A simple and forgiving Spanish dinner, this stuffed eggplant recipe (berenjenas rellenas) is easy and delicious. It makes the perfect mid-week meal!
Spanish stuffed eggplant (berenjenas rellenas) are a staple in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. If we stay with her for more than a few days at a time, it is almost guaranteed we will have stuffed eggplant– at least once!
You see, Antonia is the typical Spanish mother and housewife– she cooks delicious homemade meals every day, but she usually limits herself to what she knows. She could probably make her signature dishes (salmorejo, croquettes, and this delicious stuffed eggplant recipe) in her sleep!
Although she taught me most of her best dishes while I was living with her for a month between weddings, for some reason we missed the berenjenas rellenas. So when she came to visit recently, I didn’t miss the opportunity to get her stuffed eggplant recipe– and that meant watching her make them.
If I so much as blinked my eyes, I would miss a step, and Antonia didn’t quite understand why I had to take so many pictures of the process. But I paid close attention, and (hopefully) the recipe below for Spanish stuffed eggplants will impress you as much as it has impressed me over the past few years.
Spanish Stuffed Eggplant Recipe (Berenjenas Rellenas)
- 4 small globe eggplants
- 2 medium onions
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper
- ¾ pound ground beef and pork mixture (or you could just do one or the other) To make this dish vegetarian I like to use a mix of chickpeas, lentils, walnuts, and parsley (chopped to the consistency of ground meat)
- Good quality tomato sauce (or tomate frito here in Spain)
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 300°F
- Wash the eggplants well and cut them in half lengthwise
- Put them on a baking sheet, skin side down and make crisscross cuts through the flesh
- Drizzle with lots of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until flesh is completely tender
- Take out of the oven and let rest for 15 minutes covered in aluminum foil while you prepare the filling
- Mince the garlic and dice the onion and pepper very small
- Start to saute the diced vegetables in hot olive oil while you scrape out the flesh of each eggplant and add it to the pan
- When the vegetables are starting to brown, add the ground meat (or the vegetarian mixture) and saute until cooked through
- Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat
- Let the mixture rest for a few minutes before filling the empty eggplant skins
- Add a layer of tomato sauce to the empty skins before filling
- Fill each skin to the top, and cover in mozzarella cheese
- Put under the broiler until just browned on the top
- Enjoy your Spanish stuffed eggplants!
Antonia’s Stuffed Eggplant Recipe: Step by Step
Please let me know if you try my delicious Spanish stuffed eggplant recipe. Antonia loves her berenjenas rellenas and I’m sure she would love to hear your feedback!