Baked Eggplant Stuffed With Tomato Salsa (Vegan, Whole30)


Italian-inspired, these baked eggplant boats are stuffed with a delicious tomato, thyme and garlic salsa. This dish can be served as a main or as a side and is gluten-free, paleo, Whole30 and vegan-friendly.

Baked Eggplant Stuffed With Italian Tomato Salsa (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Whole30)

Stuffed Baked Eggplant

Eggplant, or aubergine, is a fantastic vegetable to cook with. It has that gorgeous smoky, earthy, mushroomy flavour, and is very versatile: you can bake it (like this cheesy Italian baked eggplant), fry it, turn it into dips, use it in salads, vegetarian sandwiches (try my Lemongrass eggplant Banh Mi), antipasto platters, vegetable lasagna, and the list goes on.

In this recipe, I am serving up baked eggplant stuffed with an Italian-inspired salsa of chopped-up cooked eggplant, fresh tomatoes, garlic and thyme. Oh, and a few lashings of healthy olive oil!

This eggplant recipe can be served as a side dish or main. It is vegan and vegetarian, gluten-free, Whole30 and Paleo-friendly.


Recipe Tips

You can use parsley or basil instead of thyme. If fresh garlic in the salsa is too pungent for your taste buds, reduce the amount or go with some garlic powder instead.

This recipe is for 2 servings, using one large eggplant fruit, but you can make more eggplant boats to serve as side dishes or to bring to a picnic/BBQ. They keep well in the fridge for a couple of days and I like to pull one out as a snack or with an egg omelette in the morning. I think they are great as a side dish with lamb or fish, or you can have them with some quinoa or buckwheat for a vegetarian meat-free meal.

See also  Roasted Garlic Sweet Potatoes

You might also like to check out my Eggplant Caprese Salad, Tomato Ricotta Gremolata Salad or the marvellous Creamy Eggplant Salad.

Full Recipe 

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.


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  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F. Place the whole eggplant on an oven tray lined with some baking paper or foil. Place in the oven, middle shelf, for 30 minutes. This will bake/steam the eggplant from the inside.
  2. After 30 minutes, take the eggplant out and cool it slightly. Carefully cut it in half, going lengthways. It should be soft and steamy on the inside.
  3. Turn the heat down to 180 C / 375 F. Drizzle each eggplant half with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and roast in the oven, flesh facing up, for additional 20-25 minutes or until crispy brown on top.
  4. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, remove the seeds and dice into small cubes. Add to a bowl together with garlic and the thyme leaves (removed form the sprigs).
  5. Remove the eggplant halves from the oven and let them cool down for about 5 minutes. Carefully cut out some of the inside flesh of the eggplant, about half a centimetre away from the edges. Drizzle the eggplant boats with a little lemon juice and sprinkle with a pinch or two of sea salt.
  6. Chop the removed eggplant flesh and add to the tomatoes, garlic and thyme. Add a good pinch of sea salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil and mix well. Scoop equal amounts of the salsa mixture and fill the eggplant boats. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and a drizzle of olive oil for extra shine.
See also  Very Incredible Basil Sauce Recipe

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