Mama's Oh-So-Savory Lamb and Eggplant Casserole Recipe -
Mama's Oh-So-Savory Lamb and Eggplant Casserole Recipe

Mama's Oh-So-Savory Lamb and Eggplant Casserole

Recipe by  

"The basis of this recipe came from my 4th grade teacher's mother who was Armenian, and I've been making it for over 50 years. It is easy to put together, but the longer the stovetop step simmers, the better the casserole will be when served. Leftovers are yummy! You could serve this over rice, if you like, with a green salad. I just serve it in pasta bowls with crusty bread, butter, and a nice glass of red wine. Enjoy!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    35 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    2 hrs 35 mins


  1. Place eggplant in a colander set in a bowl or the sink; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Let eggplant stand for at least 1 hour. Rinse off the bitter liquid and excess salt and drain well.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery; cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent and celery is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. While vegetables are cooking, combine ground cumin, oregano, rosemary, paprika, mint, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl or mortar and pestle and mix well; this is the lamb seasoning (see Cook's Note). Set seasoning aside.
  4. Stir eggplant cubes and garlic into the vegetables in the skillet, mixing well, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and sprinkle with half of the lamb seasoning mixture. Reserve remaining seasoning. Stir gently and cook for 5 minutes more.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.
  6. Pour chicken broth and half the can of tomato sauce into the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes; add a little water if the sauce starts to get dry. Transfer the sauce to the prepared casserole dish.
  7. Return the skillet to the stove over medium-high heat and heat the reserved tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Place ground lamb into skillet and sprinkle with remaining seasoning mixture. Brown lamb in the hot oil, stirring frequently, until the meat is evenly browned; it should look like imperfect meatballs.
  8. Gently transfer the lamb to the casserole dish, pushing it down into the vegetable mixture so that it is at least partially submerged. Stir fresh lemon juice into the remaining tomato sauce and pour the sauce over the casserole.
  9. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon how tender you like your vegetables.
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  • Cook's Notes:
  • I use the lamb seasoning from Penzey's Spices®: it's a ground blend of oregano, rosemary, cumin, celery, sweet paprika, black pepper, onion, garlic, spearmint and ginger. I use 1 teaspoon of the seasoning blend instead of the individual spices listed in the recipe. You could easily improvise on this, if need be.
  • If you want the veggies to be soft, cover the casserole and bake for 1.5 hours. Uncover and bake for 45 minutes longer. I like this with veggies slightly crisp, so I bake this for 45 minutes to an hour, uncovered.

Reviews More Reviews

Jun 06, 2015

Mama Mia this is good! I would give this 10 stars if I could! I am so glad I tried it as I never really liked eggplant before this. But I will definitely make this again and again!One of the things that might have put this over the top was the sauce I used. I was lucky enough to be gifted a Tomato, Olive and Ouzo sauce imported from Greece, if you can find that or make that sauce I highly recommend it! With the Greek sauce in mind, I used Greek seasoning instead of the lamb seasoning but kept the cumin, paprika and mint the same. I also added a dash of allspice, a little chili flake and half a chopped red pepper to the onion mixture. I also used a 14 ounce can of copped tomatoes instead of fresh as that's all I had on hand. Like the recipe submitter says, the longer the stove-top the better the outcome!! I also baked it uncovered like recommended! I wasn't sure if I'd prefer just bread or served over rice so I tried both. Rice definitely makes it a meal, and it soaks up the sauce. But the bread is good too, and served with a salad would make a lighter meal. My husband and I sprinkled some parmesan on ours, and I thought "how good would this be if I drizzled a béchamel sauce over top?" So I made a basic béchamel with parmesan cheese and a dash of nutmeg, poured that over the casserole and baked for 15 minutes. Oh-so-awesome!! I could see this used as a sauce over orzo, pasta or egg noodles. Put this on your must-try list!~~update--This tastes even better the next day!

Jun 06, 2015

I had to try this recipe after reading some reviews, even though it was way out of my comfort zone, in regards to flavors. I'm not a fan of eggplant or lamb, but decided to try the eggplant,i did however substitute ground beef for the lamb. I followed the recipe pretty closely. I omitted the rosemary, and i didnt have dried mint..but added fresh mint on top before serving. Also decided to cook mine in the Slow cooker (too hot for oven today)..knowing it was going into the slow cooker i reduced the liquids just a touch. I used a 12oz jar of a delicious Tomato, Olive, and Ouzo sauce..which was gifted to me (DELISH)and used only 2/3 cup of the chicken broth. Overall this was great...and i didn't have a problem with the eggplant..all the flavors complimented each other real nicely...I Also really loved what the Lemon did to this dish..made it seem real fresh! Cooked in slow cooker on low for 4 hours.


8 Ratings

Nov 20, 2014

This turned out pretty well. I followed the recipe very closely, except that I added a lot more of the spices than was called for... this definitely wasn't over-powering, so I'm glad I did. We ate it out of bowls with dollops of greek yogurt, which was a good addition.

Oct 27, 2014

Great flavor. Simmered it over the stove, with lid slightly open for an hour instead of using the oven. The dish turned out like a bolognese sauce or chunky stew, delicious.

Feb 04, 2014

A very good recipe. This is a keeper. Other than using canned tomatoes, I followed the recipe exactly. Direction number six should say transfer one-half of the sauce to the casserole dish. I halved the recipe for the two of us and we had plenty left over for another night's dinner. I did serve a big salad and a side vegetable with it.

Nov 25, 2013

We really liked this recipe. The only change I made was to use one 14 oz can of diced tomatoes instead of the fresh tomatoes and the tomato sauce. I prefer to let the other vegetables shine a little more with less tomato. Thanks for posting this.

Sep 18, 2013

Really enjoyed this one. Followed the recipe as closely as possible (I'm allergic to onion, so we used dried minced instead of fresh) and it was delicious! There are only a couple of small changes I would recommend. Next time, I'm going to stick with the 45 minute cook time, instead of an hour. The eggplant was very, very tender, but may have been a little too done for my taste. And add the rice the end of the recipe suggests. I did this as just the dish, and we had bread as a side, and ended up putting it on the bread instead of just dipping into the sauce. The spices give it a wonderful flavor, but you almost need a slightly bland background to it, or it can be a little overpowering. Thanks for the fantastic recipe though! This one's a keeper!

Aug 21, 2015

I make a version of this recipe on the stove top, using much less chicken stock (if at all, depending on the amount of liquids). Serve with Tzatziki sauce for a great meal!


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  • Calories
  • 385 kcal
  • 19%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 22.6 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 77 mg
  • 26%
  • Fat
  • 23.2 g
  • 36%
  • Fiber
  • 8.4 g
  • 34%
  • Protein
  • 24 g
  • 48%
  • Sodium
  • 1471 mg
  • 59%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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