Beef-Stuffed Eggplant

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:



Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About


  • 2 medium to large eggplants (about pounds each)
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • cups finely chopped onions
  • pounds ground lean beef
  • ¾ cup cubed fresh tomatoes
  • ½ cup raw rice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Split the eggplants in half lengthwise. Run a sharp paring knife around the inside perimeter of each half, about 1 inch from the skin. Do not penetrate the skin. Score the insides of each half with the paring knife, running it to within about ½ inch of the bottom skin. The scoring should have a diamond pattern.
  • Sprinkle the tops of each half with salt. Place the halves, cut side up, in a baking dish and place in the oven. Bake about 25 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet and add the garlic and onions. Cook until the onions wilt, about 5 minutes. Add the beef, stirring and chopping down with the side of a heavy metal spoon to break up any lumps.
  • Add the tomatoes and cover. Continue cooking about 10 minutes. Uncover.
  • Meanwhile, bring about 4 cups of water to the boil. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain.
  • When the eggplants are ready, remove from the oven. Using a spoon, scoop out the center scored portion, leaving the ½-inch-thick shell. Chop the center pulp. There should be about cups.
  • Add the pulp to the beef mixture and continue cooking about 1 minute. Add the drained rice and stir. Add the lemon juice, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Arrange the eggplant shells on a baking dish. Fill with the beef mixture, piling it up until all is used. Sprinkle the top of each eggplant half with 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese.
  • When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.