Lebanese Baked Eggplant With Beef

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes

A healthier version of the popular Lebanese baked eggplant dish that is full of flavor thanks to toasted pine nuts, cinnamon, and tender eggplant.

Lebanese baked eggplant with beef.

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. I eat it almost every week, especially in the Summer when it is so readily available. Sautéed with soy and ginger, grilled with olive oil and herbs, or roasted with peppers and tomatoes – it is extremely versatile, very affordable, and highly nutritious. A traditional Lebanese eggplant recipe is made with ground lamb and rendered butter, but in an effort to reduce calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol, I have created a healthier version that still hits the spot: my Lebanese Baked Eggplant with Beef.

Ingredients

  • Eggplant: Spongy and mild in flavor, it’s great at absorbing the other flavors around it and cooks to a creamy consistency.
  • Olive oil: A heart healthy oil that’s great for roasting and sautéing.
  • Pine nuts: Sweet, nutty flavor that is greatly enhanced by roasting.
  • Ground beef: Either ground chuck or sirloin will work, I prefer sirloin for the lower fat content.
  • Warm spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice are commonly used in beef dishes in Lebanese cuisine as they add a delicious warmth to the food, as well as great antioxidants.
  • Onion: I use a white onion, as it’s mild in flavor and caramelizes nicely to sweeten the flavor.
  • Chicken broth: With the crushed tomatoes, it adds flavor and moisture to the sauce of the dish.
  • Crushed tomatoes: Paired with the warm spices, it creates a classic tomato sauce of Lebanese food.

How to Make Lebanese Baked Eggplant with Beef

Liz cutting eggplant

Prepare for your Lebanese baked eggplant by slicing your eggplant into discs and dicing your onion.

Drizzling eggplant with olive oil

Then on a prepared baking sheet, coat both sides of your eggplant with olive oil.

Seasoning eggplant with salt and peppr

Season with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides, before broiling in the oven on high for about 5 minutes a side.

Sauteing onion in pan

Then in a large pan or skillet, heat up some olive oil over medium heat and sauté your onion.

Adding ground beef to pan

Add your ground beef and break up into small pieces as it browns.

Seasoning with nutmeg

Season with your nutmeg and allspice.

Seasoning meat with salt

And a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Adding tomato sauce to pan

Once browned, add the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth.

Adding cinnamon to pot

Season the crushed tomatoes generously with the cinnamon, stir in the toasted pine nuts, and remove from heat.

Layering tomato and beef mixture into baking dish

Then in a glass baking dish, scoop a layer of the tomato and beef mixture into the bottom and spread evenly.

Adding eggplant to bakind dish

Next lay your roasted eggplant slices in an even layer across the dish.

Covering eggplant with meat and tomato

Cover the eggplant with the remaining tomato and meat mixture before throwing in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Garnishing lebanese baked eggplant with beef

When finished, garnish with fresh parsley and additional pine nuts.

Lebanese baked eggplant with beef.

Serve alone, or over the top of a rice pilaf and enjoy your Lebanese Baked Eggplant with Beef!

Easy Substitutions

  • Make it vegetarian. Instead of beef, add in other vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, or squash.
  • Switch the protein. Make it the more traditional way and use ground lamb, or you could use ground turkey.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you have to soak eggplant before baking?

You can if you want to, but you don’t have to in order to get creamy, delicious eggplant. Some people swear by soaking eggplant in milk to remove any bitterness, but I don’t find it an issue!

Do you peel eggplant before roasting?

Nope! I guess if the texture bothers you, you could, but you’ll be missing out on important nutrients!

How do you store leftover baked eggplant?

Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Lebanese baked eggplant with beef.

More Lebanese Recipes

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Liz eating Lebanese baked egplant with beef.

Whether served over rice or eaten stand alone, my Lebanese Baked Eggplant with Beef is a great way to delve into Lebanese cuisine.

Your fork is waiting.

