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Mama's Oh-So-Savory Lamb and Eggplant Casserole

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MAMA2EANDJ

The basis of this recipe came from my 4th grade teacher's mother who was Armenian, and I've been making it for over 50 years. It is easy to put together, but the longer the stovetop step simmers, the better the casserole will be when served. Leftovers are yummy! You could serve this over rice, if you like, with a green salad. I just serve it in pasta bowls with crusty bread, butter, and a nice glass of red wine. Enjoy!

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings

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Nutrition

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  • Calories:
  • 385 kcal
  • 19%
  • Fat:
  • 23.2 g
  • 36%
  • Carbs:
  • 22.6g
  • 7%
  • Protein:
  • 24 g
  • 48%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 77 mg
  • 26%
  • Sodium:
  • 1471 mg
  • 59%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Directions

  1. Place eggplant in a colander set in a bowl or the sink; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Let eggplant stand for at least 1 hour. Rinse off the bitter liquid and excess salt and drain well.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery; cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent and celery is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. While vegetables are cooking, combine ground cumin, oregano, rosemary, paprika, mint, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl or mortar and pestle and mix well; this is the lamb seasoning (see Cook's Note). Set seasoning aside.
  4. Stir eggplant cubes and garlic into the vegetables in the skillet, mixing well, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and sprinkle with half of the lamb seasoning mixture. Reserve remaining seasoning. Stir gently and cook for 5 minutes more.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.
  6. Pour chicken broth and half the can of tomato sauce into the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes; add a little water if the sauce starts to get dry. Transfer the sauce to the prepared casserole dish.
  7. Return the skillet to the stove over medium-high heat and heat the reserved tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Place ground lamb into skillet and sprinkle with remaining seasoning mixture. Brown lamb in the hot oil, stirring frequently, until the meat is evenly browned; it should look like imperfect meatballs.
  8. Gently transfer the lamb to the casserole dish, pushing it down into the vegetable mixture so that it is at least partially submerged. Stir fresh lemon juice into the remaining tomato sauce and pour the sauce over the casserole.
  9. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon how tender you like your vegetables.
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Reviews

Jeremy Eckstein
1
11/20/2014

This turned out pretty well. I followed the recipe very closely, except that I added a lot more of the spices than was called for... this definitely wasn't over-powering, so I'm glad I did. We ate it out of bowls with dollops of greek yogurt, which was a good addition.

ANDREW91287
1
10/27/2014

Great flavor. Simmered it over the stove, with lid slightly open for an hour instead of using the oven. The dish turned out like a bolognese sauce or chunky stew, delicious.

Panski
1
2/4/2014

A very good recipe. This is a keeper. Other than using canned tomatoes, I followed the recipe exactly. Direction number six should say transfer one-half of the sauce to the casserole dish. I halved the recipe for the two of us and we had plenty left over for another night's dinner. I did serve a big salad and a side vegetable with it.