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.
Servings: 4 servings
- 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