Lebanese baked eggplant with beef 2

Lebanese Baked Eggplant With Beef

4.73 stars average
A healthier version of the popular Lebanese dish that is full of flavor thanks to toasted pine nuts,  cinnamon and tender eggplant.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 1 hour 15 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings4

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the broiler and line a pan with tin foil.
  • Cut the eggplant into 2 in. rounds and lay flat on the lined broiler pan. Measure the olive oil into a small bowl and brush it evenly on both sides of the eggplant rounds. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Broil eggplant 5 minutes per side, until browned, and place in a glass casserole dish. Reduce oven heat to 350.
  • Meanwhile, in a small pan, toast pine nuts over low heat until browned, about 5-6 minutes. Do not walk away!
  • While this is happening, heat a large pan to medium-high and spray with non-stick spray.
  • Brown beef with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice 5-7 minutes using a wooden spoon. Add onions and continue cooking for additional 5-7 minutes until onions are translucent.
  • Add chicken broth and deglaze the pan using the back of a wooden spoon to scrape up brown bits. Add in tomatoes and toasted pine nuts then remove from heat.
  • Carefully pour the meat/tomato mixture over the eggplant rounds and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with plain yogurt, fresh parsley and extra pine nuts.

Notes

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Nutrition

Calories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 33.4gProtein: 21.3gFat: 12.6gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 615mgFiber: 11.8g

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Hi, I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones. I believe in the power of real, wholesome ingredients that are bursting with flavor and won’t break the bank. Whether it’s a traditional Lebanese recipe from my family or a culinary creation from across the globe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that nutritious food can be exciting, affordable, and easy to prepare.

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19 responses to “Lebanese Baked Eggplant With Beef”

  1. Tanya Avatar
    Tanya

    It was VERY thin from the tomatoes. What do I do to correct this? Thanks!

    1. Kaley Clarke Avatar
      Kaley Clarke

      It shouldn’t have been a thin sauce! But if it’s too thin for your liking, you could try reducing the amount of broth or tomatoes to make up for it.

  2. Andi Avatar
    Andi

    Hi, I have this baking now in the oven and can’t wait to try it along with your rice pilaf. I’ve made your similar crockpot recipe before and really like it. I am a “jump to the recipe” type person instead of following along with the pictures. However, I do skim through the photos briefly. I wanted to comment though that the photos and the recipe directions are VERY different. The photos show placing sauce in the dish first, sautéing the onion before the beef, adding the cinnamon with the sauce instead of the beef, etc. Maybe something was updated and doesn’t reflect, but just thought I’d mention since it was a bit confusing.

  3. Donna Avatar
    Donna

    Very Very tasty!! I broiled the eggplant a day ahead of time and cooked the beef mixture a day ahead of time. I stored the two separate. The day our Lebanese guests were coming I topped the eggplant with the beef mixture and baked it. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe with us!!! It is now in my recipe file. (o:

  4. Annie Avatar
    Annie

    We loved this dish! Instead of 1 cup chicken broth, I used 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup broth. And served it with Isreali couscous made witha cinnamon stick. Definitely a do-over!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!

    2. Jason Avatar
      Jason

      Expect its not Israeli. Its Moroccan

      1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        My dish is actually Lebanese, but all 3 cuisines overlap and are similar:)

  5. Lisa Avatar
    Lisa

    Thank you for the inspiration. I substituted a mix of lentils, chopped pepitas, and chopped walnuts for the ground beef. It tastes great! I couldn’t wait for it to finish baking before I helped myself to the first serving.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh perfect that sounds incredible!!!

  6. Sandy Avatar
    Sandy

    Oh my gosh, this is good! I find that I only have 1-2 recipes up my sleeve for eggplant. So, I was searching online for something different and stumbled upon this recipe. I am so glad I did. It was easy to make. I had all the ingredients in the house. I actually did most of the work in one pan. I toasted the pine nuts, then removed them, before browning the meat, which then got pushed to one side as I threw in the onion, and finally the tomato. It smelled heavenly coming out of the oven and tasted even better. This was definitely added to my recipe collection. Thank you, very much!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s one of my favorites!

  7. Linda Avatar
    Linda

    Is the cinnamon measurement a typo? 1 tablespoon sounds like a lot. Thanks

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Nope. You need a lot of cinnamon since you’re using a big eggplant and lots of meat. :)

  8. Victoria Avatar
    Victoria

    We are newlyweds and my husband is Lebanese! It is important that I learn some of his favorite dishes. He told me that this dish tasted exactly like his grandmothers! The best compliment ever – thank you for sharing these amazing recipes and making me look good! :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh I’m so so so happy to hear this Victoria!! You should check out the eBook I made with all of our Syrian family recipes: https://thelemonbowl.com/cookbook/

  9. Nutritionist Mira Avatar
    Nutritionist Mira

    This is awesome! The combination of flavors sounds like a great authentic taste. I love everything about this recipe, need to try this!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thank you!

  10. Heather Avatar
    Heather

    What temp do you bake at? Covered?

Liz Della Croce eating black bean dip

Hi I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones.