This recipe is great for a weekday meal as it’s ideal to make in advance, or even freeze. These lamb mince stuffed aubergines (eggplant) combine tender meat with warming spices and soft chickpeas. Top them off with some melted cheddar cheese for a super comforting meal.
There are a few things you’ll need for this recipe:
- Aubergine – aka eggplant. Try and find a medium-sized plump piece (rather than longer and skinnier). Around 350g (12oz) is a good size.
- Olive oil
- Onion – brown or white, diced
- Red pepper – aka capsicum. Dice into small pieces.
- Lamb mince
- Chickpeas – tinned
- Chopped or diced tomatoes – tinned
- Cheddar cheese, grated – grate your own cheese as pre-grated versions have things added to it which stops it melting as well
- Feel free to use yellow pepper instead of red.
- You can use beef mince instead of lamb – but the flavours of this dish do lean more towards lamb than beef so it won’t have the same taste profile.
- You can use mozzarella instead of cheddar although it is milder in taste.
- You can also use vegetable oil or rapeseed (canola) oil instead of olive oil.
- If you don’t have any cumin you can substitute ground coriander. You can also add a pinch of chilli flakes if you want to add some extra heat to the meal.
How to make it
Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F. First, prepare the aubergine. Cut in half and then cut into (but not through) the flesh near the edge and score all the way around the outside – around 1 cm from the edge. Score inside the outline you’ve made – downwards and across. Scoop out the flesh and set aside so you have a hollow shell. Place the shells (hollow side up) on a baking tray and loosely cover with foil. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Next, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and red pepper for around 4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Add the lamb mince to the pan and use a wooden spoon to break it up and stir to evenly brown. When the lamb is browned all over add the chopped tomatoes, aubergine flesh, spices and chickpeas to the pan. Season well and stir everything together. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Spoon the lamb mixture into the aubergine shells. Top with the grated cheese and then place back in the oven for 10 minutes.
Can you freeze stuffed aubergine?
This recipe freezes really well, but for best results freeze without the cheese and add it during the reheating process. Cool the stuffed aubergines first and then place on a plate in the freezer. When frozen solid wrap each one in foil and then place in a freezer bag. Thaw fully before reheating.
Heat in a microwave or in the oven. Once hot scatter the grated cheese on top and give them another blast to melt.
What can you serve with them?
You can definitely serve these on their own. They contain a good combination of meat and vegetables. They are also great to serve with a simple salad to add some extra colour and flavour. Add a sprinkle of chopped herbs for some extra visual appeal.
Are they healthy?
These stuffed aubergines are a balanced meal. They contain a good amount of veg with a whole aubergine per person and a good handful of diced red pepper. There is a good portion of satisfying protein from the mince and some carbohydrates from the chickpeas and the vegetables.
As it is topped with cheese, this isn’t the best contender for anyone watching their fat or calorie intake, however, it definitely works well as part of a balanced diet. It contains 600 calories (which is a decent amount for a full meal) and 30g of fat. It also contains 42g of carbohydrates.
If you are looking for other great lamb recipes then check out this apricot lamb tagine which also includes some similar flavours. If you have leftover aubergines to use up then try this Moutabal recipe (Arabic aubergine dip)
Products that work well for this recipe:
Wusthof Nine Piece Knife Block Set
Nest Measuring Cup/Spoon Set
T-fal Nonstick Pan
These lamb mince stuffed aubergines are packed with earthy flavours and tender meat. Topped with melted cheese, these make a comforting and delicious meal.
The default recipe serves one
- 1 medium aubergine (around 350 g)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, diced (around 50 g)
- 1/2 red pepper, diced (around 60 g)
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 100g (3.5oz) lamb mince
- 60g (2oz) tinned chickpeas (around 1/4 standard sized tin)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 100g (3.5oz) tinned chopped tomatoes (around 1/4 standard sized tin)
- 30g (1/2 cup) grated cheddar
1. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F. Slice the aubergine in half and, using a sharp knife, cut a border around the edge of the aubergine, around 1cm wide. Then use the knife to slice lines across the length and width of the aubergine. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and then roughly chop it and set it to one side.
2. Place the aubergine, hollow side up, on a baking tray and cover loosely with foil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
3. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and peppers and saute for around 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
4. Add the mince and keep stirring and turning the mixture until browned all over.
5. Add the tomatoes, aubergine flesh, chickpeas, oregano and cumin and season well. Mix everything together and then leave to lightly simmer for 10 minutes. You don’t want the mixture to be wet. Run a wooden spoon through the middle of the mixture, touching the bottom of the pan – you should see no liquid pooling in the gap you just made.
6. Stuff the aubergine shells with the mince mixture and top with the cheese. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and turned a little golden.
You can use yellow or red pepper for this recipe
You can substitute the lamb mince with beef, although it will result in a different taste
If you don’t have any cumin then use some ground coriander
Add a small sprinkle of red chilli flakes if you want to increase the heat of the dish
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Bake / Hob
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 600
- Fat: 30g
- Carbohydrates: 42g
- Protein: 38g
Keywords: lamb, aubergine, dinner, cumin, stuffed eggplant