Lazy Layered Eggplant

by Fresh Planet Flavor

Lazy Layered Eggplant - Fresh Planet Flavor

I’m obsessed with my new little cast-iron skillet, can you tell? Two posts in a week that feature the adorable new addition to my kitchen. 😉 I like it for its dual purpose in this recipe: sauté the onions, garlic, lamb, tomatoes and spices in it while the eggplant bakes, then spoon the sauce out, layer in the eggplant, and serve it with a rustic presentation that complements the recipe’s bold, ethnic flavor.

I got inspired to tackle eggplant after browsing Saveur‘s Global Eggplant Recipes collection. Don’t get too excited, they’re all full of soy, or dairy, or beans. YAWN. So I decided to make my own dish that lets the deep flavor of lamb absorb some of my favorite spices and relies on layers of eggplant to round out the recipe. Fair warning, however: those spices? Yeah, they come on strong. So make this as is and put on your big boy/girl pants before chowing down, or dial back the cayenne pepper and Aleppo pepper.

Finally, it’s called “lazy” because it’s an idea I came up with on a weeknight and tested on the next. When you leap out of bed in the morning, run for the train, hustle for 8+ hours at the office, sprint for the train home then spend a wind-whipped twenty minutes walking from the station to the apartment? Well, you’re in no mood to slave over dinner. Preheat the oven, slice the eggplant, unwrap the ground lamb. It’s a fast dinner that doesn’t come out of a freezer bag, so you’re welcome. 

Lazy Layered Eggplant
Serves: 2
This Mediterranean-inspired dish is the lazy version of… something. Lasagna? Moussaka? In any case, it’s easy enough for a weeknight but tastes like you spent hours at the stove.
  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp <a href=””>Aleppo pepper flakes</a><img src=”″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />
  • + more for garnish (optional)
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Slice the eggplant into rounds approximately 1/2 inch thick. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until al dente (not mushy).
  3. While the eggplant cooks, prepare the sauce: dice the onion and garlic, or give them a whirl together in a food processor until finely shredded.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, then add onion and garlic. Cook until translucent, stirring frequently (about 15 minutes). Add the ground lamb and cook until no longer pink.
  5. Pour in the tomatoes, and add salt, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Stir, then spoon the mixture out of the skillet.
  6. Layer half of the cooked eggplant in concentric circles in the skillet. Spread half of the lamb mixture over the eggplant layer. Follow with the other half of the eggplant, layered in the same way.
  7. Mix the parsley into the remaining half of the lamb mixture, then spoon over the second eggplant layer. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Finish with a dusting of Aleppo pepper, a squeeze of lemon, then serve warm.
Serving size: 2 Calories: 568 Fat: 31g Saturated fat: 10g Unsaturated fat: 18g Carbohydrates: 45g Sugar: 18g Sodium: 1373mg Fiber: 22g Protein: 36g Cholesterol: 110mg

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Michelle July 29, 2013 - 5:27 pm

Eggplant? Lamb? Spicy? Fast? Swoon. Total winner.

Rachel July 29, 2013 - 6:30 pm

Yep! You could make it even faster by cutting out the onion/garlic, but the onion provides sweetness and richness of flavor (in addition to lowering the cost per serving of this by inexpensively bulking up the sauce). 🙂

Katie August 9, 2013 - 5:33 pm

What size can of diced tomatoes did you use?

Rachel August 9, 2013 - 7:44 pm

Good question, I used a 10 oz. can!

buttoni August 16, 2013 - 3:34 am

This sounds delicious! Love eggplant and can’t wait to try this. So pretty, too!

Rachel August 16, 2013 - 4:11 am

Thanks! Layering eggplant in circles is so fun. 🙂

The Sunday Salon « Medieval Bookworm August 18, 2013 - 12:48 pm

[…] lovely and went really well with fish but needed more time in my oven, unfortunately. I also made Lazy Layered Eggplant which will also be made again in my kitchen! I needed to up the spices just a tad but the flavors […]

The Sunday Salon: Currently Back Home « Medieval Bookworm September 8, 2013 - 3:40 pm

[…] I made Lazy Layered Eggplant a second time and it did indeed turn out better when I added more spices. This week I’m […]

Chrissy Wool (@Chrissy_Wool) November 4, 2013 - 7:56 pm

I’m a wimp so I skipped the Aleppo pepper and toned down the spices. Couldn’t find ground lamp so I used lamp chops. It was amazing!!! I just ate the last of it today and I’m sad 🙁

Rachel February 21, 2014 - 4:48 am

I’m making your version this weekend! Wish me luck. 🙂

Persian Paleo Recipe Roundup Paleo & Crossfit Adventures | GrokGrub November 26, 2013 - 3:14 pm

[…] that this has inspired me to go on quite the Persian kick myself: in addition to older recipes like Lazy Layered Eggplant I rolled out what I called a Raw Cashew Persian Dreamcake (say what?) and a Ras el Hanout Pizza. […]

Danielle April 7, 2014 - 7:26 pm

Around how many calories is this per serving?

Rachel April 8, 2014 - 11:28 pm

Not sure, exactly! I’m sure there’s a calorie counter online that you could plug the info into…

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Deirdre September 27, 2014 - 10:55 pm

Yum! I made this with an added layer of almond meal combined with olive oil and salt as a breadcrumb/parmesan substitute. Delicious! Then I browned it in the oven for another 20ish minutes at the end. I was searching for a simple layered eggplant recipe. Thank you!!!

PS here’s where I stole the almond meal idea from:

Tricia October 1, 2014 - 9:34 pm

I did this with chicken as well and also added cinnamon, left out the ground coriander (because I couldn’t find it) and added cilantro … it was yummy as well! I love tis site

Becky Bruce January 17, 2016 - 2:15 pm

I’ve never cooked with lamb. Do you brown the ground lamb before using in the recipe?


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