August 18, 2022

Greek Lamb Stuffed Eggplants Papoutsakia


Recipe by 

lamb stuffed eggplant, Papoutsakia


Serves 4

  • 4 medium eggplants
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 dried prunes, (pitted & finely chopped)
  • 1 medium onion, (finely chopped)
  • 1 pound (450g) ground American lamb
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried Greek oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 can (15-ounce) (400g) finely diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh oregano for serving


  • Butter (40 grams)
  • Flour (40grams)
  • 3 cups milk (add more if necessary)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (60grams) grated Kefalotyri* cheese, plus more for topping (see below for substitutes)


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C. Slice the eggplants in halve lengthwise, leaving the stems intact. Score a cross hatch pattern into each eggplant halve.  Place the prepared eggplants flesh side up in a baking dish.  Drizzle the eggplants with olive oil and season with salt.  Roast for 35-40 minutes, until tops are deep golden and flesh is soft. 

While the eggplants roast, add 2 tablespoon olive oil to a skillet set over medium heat, add onion & sauté for 6-8 minutes, until softened.  Add ground lamb, finely chopped prunes, salt, oregano, cinnamon & smoked paprika and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add in tomatoes, tomato paste and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Cook for another 10 minutes, adjust seasoning with salt if needed. Set lamb sauce aside while you finish preparing the eggplant & béchamel. (The USDA recommends ground lamb reach an internal temp of 160F)

Remove the eggplant from the oven after 35-40 minutes and use a spoon to press down the centers of the now softened eggplant halves.  Fill eggplants with lamb sauce. 

For the béchamel: melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes until the flour smells slightly nutty. Gradually add in the milk, stirring constantly and cook for 10-12 minutes until mixture starts to thicken. Stir in egg yolks, salt, nutmeg and grated kefalotyri and continue to cook, stirring often for another 10 minutes until nice and thick.

Pre-heat the broiler to 425 degrees F.  Divide lamb mixture amongst the eggplant halves. Top with béchamel and a bit of finely grated Kefalotyri cheese*.  Broil for 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Garnish with fresh oregano leaves to serve and enjoy!

*Kefalotyri substitutes: Gruyere, Pecorino or Romano

The USDA recommends ground lamb reach an internal temp of 160F.

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.
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