Rating: 4.57 stars
53 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 34
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0

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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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

385 calories; protein 24g; carbohydrates 22.6g; fat 23.2g; cholesterol 77.2mg; sodium 1471.2mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (50)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
06/06/2015
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 did however substitute ground beef for the lamb. I followed the recipe pretty closely. I omitted the rosemary and i didnt have dried mint..but added fresh mint on top before serving. Also decided to cook mine in the Slow cooker (too hot for oven today)..knowing it was going into the slow cooker i reduced the liquids just a touch. I used a 12oz jar of a delicious Tomato Olive and Ouzo sauce..which was gifted to me (DELISH)and used only 2/3 cup of the chicken broth. Overall this was great...and i didn't have a problem with the eggplant..all the flavors complimented each other real nicely...I Also really loved what the Lemon did to this dish..made it seem real fresh! Cooked in slow cooker on low for 4 hours. Read More
(11)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/14/2018
Like the concept, but the photo is unrelated to the recipe!! The dish in the photo has cheese while the recipe doesn't. Read More
(2)
53 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 34
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
06/06/2015
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 things that might have put this over the top was the sauce I used. I was lucky enough to be gifted a Tomato, Olive and Ouzo sauce imported from Greece, if you can find that or make that sauce I highly recommend it! With the Greek sauce in mind, I used Greek seasoning instead of the lamb seasoning but kept the cumin, paprika and mint the same. I also added a dash of allspice, a little chili flake and half a chopped red pepper to the onion mixture. I also used a 14 ounce can of copped tomatoes instead of fresh as that's all I had on hand. Like the recipe submitter says, the longer the stove-top the better the outcome!! I also baked it uncovered like recommended! I wasn't sure if I'd prefer just bread or served over rice so I tried both. Rice definitely makes it a meal, and it soaks up the sauce. But the bread is good too, and served with a salad would make a lighter meal. My husband and I sprinkled some parmesan on ours, and I thought "how good would this be if I drizzled a béchamel sauce over top?" So I made a basic béchamel with parmesan cheese and a dash of nutmeg, poured that over the casserole and baked for 15 minutes. Oh-so-awesome!! I could see this used as a sauce over orzo, pasta or egg noodles. Put this on your must-try list!~~update--This tastes even better the next day! Read More
(12)
Rating: 4 stars
06/06/2015
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 did however substitute ground beef for the lamb. I followed the recipe pretty closely. I omitted the rosemary and i didnt have dried mint..but added fresh mint on top before serving. Also decided to cook mine in the Slow cooker (too hot for oven today)..knowing it was going into the slow cooker i reduced the liquids just a touch. I used a 12oz jar of a delicious Tomato Olive and Ouzo sauce..which was gifted to me (DELISH)and used only 2/3 cup of the chicken broth. Overall this was great...and i didn't have a problem with the eggplant..all the flavors complimented each other real nicely...I Also really loved what the Lemon did to this dish..made it seem real fresh! Cooked in slow cooker on low for 4 hours. Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
02/04/2014
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 halved the recipe for the two of us and we had plenty left over for another night's dinner. I did serve a big salad and a side vegetable with it. Read More
(5)
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Rating: 4 stars
10/27/2014
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. Read More
(3)
Rating: 4 stars
08/29/2018
Lamb needs to be drained after cooking for lower fat and better mouth feel. Very good. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
03/31/2017
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 like badly made meatballs it kept it chunkier and more flavorful Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/16/2016
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 suggested she might like it with ground beef.. but if so I wouldn't put the mint in. THE MINT and other spices really do the trick. One large eggplant with other ingredients makes about 4 servings. Read More
(3)
Rating: 4 stars
01/25/2016
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 spices. But I will make it again. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2015
Very good. Needed to use up leftover eggplant and my husband loved the dish. Will keep for sure. Read More
(2)
Rating: 3 stars
08/14/2018
Like the concept, but the photo is unrelated to the recipe!! The dish in the photo has cheese while the recipe doesn't. Read More
(2)