Stuffed Eggplant Rolls w/ Ground Beef & Tomato Sauce

Here is another traditional Greek recipe from our favorite Cretan chef, Koula Barydakis. She made this for us on our last day of our most recent trip to Crete and it was so good we had to share it with you.  This is a different version of stuffed eggplant where you roll eggplant around a succulent ground beef and feta mixture and top with homemade tomato sauce.  The eggplant is first fried in extra virgin olive oil.  There is a common misperception that one cannot fry healthfully with olive oil.  What you don’t want your olive oil (or any oil) to ever do is smoke.  Once oil is smoking then it is carcinogenic, but there is a fifty degree difference between when olive oil begins to fry and the smoking point.  In other words, you can safely fry with olive oil just not at super high heats.  As long as you fry at a medium heat you will be fine.  If the oil gets too hot and begins to smoke then you will want to throw the oil out.

These eggplant rolls are wonderful for a weekend meal.  There is something innately satisfying about creating this kind of healthy comfort food meal from scratch.  It will make you happy that you created such a rich and delicious recipe for your friends and/or family.  Personally, I will be making these for backyard grilling parties alongside grilled Souvlaki, sweet potatoes and asparagus.

Stuffed eggplant rolls can be served as an appetizer, side dish or as the main meal.  If you were to serve it for dinner I would accompany it with a salad such as a traditional Greek salad or a Quinoa Salad with Cucumber and Olives.  I would also include some simple vegetable side dishes like Roasted Cauliflower with Herbs or Sautéed Swiss Chard with Garlic.  Enjoy!

with ground beef and tomato sauce

Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss Plan
Eggplant Rolls with Ground Beef and Sauce

Stuffed Eggplant Rolls w/ Ground Beef & Tomato Sauce

Koula Barydakis
4 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 12
Calories 539 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 large  eggplants, sliced thick
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Filling:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup onions, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cups fresh tomatoes, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut eggplant into thick slices. Place slices in colander and sprinkle with salt and sugar. Let sit for 1 hour.
  • Heat 1 cup olive oil in deep frying pan. Fry eggplant slices and then place on plate with paper towel to absorb the oil.
  • In a deep frying pan, heat 1 cup olive oil and sauté ground beef and onions for 5 minutes. Add parsley and tomato paste; mix well. Add wine, salt, pepper, and thyme and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and mix in bread crumbs, paprika and feta cheese.
  • Place a tablespoon of meat mixture on to each slice of eggplant and form into a roll. Place each roll in a Pyrex dish.
  • To make the sauce, heat olive oil in pot. Sauté garlic and pepper for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar. Mix well. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add sauce to top of eggplant rolls. Cook at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 539kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 13gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 411mgPotassium: 866mgFiber: 8gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 794IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe? Tell us about it!Click here to rate this recipe in the comments section below.
About the Author: Koula Barydakis
Koula Barydakis was born into a long tradition of eating and living Mediterranean on the Greek island of Crete. She is a chef who has worked in many of the top restaurants in Crete and in Greek Town in Toronto, Canada. Koula is the co-author of “Foods of Crete, Traditional Recipes of the Healthiest People in the World” and is currently completing her second cookbook. Koula teaches cooking classes to tourists in Crete and has been hired to teach classes in other countries as well.

2 Comments

  1. Peter Innocenti November 2, 2021 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    4 stars
    This recipe was very tasty and the family enjoyed it. I used 3 eggplants and they still sucked up the 1 cup of olive oil so I had to add more. I did exactly as prescribed in the recipe with salt and sugar in the colander for an hour. Also dried them off. Eggplant is an oil sponge!

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. November 2, 2021 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      Glad you liked it. I had the honor of having Koula (Recipe author)cook these for me in her home in Crete. They were so good! -Bill

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