If you’re looking for a simple, delicious meal that’s packed with flavor, then you’ve found it! This Greek stuffed eggplant recipe (aka Melitzanes Papoutsakia) is an easy meal you can make any night of the week, and it’s great for meal-prep!
Why You’ll Love these Greek Stuffed Eggplants (Melitzanes Papoutsakia)
Extra juicy and absolutely delicious! This aubergine based traditional Greek recipe will certainly amaze you! ‘Melitzanes papoutsakia’ (Greek stuffed eggplant) is a Greek dish which receives its name from the resemblance of its shape with little shoes. The taste and the ingredients used for this ‘Papoutsakia’ recipe are very similar to the popular Greek dish moussaka.
This Greek stuffed eggplant recipe may be simple, but it’s not lacking in flavor! Packed with ground beef, fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, mashed potatoes, these homemade stuffed eggplants are a meal in themselves, but you can always serve with with a side salad or some roasted vegetables and some crusty bread!
This is a great meal to make because it can easily be doubled or tripled to serve a crowd or to yield leftovers to enjoy as meal-prep ahead of a busy week!
Love eggplant? Take a look at my some of my favorite Greek eggplant recipes like: stuffed eggplants with mince (papoutsakia), Imam Bayildi, eggplant dip, pan-fried battered eggplants, and tagliatelle with eggplants and feta cheese.
- Eggplants — These are the star of this dish, so look for eggplants at your local grocery store or farmers market that are firm to the touch and a rich, dark purple. Avoid eggplants that are too soft or speckled with bad spots. Wash thoroughly before preparing this Greek stuffed eggplant recipe.
- Béchamel Sauce — This really elevates this stuffed eggplant recipe to the next level. It is optional, but highly recommended. If you love creamy homemade béchamel sauce, then I am sure you will fall in love with the traditional pastitsio, aka Greek lasagna!
- Red Wine — This helps to deglaze the skillet in which the vegetables and ground beef are cooked in, and it imparts a ton of delicious flavor. Just make sure to cook it for a couple minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
How To Make It
To prepare this delicious Greek stuffed eggplant dish (‘melitzanes papoutsakia’ recipe), the eggplants are first seasoned and baked until soft and sweet.
Then you proceed to make the tomato based meat sauce, just like you would for your typical spaghetti bolognese. Start by simmering the onions, adding the spices and the mince meat. Let the meat sizzle till golden brown, add the tomato sauce and let it simmer till it thickens.
Lastly you prepare the béchamel sauce. Melt some butter in a pan, add the flour and then slowly add the milk while whisking over low heat. When the béchamel sauce has thickened, add the egg yolks, nutmeg and salt and whisk. Then its time to assemble!
Layer your baked aubergines, add a couple of generous spoonfuls of the meat sauce, a generous spoonful of your bechamel and top with the grated cheese. Bake till golden brown. Delicious!
Store leftover Greek stuffed eggplant in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
We do not recommend freezing this dish, a the eggplant would fall apart after being frozen and thawed.
Variations and Substitutions
- One can find two variations of this traditional Greek recipe, which are both included. The most well known is the Greek stuffed eggplant recipe using béchamel sauce, while the other calls for creamy potato based puree for the topping. Both are delicious, so it’s up to you to decide!
- Make this recipe vegetarian by substituting the ground beef for other vegetables like diced sautéed mushrooms, carrots and celery. You could also substitute it with cooked lentils.
Topped with mashed potatoes and a creamy béchamel sauce, this Greek stuffed eggplant recipe is a meal in itself, but here are some side dishes that would pair nicely with it if you’re craving a little more or serving a crowd:
- Greek feta salad
- Crusty bread
- Greek-style Greek beans (Fasolakia)
- Greek mashed potatoes with garlic (skordalia)
- Grilled halloumi salad with roasted vegetables
- Greek spinach and feta pie (spanakopita)
- Greek lemon potatoes (patates lemonates)
- Lemony rice pilaf
- Briam (Greek ratatouille).
