Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (2024)

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Turkish Stuffed Eggplant Karnıyarık is a fantastic healthy dinner. These are ground beef stuffed eggplants packed with flavors. The recipe is very easy to make and can even be made in advance to save you time. It is freezer friendly too!

Karniyarik is one of the most popular eggplant recipes in Turkish cuisine. Just like Turkish eggplant kebab with meatballs, it is one of our go-to summer dishes. If you like a vegan/vegetarian version, check out our imam bayildi recipe! And if you love the flavor of roasted eggplants, check out our eggplant salad and no tahini baba ganoush too!

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (1)
Jump to:
  • What is Karniyarik?
  • Why We Love This Recipe
  • Ingredients
  • How To Make
  • How To Serve
  • How To Store
  • Vegetarian Option
  • FAQs
  • More Turkish Recipes Like This
  • More Stuffed Vegetables
  • 📖 Recipe

What is Karniyarik?

To put it simply, Karniyarik is a type of Turkish stuffed eggplant. This recipe is best in the summer when eggplants or aubergines (patlican in Turkish) are at their most flavorful.

Traditionally, the stuffing is a mixture of sauteed onions, ground meat and tomatoes. What makes these stuffed eggplants unique from other similar Turkish eggplant recipes is the way they are prepared. The eggplants are roasted, then slit open in the middle, filled with stuffing, and further baked. That’s why the name “karniyarik” can be translated as “split belly”.

Why We Love This Recipe

Karni yarik aka split belly eggplant dish is one of our go-to Turkish dishes during summer. Here is why:

  • It is easy to make. The recipe has three main steps: Roasting eggplants, cooking the filling, stuffing the eggplants and baking them.
  • You can serve it in individual portions. We love that you can serve one or two stuffed eggplants for each person. Their boat shape looks fancy on a plate.
  • This recipe is healthier. In a traditional Turkish karniyarik recipe, eggplants are fried before they are stuffed but we prefer roasting them. So the result is healthier yet equally tasty.
  • It is freezer friendly. You can make it at the weekend and freeze. It is a life saver when you reheat it for a weeknight dinner.
  • It can be made vegan and vegetarian friendly. You can substitute green lentils for ground meat in this recipe and it is still so tasty.Check out Turkish imam bayildi recipe for an already vegan/vegetarian option.

Ingredients

This karniyarik recipe consists of three elements; eggplants, ground beef filling and tomato sauce.

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (2)
  • For the eggplants, choose fresh and ripe, medium-sized eggplants. American eggplants aka globe eggplants or Italian eggplants work the best. Too big and you won’t be able to finish it, too small and your filling won’t fit. Medium eggplants help create a perfect stuffing to eggplant ratio and the perfect balance of flavors.
  • The main ingredients for the filling are ground meat (we prefer ground beef) onions, green peppers, and fresh tomatoes. These are combined with salt and pepper and freshly chopped parsley.
  • Then finally, we have a very simple sauce that will add a ton of complex flavors to your eggplants. This sauce only needs water and tomato paste.

How To Make

This is a recipe that does take some time, but is definitely worth the wait!

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (3)

First, prepare and roast the eggplants. Peel the eggplants lengthwise, leaving some stripes on the skin. Using a knife, make a slit on each eggplant but don’t cut it completely. Don’t remove the stems.

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (4)

Soak the eggplants in salted water for about 15 minutes. Gently squeeze them and pat dry with a paper towel.

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (5)

Place the eggplants on an oven grill or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the eggplants with olive oil, about 1 tablespoon olive oil for each.

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (6)

Bake them until tender, for 30 minutes.

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (7)

Second, make the filling. Heat olive oil in a pan. Cook onions until translucent. Add in garlic and then ground beef. Stir well and press on the ground beef so that there won’t be any blocks left. Then cover the pan and let it release its juice first and then absorb most of it.

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (8)

Now add in chopped peppers, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Let them cook for 5 minutes over low heat.

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (9)

Remove from heat and add in chopped parsley.

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Next, stuff the eggplants. To do this, remove the eggplants from the oven. Using a teaspoon, push the edges of the slit and create a boat-like shape for the filling to sit in. Divide the filling between all the eggplants.

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (11)

Finally, make the sauce and bake the stuffed eggplants with the sauce. Mix water and tomato paste well. Pour it all over the stuffed eggplants and bake in a preheated oven at 200C/400F.

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Remove from the oven and garnish with chopped parsley before serving. Serve the karni yarik while they’re still hot.

