Baked Stuffed Eggplant (Zapečeni Punjeni Patlidžani)

  • Author: Balkan Lunch Box
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x



  • 1 eggplant (medium)
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil (vegetable or olive)
  • 1 onion (medium, diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper (more to taste)
  • 4 tomatoes (medium, skinless and diced, or one 15 ounce can diced)
  • parsley (for garnish)


  1. Peel the eggplant lengthwise into a “striped” pattern (or peel completely). Cut in half lengthwise. Scoop insides with a grapefruit spoon making a “boat” out of each eggplant half. Take 4 tbsp of salt and spread over eggplant generously. Leave for 45 min until it releases juice.
  2. Press against eggplant sides with your fist and fingers until you squeeze out as much juice as you can. Wash salt and juice off eggplant.
  3. Heat oven to 390F. Put the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When it’s hot, add onion and garlic. After they crystalize, add ground beef, paprika, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Mix well. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Stuff eggplant “boats” with meat mixture. Oil a baking pan and place eggplant inside. Spread diced tomatoes over the eggplant and in the pan. Cover baking pan with foil making a few holes in foil with fork or a toothpick. Bake for one full hour.


Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. Add sour cream to taste.

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