Delicious Eggplant Casserole Dish – Easy Homemade Recipe

The eggplant casserole, also known as Fatet Makdous, is a classic Middle Eastern dish that has been enjoyed for generations. This vegetarian-friendly recipe uses tender roasted eggplants combined with a delicious variety of spices and sauces to create an irresistible flavor profile. As a chef who specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine, I am excited to share with you my family’s recipe for this delightful dish.

One of the unique attributes of this recipe is the use of pomegranate molasses, which infuses the casserole with a sweet and tangy flavor. The molasses is combined with crushed tomatoes to add acidity to the dish and give it a rich and flavorful base. This combination of flavors is further complemented by the addition of pine nuts and flat-leaf parsley, which add crunch and freshness to every bite.

I love this dish because it is a wonderful example of how simple ingredients can be transformed into something truly special. The varying textures and flavors come together harmoniously to create a mouth-watering experience that will leave you wanting more.

This is an ideal dish for anyone looking for a healthy Mediterranean meal that is packed full of nutrients and flavor. Whether you are an experienced cook or just starting out, this recipe is perfect for all levels of expertise. So, let’s dive in and get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Eggplant Casserole (Fatet Makdous)
Eggplant Casserole (Fatet Makdous)

I’m not saying that this eggplant casserole recipe will change your life, but it might. I mean, what’s not to love about tender eggplants stuffed with juicy ground beef and topped with tangy tomato sauce and Greek yogurt? This Middle Eastern classic, also known as Fatet Makdous, is bursting with flavor and textures that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

But listen, this recipe is not just delicious, it’s also healthy. Eggplants are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that promote a healthy gut and cardiovascular system. The ground beef adds a good dose of protein to keep you satiated for longer. And let’s not forget the olive oil, which is not only tasty but also provides healthy fats that help reduce inflammation and improve brain function.

But why should you try this particular eggplant casserole recipe when there are hundreds if not thousands out there? Well, because this one is the best. Trust me on this. It’s been tried and tested in my kitchen and by many of my customers who keep coming back for more. The secret lies in the perfect balance of spices, the crunchiness of pine nuts, the sweetness of pomegranate molasses, and the freshness of flat-leaf parsley.

Plus, this recipe is versatile. You can make it vegetarian by omitting the ground beef or substituting it with cooked lentils or chickpeas. You can use different kinds of eggplants or even other vegetables like zucchinis or bell peppers. You can add more garlic if you’re a fan or less if you’re not. You can also adjust the spice level to your liking by adding chili flakes or skip them altogether.

In conclusion, you should absolutely give this Eggplant Casserole (Fatet Makdous) Recipe a try because it’s so much more than just another casserole dish. It’s a healthy Mediterranean meal that will satisfy all your cravings and impress your guests without breaking the bank or taking too much time to prepare. So go ahead and experience a culinary journey to the Middle East from the comfort of your own kitchen with just a few simple ingredients and steps!

Ingredient List

 A mouthwatering delight straight from Israel!
A mouthwatering delight straight from Israel!

Here are the ingredients you will need to make Fatet Makdous, a traditional Middle Eastern eggplant casserole recipe that is perfect for any gathering. Don’t worry if you do not have all the ingredients on this list! I will cover some possible substitutes and variations later in the article.

Main ingredients:

  • 4 medium Lebanese eggplants (Also called Mediterranean or Middle Eastern eggplant)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can (15 oz) of tomato sauce
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses


  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin


  • Flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Greek yogurt or labneh (strained yogurt)

For serving:

  • Pita bread, small cut into quarters and toasted until crispy

These ingredients may seem simple, but when combined they create a complex flavor profile that is sure to impress your guests or family.

The Recipe How-To

 Layers of smoky eggplant and tangy yogurt topped with a crunchy garlic pita chip garnish.
Layers of smoky eggplant and tangy yogurt topped with a crunchy garlic pita chip garnish.

Prepping the Eggplant

Before I start cooking, I need to prepare the eggplants. First, I cut them lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Then, I place them in a colander and sprinkle with salt to draw out some of their moisture. After about 30 minutes, I rinse them thoroughly and let them dry on a paper towel.

Cooking the Ground Beef

Next up is the ground beef. In a skillet, I heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Once heated, I add 1 chopped onion and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until it becomes translucent. Then, I finely chop 2 garlic cloves and add them into the skillet with the onion.

After about 30 seconds, I add in 1 pound of ground beef and brown it until it’s no longer pink. This should take about 8-10 minutes, making sure to break up any large chunks with a spatula. Once done cooking, I drain off any excess fat.

Making the Tomato Sauce

Now it’s time to make the tomato sauce for this dish. In another pan, I heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat and add one large clove of garlic that has been cut in half lengthwise so that its flavor can infuse into the oil. Once it’s fragrant (about 30 seconds), discard it.

