Spicy Berbere Lentil-Stuffed Eggplant

Spicy Berbere Lentil-Stuffed Eggplant


A flavorful vegan and gluten-free entree that brings the heat- This homemade spicy berbere lentil-stuffed eggplant combines Ethiopian flavor on a tender and juicy base. 


Spicy berbere lentil-stuffed eggplant on a platter garnished with nutritional yeast and chopped fresh cilantro


Spicy Ethiopian Flavor

One of our favorite restaurants is a fabulous Ethiopian restaurant called Awash located in downtown Brooklyn. They have a vegan sampler platter that is out of this world. 

However, we prefer to eat-in most of the time so we decided to try our hand at creating a meat-free entree with minimal effort and we have to say, this homemade lentil-stuffed eggplant takes the cake. It’s spicy, tender, and perfectly satisfying. In other words, a real winner. 


Ingredients for spicy berbere lentil-stuffed eggplant


A Satisfying Vegan Entree

Most of the time, people make the assumption that vegan meals will somehow feel lacking. However, just serve those doubters this flavorful homemade meal and chances are, they will eat their words. 

The key to this filling meal lies in the lentils. This budget-friendly edible seed from the legume family is high in fiber and is an excellent source of B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. 

Yep, this is one powerful plant-based protein and when you add spicy flavor… you get one incredibly healthy and satisfying meat-free meal. 


A dutch oven with diced onion, tomato paste, and berbere seasoning sautéing



  • Eggplant Tender and juicy eggplant make the perfect boat for the flavor packed lentils. 
  • Berbere Seasoning –  Warm and deeply spiced berbere seasoning is the star of this dish!
  • Onion – Sautéed onion creates a great base for the berbere to stick to. 
  • Tomatoes –  Acidic tomatoes mellow the spice and help to distribute the spices through the dish.  
  • Red Lentils –   Protein packed lentils, Cook to a wonderfully tender texture. 


Red lentils added to the dutch oven with the sautéed onion, tomato and berbere mixture


FAQ & Spicy Berbere Lentil Stuffed Eggplant Tips:


    • Yep! This recipe is gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free. 
  • Can you use a large eggplant instead?

    • Yes, you can. However, be aware that it will take significantly longer to cook if kept whole. Another option is to cube a large eggplant, roast it, and then toss it with the spicy lentil mixture instead. 
  • What if I can’t find a berbere spice blend?

  • Proper Eggplant Prep 

    • Don’t forget to make thin slices in the flesh of your cooked eggplant. This allows more lentils to fit into your eggplant base and it will ensure that your eggplant is thoroughly cooked. 
  • Serving Suggestions

    • We recommend serving the prepared eggplant over a bed of rice next to a bed of fresh greens. Additionally, we love to add some fresh chopped cilantro and lime juice to our rice for a tangy and zesty addition. 


Filling the cooked halved graffiti eggplants with the berbere lentils with a spoon


A Nutritious Whole Food Meal

Please everyone at your table with this spicy lentil and eggplant entree. But you can feel good about serving a healthy preservative-free meal to those that you love. Enjoy!

Finally, if you have made this recipe, we would love to hear what you think! Please comment down below  and be sure to rate the recipe. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thanks so much!


Spicy berbere lentil-stuffed eggplant on a platter


Ingredients for spicy berbere lentil-stuffed eggplant A sheet pan with halved graffiti eggplants and a cutting board with diced onion and minced garlic

Diced onion sautéing in a dutch oven A dutch oven with diced onion, tomato paste, and berbere seasoning sautéing

Crushed tomatoes and garlic added to the dutch oven with diced onion, tomato paste, and berbere seasoning Red lentils added to the dutch oven

Prepared berbere lentils in a dutch oven Cooked halved graffiti eggplants filled with the berbere lentilsCooked halved graffiti eggplants filled with the berbere lentils

Spicy berbere lentil-stuffed eggplant on a platter A spicy berbere lentil-stuffed eggplant over cilantro-lime rice on a plate


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Spicy berbere lentil-stuffed eggplant on a platter

Spicy Berbere Lentil-Stuffed Eggplant

  • Author: Meatless Makeovers
  • Prep Time: 10 min.
  • Cook Time: 60 min.
  • Total Time: 70 min.
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Bake, Simmer
  • Cuisine: Ethiopian
  • Diet: Vegan


A flavorful vegan and gluten-free entree that brings the heat- This spicy berbere lentil-stuffed eggplant is a healthy Ethiopian meat-free meal.


  • 3 Medium Eggplant (Halved )
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion (Diced)
  • 2 Tbsp Berbere Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Tomato Paste
  • 4 Cloves Garlic (Chopped)
  • 1 15 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Red Lentils (Sorted and Rinsed)
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Stock


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  2. Cut the eggplant in half and place them on an oil coated baking sheet cut side down. Place them into the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender. 
  3. In a deep Dutch oven, place the olive oil and put over medium heat. 
  4. When the oil is hot, carefully add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Stirring frequently. 
  5. Next, add half of the berbere season and all of the tomato paste and stir to combine. Allow to cook, stirring frequently until fragrant. Approx 1 minute. 
  6. Add the crushed tomatoes and the garlic and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer. 
  7. Then, add the lentils, vegetable stock and the rest of the berbere spice blend. Stir to combine and cover. Allow to cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  8. When the eggplants are tender, remove from the oven (but leave the oven on at 400℉) and carefully make a few cuts into the flesh of the eggplant to make room for lentils. Then, fill the eggplant with the lentil mixture. Place them into an oven safe dish with a lid. 
  9. Cover the dish and place into the oven for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove the cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. 
  10. Garnish with nutritional yeast and chopped cilantro, if desired and serve immediately while warm. 
  11. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


  • The equipment listed above contains affiliate links to products that we personally use, love, and recommend!

Keywords: Spicy Berbere Lentil-Stuffed Eggplant, Vegan Ethiopian Recipe, Misir Wat Eggplant Recipe



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