Moroccan Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant With Pine-Nut Parmesan

Don't let eggplant's mild flavor fool you. This vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals—and it's filling enough for a Meatless Monday.

by Jamie Vespa, R.D. Recipe Developer

Since many people with UC are sensitive to lactose, this recipe uses pine nuts and nutritional yeast to create a plant-based "parmesan.” Nestled in cooked eggplant boats, this low-residue meal is a flare-friendly and satisfying option. Get the scoop on how we developed our UC Cooking Club recipes!

Total Time
1 hr 5 min


  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. mild harissa paste
  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped pine nuts (or slivered almonds)
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil leaves


    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    1. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise, right through the stem. Carve into the eggplant flesh all the way around the perimeter, and scoop flesh out; set aside. Place eggplant halves on a baking sheet, facing up. Brush the eggplant halves with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil and ¼ tsp. salt. Bake eggplant for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and lightly tender.
    1. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Finely chop reserved eggplant flesh, and place in pan. Cook 6 to 7 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, harissa, quinoa, and ¼ tsp salt; cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Stir in diced tomatoes and broth, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, until quinoa is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed.
    1. Remove eggplant halves from oven and fill evenly with quinoa mixture. Place back in the oven for 15 minutes.
    1. In a small bowl, combine pine nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and remaining ¼ tsp. salt. Sprinkle Pine Nut Parmesan evenly over each eggplant half, and garnish each with 1 Tbsp. basil.

Nutrition Info

Per Serving: 330 calories; 17g fat; 2g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 734mg sodium; 39g carbohydrate; 12g fiber; 8g protein; 14g sugar; 89mg calcium; 2mg iron; 1024mg potassium
Jamie Vespa, R.D.
Meet Our Writer
Jamie Vespa, R.D.

Jamie is a registered dietitian, nutrition and food journalist, and digital influencer who operates the health-centric food blog and social media accounts, Dishing Out Health. She's the former Assistant Nutrition Editor at Cooking Light magazine. Prior to that, Jamie worked as a Clinical Nutrition Specialist with a focus on counseling organ-transplant recipients at a hospital in Tampa. She completed both her undergraduate dietetics degree and graduate clinical nutrition degree at Florida State University. Jamie lives in Denver.