Cajun Stuffed Eggplant

by N'Ckyola
4 servings
55 min

Eggplant gets a bad rep from everyone I know except my vegan & vegetarian friends. Eggplant can be thick sliced or cubed, seasoned & cooked to mimic the flavor & texture of your favorite protein. But it’s also great for so many other things, like this Cajun stuffed eggplant!

My husband thinks he hates eggplant. I think he just hasn’t had good eggplant. I make stuffed eggplant now & then and he’s liked it but not loved it. Until I made this recipe.

Looking for more eggplant recipes? Try these.

This recipe speaks to his southern Louisiana upbringing with a combination of sausage & shrimp reminiscent of gumbo. I mixed in other spices & ingredients that I love from my southeast Texas childhood.

The result is a perfect marriage of flavors that’s super hearty & nutritious! It’s so good, it’s almost addictive!

The first thing you will do is prep the eggplant. This part takes the longest to cook, but is mostly hands off.

Cut a washed & dried fresh globe eggplant in half lengthwise, score into 1" cubes without cutting through the skin. Coat the flesh side with olive oil & season simply with salt & pepper.

Bake flesh side down at 350° for 30-45 minutes, until it's fork tender.

By the time the eggplant is done, the base of the stuffing will be too.

Cook the stuffing. You could cook everything together at once but I like to do it in phases because I like a little char on my sausage & the delicious pan drippings it creates.

Sauté all the veggies first then set aside & cook the sausage. I do the veggies first because the greens will need some liquid to help them cook down. And what's left behind will help the sausage along.

Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant & add it to the stuffing mixture.

Stir everything to combine all the flavors & you're ready to stuff.

Fill the empty eggplant shells with the stuffing mixture. I mean really stuff it. Top with your choice of cheese (or none if you prefer), and nestle a few whole shrimp on top.

I love to finish off with a little cracked black pepper & an extra spritz of olive oil and/or fresh lemon juice.

Back into a hot oven for about 5 minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese & the shrimp turn opaque pink.

Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 55 min
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  • 1 fresh globe eggplant
  • 6 oz of sausage, cut into rounds & quartered
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped (I used a yellow bell)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 cup of fresh greens (I used a combo of collards & kale)
  • 7 oz of canned diced tomatoes (that's half of a standard 14oz can)
  • 8-10 large shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • shredded cheddar cheese (choose your favorite & use as much or as little as you like)
Prep & cook the eggplant.
Wash & dry the eggplant.
Cut in half lengthwise.
Cut the flesh into cubes without going through the skin. This is to make scooping out the flesh easier & you won't have to cut it later.
Coat the flesh side of the eggplant with EVOO. Season simply with salt & pepper.
Bake skin side up in a preheated 350° oven for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your eggplant.
Once done, scoop out the cubes & set aside for later. (Leave the oven on.)
*Note: you are looking for eggplant that is cooked through but not mushy. Start testing the texture about 20 minutes in by poking with a fork. It should go through fairly easily with just a bit a firmness.
Cook the "stuffing".
In a shallow pan over medium low heat, add enough EVOO to coat the bottom.
Sauté the onions, garlic, & ginger until fragrant. DO NOT let the garlic & ginger brown or it will be bitter.
Add in the tomatoes & greens and cook down until the greens are just starting to wilt.
Season to taste with salt & pepper. Move to a plate for later.
To the same pan, add the sausage & cook for about 3-5 minutes. I like a little char on my sausage so I cook them 5 minutes or so. It also gives some great flavor from the pan drippings.
Add the bell pepper to the sausage & cook until tender crisp.
Add the greens mixture from step 4 back into the pan with the sausage.
Add the eggplant flesh to the same pan & mix everything together well.
*Note: the goal here is to get a little bit of everything in 1 bite. Taste & adjust the seasoning as needed.
Stuff It!
Load the completed stuffing into the eggplant shells/skin. Pile it on pretty heavy & pack it down.
Sprinkle the tops with a good coating of your favorite cheddar cheese - I used a combination of mild & aged white cheddar.
Nestle the shrimp into the cheese. Top with fresh ground black pepper & a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)
Put the stuffed eggplant back in the hot oven, turn it off, & let sit until the shrimp is pink & the cheese is melted. It should be no more than 5 minutes.
Doing it this way prevents me from overcooking the shrimp.
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  • C. D. Scallan C. D. Scallan on Sep 05, 2022

    Where are you from sweet lady? Where I'm from that's called Eggplant Pirogue 😉

    • N'Ckyola N'Ckyola on Sep 06, 2022

      Ohhhh I love that, thanks for sharing! I had to go look that up & yes it is very similar. Only differences really are that I use no heavy cream or sauce, no pasta, & nothing is fried.

      So perhaps just a slightly lighter/healthier version of this Pirogue?

      BTW, I am from SE Texas, Houston to be exact. Hubby is from a small town in southern Louisiana & it seems like he would have known about this dish 🤔