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Beef-Stuffed Eggplant

Nathan Congleton / TODAY


  • 2 medium eggplants, about 1 pound each
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Beef Picadillo
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup sliced pitted olives
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 cups canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup broth (beef or chicken)
  • Minced cilantro, crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese, for serving

Chef notes

Tender baked eggplant are filled with a savory picadillo-style beef filling seasoned with Latin American flavors. Serve this topped with crumbled queso fresco and fresh cilantro, alongside sweet coconut rice.

Swap options: Swap in turkey or chicken if you prefer. 


For the eggplant:

Cut eggplants in half and poke the inside with a fork several times. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, then turn over so they are cut-side down on a baking sheet, and roast about 30 minutes, or until tender.

For the beef picadillo:

While the eggplant roasts, make the filling. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and pepper, and sauce 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook one minute. Add the ground beef, stirring into the onions and peppers, and cook until browned. Add the kosher salt, cumin, paprika and oregano and stir to evenly distribute. Add the olives, raisins, tomato sauce and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 10 minutes. Set aside.

To assemble:


Remove the eggplant from oven and scoop out the tender flesh. Stir into to the beef mixture.


Place the scooped-out eggplants on a clean baking sheet, cut-side up and fill with the beef and eggplant filling. Drizzle with olive oil and return to oven for 15 minutes.


Serve eggplant garnished with cilantro and crumbled queso fresco.