Stuffed eggplant is a wonderful dish that’s loaded with Sicilian flavor! Roasted eggplants are scooped out and the flesh is combined with tomatoes, breadcrumbs, cheese, mint, basil, pine nuts, and raisins. This dish is filling enough to be a main course and is a true feast for the eyes!
If you’ve been following us for a while, you know we love to stuffed vegetables.
And these stuffed eggplants are one of our absolute favorites!
The ingredient combination here is similar to those used in caponata and is full of rich Sicilian flavor.
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Preheat the oven to 375f and set the rack to the middle level. Dice 1 medium onion, mince 3 cloves of garlic, cube 1 cup of Scamorza cheese, and grate 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano. Mince 1/4 cup of basil and 6 small mint leaves. Place a 1/4 cup of raisins in water to soak and soften up a bit. Cut 3 medium-sized eggplants (or 2 large eggplants) lengthwise and score the inside of the flesh with a sharp knife taking care to not go through the skin.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat each eggplant piece with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Place the eggplant pieces cut side down on the parchment paper-lined sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
- While the eggplant bakes, heat a large pan to medium heat with the remaining olive oil and saute the onion for 5-7 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and 2 small anchovy fillets. Use a wooden spoon to break up the anchovies and cook the garlic until golden, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add 10 ounces of cherry tomatoes and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Note: you can halve the cherry tomatoes prior to adding to help them release their liquid faster, or you can use a knife or fork to puncture the tomatoes.
- Once the tomatoes have released their liquid and a thick sauce has formed, remove the pan from the heat.
- Drain the raisins and add them to the pan along with 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of pine nuts, the Scamorza and Pecorino, and the basil and mint.
- Once the eggplants are very tender, remove from the oven and allow them to cool. Once they’re cool enough to handle, gently scoop out the inside of the flesh and add it to the breadcrumb mixture.
- Mix well and taste test. Season with salt and pepper as needed, then add 1 large egg and mix. Note: the egg is for binding and will help the stuffing stay together better while cooking.
- Season the inside of the eggplant with salt to taste.
- Stuff the eggplants with the mixture, piling high if necessary, and place them onto a baking sheet. Drizzle a bit of olive oil onto each eggplant and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- For additional color, broil for the last 1-2 minutes but watch carefully to prevent burning. Allow to cool for a few moments before serving the stuffed eggplant with a little drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and some hand-torn basil leaves, if desired. Enjoy!
- Eggplants. When selecting an eggplant, look for those that are shiny and firm. We suggest using medium-sized eggplants for Italian stuffed eggplant. If you can only find large eggplants, just note that these take a good amount of time to cook and may need longer than is written here. Continue to cook the eggplant until it’s fork-tender before scooping the flesh.
- Cheese. We love the blend of Scamorza and Pecorino and use it in our Riso al Forno recipe as well. If you can’t find Scamorza cheese, you can use smoked or regular mozzarella. You can use Parmigiano Reggiano in place of Pecorino if need be.
- Taste test. Be sure to taste test the stuffed eggplant mixture before adding the egg to ensure it’s properly seasoned. Note that whatever cheese you end up using may result in a saltier or less salty mixture so season to taste.
- Anchovies. We love anchovies and the body they bring to this dish and many other Sicilian-inspired dishes. If you prefer to keep this a vegetarian recipe, you can omit the anchovies.
More eggplant recipes
If you love eggplant as much as we do, give these other favorites a try!
- Eggplant parmigiana – Sicilian style with no breadcrumbs.
- Pasta alla Norma – fried eggplant, fresh basil, tomatoes, and ricotta salata.
- Roasted eggplant with tomato sauce – easy and perfect summer side dish.
If you’ve enjoyed this Sicilian-style stuffed eggplant or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and leave a review.
For the eggplant
- 3 medium eggplant
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 small anchovy fillets
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup scamorza cheese cubed
- 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano grated
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup basil minced
- 6 small mint leaves minced
- 1/4 cup raisins soaked in water
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Preheat oven to 375f and set rack to middle level.
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and score the inside of the flesh with a sharp knife, being careful to not go through the skin. Coat each cut eggplant piece with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Place the eggplant pieces cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
- While the eggplant is baking, heat a large pan to medium heat with the remaining extra virgin olive oil. Add the onion and saute until soft (about 5-7 minutes).
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic and anchovies. Break up the anchovies with a wooden spoon and cook the garlic until golden (about 2-3 minutes). Add the hot red pepper and cook for 30 more seconds. Next, add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer for around 10 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the breadcrumbs, raisins, pine nuts, Scamorza, Pecorino, basil, and mint.
- Once the eggplants are very tender, remove them from the oven and let cool. Once able to handle, gently scoop out the inside of the flesh and add it to the breadcrumb mixture. Mix well then taste test. Season with salt and pepper to taste then mix the egg in.
- Season the inside of the eggplants with salt to taste, then stuff them with the mixture, piling high if necessary, and place onto a baking sheet. Drizzle a bit of olive oil onto each eggplant and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. For added color, broil for the last 1-2 minutes but watch carefully. Enjoy!
- Larger eggplants can take a very long time to cook. Just continue to cook until the eggplant is fork-tender before scooping out the inside of the eggplant.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the oven or microwave.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.