Next, I add 1 can (14-15 ounces) of crushed tomatoes, 4 teaspoons of pomegranate molasses, and a pinch of sea salt. I stir everything together well and let it cook down for about 20 minutes or until it becomes slightly reduced.

Assembling the Casserole

With all my ingredients ready to go, it’s time to assemble my casserole!

Firstly, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). In a plate or bowl layer alternate amount of eggplant slices with lebneh or greek yogurt saving some for garnishing on top.k

In a lightly greased casserole dish, create your first layer by adding half of your eggplants at the bottom then add half of your cooked ground beef over those eggplants.

Then pour in our prepared tomato sauce over our beef layer and sprinkle some pine nuts and flat leaf parsley before adding another layer similar to our bottom layer.

Bake this beauty in an oven preheated on 375 F(190 C) until golden brown for around 45 minutes.

Time to Serve!

Once fully cooked through, remove from the oven and let rest briefly before serving with warm pita bread or even some fluffy white rice if you’re feeling extra peckish tonight!

Substitutions and Variations

 A vegetarian twist on the classic Middle Eastern dish.
A vegetarian twist on the classic Middle Eastern dish.

There are several substitutions and variations that you can consider when preparing this delicious eggplant casserole recipe, also known as Fatet Makdous. One possible substitution for the ground beef could be lamb or chicken if you prefer a different type of meat. For a vegetarian version, you can omit the ground beef altogether and substitute it with mushrooms, lentils or chickpeas.

You can also vary the seasoning of this Middle Eastern classic by adding different herbs and spices to your taste. For example, you may want to add cumin, smoked paprika or chili flakes to add an extra layer of flavor. If you like your food spicy, then feel free to add more garlic, ginger or peppers. And don’t forget about the toppings!

For some crunch and texture, try swapping out pine nuts for toasted almonds or walnuts. Alternatively, you can mix in raisins or dried cranberries for added sweetness.

Another variation is to replace the tomato sauce with crushed tomatoes of different varieties such as San Marzano tomatoes which have a sweeter taste than traditional canned tomatoes.

Most Middle Eastern countries share some form of eggplant casserole dish called fatteh; so depending on where you are from or what region inspires you most, the options are endless. Some consider Makdous (pickled stuffed baby eggplants) to be a signature ingredient in this dish. Others add tahini paste or yogurt to create more depth of flavor for the dish.

At last but not least, you can even try experimenting with different types of eggplant varieties.Lebedobleu eggplants are smaller and sweeter in flavor than other eggplants thus making them ideal for babaganoush dip and other mezze dishes. Lebanese eggplants also have a tender texture and less seeds but has a slight bitter taste that suits perfectly with fattet batinjan makdous (stuffed eggplant fatteh) recipe.

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to make substitutions or try new variations with this recipe as it is forgiving and constantly evolving. Take what’s available at your local market and use your culinary ingenuity to create your own unique version of this healthy Mediterranean Eggplant Casserole that everyone will be talking about!

Serving and Pairing

 Nutritious and satisfying, perfect for a family dinner or potluck.
Nutritious and satisfying, perfect for a family dinner or potluck.

Once this eggplant casserole is out of the oven and ready to serve, you will no doubt be drawn in by its aroma. Accommodate your cravings with a variety of serving options. You can serve fatet makdous as a main dish unto itself, or go for a more Middle-Eastern style meal and pair it with pita bread or flatbread.

If you have any meat-lovers in your group, they’ll appreciate that the ground beef adds heartiness to the dish. For vegetarians or veggie lovers, just leave out the meat altogether – the abundance of fresh veggies makes this dish equally satisfying without it.

One classic pairing that complements the dish’s tartness is a simple side of Greek yogurt. The creaminess creates balance and helps to round out any sharpness from the pomegranate molasses.

For those looking to get a little bit healthier, you can enjoy this healthy Mediterranean eggplant casserole as an accompaniment to a hearty salad. The acidity also makes it an ideal sidekick to any mild or savory protein – perfect if you’re doing a Mediterranean-themed feast.

Whichever way you decide to serve it, we recommend freshening things up with some chopped flat-leaf parsley sprinkled over the top and toasted pine nuts for added crunch. Just like how certain wines have unique flavor notes that bring out the best in different dishes, these finishing touches offer highlights and balance to the creamy baked eggplant fatteh mixture inside.

Enjoy this Middle Eastern classic with family and friends, either as an appetizer or entrée – there are absolutely no rules when it comes to enjoying food!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Impress your guests with this impressive and flavorful casserole.
Impress your guests with this impressive and flavorful casserole.

