Grilled eggplant melt with cheesy savory lentil stuffing – tender, almost melty roasted eggplants generously slathered with savory tomato paste, topped with melty blue cheese and tender lentils. Yum! This easy vegetarian Mediterranean dish can be made vegan with a few simple switches. Just substitute vegetarian cheese with vegan melty cheese and nutritional yeast and you’re in for a tasty Moroccan lentil-stuffed aubergine meal.Jump to Recipe
This is simple vegetarian or vegan cooking at its best. Make these tasty stuffed eggplants as a simple quick weeknight dinner, or serve them as a side dish or entree. This easy stuffed eggplant recipe is meat-free, gluten-free, plant-based, healthy, low carb and so simple to make. You can even make this tasty grilled aubergine melt with leftover aubergine. It doesn’t get much easier or tastier.
What’s great about these tasty stuffed grilled eggplants with lentil stuffing
Full of Meat-free protein – make this stuffed eggplant recipe as a tasty easy vegetarian or vegan dinner.
Gluten-free and low-calorie – these stuffed eggplants are not just tender and deliciously melty and flavorful. They’re also gluten-free and a healthy low-calorie dinner
Satisfying and flavorful – loaded with melty cheesy flavors and savory tender eggplants.
Comforting – a great easy weeknight dinner that can be made in less than 30 minutes.
Easy to make – quick to make and only made of simple and easy-to-get ingredients. It’s a cozy savory vegetarian dinner.
Versatile – make this easily stuffed eggplant and lentils dinner in a pan, an instant pot, or a crockpot. There are so many easy cooking options so you can make this tasty dinner suit your day and lifestyle.
In this easy Eggplant melt with lentil stuffing post
- Ingredients to make vegetarian lentil stuffed aubergines
- Tips and Tricks to cooking eggplants
- How to make stuffed eggplants
- Easy way to cook stuffed eggplants in an instant pot
- How to make stuffed eggplants with lentils in a crockpot
- What to serve with vegetarian Greek-style stuffed eggplants
- FAQs – all your stuffed eggplant questions answered
Ingredients to make the best vegetarian lentil-stuffed gluten-free eggplants – the best eggplant melt recipe
Eggplants/aubergine – the star of this easy roasted stuffed eggplant recipe is of course the humble eggplant. This Mediterranean stable ingredient is amazing as a main dish. Cooked to tenderness and topped with savory seasonings and melty cheese. Yum.
Lentils – we’re using canned lentils to add plant-based proteins and a delicious tender bite to the dish. You can cook your own lentils if you prefer (and have the time) or use canned lentils as I did. If you don’t have lentils at home you can replace them with black beans or any other type of tender beans you prefer (red beans, butter beans, or even baked beans all work well).
Tomato paste – tomato paste adds a delicious depth of flavor, a bit of sweetness, and a rich hint of sunshine. If you don’t have tomato paste you can substitute it with passata, fire-roasted tomatoes, or canned crushed tomatoes.
Cheese – a good vegetarian blue cheese is a must-have for this easy eggplant melt. Or you can use a tasty vegan blue cheese (I used Violife crumbly blue for this dish). Top the cheese generously over the eggplant slices to make the dish a melty irresistible pan of loaded stuffed eggplants.
Seasoning – smoked paprika, dried oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper make the spice base for these tender Melty aubergine slices.
Tips for making tender eggplants every time
Pick the right eggplants – smaller eggplants (aubergines to my UK friends) are naturally more tender and less bitter. For extra tender eggplants, choose the smaller varieties.
Slice the eggplants – cut the eggplants into slices to cut down on cooking time and make them more tender. If you’re making halved eggplants, you can cut wedges into the eggplant meat to allow the heat to penetrate more easily all the way to the center of the aubergine.
How to get any bitter taste out of the eggplants – if you know you’re cooking with a bitter type of eggplants there’s a simple method to the rescue. To get the bitter taste out of the eggplant simply “sweat” it by salting the cut side of the eggplant meat. Leave the salt to work its magic for 10-30 minutes. As the salt extracts the water it also draws out the bitter taste. Once the “sweating” is done, simply rinse the salt off the eggplants with water and dap them dry using a clean paper towel.
Cook time – make sure to roast or grill the eggplants on both sides before cooking them in a pan. The trick to great tender eggplants is cooking/roasting at a fairly high temperature until they are completely tender and melty all the way through.
How to make easy vegetarian lentil stuffed eggplants – luxe melty eggplant melt
First, cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2” slices. Brush with olive oil and season with smoked paprika and a little salt. Grill the eggplants on a grill pan (or regular Sauté pan) or grill. Roast each side for 2-3 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Now, heat olive oil in a large Sauté pan and place the eggplant slices in the pan. Slather the tomato paste on top of the eggplants and top with crumbled blue cheese. Season with oregano, thyme, and salt, and top with lentils. Place the lid on the pan and leave to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and the eggplants are soft and tender.
Finally, serve the stuffed eggplants with a garnish of fresh parsley and a side of bread. Enjoy.
Easy way to make stuffed eggplants with lentils in an instant pot
Firstly, turn on the sauté function on the Instant Pot. Add oil, and sauté the eggplants for a few minutes on each side. Season with salt and smoked paprika. Now slather tomato paste on top of the eggplants. Top generously with vegan or vegetarian blue cheese and add the drained lentils.
