5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef and Eggplant

4.56 stars average

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A modern twist on Lebanese stuffed eggplant, this 5-ingredient slow cooker meal of eggplant and beef is slowly simmered in a warm, cinnamon-spiced tomato sauce.

beef and eggplant over rice

My Aunt Paula’s stuffed eggplant is one of my favorite Lebanese dishes of all time. We call it “Bitten Jen.” This is a humble yet satisfying dish. The eggplant is stuffed with the classic mixture of ground beef or lamb and rice.

If you’re familiar with Middle Eastern cuisine, you’ve likely seen this meat and rice combo used to stuff various vegetables. Our family enjoys kousa squash, cabbage and grape leaves.

liz dicing eggplant

Making vegetables the star of the show is a great way to stretch the food budget as well. Vegetables are also very nutritious. One pound of ground beef will go a lot further in vegetable-centric dishes than it would formed into burger patties.

Slow Cooker Beef and Eggplant 06 WEB

I love to convert my favorite meals into slow cooker recipes. I do it with the purpose of saving time. My boys are 7 and 9 years old and constantly on the go – I need all the time savers I can get! But in many instances, I’ve found that slow cooking actually elevates the taste of the dish. The flavors have more time to develop.

That was certainly the case with this 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef and Eggplant. Any bitterness that might have existed in the eggplant is non-existant and cinnamon scented tomato sauce keeps the meat tender and delicious.

Nothing can replace my Aunt Paula’s stuffed eggplant but in the meantime, this will continue to be a weeknight favorite in our house.

Your fork is waiting.

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slow cooker beef and eggplant

5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef and Eggplant

4.56 stars average
A modern twist on Lebanese stuffed eggplant, this 5-ingredient slow cooker meal of eggplant and beef is slowly simmered in a warm, cinnamon-spiced tomato sauce.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 4 hours
TOTAL: 4 hours 10 minutes
Pin
Servings6

Ingredients
 

  • 1 large eggplant cut into large chunks (or 2 medium)
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 32 ounce can crushed tomatoes (low sodium)
  • 3 tablespoons All Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend
  • toasted pine nuts and minced parsley (optional garnish)
  • Lebanese Rice Pilaf (to serve)

Instructions
 

  • Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and heat on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.
  • Serve over Lebanese Rice Pilaf and sprinkle with fresh minced parsley.

Last Step:

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Nutrition

Calories: 207kcalCarbohydrates: 15.2gProtein: 18gFat: 8.4gSaturated Fat: 3.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4.9gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 911mgFiber: 6.3gSugar: 7.7g
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44 responses to “5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef and Eggplant”

  1. Sadye Avatar
    Sadye

    My goodness this was a fast and delicious recipe! I’m so mad I waited to make it :) We’ve been eating it with the toasted pine nuts and parsley, but no rice, though we will try it with the rice and maybe even just on some nice bread and call it Lebanese sloppy joes :D If you have an eggplant-hesitant person in your family, this is a great way to sneak it in!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      hahah Lebanese Sloppy Joes – what a perfect name for it! Glad you enjoyed!

  2. Sarag Avatar
    Sarag

    If I want to leave out the meat, could you use a butternut squash with the eggplant? Im assuming the time in the slow cooker would be less than?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Actually ground beef cooks faster than butternut squash so I would keep time the same. Yummy idea!

  3. Claire Avatar
    Claire

    Do you think it would be possible to use a plant-based alternative to beef? Thank you

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Just add your favorite veggies like green beans!

  4. Rachel Meese Avatar
    Rachel Meese

    With three small kids, I rebranded this dish as “Christmas Tacos.” We enjoy the dish with chips or tortillas instead of rice. The consistency becomes something between sloppy joes and american chili. It’s always a hit with my tribe!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh my God CHRISTMAS TACOS!! YES!! Love that!

  5. Kathy S. Avatar
    Kathy S.

    How would you make this wonderful sounding dish in a Instant Pot? I’m using the 8 qt size.

    Thank you from another Michigander, Kathy

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m actually not sure because i don’t use one – so sorry!

  6. Ambs Avatar
    Ambs

    Hello, there! :) Is there another vegetable that will work well with this in lieu of the eggplant? Or, if I use the eggplant, is there anything special I need to do to it, such as peel it or something. I don’t have experience working with eggplant, so I want to make sure I’m not missing some basic know-how in how to use it!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I highly recommend using eggplant – no need to peel it, just trim the bottom and the top!! Cut in large chunks. Let me know how it turns out!!