Stuffed vegetables never seem to disappoint me. They’re simple to make, easily nutritious and are a wonderful way to use up excess produce in your fridge. These stuffed eggplant boats are no exception and come from my good friend Julie Wampler of Table for Two and now author of Dinner for Two, a cookbook devoted to meals for two people. Genius idea, right?
Julie and I met aboard the Princess Cruise line last Spring and have remained close since. While I don’t get to see her often, I pay close attention to her snapchats of her new puppy Winston Wampler (the Double W) and her incredible flair for Asian cooking. A few weeks ago, I watched her make crispy dumplings and nearly drooled all over my phone while riding the train. Dank dumplings, Julie.
Honestly, I’m excited to share her cookbook with you because I know many of my readers are cooking for two people. As a matter of fact, it became evident after reviewing my reader survey that many of you are looking for recipes that serve 2-4 people! Don’t worry, more of those to come.
If I could sum up the book in one sentence it would go like this: Simple comfort food recipes with approachable ingredients and wonderful flavors.
Out of all the recipes in Dinner for Two, I chose this one specifically because of all the nutritious veggies, protein-packed turkey and that bubbly cheese on top. I only made slight variations to Julie’s recipe (using lean ground turkey, a little less oil and less cheese), other than that everything is the same. The flavors and spices are just right and we LOVE topping it with mozzarella and/or pepper jack cheese. Also, a good shake of hot sauce is a must on just about anything. You guys know how I roll.
Lastly, if you haven’t checked out Julie’s site yet, you must! Some of my favorite recipes from her include:
20 minute chicken and broccoli teriyaki
Blueberry peanut butter pancakes
More healthy dinners to try:
White Bean, Spinach & Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers with Burrata
30 Minute Healthier Turkey Sloppy Joes with Homemade Sauce!
Cheddar-Stuffed Sweet Potato BBQ Turkey Meatloaf
Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Black Bean, Corn & Sweet Potato
Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna with Spicy Turkey Meat Sauce
Julie’s Stuffed Eggplant Boats
- 1 large eggplant (about 1 ½ pounds)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large zucchini, diced (about 1 cup)
- ½ onion, diced (about ½ cup)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 5 ounces baby Portobello mushrooms, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- ½ pound lean ground turkey (I use 99%)
- ¼ cup canned, diced tomatoes, drained (I used fresh cherry tomatoes)
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella
Slice the eggplant in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the insides, being careful to leave a ¼ inch border around the side and not to pierce to the eggplant skin. Finely chop the meaty flesh of the eggplant and set it aside. Place the eggplant halves to the side.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch oven safe casserole dish.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the zucchini, onion, and garlic to the skillet. Sauté until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, eggplant flesh, and ground turkey to the skillet, crumbling the ground turkey with a spatula or wooden spoon. Continue to sauté until vegetables have softened and turkey is fully cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the tomato, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Toss to incorporate.
Remove skillet from heat and using a large spoon evenly divide the filling between the eggplant halves.
Evenly sprinkle mozzarella on top of the two eggplant halves and gently place them into the prepared casserole dish.
Bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Let eggplants sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil and extra tomatoes.
To make vegetarian: I suggest subbing in 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas or white beans instead of using turkey.
To make paleo: leave off cheese
Recipe slightly adapted from Dinner for Two and published with permission. Photography by Sarah Fennel.
Looks so yummy!! I’ve never had stuffed eggplant before!
This looks amazing!! I love what you did with this and thank you for the sweet words. I’m so happy we met last year and only wish that we could see each other more often too! 🙂
Yum, I will have to check out this cookbook for sure. These look a-mazing!
These look bomb!! I must make these especially since my oldest son’s gf is vegetarian!
I would love to try this! It sounds so delicious!
I also love stuffed veggie recipes! I have my eye on a stuffed pepper recipe for next week but these stuffed eggplants sound fabulous!
Just an FYI but your opening line actually says that stuffed vegetables always disappoint you. Might wanna consider changing that. =D
Gwen! Thank you so much for catching that. 🙂
Yum! I’m glad this recipe actually reuses the scooped bit. I hate when they ask you to scoop it out and then never use it….my veg is not just a boat to hold my food! I want to eat it too!
Oh my goodness! these look so good! I have two eggplant in my fridge just waiting to be used and I think I;ll try this with some chicken sausage instead since I don’t have ground meat. Thanks for sharing!
Stuffed veggies are the best! I definitely don’t have enough eggplant in my life because my family isn’t a huge fan. This looks like such a crowd-pleasing recipe though…I might need to try this with them!
This will be a first for me! Never tried eggplants stuffed like this but this is bound to be a new favourite!
Made this tonight and it was amazing! I omitted cheese (I’m dairy free) and topped each half with tomato sauce before baking. Delicious!
Wow Looks so yummy
They are so yummy!
This was a very good recipe. My entire family loved it. I was not sure the kids would eat it, but they asked for seconds. I used ground lamb for the meat, and it was great. Thanks, this will sure be something that I will continue to make.
Perfect! So happy to hear that!
20 minutes prep time??? My knife skills may not be stellar, but scooping out & dicing eggplant, chopping onion, mincing garlic, dicing mushrooms, chopping zucchini, etc. takes way more than 20 minutes! Don’t get me wrong, the recipe was delicious, I just wish I’d been given a more realistic prep time. We didn’t eat til after 7!
Thanks for your feedback, Kathy! We’ll definitely look into it. Glad you liked the recipe!
The mozzarella should not be added until the last few minutes or it darkens and hardens. Very disappointing when the rest of the plate was so tasty.
So strange, I’ve never had that issue before but will look into it. Thanks for your feedback!
Ambitious Kitchen is my go to site for recipes. I love how I can punch in one ingredient and several delicious options come up. I’ve never made one I didn’t like. The stuffed Eggplant boats were perfect. I did double the ground Turkey, eggplant and zucchini, just to use up stuff I on hand. I also used a whole can of Italian diced tomatoes, but drained the mixture before adding. There was a lot of water from the zucchini and mushrooms . I worried the water would take away from the flavor.I did substitute provolone slices, instead of mozzarella( it’s what I had). Thanks again for another great recipe.
Hi, Kelley. Thanks so much for the love! Glad to hear you’re a fan and that you enjoyed this recipe 🙂