Next, add all the remaining seasonings to the instant pot. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Release the pressure.
Finally, serve with a side of bread and garnish generously with fresh parsley.
How to make lentil-stuffed aubergines in a crockpot – the ultimate eggplant melt dinner
Heat olive oil in the crockpot. Add the eggplants and sauté for a few minutes on each side. Season with salt and smoked paprika. Now slather tomato paste on top of the eggplants. Top generously with vegan or vegetarian blue cheese and add the drained lentils.
Add all the remaining seasonings to the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or until the vegetables are completely tender.
Serve with a side of bread and top with chopped parsley. Enjoy.
What to serve with Mediterranean roasted eggplants with lentil stuffing
You can serve these tasty Mediterranean roasted aubergines just as is as a main dish. They’re a powerhouse of healthy nutrients…but you can also make them as a delicious side dish.
Here are our 5 fan favorite dishes to serve with stuffed eggplants:
- Fluffy steaming rice
- 1-hour yeast-less focaccia bread
- Easy vegan garlic bread
- The best easy vegan Greek Salad recipe
- Warm Fennel tomato salad
Health benefits of eggplants
Eggplants are a staple in the Mediterranean diet and have been linked to numerous health benefits. They contain a wide variety of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals as well as being rich in fiber and antioxidants.
Here are 5 fascinating benefits of eggplants:
Benefits the heart health – eggplants are rich in vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. They also contain phytonutrients and fiber that have been linked to better heart health.
Liver function – eggplants contain a lot of antioxidants which researchers have linked to liver health. Research suggests that antioxidants may help protect the liver from toxins.
Polyphenols – The polyphenols in aubergines have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
Digestion – because eggplants are rich in natural fibers they may contribute to better digestion and gut health.
Flavonoids rich – eggplants are rich in flavonoids which have been linked to several health benefits, including anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. Flavonoids also have neuroprotective and cardio-protective effects.
FAQs about stuffed Moroccan stuffed eggplants with lentils
This is only needed if your eggplants have a bitter taste.
The eggplants should soak “sweat” in salt for 10-30 minutes to get all the bitter flavors out of it. Note: You only need to soak (sweat) the eggplants in water if you’re using a bitter variety or if the eggplant is a little more mature. If you are using a young and fresh eggplant you don’t need to “sweat” it in salt before cooking.
You can easily reheat eggplants in several easy ways.
Microwave: reheat the stuffed eggplants in a microwave save bowl covered with a lid for 2 minutes. Test to see if the eggplants are warm all the way through. If they are still cold in places, reheat them for 30 more seconds. Keep reheating in 30-second intervals until the dish is hot.
Reheat in a pan: add a little olive oil or water to a pan and add the stuffed eggplants. Cover with a lid and heat at medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the eggplants are heated all the way through.
Oven: place the stuffed eggplants in a casserole and add a little water to the dish to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Cover with tinfoil and reheat in the oven at 400F (190 degrees Celsius) for 20 minutes or until the stuffed eggplants are heated all the way through.
Yes. These tasty vegetarian stuffed eggplants can easily be served cold. They are at their very best when the hot cheese is oozing and melty and the warmth releases the fragrant aroma of the herbs…but they are also delicious served cold or at room temperature.
How to store eggplant melt with lentils
Store in a clean sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving and enjoy.
Yes. Stuffed eggplants can be frozen making them a great meal prep-friendly meal. Just freeze in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container for 3-4 months. Allow to thaw and then reheat before serving.
Stuffed eggplants are a low-calorie meal coming in at just around 320 calories per serving.
Grilled Eggplant melt with lentil stuffing
- 3 medium Eggplants cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 15oz can Lentils rinsed and drained
- 4-6 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- ½ tsp Sea salt
- ½ cup (100g) Vegetarian Blue Cheese crumbled (or vegan blue cheese)
- 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast optional
- 1 handful Fresh Parsley chopped
How to make easy vegetarian lentil stuffed eggplants
- Cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2” slices. Brush with olive oil and season with smoked paprika and a little salt. Grill the eggplants on a grill pan (or regular Sauté pan) or grill. Roast each side for 2-3 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- Now, heat olive oil in a large Sauté pan and place the eggplant slices in the pan. Slather the tomato paste on top of the eggplants and top with crumbled blue cheese. Season with oregano, thyme, and salt, and top with lentils.
- Place the lid on the pan and leave to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and the eggplants are soft and tender.Serve the stuffed eggplants with a garnish of fresh parsley and a side of bread. Enjoy.
Easy way to make stuffed eggplants with lentils in an instant pot
- Turn on the sauté function on the Instant Pot. Add oil, and sauté the eggplants for a few minutes on each side. Season with salt and smoked paprika.
- Now slather tomato paste on top of the eggplants. Top generously with vegan or vegetarian blue cheese and add the drained lentils.Add all the remaining seasonings to the instant pot. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Release the pressure.Serve with a side of bread and garnish generously with fresh parsley.
How to make lentil-stuffed aubergines in a crockpot
- Heat olive oil in the crockpot. Add the eggplants and sauté for a few minutes on each side. Season with salt and smoked paprika. Now slather tomato paste on top of the eggplants. Top generously with vegan or vegetarian blue cheese and add the drained lentils.Add all the remaining seasonings to the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or until the vegetables are completely tender.
- Serve with a side of bread and top with chopped parsley. Enjoy.