Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Aubergine (Vegan)

by Alena

These easy quinoa stuffed aubergine halves feature a flavorful vegetable filling and are baked to perfection before being served with a 3-ingredient lemony yogurt sauce. Great for meal prep, weight loss or family dinner!

Especially when the days get colder, we love making veggie dishes in the oven! Is there anything more comforting to serve?

From plant-based stuffed peppers or creamy veggie lasagna, these plant-based dinners just really hit the spot.

Just like many other vegan quinoa recipes, these vegan stuffed aubergines are easily customizable and a really flavorful high-protein vegan meal!

Cozily spiced with cumin, smoked paprika and a pinch of cinnamon, the raisins in the filling offer a sweet hint.

white speckled plate with vegan quinoa stuffed aubergine, soy yogurt and a fork

While aubergines or eggplants (depending on where you live) don’t taste like much on their own, they are so ready to soak up any delicious flavor you add to them!

Botanically speaking, aubergines are not actually a vegetable but rather a fruit from the nightshade family — just like tomatoes.

However, they can be prepared similarly to zucchini: from roasting to baking, frying, stuffing or even creating lasagna! One important difference is that while zucchini can be spiralized and eaten like “raw noodles”, aubergines need to be cooked.

When it comes to our Moroccan-style stuffed aubergine recipe, it looks super impressive while being actually easy to make with little equipment needed.

vegan stuffed aubergine in baking pan being drizzled with yogurt

Quick look at the recipe

  • Naturally gluten-free & low in calories
  • Flavorful, chewy & hearty
  • Budget-friendly and filling
  • High in plant-based protein
  • Meal prep-friendly
  • One-pot recipe
  • Comforting & fully vegan
  • Easily customizable

From start to finish, you need about an hour for this recipe but our flavorful quinoa stuffed aubergines are so worth it!

fresh aubergines, uncooked quinoa, chickpeas, tomato sauce and parsley on a table

Ingredients needed

  • Aubergines — the sturdy little veggie boats that hold the flavorful quinoa filling
  • Onion & Carrots — our simple veggie ingredients for the stuffing
  • Quinoa — this gluten-free grain gets cooked along with the veggies in one pot!
  • Chickpeas — protein-packed and delicious addition to our stuffed aubergines
  • Spices — the key to making any veggies taste fantastic! Our combination includes cumin, cayenne, smoked paprika, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  • Crushed Tomatoes — bringing together flavor and texture of the filling.
  • Add-Ins — raisins, parsley, sesame seeds, lemon juice and some soy yogurt to round up this recipe.

If any of these components don’t call your name or are hard to find, make sure to check our suggested swaps and substitutions below.

Let’s go over the steps needed to make this delicious recipe!

large bowl with tomato flavored quinoa chickpea mixture

How to make quinoa stuffed aubergines

Bake the aubergines

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut your washed aubergines in half lengthwise and scoop out the center parts using a spoon. Make sure to leave an even border that is sturdy enough for the filling but not more than around ½ to 1-inch thick so that the aubergine is being baked thoroughly.
  3. Put the prepared aubergine halves on your lined baking sheet and bake them in the oven for around 10-15 minutes until slightly soft.

Make the quinoa filling

  1. While the aubergine is in the oven, finely chop your onion and carrot. Add them to a non-stick pan together with a splash of water, cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon and cayenne.
  2. Sauté over medium heat while stirring frequently until the onions have become soft and translucent. Make sure to add more water if needed so that the veggies don’t stick to the pan.
  3. Now, pour in the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth and rinsed quinoa. Season everything generously with salt and pepper, then cover with a lid. 
  4. Let the veggie filling simmer for around 12 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid while stirring occasionally. 
  5. Once this time has elapsed, remove the pan from heat and stir in the chickpeas, raisins and parsley. Don’t worry if the quinoa is not cooked all the way through — it will finish cooking in the oven.
baked aubergines on baking pans being filled with quinoa chickpea mixture

Assemble the stuffed aubergines

  1. Remove the baked aubergine halves and fill each of them with the flavorful tomato and quinoa mixture from your pan. Try to distribute the stuffing evenly but don’t overfill them.
  2. Return the baking sheet into the oven and roast for another 15-20 minutes until the aubergines are tender and the quinoa is soft and bubbly.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together the simple lemon yogurt dressing in a small bowl.
  4. Once the stuffed aubergines are done, remove them from the oven and drizzle each half with some of the lemony yogurt sauce. Top with sesame seeds and parsley, then serve immediately.
baking dish with four eggplant halves filled with red seasoned quinoa mixture next to some vegan yogurt

Substitution ideas

Stuffed aubergines, zucchini or bell peppers can be filled with a whole array of delicious plant-based foods! Here’s how you can adjust this recipe to your needs.

fork cutting in baked aubergine half filled with Moroccan flavored quinoa mixture

Prepping & storage

You can bake the scooped aubergines ahead of time and store the halves, once cooled, in the fridge for around 2 days before making the full recipe.

Meal prep works even better for the filling which can be stored in an airtight container for around 3 days before baking the stuffed aubergines.

Any leftovers can be kept in a sealed container for up to 4 days and reheated in the oven or microwave at your convenience for a quick lunch or dinner.

Serving suggestions

You can enjoy these vegan quinoa stuffed aubergines on their own or serve alongside some rice, cauliflower rice or on a bed of greens.

