Stuffed eggplant on a plate garnished with slices of green bell pepper.

Karniyarik - Turkish Stuffed Eggplants

This juicy Karniyarik Turkish Stuffed Eggplants recipe features baked eggplants stuffed with minced beef, sautéed onions, garlic, tomatoes, fresh parsley, infused with an aromatic Turkish spice blend.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 325kcal
Author Wandercooks
Cost $10-$15



  • 6 small purple eggplants/aubergines washed
  • 250 g beef or lamb mince
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp corn oil
  • 1 brown onion thinly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper / capsicum thinly chopped + extra slices for garnish
  • 2 tomatoes or 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch parsley washed and chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • First, preheat that oven to 180˚C / 356˚F.
  • Now, prepare your eggplants by peeling 4 strips from the skin lengthways. Chop off the top and bottom then slice through the middle (but not all the way). Pull apart to expose the inside and get ready to fry.
  • Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large frypan and add your eggplants. Cover with a lid and fry gently until softened.
  • Alright now pop your beef or lamb mince in a separate pan and heat gently. Allow it to cook down in its own juices until the liquid has evaporated and the meat is nicely browned. Top with corn oil and pop in your chopped onion, garlic and capsicum/peppers. Continue to fry until ingredients are soft, then add your tomatoes and cook down for another 5 minutes.
  • Now add your parsley, sweet paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper and mix through until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Arrange your eggplants in a large baking dish belly side up. Feel free to scoop out the seeds if you like, but it’s totally optional. Stuff with the beef mixture and pop any remaining filling around the outsides of the eggplants.
  • Don’t forget to garnish with a few extra long green peppers or slices of capsicum.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, and be sure to serve hot!



  • According to our friend Gule, the trick to making Karniyarik is to peel thin strips from the outside of the eggplants before slicing them in half lengthways. After that they're popped on a hot fry pan for a few minutes to soften juuuuust right before stuffing.



  • Can Karniyarik be made in advance? Yes, you can prepare karniyarik a day ahead and bake it the next day if you need. Be sure to cover it in cling film and store in the fridge. 
  • How long does Karniyarik last? Once cooked, your stuffed eggplants dish will last a few days in the fridge. 
  • Can you freeze Karniyarik? Yep, karniyarik can be frozen for up to a week. To thaw, pop it in the fridge in the morning on the day you plant to eat it. 


Variations & Substitutes

  • Traditionally, Turkish stuffed eggplants are garnished with slices of gorgeous red tomato and a bright green chilli before bubbling away in a hot oven. But you can easily switch it up with slices of fresh green capsicum/pepper instead.
  • For the best flavour and texture, be sure to use smaller Asian-style eggplants if you can get your hands on them. They’re a better size for Karniyarik and bring a softer texture to the dish than if you use the thick dark purple ones. It’s a good idea to buy your eggplants right before you cook them, since eggplants don’t always fare that well for extended stints in the refrigerator.
  • If you prefer not to fry your eggplants, you can grill them instead. For the ultimate smoky flavour, try grilling them on a charcoal grill or over an open flame. 


Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 1342mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 797IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg