Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant {A Meatless Monday Recipe

Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant {A Meatless Monday Recipe

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I’ve always wanted to stuff eggplant. So, a couple of weeks ago for Meatless Monday, I seized the opportunity to make this healthy Mediterranean quinoa-stuffed eggplant. It allowed me to use some eggplant I found on clearance at the store, along with some basic ingredients I had on hand at home.

This simple vegetarian recipe begins with herb-roasted eggplant stuffed with quinoa, fresh pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. The stuffed eggplant is garnished with toasted pine-nuts and fresh basil.

This recipe is not hard to make at all. However, it does require a little idle time to ensure the eggplant has nice texture. Which I am about to explain.

Let’s make Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant!

sliced eggplant on cutting board for Mediterranean quinoa-stuffed eggplant

About Eggplant And How To Choose One

Did you know that eggplant is really a fruit? It’s true! An eggplant (also known as aubergine) is a member of the nightshade family and is considered a fruit because it contains seeds. Some even refer to it as a berry. It’s kin to the tomato, bell pepper, and potato.

For this recipe, I used traditional eggplant. When shopping for eggplant, choose an eggplant that have the following characteristics:

  • firm and heavy for its size
  • glossy skin, free of blemishes. Avoid eggplant with discoloration or bruises.
  • opt for eggplant that is medium-large and longer than round.
Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant on baking sheet

How To Make Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant

The stuffed eggplant can be broken down into three main steps: salt, and prepare the eggplant to roast, make the stuffing and then stuff the eggplant and serve.

salting eggplant

Step #1: Salt The Eggplant

Do not skip this step! Salting the eggplant tightens and firms the flesh of the eggplant. [READ MORE HERE]

  • Cut the eggplants in half length-wise. Place them flesh side up onto the prepared sheet pan. Cutting off the stem end is a matter of personal preference. I chose to so I wouldn’t have to eat around it.
slicing eggplant with knife
  • If the eggplant halves are unstable and wobble, you can slice off a little of the skin on the bottom side so that they sit level.
  • Salt the eggplant halves generously. Allow the fruit to sit in a colander for at least 30 minutes. Although, salted eggplant can sit for hours without harming the taste or texture.
wiping water off eggplant

Step #2: Prepare The Eggplant and Roast

  • Wipe the salty water off of each eggplant half.
  • Brush the eggplant with the seasoned olive oil, along with salt and pepper, to taste.
brushing eggplant with seasoned oil
  • Bake for about 40 minutes or until the flesh of the eggplant gets nice and tender.
roasting eggplant inside oven

Step #3: Make The Stuffing

  • While the eggplant is roasting, rinse the quinoa with cold water then prepare the quinoa according to package instructions.
rinsing quinoa with water
  • Fluff with a fork and toss in the prepared pesto and sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese.

Step #4: Stuff The Eggplant

  • Use a fork to rake through the flesh of the roasted eggplant. This will break the eggplant put and make the eggplant easier to stuff.
  • Use a large spoon to divide the quinoa filling among each eggplant.
Mediterranean quinoa-stuffed eggplant

Step #5: Serve Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant

  • Serve the stuffed eggplant sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil as a main course or as a side dish.
sprinkling feta onto eggplant

How To Store Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant

The stuffed eggplant will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator, but it’s best enjoyed fresh.

Other Eggplant Recipes You May Like:

David wasn’t as big of a fan of this recipe as I was. I ate three of them the week I made these and I enjoyed them every time. If you love Mediterranean-style food, you will too!

Mediterranean quinoa-stuffed eggplant on plate
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Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant

Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant a simple vegetarian recipe of roasted eggplant stuffed with quinoa, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Meatless Monday, Vegetarian
Keyword eggplant, feta, Pesto, pinenuts, Quinoa, Stuffed, Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Salting Eggplant 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 365kcal

Ingredients

The Eggplant

  • 2 large eggplants
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

For The Quinoa Stuffing

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes drained and diced (packed in olive oil)
  • 2 ounces feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto a heaping tablespoon or more if desired
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts toasted
  • fresh basil for garnish, if desired

Instructions

Salt The Eggplant

  • Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Rinse the eggplants with cold water and pat dry. Using a sharp knife slice, cut the eggplants in half length-wise. Place them flesh side up onto the prepared sheet pan (see notes).
    Salt the eggplant halves generously. (see notes)
    Allow the fruit to sit in a colander for at least 30 minutes. Although, salted eggplant can sit for hours without harming the taste or texture.

Prepare The Eggplant

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Add the garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, and a pinch of cayenne pepper to a small boil. Pour in the olive oil and mix well.
  • Using a paper towel, wipe the salty water off of each eggplant half. Brush the eggplant with the olive oil mixture. Season each with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place the eggplant into the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the flesh of the eggplant gets nice and tender.

Prepare The Stuffing

  • Meanwhile, pour the quinoa into a sieve and rinse with cold water. Then prepare the quinoa according to package instructions.
  • When the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork. Toss in the prepared pesto and sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese.

Stuff The Eggplant

  • Use a fork to rake through the flesh of the roasted eggplant. This will break the eggplant put and make the eggplant easier to stuff.
  • Use a large spoon to divide the quinoa filling among each eggplant.

To Serve

  • Serve the stuffed eggplant sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil.

Notes

Cutting The Eggplant: Cutting off the stem end is a matter of personal preference. I chose to so I wouldn’t have to eat around it. If the eggplant halves are unstable and wobble, you can slice off a little of the skin on the bottom side so that they sit level.
Salting Eggplant: Don’t skip this step! Salting the eggplant tightens and firms the flesh of the eggplant. [READ MORE HERE]
Storage: The stuffed eggplant will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator, but it’s best enjoyed fresh.

Nutrition

Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 218mg | Potassium: 1014mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 3mg
Did you try this recipe? Tell us what you think!Give this recipe a star rating, leave a comment below and share pictures of your food with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter! We can’t wait to see them! Don’t forget to mention @TheMountainKitchen or tag #TheMountainKitchen!
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