They can also be part of a beautiful holiday menu on Christmas!

We like to make a colorful but easy roasted salad bowl because the oven is already nice and warm — suggested recipes include this roast pumpkin feta salad, this sweet potato lima bean salad or this butternut fig salad.

You can also offer some freshly baked bread or dinner rolls as well as roasted potatoes along with the stuffed aubergines. 

hand holding a white plate and a fork which is cutting into vegan quinoa stuffed aubergine

More easy vegan dinner recipes

Eat more veggies on a weekly basis and try these easy and delicious recipes next!

Let us know if you made this stuffed aubergine recipe! Share with us in the comments below, rate and Pin it here. You can also tag us on Instagram so we can see your variations!

fork cutting in baked aubergine half filled with Moroccan flavored quinoa mixture

Quinoa Stuffed Aubergine Recipe

Yield: 4 servings/halves
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This Middle Eastern-inspired stuffed aubergine recipe is bursting with flavor and texture! The one-pot quinoa, chickpea and veggie filling is cozily spiced to create a scrumptious, budget-friendly weeknight dinner the whole family can enjoy. Protein-packed and fully vegan, the baled aubergines can be served year-round as a side or main dish. 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium aubergines, halved
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes (400 ml)
  • ½ cup vegetable broth (110 ml)
  • ¾ cup quinoa (128 g), dry
  • 1 cup chickpeas (160 g), cooked & drained
  • ¼ cup raisins (35 g)
  • ¼ cup parsley (7 g), roughly chopped

Lemony Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp soy yogurt, unsweetened
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder (optional)

Topping

  • Fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

Bake the Aubergines

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F (180° C) and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Scoop out the center part from each aubergine half using a small spoon. Make sure to leave a ½ to 1-inch border around the skin so the aubergine stays sturdy enough for the filling. 
  3. Reserve the flesh in a sealed container in the fridge since it’s perfect for veggie stir-fries or dips.
  4. Arrange the prepared aubergines onto the baking sheet and place in the oven to roast for around 10-15 minutes until slightly soft.

Make the Filling

  1. In the meantime, combine the onion, carrots, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne and cinnamon in a non-stick pan and place over medium heat with a splash of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add water, as needed, so the veggies don’t stick to the pan.
  2. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth and rinsed quinoa. Generously season with salt and pepper, then cover with a lid. Let simmer for around 12 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid. 
  3. Make sure to stir occasionally to avoid burning once the mixture thickens. Don’t worry if the quinoa is not cooked all the way through — it will finish cooking in the oven.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the chickpeas, raisins and parsley.

Assemble the Stuffed Aubergines

  1. Remove the aubergine halves from the oven and fill each aubergine half with ¼ of the mixture from the stove. 
  2. Return your baking sheet to the oven to roast for around 15-20 more minutes until the aubergines are tender and the quinoa filling is soft and bubbly.
  3. While the stuffed aubergines are roasting, whisk all ingredients for the lemony yogurt sauce together in a small bowl.
  4. Once the aubergines are done, drizzle each one with some of the lemony yogurt and top with sesame seeds and parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • You can add the aubergine flesh to the filling to use it up but need to reduce another component like the chickpeas or carrot to not end up with too much filling.
  • To make the yogurt sauce creamier and more flavorful, add around 1 tbsp of tahini!
  • You can replace the raisins with chopped dates in the filling.
  • If you have some cooked grains you want to use for the filling, simply add it along with the chickpeas to your sautéed veggies and crushed tomatoes — skip the vegetable broth.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 aubergine half
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 300mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 15gSugar: 26gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!

Please rate & share if you like this!

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Alena sitting in a cafe with a bowl of fresh plant-based food and a glass of coffee in front of her

About Alena Handwritten FontAlena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

6 thoughts on “Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Aubergine (Vegan)”

  1. What would you recommend subbing the raisins for? Not a big fan of either raisins or dates. Anything not so sweet?
    Also anything instead of the cinnamon?
    Really want to make this, always looking for ways to add quinoa into my diet. Thanks in advance =]

    Reply
    • Hey Sandy,
      thanks for the question! The dates, raisins and cinnamon add a sweet and exotic touch to the quinoa filling but you can just omit all of them or just not use dried fruit and go for different spices like dried herbs (oregano, thyme or basil for an Italian touch). How does that sound?
      Let us know what you end up doing!

      Reply
      • Thanks for the tips Alena! Loved this so much! It was really delicious, really enjoyed the middle eastern/ north african flavours.
        I made the whole thing with a bit of a twist – I separated the quinoa and cooked it with some nutritional yeast and veg stock to up the protein content, then I baked it for 30 mins to remove the water and create a delicious baked texture.
        I made the aubergine part into a one-pot meal. I baked the aubergine and then added the whole lot into a pot with the rest of the ingredients, following the steps in the recipe. I added dates and didn’t add cinnamon.
        I also baked 400g of sweet potato in a teaspoon of olive oil (100g per portion) dusted in paprika to have on the side.
        I served with the yoghurt dip make the same way, but I used Oatly, a UK based alternative yoghurt, instead of the one in the recipe.
        It was delicious! Will go into my regular recipe rotation! According to myfitnesspal (not including the yoghurt and sweet potato), it works out to 24.7g of protein per serve, which is great for my partner and me.

        Reply

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