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A close up of half a stuffed eggplant on a plate topped with fresh basil.
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5 from 1 vote

Italian Stuffed Eggplant

The simplest Italian Stuffed Eggplant made with a flavour-packed tomato sauce, fresh basil, fennel seeds and bubbling mozzarella cheese. An easy and healthy recipe that can be served as a light lunch or dinner or as a delicious veggie side dish.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: side
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 233kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 2 medium-large eggplant (aubergine)
  • 14 oz canned chopped tomatoes such as Cirio or Mutti (400g)
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1.5 cups chopped fresh mozzarella (200g/7oz)
  • 1 Large handful fresh basil
  • ½ tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F (200C).
  • Wash and dry the eggplant then cut them in half lengthwise so you have four halves. Score the inside flesh of the eggplants in a criss-cross pattern making sure you don’t pierce the skin.
  • Place the eggplant on a shallow baking tray. Sprinkle each one with a little salt, pepper and fennel seeds then drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake them in the oven for 25-30 minutes until soft.
  • Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and add the chopped garlic. Saute for a few seconds until the garlic is fragrant but not browned then add the chopped tomatoes. Rinse the can out with around 1 tablespoon of water and add that to the sauce.
  • Add a good pinch of salt and pepper then simmer the sauce gently for 15 minutes until reduced and thickened slightly (you don’t want the sauce to be watery).
  • Once ready, remove the eggplants from the oven. When cool enough to touch, scoop out the inside of the eggplant and add to a mixing bowl.
  • Add the tomato sauce, fresh basil (torn or roughly chopped) and roughly chopped mozzarella and mix until combined.
  • Fill the eggplants with the mixture then sprinkle each one with some fennel seeds. Bake in the oven for another 25 minutes until melted and slightly golden.



  • Sauce consistency - make sure your tomato sauce has thickened and isn't watery or there will be too much liquid in the filling.
  • Make it spicy - to add some heat try adding some red pepper flakes (chilli flakes) to the tomato sauce.
  • Other cheeses to use - to add a stronger cheese flavour you can swap half of the mozzarella for fontina, taleggio or even gorgonzola cheese.
  • To add meat - you can brown some Italian sausage before continuing with the sauce or add some cubed mortadella or prosciutto slices to the filling mixture
  • Storage and reheating - once cooked, the stuffed eggplant will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can reheat them at 350F (200C) for 15-20 minutes until piping hot all the way through. Make sure to cover them with foil so the cheese they do not burn.
  • Freezing - freeze them in suitable containers for up to 1 month.


Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 456mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 482IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 295mg | Iron: 1mg