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Mama's Oh-So-Savory Lamb and Eggplant Casserole

Rated as 4.53 out of 5 Stars

"The basis of this recipe came from my 4th grade teacher's mother who was Armenian, and I've been making it for over 50 years. It is easy to put together, but the longer the stovetop step simmers, the better the casserole will be when served. Leftovers are yummy! You could serve this over rice, if you like, with a green salad. I just serve it in pasta bowls with crusty bread, butter, and a nice glass of red wine. Enjoy!"
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2 h 35 m servings 385
Original recipe yields 4 servings


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  1. Place eggplant in a colander set in a bowl or the sink; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Let eggplant stand for at least 1 hour. Rinse off the bitter liquid and excess salt and drain well.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery; cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent and celery is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. While vegetables are cooking, combine ground cumin, oregano, rosemary, paprika, mint, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl or mortar and pestle and mix well; this is the lamb seasoning (see Cook's Note). Set seasoning aside.
  4. Stir eggplant cubes and garlic into the vegetables in the skillet, mixing well, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and sprinkle with half of the lamb seasoning mixture. Reserve remaining seasoning. Stir gently and cook for 5 minutes more.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.
  6. Pour chicken broth and half the can of tomato sauce into the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes; add a little water if the sauce starts to get dry. Transfer the sauce to the prepared casserole dish.
  7. Return the skillet to the stove over medium-high heat and heat the reserved tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Place ground lamb into skillet and sprinkle with remaining seasoning mixture. Brown lamb in the hot oil, stirring frequently, until the meat is evenly browned; it should look like imperfect meatballs.
  8. Gently transfer the lamb to the casserole dish, pushing it down into the vegetable mixture so that it is at least partially submerged. Stir fresh lemon juice into the remaining tomato sauce and pour the sauce over the casserole.
  9. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon how tender you like your vegetables.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • I use the lamb seasoning from Penzey's Spices®: it's a ground blend of oregano, rosemary, cumin, celery, sweet paprika, black pepper, onion, garlic, spearmint and ginger. I use 1 teaspoon of the seasoning blend instead of the individual spices listed in the recipe. You could easily improvise on this, if need be.
  • If you want the veggies to be soft, cover the casserole and bake for 1.5 hours. Uncover and bake for 45 minutes longer. I like this with veggies slightly crisp, so I bake this for 45 minutes to an hour, uncovered.
  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 385 calories; 23.2 22.6 24 77 1471 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 39
  1. 47 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

I had to try this recipe after reading some reviews, even though it was way out of my comfort zone, in regards to flavors. I'm not a fan of eggplant or lamb, but decided to try the eggplant,i di...

Most helpful critical review

Like the concept, but the photo is unrelated to the recipe!! The dish in the photo has cheese while the recipe doesn't.

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Least positive

I had to try this recipe after reading some reviews, even though it was way out of my comfort zone, in regards to flavors. I'm not a fan of eggplant or lamb, but decided to try the eggplant,i di...

Mama Mia this is good! I would give this 10 stars if I could! I am so glad I tried it as I never really liked eggplant before this. But I will definitely make this again and again!One of the thi...

A very good recipe. This is a keeper. Other than using canned tomatoes, I followed the recipe exactly. Direction number six should say transfer one-half of the sauce to the casserole dish. I...

This recipe was easy to follow. I did use fresh herbs from m my garden that compliment the ingredients, like oregano and basil. I will repeat this one. I like the tip on keeping the sautéed lamb...

I followed the recipe almost exactly, and I have made it 3 times. I increased all the spice amounts except salt.. as I like it that way. I sent the recipe to a friend who doesn't like lamb, and ...

Great flavor. Simmered it over the stove, with lid slightly open for an hour instead of using the oven. The dish turned out like a bolognese sauce or chunky stew, delicious.

Lamb needs to be drained after cooking for lower fat and better mouth feel. Very good.

I made it as written with the exception of doubling the spices and using canned tomatoes instead of fresh. It was good but still a bit bland. Next time I think I would use substantially more s...

Very good. Needed to use up leftover eggplant and my husband loved the dish. Will keep for sure.