How To Serve

Just like all meat dishes and kebabs in Turkey, this Turkish style stuffed eggplant is always served with orzo rice or bulgur pilaf and delicious Turkish cacik or yogurt. You can make these while the stuffed eggplants are baking in the oven. It wouldn’t be traditional but you can even serve this with some simple buckwheat too. They pair well together. And a bowl of shepherd salad aka coban salatasi would be the best salad to serve with it.

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (13)

How To Store

You can prepare the entire karnıyarık dish and place it inside an airtight container. Store the stuffed eggplants in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. You can store it in the freezer for 2-3 months. Just thaw it and reheat in the oven when you want to serve.

You can also prepare the filling in advance and store it in the fridge for up to 6 days before using it. Then once you are ready to use it, simply stuff your eggplants and bake.

Vegetarian Option

This karniyarik recipe is easy to customize for a vegan or vegetarian diet. You can just leave the ground beef out and increase the amount of other ingredients for the filling. Another great addition would be green lentils as a substitute for ground meat. It is still tasty either way. Plus, you can serve it at room temperature.

FAQs

Can I fry the eggplants?

You can definitely fry the eggplants and traditionally they are actually prepared in this way. However, we prefer roasting them as it is a much healthier cooking option and is also much less work.

Can I cook it on the stove?

You can also make these on the stove, however, again, baking them in the oven is much easier and allows you to prepare accompaniments in that time. Roasting them also creates a nice caramelized flavor and gives an overall better-tasting dish.

Is this a freezer-friendly meal?

These stuffed eggplants can be frozen and they freeze very well. Wrap each stuffed eggplant in plastic wrap, then foil, and place them inside a freezer-safe container. Store them in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Are karniyarik and moussaka the same?

These are not the same dishes. They have almost exactly the same ingredients, but they are prepared in different ways. Moussaka uses chopped cooked eggplants that are then combined with a ground beef mixture – it isn’t a stuffed recipe. It can also be cooked on the stovetop or baked in the oven.

More Turkish Recipes Like This

  • Turkish Stuffed Green Peppers
  • Bean Stew With Meat
  • Beef Cabbage Stew
  • Kabak Dolma (Turkish Stuffed Zucchini)
  • Yaprak Dolma (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
  • Stuffed Onions
Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (14)

More Stuffed Vegetables

  • Yaprak Sarma (Turkish Dolma)
  • Stuffed Onions
  • Biber Dolmasi - Turkish Stuffed Peppers
  • Imam Bayildi Recipe

As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!

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Print

📖 Recipe

Turkish Stuffed Eggplant Recipe Karniyarik

★★★★★4.5 from 4 reviews

Roasted whole eggplants stuffed with a spicy ground beef mixture.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: Turkish

Ingredients

Scale

For eggplants:

  • 5 eggplants
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 200g/ 7oz ground beef

  • ¼ cup finely chopped green pepper

  • ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped

Sauce:

  • 1 and ½ cups hot water

  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste

Instructions

Eggplants:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

  2. Peel the eggplants lengthwise, leaving some stripes of the skin. Using a knife, make a slit on each eggplant but don’t cut it all. Don’t remove the stems.

  3. Soak the eggplants in salted water for about 15 minutes. Gently squeeze them and pat dry with a paper towel.

  4. Place the eggplants on an oven grill or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the eggplants with olive oil, about 1 tablespoon olive oil for each. Bake them until tender, for 30 minutes.

Filling:

  1. Prepare the filling when you put the eggplants in the oven. Heat olive oil in a pan. Cook onions until translucent. Add in garlic and then ground beef. Stir well and press on the ground beef so that there won’t be any blocks left.

  2. Then cover the pan and let it release its juice first and then absorb most of it.

  3. Now add in chopped peppers and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Let them cook for 5 minutes over low heat.

  4. Remove from heat and add in chopped parsley.

Assemble:

  1. Now remove the eggplants from the oven. Make some space for the filling in each eggplant by pushing the edges of the slit using a spoon. Make a boat shape.

  2. Stuff the eggplants with the filling and place them in a baking pan.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

  4. Mix water and tomato paste well.

  5. Pour it all over the stuffed eggplants.

  6. Bake for 20 minutes.

  7. Remove from the oven and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 352
  • Sugar: 18.2 g
  • Sodium: 512.6 mg
  • Fat: 21.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.5 g
  • Protein: 14.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 24 mg

Keywords: turkish eggplant recipe, stuffed eggplant, turkish stuffed eggplant, karnıyarık, karniyarik recipe

Turkish Ground Beef Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik Recipe - Give Recipe (2024)
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