If you don’t love aubergine yet, you will after a bite of this hearthy and comforty Sausage Stuffed Aubergine. Roasted aubergine is combined with a heavenly tomato sauce, made even better with the addition of sausage and topped with cheese. This recipe makes a delicious wholesome meal that everybody will fall for.
If you love Aubergine Parmigiana (eggplant parmesan) these are going to knock your socks off! Sausage stuffed aubergineboats is a lighter version of the traditional Parmigiana minus frying the aubergine plus adding some sausage. Baked aubergine is stuffed with a delicious sausage and tomato sauce, all topped with cheese to make a hearty and comforting dish for lunch or dinner or as a meal prep option.
If you aren’t a fan of this vegetable, this recipe will change your mind and I have proof with my partner. He said he didn’t like aubergine so one day I prepared stuffed aubergine. The aubergine gets soft and caramelised and when mixed with the meaty sauce it’s really disguised. His veredict: loved it! And even took leftovers in a packed lunch. We found out that what he didn’t like was the chewy texture of not properly cooked aubergine. Since then he’s been eating a loooot of aubergine at home and when going out.
Stuffed Aubergine Ingredients
Aubergine (Eggplant). Look for medium sized aubergines, Fairy Tale, Globe, white or Italian (what I have used this time) would be perfect here. You could use any variety as long as they aren’t too thin. If you want to learn more about different aubergine types, you can check out this article by all recipes.
Sausage. I have used butifarra, aka longaniza, a typical sausage of the Catalan cuisine consisting of pork meat, salt and black pepper (although nowadays you also find it without pepper for those that prefer a milder option). If you can’t find it, any good raw sausage should work. I prefer pork for this dish, but you can use chicken sausage as well.
Onion and Garlic. Essential to make a good sofrito.
Tomato Passata. The saucy ingredient of this stuffed aubergine recipe.
Cognac. The secret ingredient. It enriches the sauce by providing a sort of sweet and nutty flavour. It pairs perfectly with meat and cheese. You can swap it with brandy or use wine instead of/in addition if you prefer.
Cheese. This time I opted for a crunchy cheese topping using mature cheddar. If you want a goey melty cheese topping, then you can go for mild cheddar, provolone, mozzarella or even a mild gouda cheese.
Seasoning and herbs. Needed to enhance the flavours.
Note that the recipe doesn’t call for black pepper. This is because the sausage already has pepper in it. If your sausage doesn’t have pepper, then feel free to add some when seasoning the sauce.
How to Make Stuffed Aubergine Boats
First, cut the aubergines in half lengthwise, score the flesh in a criss-cross fashion (taking care not to pierce the skin), drizzle some olive oil and bake until the flesh is soft. In the meantime prepare the sofrito with the sausage.
Once the aubergine flesh is soft, remove it from the oven and scoop the flesh out, again carefully enough so as not to break the skin. Combine the aubergine with the sofrito and cook for a bit more so all the flavours build up on each other.
Finally, stuff the aubergine skin with the meaty sauce, sprinkle with the cheese and bake until the cheese is golden.
Can I Cook the Aubergine in the Microwave?
Yes, you can. Cut the aubergines in half, score the flesh and drizzle some olive oil as you would for roasting them. Cook in the microwave for 20 minutes at maximum power. If they are not soft yet, continue cooking in 5-minute intervals.
Other Topping Ideas
- Bechamel sauce. You can make a bechamel sauce to cover the aubgergine then sprinkle it with the cheese. The result is simply delicious, but obviously not that light.
- Parmesan. You can just sprinkle it with the parmesan once out of the oven for a subtle cheesy touch.
- Breadcrumbs. Another topping option is breadcrumbs, fried or simply toasted. The crunch touch it provides is suuuuuper nice! You can mix the breadcrumbs with the parmesan and for a final golden touch you can turn the broiler or grill on.
What to Serve with Stuffed Aubergine
I love to serve it with a side of salad. If you aubergines were small or medium-sized, a whole aubergine makes one meal. You can also eat half of it, but in this case, I’d accompany it with something a bit more filling like pasta, gnocchi, rice or grains such as barley.
It is a hearty and comforting meal so a side of mashed potatoes would also be a brilliant idea. If you have it during weekdays, I’d suggest serving it with a lighter side option though.
Can I Eat Roasted Aubergine Skin?
Yes you can! The skin actually has a lot of nutrients and healthy properties. White aubergine skin is a bit tougher than Italian aubergine skin, so in this case, I wouldn’t personally do it. However, go for it with Italian aubergines. My dad used to cut his up with a knife and mix it all together.
How to Store Sausage Stuffed Aubergine
To Store: Place the cooled stuffed aubergines in an airtight container and store for up to 5 days in the fridge.
To Freeze: Place the cooled stuffed aubergines in an airtight container. Store for up to 3 months in the freezer.
To Reheat: thaw the aubergine boats either overnight in the fridge or on the counter for about 1 hour. You can reheat them in the microwave, in the oven at 180ºC or using a pan until warmed through. If using a pan, add a bit of water and cover with a lid. The steam will reheat it evenly and the aubergine bottom won’t get burnt.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Stuffed Aubergine
- Picking a good aubergine. The skin should be shiny and smooth, with uniform color. When touching it, it should be firm to touch – if you find soft spots you can get it but ask for a discount. When it comes to its size, larger eggplants are easier to stuff, but smaller ones are usually sweeter.
- Seasoning. Each brand of sausage has a different amount of salt and pepper, so taste your sauce before stuffing the aubergine skins. It may require some salt and/or black pepper.
If you make this Sausage Stuffed Aubergine recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Sausage Stuffed Aubergine
- 3 small-medium aubergines
- 1 onion - finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- 200 g sausage - I used Catalan butifarra or longaniza
- 450 g tomato passata
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 50 ml cognac - or brandy
- 130 g mature cheddar cheese - grated
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Cut the aubergines in half lengthwise and place them on a baking tray. Score the flesh in a criss cross fashion (do not pierce the skin), drizzle some olive oil and bake at 180ºC for about 30-45 minutes, until the flesh ia soft.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion with a pinch of salt and cook for 10min until the onion is translucent and slightly golden.
- Remove the case of the sausage and, using your fingers, tear it apart into 2 cm chunks. Add them to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes until the outside of the sausage is golden brow.
- Add the cognac to deglase the bottom of the pan and let the alcohol evaporate, 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato passata with the thyme springs and another pinch of salt. Let it all simmer together while the aubergine is still in the oven.
- Once the aubergine flesh is soft, remove it from the oven. Scoop the flesh out carefully so as not to break the skin. Add the aubergine flesh into the pan with the tomato sauce and cook together for 5 minutes. You should get a slightly thick sauce.
- Stuff the aubergine skin boats with the meaty sauce. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake at 220ºC or put under the broiler/grill until the cheese is golden. Serve and enjoy!
- The recipe serves 3 people as a one-dish meal. It can serve up to 6 people if using half aubergine per person. In this case, serve it with a side of pasta, mashed potatoes, rice or grain of your preference to make it more filling.