Making this eggplant casserole is a labor of love, and you wouldn’t want to enjoy its deliciousness in just one sitting. What’s great about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time, up to 2 days in advance. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your make-ahead dishes come out perfectly.

Firstly, let the casserole cool down to room temperature before refrigerating. This will help avoid any condensation from forming on top, which could make it soggy. Cover it with plastic wrap or aluminium foil and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for one month.

Reheating the casserole is easy too. Simply remove the covering and place in the oven at 350°F for approximately 20-30 minutes until warmed through.

Alternatively, you can use a microwave; just be sure to cover the dish with cling wrap before reheating. For quicker reheating, cut the casserole into individual servings so that they heat up evenly.

If you find that the casserole is looking a little dry after being stored in the fridge, no worries! You can add additional olive oil or tomato sauce to moisten it up.

In summary, this eggplant casserole is perfect for meal prep, family gatherings or dinner parties. You can easily make it ahead of time and reheat it when needed without having to sacrifice any of its incredible taste.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The aroma of roasted eggplant and toasted pita will fill your kitchen.
The aroma of roasted eggplant and toasted pita will fill your kitchen.

Making any casserole can be tricky, but with a little bit of guidance, you can achieve a perfect result every time. Here are some of my tips for creating the best eggplant casserole:

1. Choose the Right Eggplant

To ensure your eggplant casserole tastes great, it’s important to choose the right eggplant. Look for eggplants that are firm and feel heavy for their size. Avoid any that have wrinkles or soft spots, as those are signs of a ripe eggplant that may have become bitter.

2. Salt Your Eggplant

Salting your eggplant before cooking is essential. Apart from removing excess moisture and preventing sogginess, it also helps to reduce any bitterness in the vegetable.

3. Cook Your Meat Separately

For best results, cook your ground beef separately from the eggplant. It will give you more control over the consistency of each component.

4. Layer Carefully

After draining off as much liquid as possible from the cooked eggplant, carefully layer it in a baking dish with cooked meat, tomato sauce, and pine nuts. Make sure to distribute all ingredients evenly for consistent flavor throughout the dish.

5. Keep an Eye on Your Casserole

Watch your eggplant casserole carefully while cooking to prevent overbrowning or undercooking. The goal is to get everything cooked equally and have a slight crunch on top of your layers.

By following these tips, everyone will be wanting seconds when you cook up this delicious recipe!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Fatet Makdous or Eggplant Casserole is a delicious Middle Eastern dish that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a healthy and flavorful vegetarian option or a hearty meat dish, this casserole has something to offer everyone. With its layers of spiced ground beef, eggplants, and tangy tomato sauce, this recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Now that you have all the ingredients and instructions at your disposal, it’s time to get cooking! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different substitutions and variations that suit your taste preferences. And don’t forget to share this recipe with friends and family – they’re sure to love it just as much as you do.

So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to indulge in one of the best dishes from the Middle East. Making Fatet Makdous is an experience in itself – combining flavors with an aroma that will make your mouth water. Trust me; it will be worth the effort when you hear the compliments pouring in.

Eggplant Casserole (Fatet Makdous)

Eggplant Casserole (Fatet Makdous) Recipe

Saw this made on "The Chew" - recipe is from Mais Khoudrdaji. The recipe uses pomegranate molasses (available at Middle Eastern markets) in a meat/eggplant/tomato sauce and is then covered with a delicious garlic yogurt & pine nuts. Looked absolutely wonderful.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Calories 499.8 kcal


  • 3 large eggplants
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (or 3 shallots)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves (mashed in a mortar and pestle to use with yogurt)
  • 3 -4 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 3 pita bread
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • Cut the eggplants up into medium-sized cubes. Fry them in olive oil until golden brown, set aside and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Fry up 3 pitas, drain. Break up into pieces.
  • Brown ground beef, onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Once the onions have cooked down, add the tomatoes and tomato sauce, and pomegranate molasses. Let it cook for about 10-15 minutes; then add eggplant to the pan. Taste again for seasoning. Let it all cook together for another 15 minutes, until all the flavors combine. Should be a little tangy/sour from the pomegranate molasses.
  • In a bowl, combine yogurt with the mashed garlic. It should have a garlicky taste. Season with salt.
  • In a 13 x9 casserole dish, add bottom layer of broken pita pieces. Next fill the dish with the meat/eggplant mixture. Top with the yogurt mixture. Toast pine nuts in clarified butter. Top yogurt with pine nuts and butter. Garnish with parsley.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 404gCalories: 499.8kcalCarbohydrates: 44.1gProtein: 23.4gFat: 27.9gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 71.7mgSodium: 520.7mgFiber: 12.9gSugar: 9.7g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Lunch, Meat, Middle Eastern, Vegetable, Weeknight
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