Skillet Eggplant and Lentils with Almond Parmesan

by on August 25, 2011
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Skillet Eggplant and Lentils

I’m packing my bags and getting ready to fly to Portland early tomorrow morning for Vida Vegan Con, the largest gathering of vegan bloggers ever to invade a conference center. I’m so excited to get to teach a photography workshop with two of my idols, Isa and Hannah, and to sit on a panel of Special Diets bloggers that includes the fabulous Kittee, Gena, and Fran. If you’re there, please introduce yourself; I’ll be the woman carrying a box of Kleenex because I’m fighting off a big cold. (You may not want to shake hands!)

With all my travel preparations, I haven’t had much time to cook, but since my family will be fending for themselves while I’m gone (and probably eating too much take-out), I wanted to get one last healthy meal on the table before I go. I had an eggplant that needed using and several basil plants that needed pruning, so I threw together this easy one-pot meal. My husband raved about it (and especially loved the Almond Parmesan) while my daughter grumbled about the eggplant but wound up eating every bite. If you use canned or already prepared lentils, you can have this homely-looking but tasty dish on the table in about a half hour.

Skillet Eggplant and Lentils


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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kirsten August 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Sounds tasty! Question: I haven’t heard the baking soda tip before. Does it speed up the cooking process, leaving same flavor as if you’d cooked the onions for longer, or just change the color?


2 SusanV August 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm

It’s speeds up the caramelization. I find it really helps when cooking onions without oil– the onions get more caramelized and more flavorful.


3 Wendy (Healthy Girl) August 25, 2011 at 12:40 pm

This recipe is right up my alley. I love eggplant paired with tomato. I have been playing around with Indian spiced eggplant and tomato and can’t wait to give your Italian twist a try. Thanks for another inspiring Plant-strong recipe. :)


4 Megan August 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I am totally going to make this for dinner tonight. I love when I have all these ingredients in my fridge/pantry already. Thanks for yet another amazing recipe.


5 Greg August 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Have a good time at Vida Vegan Con. Like the “Almond Parmesan” idea.


6 Karen W August 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Thank you so much for your lovely website! I am already RSSing you — love your creativity and healthy recipes! We are in the process of becoming vegan (the dedicated carnivore in our household moved out, so I no longer have to buy animal products).

I print the recipes you post that are most interesting to me, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to include the (beautiful) photos? Any tips?

Thanks for doing what you do! Have a great time in Portland! I live in Seattle but come down to Portland frequently just for the better feel. I will live there someday — love it there.


7 maryeb August 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm

This looks really yummy. I love lentils and eggplant, so this is just my kind of recipe. I’m excited to try the Almond Parmesan.
I hope you have a great time at the conference.


8 woma56 August 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Can’t wait to try the Almond Parmesan. The entire dish sounds great!


9 Get Skinny Go Vegan August 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Oh that looks beautiful!! Have a ton of fun at the conference!!


10 Megan August 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Excited to hear you’ll be visiting my home town! Portland is filled with lots of great Vegan eateries. I just discovered Portobello (close in southeast) which basically feels like a rustic italian restaurant, except I can eat everything on the menu! If you have time I highly suggest it. Enjoy your trip!


11 SusanV August 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Thanks! I really hope to get to Portobello!


12 janet @ the taste space August 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Wow – this looks right up my alley and super seasonal at that. I was planning on making your Iraqi-inspired eggplant but this is so tempting! It helps that I just picked up 4lbs of eggplant so I can still make both! Do you think soy milk could sub for the yogurt?

Have fun at the conference. I am super jealous that I won’t be meeting you. :(


13 SusanV August 25, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I’m sorry you won’t be there!

I think you could use 1/3 cup of soymilk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to make a kind of buttermilk to sub for the yogurt. But that Iraqi eggplant is one of my faves, so if you have to choose between the two, choose that one. :-D


14 janet @ the taste space August 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm

You were right, Susan.. that Iraqi dish was SUPERB! Delicious, comforting and healthy- what’s not to love. When I get more eggplant, I will surely try this one, too… unless I get side tracked by your Indian chickpea and eggplant curry. :)

You certainly know your eggplant well. :D


15 janet @ the taste space August 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Oh one more thing, if you need any further eggplant inspiration, try out healthifying this delicious dish (just needs less oil):


16 SusanV August 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Thanks for the compliment and the link! That recipe sounds delicious!

