Classic Turkish Eggplant Recipe (Imam Bayildi): Easy Stuffed Eggplant on Flavor Overload by 30Seconds Food

Classic Turkish Eggplant Recipe (Imam Bayildi): Easy Stuffed Eggplant on Flavor Overload

Imam bayildi is a baked Turkish dish – though often seen on menus throughout Greece – consisting of eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, herbs and olive oil. The eggplant recipe is a wonderful vegetarian dinner or side dish with your favorite meal. This classic Turkish dish is simple to prepare and is loaded with flavor.

For this Turkish recipe you'll need olive oil, an onion, fresh garlic, tomatoes, fresh parsley, eggplants, sugar and a lemon. The easy recipe starts on the stovetop and ends with baking in the oven. The recipe takes less than one hour, and that includes prep time and cooking time.

Serve imam bayildi as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish with chicken, beef or seafood. The dish can be served warm or at room temperature. 

Cuisine: Turkish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggplants, stems removed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the tomatoes, garlic, parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until all the liquid has absorbed, stirring often. Pour into a bowl and set aside. 
  2. Heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil into the same skillet. Add the eggplant and fry until golden. Flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to paper towels and allow to sit for about 10 minutes. 
  3. If it is ovenproof, wipe the skillet clean and put the eggplant back into it. (If your skillet is not ovenproof, transfer to a baking sheet.) Spoon the tomato mixture over the top of the eggplant. Drizzle with the lemon juice and top with the zest and sugar. 
  4. Bake in a preheated 375-degree F oven for about 30 to 35 minutes. 

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Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

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Olive Oil
Olive Oil $5 & Up
Sugar $3 & Up

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Elisa Schmitz
I have never heard of this, but it looks amazing. Thank you for sharing!
Donna John
You have such great recipes, Gwen Johnson . Going to try this one soon! Would be good with a side of pasta.
Gwen Johnson
Has anyone tried this? It is one of my favorites.
Krupa Chirravoori
I made this today for lunch. Used slender green eggplant, used groundnut oil that was available at home and used coriander instead of parsley. Loved the end result. Enjoyed the caramelised sugar and the tad burnt edges of the eggplant. I simply rolled some of these fingers into my chapati and dipped into the dal and relished the dish. Thanks a ton for this recipe. .... Krupa, India.
Donna John
I've never seen skinny eggplant like that! I am intrigued. Last night I cooked my first patio (baby) eggplant. I'm growing them this year and had my first two ready to pick. Just put them in a pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper. So good! I'm so happy you enjoyed this recipe. Your dish looks amazing! I hope you'll consider sharing some of your recipes with us. Krupa Chirravoori

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