Turkish Stuffed Eggplant – Imam Bayildi

Tender eggplant packed full of tomatoes, onions and spices! Heavenly!

Love eggplant? Looking for a hearty & delicious vegetarian & vegan recipe?

Meet Imam Bayildi.

It’s a Turkish dish that I learned in culinary school and every time I make it, it brings me back to Turkey every time.

Follow along with me with the video below ⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓

Imam Bayildi literally translates, “Imam fainted.” Why?

  • Some say that it tasted so good that he fainted after he took a bite.
  • While others say he fainted because it was too expensive.

Imam Bayildi (Turkish Stuffed Eggplant)

Serves 2 or 4 (as a side dish)

  • 2 large eggplant
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 cups crushed tomatoes (about one 14oz can)
  • 1.5 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • salt & black pepper (to taste)


Wash and dry the eggplant. Then partially peel it lengthwise to create a stripe pattern.

Rub the egplant with 1/2 TBSP of olive oil and place them in a baking dish.

Bake the eggplant for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1.5TBSP of olive oil in a frying pan.

Add the sliced onions and saute until they are tender.

Then add the garlic, tomato paste, paprika, oregano, cumin, salt, black pepper, and crushed tomatoes.

Stir well and cover.

Place on medium low heat to cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If needed, add some water to keep it from sticking.

Using a knife, cut a slit down the middle of each piece of eggplant.

Take two spoons and place them in the slit and gently pull open the eggplant on each side.

Then take the filling and generously stuff the eggplant.

With the remaining filling, pour it into the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the eggplant are tender.

Serve & Enjoy!

Afiyet Olson!

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