More Recipes To Try
- Greek Stuffed Peppers with Feta Cheese Recipe
- Greek Roast Chicken recipe (Kotopoulo sto fourno)
- Crispy Greek Fried Eggplant
- Vegetarian Moussaka Recipe with Mushroom Sauce
- Greek Meatballs Recipe (Keftedes)
So go ahead, give this traditional Greek stuffed eggplant recipe a try and amaze your friends and family with this tasty and hearty dish! And of course, don’t forget to let me know what you thought of it in the rating and comments below.
And you can always read this delicious recipe in Greek here Μελιτζάνες παπουτσάκια συνταγή!Print
This aubergine based traditional Greek dish will certainly amaze you! ‘Melitzanes papoutsakia’ (Greek stuffed eggplant) is a Greek recipe which receives its name from the resemblance of its shape with little shoes.
- 5 eggplants
- 500g minced beef (18 oz.)
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 glass of red wine
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes or tomato juice (passata)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp oregano
- 100g grated kefalotyri or any hard yellow cheese (3.5 oz.)
- olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2–3 tbsps chopped parsley
For the béchamel sauce
- 100g flour (3.5 ounces)
- 100g butter (3.5 ounces)
- 900ml milk (3 and 3/4 cups)
- 2 egg yolks
- a pinch of nutmeg
- salt to taste
For the mashed potatoes
- 4 large potatoes, boiled
- 50g milk (1.7 oz.)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 egg yolks
- To prepare these extra juicy shoe-shaped ‘melitzanes papoutsakia’ recipe, cut the eggplants in two pieces and carve them crosswise (the flesh). Season the eggplants and place them in a colander for about half an hour. Wash them with plenty of water and drain them on some kitchen paper.
- Preheat the oven at 200C. Season the eggplants with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place the eggplants (with the skin facing up) in a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Bake the eggplants for 40 minutes, until softened.
- In the meantime, prepare the meat sauce for the ‘papoutsakia’. Peel and chop the onions and garlic. Place a large pan on medium heat, add some olive oil and the onions and sauté, until softened. Stir in the garlic and sauté. Turn the heat up, add the minced beef breaking it up with your spoon and sauté. Deglaze with the red wine and wait 1-2 minutes to evaporate. Stir in the canned tomatoes, the cinnamon stick, a pinch of sugar, the oregano and season. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes, until most of the juices have evaporated. At the end, add 1-2 handfuls grated cheese and chopped parsley and stir.
- Prepare the béchamel sauce for the Greek stuffed eggplant. Use a large pan to melt some butter over low-medium heat. Add the flour whisking continuously to make a paste. Add warmed milk in a steady stream; keep whisking in order to prevent your sauce from getting lumpy. If the sauce still needs to thicken, boil over low heat while continuing to stir. Remove the pan from the stove, stir in the egg yolks and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Whisk quickly, in order to prevent the eggs from turning an omelette! Season with salt to taste.
- If you choose to top these Greek stuffed eggplant dish with mashed potatoes, boil the potatoes in hot water for 10 -15 minutes, until soft. Add them in a food processor, along with the milk, butter, the egg yolks, freshly ground pepper and mix until smooth.
- Layer the eggplants at the bottom of a baking pan, with the skin down. Remove some of the flesh, to make room for the filling. Sprinkle the eggplants with some grated cheese and spoon the meat sauce on top of each piece. Top with the béchamel sauce or mashed potatoes and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake the ‘melitzanes papoutsakia’ at 180C for 20 minutes, until nicely coloured.
- Serve this delicious Greek stuffed eggplant dish as a starter or main dish with a nice Greek salad and some crusty bread. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1 portion
- Calories: 559kcal
- Sugar: 26.3g
- Sodium: 866.8mg
- Fat: 24.2g
- Saturated Fat: 12g
- Unsaturated Fat: 10.7g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 52g
- Fiber: 14.9g
- Protein: 34.8g
- Cholesterol: 139.1mg
Keywords: Melitzanes Papoutsakia recipe, Greek Eggplant dish, Greek stuffed Eggplant