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Autumn is coming closer and closer, but I still have one last summer recipe for you. Namely these gratinated and stuffed eggplants. Not only are they fabulously aromatic, they taste almost like a pinch of the Orient. They are completely vegan and can be prepared quickly and easily with just a few ingredients.
Filled eggplants from the oven topped with vegan cheese
Stuffed zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes were plentiful in our home every summer when I was a child. Only stuffed eggplants were never available. In fact, practically never anything with eggplants. Okay, the purple vegetable is not my number one favorite now either, but since I’ve been on a vegan diet, I’ve been feeling my way around the eggplant. And in fact, I find it really delicious by now. That’s why I’ve finally created a recipe for vegan gratinated and stuffed eggplants.
By the way, it was a premiere for me! I think I have never had one before! It tastes so good and really aromatic with the spices cumin and Ras el Hanout.
Gratinated and stuffed vegan Eggplants
Stuffed and gratinated eggplants – actually every stuffed vegetable – is one of these dishes, which simply work super easy as a vegan version. Besides the possibilities are unlimited with what you fill them with. Therefore this dish is not only for old-established vegans, but also very suitable for beginners.
You only need to replace the cheese with a vegan alternative. For this recipe, I simply used vegan feta instead of regular feta. But you can also just leave the cheese out. Because it tastes great without it. Technically it’s just stuffed eggplants and not baked eggplants then, but that doesn’t really matter.
How to make gratinated and stuffed vegan eggplants
When preparing stuffed eggplants you should make sure to bake/roast the eggplants in the oven until the meat is soft. This way you can easily remove it without damaging the skin of the eggplant. The shells should remain intact because you want to refill them.
For baking in the oven, you should first cut the eggplants in half. Unlike the Baba Ghanoush, you don’t roast the whole eggplants for this recipe. After baking them it`s a bit difficult to cut the eggplants in half. It’s best to brush the surface of the eggplants with a little lemon juice. This way they will not turn brown after contact with air. If you like, you can cut the meat crosswise. This makes it easier to remove later on.
After baking you mix the filling and fill it carefully into the hollowed-out eggplant halves. Afterward, you should bake the eggplants with the grill function in the oven. It`s best to bake them on the upper groove of the oven for a great result.
Less Waste Tips for gratinated and stuffed vegan eggplants
Following are – as always – a few tips on how to avoid waste when preparing these gratinated and stuffed vegan eggplants:
- You can find eggplants, lemon, and garlic cloves unpacked at the weekly farmers market.
- Couscous is part of the assortment of many unpackaged stores.
- Pickled tomatoes can be bought unpackaged in delis or at the weekly market. Just ask if you are allowed to fill your own container.
- You can find some unpackaged spices in the unpackaged store. Sometimes you can also fill your own container in your favorite spice store. Turkish stores or special markets sometimes carry unpackaged spices.
- You could actually make the vegan feta yourself. But I haven’t found a homemade version that tastes and melts authentically. But I want to develop a recipe in the future.
Alternatives to the products used
You don`t like eggplants? No problem, then just take another vegetable of your choice that is easy to fill. For example zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, or pumpkin.
You can easily replace wholemeal couscous with regular couscous. Personally, I prefer whole grain products because they provide more fiber and nutrients, but the choice is up to you. Alternatively, you can use bulgur, quinoa, buckwheat, or amaranth. Just keep in mind that the way of cooking them might differ.
If you don’t like one of the spices, just experiment with other flavors. You are free to decide. I personally like eggplant in combination with oriental spices. But it is not a must.
If you can’t find vegan feta or don’t like the vegan options, you can either skip it, use another vegan cheese or my 5-minute cheese sauce as a substitute.
Meal Prep Tips
Stuffed vegan eggplants are not suitable for Meal Prep as a whole dish per se. I think they taste better when freshly prepared.
However, you can prepare the couscous in advance and then store it in an airtight container.
Why you should definitely try these gratinated and stuffed vegan eggplants:
- prepared with less than 10 ingredients
- prepared easily
- prepared quickly
- the perfect summer dish
- heavenly aromatic
More vegan oriental dishes:
If you are trying these gratinated and stuffed vegan eggplants, I would love your feedback here in the comments. If you share your creation of this recipe on Instagram, please don’t forget to link @velvetandvinegar and use the hashtag #velvetandvinegar. So my community and I won’t miss your contribution.
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Gratinated and Stuffed vegan Eggplants
- 2.5 eggplants organic
- 1 lemon organic
- 2 garlic cloves organic
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 tsp salt organic
- 1/2 tsp Ras el Hanout* organic
- 2 tsp cumin
- 100 g whole wheat couscous organic
- 50 g pickled tomatoes organic
- 75 g vegan feta
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Halve the eggplants, brush the cut surface with lemon juice and spread the eggplants on a baking tray with the cut surface facing upwards. If necessary, cut the surface crosswise
Pour boiling water over the couscous, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. Then loosen up with a fork.
Drain the pickled tomatoes and cut into small pieces.
Bake the eggplants in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes until the meat is cooked and you can remove it easily.
Hollow out eggplants with a spoon. Put eggplant flesh into a blender or food processor, add pressed garlic cloves, juice 1/2 lemon, tahini and spices. Puree everything.
Mix eggplant puree with couscous and tomato pieces. Pour the filling back into the eggplant halves and sprinkle pieces of feta on top.
Bake the eggplant halves on the uppermost groove of the oven with grill function for another 5-10 minutes.
*I use Ras el Hanout spice from Würzmeister in this recipe.