Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Aubergine (Vegan)

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by Alena Schowalter
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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!

Is there anything more comforting than stuffed vegetables straight from the oven?

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

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

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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!

Our Moroccan-style stuffed aubergine recipe is a great way to serve quinoa, it is lower in calories and packed with protein.

Plus, it looks super impressive while being actually easy to make with little equipment!

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
baked aubergines on baking pans being filled with 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 veggie broth or olive oil, 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. Bring to a boil, then 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.

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, sweet potato arugula salad or spinach 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!

Quinoa Stuffed Aubergine (Vegan)

by Alena Schowalter
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.
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large aubergines halved
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot finely diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes 400 ml
  • ½ cup vegetable broth 110 ml
  • 3.5 oz dry quinoa 100 g
  • ¾ cup cooked chickpeas 120 g, drained & rinsed
  • ¼ cup raisins 35 g
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley 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
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tahini

Instructions

Bake the Aubergines

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F (180° C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • 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. 
  • Reserve the flesh in a sealed container in the fridge since it’s perfect for veggie stir-fries or dips.
  • 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

  • In the meantime, combine the onion, carrots, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, cinnamon and splash of veggie broth in a non-stick pan and place over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add water, as needed, so the veggies don’t stick to the pan.
  • Pour in the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth and rinsed quinoa. Generously season with salt and pepper, then cover with a lid. Bring to a boil, then let it simmer for around 12 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid. 
  • 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.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the chickpeas, raisins and parsley.

Assemble the Stuffed Aubergines

  • Remove the aubergine halves from the oven and fill each aubergine half with ¼ of the mixture from the stove. 
  • 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.
  • While the stuffed aubergines are roasting, whisk all ingredients for the lemony yogurt sauce together in a small bowl.
  • 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.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Moroccan
Nutrition Facts
Quinoa Stuffed Aubergine (Vegan)
Amount per Serving
Calories
329
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
4
g
6
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Sodium
 
300
mg
13
%
Carbohydrates
 
69
g
23
%
Fiber
 
15
g
63
%
Sugar
 
26
g
29
%
Protein
 
11
g
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Hi, I'm Alena Schowalter — a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with my husband, I founded nutriciously in 2015 and have been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages toward a healthy plant-based diet. I enjoy discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature, and creating new recipes. Read more about us here.

11 Comments

  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
        • wow, this sounds fantastic! seems like I can learn a lot from you ;) btw, we love Oatly, too! Thanks so much for sharing x

          Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! Edited it a little – separated the quinoa, cooked it and baked it with nutritional yeast and veg stock. Followed the aubergine recipe, bake the whole aubergine and turned into in a stew like dish instead with the quinoa on the side + baked sweet potato (with a little paprika and olive oil)
    The yoghurt was scrumptious too!
    Will make this again and again for sure!

    Reply
  3. 4 stars
    Made this dish and love the flavors of the stuffing, however, I think that dish would be enhanced by stuffing it in something else. We found the shell of the aubergine, tough and difficult to cut (unless you aren’t supposed to eat it)? but the filling and lemon topping were DELICIOUS and you could stuff it in a yam, pepper or eat on its own. We really enjoyed it and wonder if it would freeze well?

    Reply
  4. Hi, Alena! When you roast the eggplants before stuffing them, should they be on the baking tray cut side up or cut side down? Thank you!

    Reply
    • great question! If I remember correctly, I used to roast them cut side up but I image that both of these options would work — it also depends on your oven and settings (fan vs. conventional heating) whether your eggplant will be roasted from both sides.

      Reply
  5. 1 star
    Too many faults with this recipe. My stomach was hurting the rest of the entire night and my only guess was that there were way too many ingredients in this recipe- from the chickpeas to the quinoa to the raisins. I was skeptical about this at first but went along with it anyways. The eggplants need more time than what the recipe calls for to cook. I cooked them 15 min in the oven by themselves and then another 20 min with the filling and it was still hard in the end. I looked into other recipes and they all say to sear the eggplant 4-5 min on each side and then cook 35 min in the oven with the filling. That is what I will do next time. Lastly, be very careful of the cayenne. 1/4 tsp for just 2 eggplants was alot. I would reduce it to a 1/4. The spiciness ruined the entire dish for everyone to be honest. A little kick is nice but thats is, just a little kick. Not where it overpowers the entire recipe. 

    Reply

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