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Spiced Lamb Stuffed Eggplant

Happy Thanksgiving!

Foodie Lit

Spiced lamb in eggplant baked 2.jpeg

Lamb provides a rich, flavorsome filling, matched wonderfully with eggplant and a Merguez Spice Blend. Drizzled with tomato sauce, this is a perfect Thanksgiving alternative to turkey. If you don't want to give up the turkey, buy small Japanese eggplants and serve one for each person as a very tasty and elegant start for the meal. Have some extra left over? Use the extra Merguez spice mix on baked or grilled chicken or vegetables. And I used a bit of the tomato sauce, extra filling and the spice mix on the spaghetti squash I had for dinner. the following night. Extra lamb-eggplant filling is fabulous in a pita or French bread. Excellent recipe and leftovers!!

In mixing fiction and fact in Expulsion, Sherry Ostroff gives us the breadth and the details of the Spanish Inquisition, the fear, the betrayals, the mercilessness and the ruthlessness of the agents of the Catholic Church and the monarchy. She also gives us the beauty and happiness of the lives Jews had enjoyed in Spain for more than 1,000 years.

The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 had its roots in the defeat of the Moors and the total Christianization of Spain and its ripples lasted 500 years. Sherry’s focus on the months before the expulsion reveal the tension, the disruption, the fear and the horror. You will be drawn into the fabric of history of this era, fraught with danger, impossible decisions and heartbreak.

Spiced Eggplant Stuffed Eggplant


2 large eggplants, halved

2 tsp kosher salt 


Merguez spice blend:

1 tablespoon pepper

2 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground cardamom

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon paprika

For the tomato sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 onion, finely chopped 

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon kosher salt 

1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes  

For the filling: 

1 pound ground lamb

½ onion, grated

1 onion, finely chopped 

2 garlic cloves, grated

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 

2 tsp kosher salt 

1 tablespoon merguez spice blend

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped 

1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

2 tablespoon tomato paste 

½ cup crushed tomatoes 

¼ cup pine nuts 

1 cup tomato sauce

  1. Merguez spice blend: Combine the spices in a small food processor of mortar and pestle. Grind to a powder. Label and store in an old spice jar.

  2. Tomato sauce: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and salt and cook until the onion is translucent. Add crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for 10-15 minutes. Cool and use immerser to purée.

  3. Eggplant: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Score the cut sides of the eggplants and salt well. Line oven proof pan with parchment paper.  Arrange cut side down on baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until tender when touched with your fingers. Cool slightly. Scoop eggplant flesh into a bowl and use immerser to blend or mash with a fork. Reserve the skins. 

  4. Filling: Mix together the lamb, grated onion and garlic, fresh herbs, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tablespoon Merguez Spice Blend in a bowl. Set aside. 

  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and a pinch of salt. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped onion and minced garlic and cook until onions is translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add meat mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring to break up the meat. Add tomato paste and stir until mixed. Add crushed tomatoes. Mix well. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the tomatoes have cooked down, 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggplant flesh. 

  6. Pour the tomato sauce into a baking dish. Place the eggplants on top. Spoon the filling into the eggplant skins. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake until heated through and the pine nuts are toasted, about 10 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the eggplant and serve. 


Note: Leftover merguez spice mix is great over chicken and vegetables, baked or grilled.


Expandthetable suggestions

Meat: Use ground beef, chicken, turkey in place of lamb.

Vegetarian: Use a drained can of chickpeas in place of lamb.

In a hurry? Use prepared marinara sauce


Adapted from The Nosher. Chef Michael Solomonov

Thanksgiving Menus and Leftovers

Thanksgiving Suggested Menu

Thanksgiving Sides 

Thanksgiving leftover pockets

Thanksgiving Leftovers

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