Turkish Stuffed Eggplant Recipe (Karniyarik)

Aubergine, Eggplant or Patilican whatever name you use, is a popular vegetable here in Turkey, its used in Salads, Moussaka and many other dishes. But probably the best know Turkish dish with Eggplant is, Karniyarik, or Stuffed Eggplant. This dish dates back to the Ottoman times and is a dish you will find where ever you go in Turkey.


This Stuffed Eggplant Recipe is made with ground meat, which is then stuffed into half of an aubergine and served with Turkish Pilav and Salad.   Its taken me a little while to perfect this dish as most of my Turkish Cooking is self taught, learned from recipes or from my Turkish family. I could never perfect the exact taste that I wanted with this dish, until I seen my Sister in Law prepare her Stuffed Eggplants which without a doubt are the best I have tasted.

I hope you will enjoy this tasty recipe, for those that are vegetarian Quorn makes a great substitute for the mince, I made this recipe with Quorn recently and it tasted great.

I hope you will enjoy this recipe for Turkish Stuffed Eggplants (Karniyarik)

Ingredients for Turkish Stuffed Eggplants

6 Medium to Large Eggplants

500 gram/1/2 kilo Ground Mince

1 Medium Onion

2 Large Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste (two if you don’t have pepper paste)

1 Tablespoon, Pepper Paste (sweet)

1 or 2 medium peppers either red or green

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon paprika or ground red pepper

Salt and Pepper to season

Olive Oil

Pre-heat oven to 150c

Recipe for Turkish Stuffed Eggplants

First prepare your Eggplants, cut each egg plant in half leave the stalks on. Then cut a strip down the middle of the eggplant on the soft side, without cutting through the skin on the other side.

Sprinkle your Eggplants with salt and leave to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then wipe off the excess water with some kitchen roll.

You need to brown the eggplants and you can do this 3 ways, . I like to use a frying pan with a little oil in the bottom and allow the Aubergine halves to brown in the pan. You need to also brown the skin of the aubergine, it takes a few minute each side.

My sister in law likes to do her eggplants over an open flame, either over the stove or using a gas bottle with a cooking ring over the top, this I find gets more flavour from the Aubergine.

You can also put them in the Oven for about 10 minutes on high. Though I find you don’t get much flavour this way.

Now you need to prepare you ground meat stuffing, you can use lamb meat, beef or quorn.  Lamb Meat is the traditionally used.

Finely chop your Onion, Peppers, Tomatoes (remove skins). Lightly fry your onions in the pan for a few minutes until soft then add in your ground meat, brown you meat and add in your peppers and chopped tomatoes, add in your tomato paste, pepper paste, spices and season to taste. You may need to add in a little water if your mixture seems dry.  Allow the mix to cook for 5 to 10 minutes on a low heat.

Once your ground meat is ready, place your Eggplants on a deep baking tray, with the split facing upwards, then spoon in your ground meat mixture into the slit and covering the top of the Eggplant half.

Now this is were I am a little different with my recipe, it is traditional to place some sliced peppers, and tomatoes on top of our ground mince. I don’t bother as most of the time these end up on the side of the plate in our house.  But if you want it the dish to be authentic, slice peppers (green) length ways, with slice tomatoes and lay them on top of the meat.

Once you have filled all your Eggplant halves. Make up a little sauce to pour in beside the Eggplants while cooking. I mix up, half a tablespoon of tomato paste, half tablespoon of pepper paste, season with salt and pepper and add in about half a tablespoon of olive oil and a cup of warm water. Mix together and then pour in beside the Eggplants, I also drizzle some of this mix over the top of the Eggplants, don’t cover them completely with the sauce. Then cover and baking in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Remove the Turkish Stuffed Eggplants and serve with, Pilaf, salad and yoghurt.  Remember to drizzle over some of the cooking sauce when serving.

Afiyet Olsun!


© 2013 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.

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