EASY Stuffed Mini Eggplants ~ are brimming with sautéed onions, fresh tomatoes, chopped eggplant, sundried tomatoes, basil, and breadcrumbs. Topped off with grated pecorino cheese, baked until they are golden and tender, making these Italian mini eggplants savory and light! Besides making a big impression, we think you’re gonna love them!
We love mini eggplants, no matter how they are prepared! Using fresh ingredients when making these stuffed mini eggplants are the secret to giving them a lot of flavors.
The fresh basil and fresh ripe tomatoes give a sweetness to them, while it balances some of the saltiness from the pecorino cheese on top.
Eggplants are in abundance now, inexpensive too (about 3 for $1.00 at the farmer’s market). However, we found a package containing 5 mini eggplants there and decided to stuff them.
Keep in mind, you can find these mini eggplants at Costco too.
We made these easy stuffed mini eggplants the other night for meatless Monday and I thought they were perfect with a green salad next to them.
These simple, savory, and delicious stuffed mini eggplants are not heavy or weighed down with a lot of ingredients.
Amazingly, they make a perfect size to serve as a side to the main course and enough for everyone to try at least one.
A great recipe – easy to make, delicious to eat, served warm or at room temperature, they are ideal to serve at a summer BBQ or picnic.
Leftovers taste even better the next day, so prepare to take them to work for lunch!
HOW TO MAKE EASY STUFFED MINI EGGPLANTS?
1. First, prepare the eggplants by hollowing out each half, then chop the flesh into small pieces and transfer them into a bowl.
2. Next, transfer the eggplant shells onto a baking sheet and drizzle them with some olive oil and salt.
3. Bake for a few minutes in the oven to soften them before stuffing them.
4. While the eggplants are in the oven, you can get started by preparing the mixture with which to stuff them. Sauté the onions in olive oil along with the fresh tomatoes and basil for a few minutes.
5. Add in the chopped eggplant and sundried tomatoes and continue to cook until the eggplant softens. Stir in some breadcrumbs and turn off the heat. Remove pan from the stove.
When you’re short for time in the kitchen, you’ll be thrilled to see how quickly the flesh softens when sautéing on the stovetop. In fact, it takes the same amount of time as it does for the eggplant shells to soften while they’re in the oven.
And for me, saving some time is always a good thing.
6. Next, fill each eggplant shell evenly with the mixture. Sprinkle some grated pecorino cheese on top and return them back into the oven and bake for additional 15 minutes or more.
7. When the eggplants are tender and golden brown, there ready! Remove, and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
Cook’s Notes and Tips:
- Keep in mind, all ovens vary. The eggplant boats hollowed out should be baked for at least 15 minutes or more (until they are tender) before stuffing them.
If you notice the stuffing seems to be a little dry and needs a little more moisture, simply stir additional olive oil into the mixture before stuffing, or lightly drizzle over the tops of each stuffed eggplant.
If you are looking for these to be gluten-free? Just omit the breadcrumbs, and maybe add in some cooked quinoa (about 1 cup cooked) to the stuffing, and add some protein.
Easy Stuffed Mini Eggplants are fun to make because they cook up so quickly.
You can easily modify the recipe by adding in some of your favorite ingredients into the stuffing, like adding in some Kalamata olives, capers, and even stuff them with browned chop meat.
If you can’t find the package for the mini ones, try looking for the smallest eggplants in the produce section. Sometimes they are labeled as “Italian eggplants” which are the same size as these mini ones we found here.
*Our full recipe card is at the bottom of this post.
More eggplant recipes? Try these:
Best Eggplant Manicotti Casserole … and our
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Thank you for your condolences and your sweet personal emails about our father’s passing. Two months have passed with so much going on in our families, I’d like to give you a quick update.
The month of May was a busy one. My Maria graduated from college, while my youngest Lizzy finished her first year in college.
A selfie with the girls! That’s me and Aunt Liz behind my daughters.
My son’s wedding was this past Memorial Day weekend! And, it was an entire weekend of celebrations!
My granddaughter Valentina, along with our brother’s granddaughters too, all of which are the same age – were the flower-girls! How precious….
….and you know the rest.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!
Anna and Liz
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 5 mini Eggplants, rinsed and cord discard
- 1 large Vidalia onion- finely chopped
- 3 ripe plum tomatoes - chopped or pureed
- 2 sundried tomatoes -chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper, to taste
- grated pecorino cheese
- cooking oil spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a large baking dish or sheet with cooking oil and set aside.
- Slice each eggplant lengthwise and carefully using a pairing knife to hollow out the flesh with each half, transfer the fresh of the eggplant onto a chopping board, and place each eggplant onto a prepared baking dish. Lightly drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt inside each hollowed eggplant.
- Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender. When ready, remove from the oven. Set them aside.
- In the meantime, chop all the flesh into small pieces, set them aside.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions.
- Sauté the onions for a few minutes, until they are softened and translucent.
- Next, add the pureed tomatoes, fresh basil and salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes. Next, stir in the chopped eggplant, and the sundried tomatoes.
- Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, until the eggplant is softened and tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you feel the eggplant needs a little more moisture, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the mixture in the skillet. Taste the eggplant mixture, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the breadcrumbs. Turn off the heat.
- Using a wooden spoon, spoon the stuffing into each eggplant evenly. Sprinkle with grated pecorino cheese over each one.
- If the stuffing seems to be a little dry and needs a little more moisture, simply drizzle some olive oil over the tops of each stuffed eggplant. Return the baking dish into the oven and bake for additional 15 minutes or more. Remove and set aside to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve warm.
- Yields: 10 stuffed mini eggplants