How to make Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb
  1. Mix the Chermoula spice blend in a bowl. Measure out 3 teaspoons and set aside for the meat.

  2. Paste – Add olive oil and lemon juice into the remaining chermoula and mix to form a paste.

  3. Smear the paste onto the surface of the eggplant.

  4. Roast for 45 minutes at 180°C/350°F (160°C fan) or until the eggplant is softened. Sometimes it takes longer – don’t forget to check the edges.

  5. Spiced meat – A quick cook! Sauté the garlic and onion, the cook the lamb with the reserve Chermoula spice blend. Finally, add the tomato paste and water to make the filling “juicy” (rather than dry and crumbly).

  6. Assemble – Top the roasted eggplant with the lamb filling. Dollop on yogurt, sprinkle with pine nuts and coriander then dig in!

Freshly baked Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb

Plate of Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb

This recipe is designed to be a generous dinner for 2 with a small side salad, or 4 as a meal with a starch (flatbread, couscous) and a substantial side (like Honey Cinnamon Pumpkin Lentil Salad, roast veg, chickpea salad), or 4 as a generous starter.

For the eggplant alone, it’s a mere 450 calories for a whole eggplant (ie 2 halves). To be honest, that alone makes for a satisfying meal – you have protein and vegetables covered! Though I do like to add something fresh on the side, even if it’s just some fresh cucumber and tomato.

So, it’s low calorie, low carb, simple to make and a something different to make with beef mince rather than the usual Spag Bol. What do you think?? Feel like giving giving this a go? I HOPE SO! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb - fresh out of the oven

Easy Moroccan Stuffed Eggplant (beef or lamb)

Recipe video above. A delicious, unique, EASY way to serve up eggplant and minced / ground beef or lamb! Think of this as a midweek take on traditional Arabic stuffed eggplant that's usually hollowed out.
Don't worry if you don't have every single spice. There's so many in this spice mix, it will still be tasty even if you're missing one…or two, even three!
Serves 2 as a main with a small side salad, or 4 as a meal with a starch (flatbread, couscous) and a substantial side (like this Pumpkin Salad, roast veg, chickpea salad), or 4 as a generous starter.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Keyword Ground beef recipe, lamb mince recipe, roasted eggplant, stuffed eggplant
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 2 – 4
Calories 450cal
Author Nagi | RecipeTin Eats



  • 2 x 250g/8oz eggplants (aubergines), ~17cm/7" long (Note 1)
  • 3/4 tsp cooking salt / kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (or more oil)

Chermoula spice mix (Note 2)

  • 1 1/2 tsp EACH coriander, paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp all spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH garlic powder, ginger, turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Spiced beef or Lamb topping

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove , finely minced
  • 1/2 onion , finely chopped
  • 250g / 8oz beef or lamb mince , lean if you can (chicken, turkey, pork also ok)
  • 1/2 tsp cooking/kosher salt
  • 2 tsp tomato paste (Note 3)
  • 1/4 cup water

To Serve

  • Yoghurt , plain
  • 2 tbsp coriander/cilantro leaves , roughly chopped (sub parsley)
  • 2 tbsp pinenuts , toasted (Note 4)


  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan).
  • Sweat eggplants (recommended, see Note 5 to skip)Cut eggplants in half then score with 2.5cm / 1" diamonds. Rub surface with salt, getting some into the slits. Place face down in a colander and set aside for 30 minutes. Gently squeeze like a sponge to remove excess water, pat surface dry.
  • Mix Chermoula spice mix ingredients in a bowl. Remove 3 teaspoons for the meat and set aside. Add olive oil and lemon juice into the remaining spice mix and mix into a paste.
  • Roast eggplant – Slather spice mix onto the eggplants. Roast for 45 minutes until softened.
  • Spiced topping – Heat oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Cook onion and garlic for 1 minute. Turn heat up to high, add lamb and cook, breaking it up as you go, until you no longer see red. Add reserved spices and salt, then cook for a further 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in water, cook for 1 minute until it's juicy but not watery.
  • Assemble – Top eggplant with beef mixture. Sprinkle over coriander, dollop with yogurt and pine nuts. Finish with an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, if desired!


1. Eggplant/aubergine – Don’t get too hung up on eggplant size. I always provide weight and measurement because they vary so much in size – what is a “medium eggplant”??! If you have giant ones, you’ll just have a thinner layer of topping (there’s enough flavour in this dish you won’t feel robbed). If you have tiny ones, pile it on higher or reserve leftover meat for another purpose. 
2. Spice subs – With so many in this spice mix, it’s fine if you’re missing one…or even three! Just dial up some of the others to make up for flavour. Specific subs:
  • All spice – mixed spice
  • Garlic powder – onion powder, or fresh garlic
  • Ginger – more garlic
  • Turmeric powder – saffron
  • Cinnamon – more all spice
3. Tomato pasteor sub water + paste with 1/4 cup crushed tomato or passata. I offer this as a suggestion as I always seem to have a partial bottle of passata in the fridge!
4. Toasting pinenuts – Small skillet, no oil, medium heat, toss until golden and smells toasty. Remove from pan straight away.
5. Eggplant sweating – Draws out excess water so you don’t end up with water in the eggplant halves that dilutes eating flavour. Removing bitterness from eggplant – generally speaking, this has been bred out of eggplants sold these days. I’ve never had a problem.
Don’t have time to sweat? Just cut 2 x 3cm/1″ slits in the skin so the water escapes while roasting. Also, expect to add 5 to 10 min to roasting time.
This recipe calls for ground chilli powder, not Chilli Powder as sold in America which is a mix of other spices. In Australia, Chilli Powder sold in supermarkets is plain ground dried chilli which is what is required for this recipe. Cayenne pepper is a perfect substitute.
6. Yogurt tip – To make the yoghurt even tastier, mix 1/4 cup of yoghurt with 1/2 garlic clove, minced, a small squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes to let the flavours develop. I do this for company. 🙂
Leftovers will keep for 3 days in the fridge.
Nutrition per serving, using lean beef – 2 eggplant halves (i.e. one whole eggplant) per serving. This is a satisfying meal even by itself!


Serving: 536g | Calories: 450cal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1594mg | Potassium: 1206mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 297IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 5mg

Originally published in March 2016. Majority spruced up in 2023 with a better, more streamlined recipe with better flavour, sparkling new photos and a brand new recipe video!

Proof of eggplant fondness

Life of Dozer

Can’t even whiteboard recipe ideas without Mr D hovering around.

The post Easy Moroccan Stuffed Eggplant (beef or lamb) appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

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