Did you make those Saucy Moroccan-Spiced Lentils yet? I hope so, because I have the perfect application for them. Let’s do this!
What are Moroccan Spices?
Some of the spices common in Moroccan cuisine are cinnamon, cumin, ginger, paprika, saffron, and turmeric. A blend called Ras El Hanout is also commonly used in Moroccan cooking. It includes spices such as anise, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, turmeric, and peppers. (source)
Find more info on how Moroccan spices are used here. And learn more about the history of Ras El Hanout, as well as a traditional recipe for this vibrant spice blend here.
This recipe requires 9 ingredients and comes together in about 1 hour!
Once your eggplants have browned, it’s time to top them with your Moroccan-spiced lentils. I also seasoned mine with a bit of vegan parmesan cheese and gluten-free bread crumbs for extra crunch, which I highly recommend!
For those stuffing the eggplant, simply bake until bubbling and golden brown and you have one saucy, satisfying dinner on your hands.
And for those slicing and rolling, your final product will look more like this!
In my opinion, the roll-ups are a prettier presentation that requires less cooking time. But the stuffed eggplants look like a seriously hearty entrée when plated. You can’t lose either way!
I hope you all LOVE this dish! It’s:
This is the perfect hearty entrée or side dish that would be especially perfect for hosting. It’s delicious on its own, but it would also pair well with my Garlicky Kale Salad and Crispy Chickpeas, Oil-Free Roasted Vegetables, 1-Pot Vegan Minestrone, and Sweet Potato and Avocado Green Salad. Also, my 5-Minute Macadamia Nut Cheese or Whipped Almond Ricotta would make the perfect flavor addition!
If you give it a try, let us know how it goes! Rate it, leave a comment, and be sure to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Moroccan Lentil-Stuffed Eggplant
- 4 small eggplants
- 2 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil (if avoiding oil, sub water)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 batch Moroccan-Spiced Lentils
- 1 3/4 cups crushed tomatoes (crushed are best for flavor and texture // can sub diced or puréed tomatoes)
- 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (plus more to taste)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 Tbsp gluten-free panko bread crumbs (I like Ian’s brand panko bread crumbs)
FOR SERVING optional
- Fresh chopped parsley or cilantro
- White or brown rice or cauliflower rice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and get out a 9×13-inch (or similar size) baking dish.
- To a large saucepan or rimmed skillet, add Moroccan-Spiced Lentils, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, and paprika. Heat over medium heat until bubbling. Then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt and pepper for overall flavor or paprika for smokiness.
- See notes if thinly slicing and rolling the eggplant. Otherwise, use a knife to cut an angled divot out of the center of your eggplants. Then use a spoon to scrape out a hollow center. Leave enough eggplant flesh so it’s sturdy enough to hold the lentils (see photo). (Save leftover eggplant to make things like Eggplant Curry, Persian Eggplant Dip, or Baba Ganoush.)
- Heat a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and the eggplant cut-side down and cover – you may have to do this in two (or more if increasing batch size) batches depending on the size of your pan. Cook on one side for 4-5 minutes or until slightly charred. Then flip the eggplant over on the other side, cover, and cook for 4-5 minutes more. You’re looking for the eggplant to be softened and browned on the outside.
- Once the eggplant is cooked, place cut-side up in your baking dish and top with lentils. There should be plenty to fill the eggplant and some overflow, which can be spooned down into the dish. Top with vegan parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs.
- Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until the eggplant is soft and browned and the lentils are bubbling. The bread crumbs should be browned.
- Serve as is or over rice or cauliflower rice (optional). Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro (optional) for color and flavor.
- Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator up to 4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with oil and without rice.
*Stuffing method adapted from Cooking with Alia.
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