17 Judy Papadakis August 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Hi Susan,
Have fun in Portland. Oregon is a fabulous state, if you haven’t been there before. And Portland is a really healthy town with fabulous food. My mom lived in central Oregon: Eugene.

I love your kitchen site and have already saved many of your recipes. You are a first rate food photographer and I know people will be flocking to your seminar. Wish I could be there, too. I just got Dr. Fehrman’s book recently and hope to begin the dreaded 6-week ordeal next week. I’d rather start with Dr. McDougall like you did — it doesn’t see so severe, but I need a huge boost to show my dr. that I can start to reverse diabetes and a host of other stuff at the age of 71. PS: Send some of your food pics to Dr. F. — the first picture on his site of a bowl of chopped black things was really off-putting! If I had not seen your blog first, I may have dropped the whole thing.


18 Maria Marshall August 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I tried this for dinner tonight. It was absolutely delicious. Thanks so much!!


19 SusanV August 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Wow, that was quick! So glad you enjoyed it!


20 Kathy Patalsky August 25, 2011 at 6:07 pm

This looks so cozy and fabulous. Love it. Beautiful photos as always Susan!!! :)


21 Tara August 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I’m eating this right now (sans the almond parmesan) and it’s delicious! First recipe I’ve tried from your blog, and I’m sure glad I did! I used a can of tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes, but other than that I followed the recipe exactly. YUM!


22 Arielle (Your Vegan Girlfriend) August 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Thank goodness there is another vegan blogger who is crazy obsessed with eggplant like I am! Another one on my “to make” list!


23 J August 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Just wanted to let you know that in my google reader, the google ad associated with your blog post was a whopping great animated piece with pucs of meat from the Meat Guy in japan. Not sure if you can block certain types of ads but thought you might like to know :-)


24 SusanV August 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Sorry about that! There’s no way to limit the ads by subject matter. Usually Google “knows” that those ads won’t do well on my site, but every now and then one slips through.


25 Beverly August 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm

What is the serving size for the Skillet Eggplant and Lentils? Sounds great! I will certainly try it!


26 SusanV August 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I didn’t measure it, but 1/4 of the whole skillet is a very large serving.


27 karen August 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm

nearly impossible to buy nurtinal yeast here whats a good replacement to use


28 SusanV August 26, 2011 at 5:56 am

There’s not really any replacement. Just leave it out.


29 Maija Haavisto August 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Almond parmesan is great stuff. You can also make it without nutritional yeast by adding a little miso (or you can certainly add both of them). Tahini also makes it taste more parmesan-ey, though both tahini and miso make it a little sticky instead of powder-ish.


30 Shari Lynne September 2, 2011 at 5:01 am

Try buying online. I know Bob’s Red Mill sells it. You can also go to the service desk/managers of your grocery store(s) and request that they carry just about any product.


31 Maria Lewis August 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm

My family enjoyed this over whole wheat pasta. I used vinegar and soymilk to sub for the yogurt, and the was some slight detectable grainy-ness (graniness?) from the curdling process but the flavor was good. I also used half eggplant and half zucchini because that’s what I had! It worked just fine and the leftovers are going to work with me tonight.


32 Malgorzata August 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm

What are whole almonds? Almonds with a brown skin?


33 SusanV August 27, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Yes. You could also use the slivered almonds, but I measured using whole ones.


34 Malgorzata August 28, 2011 at 2:42 am

Thank you very much for the explanation.


35 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers August 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm

This looks wonderful. The hubby didn’t like it when I made ratatouille, but I think he’d love this since it seems have more substance. Best of all, I still get my eggplant fix! Sounds like a winner.


36 kc August 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I love your site. Well done and easy to move around in. I came to it because of Eat For Live and found your information so helpful. I c an’t afford to buy his book for a week yet but wanted to start his program right away. This is day three and I already feel better. Love your recipes. kc


37 Trish August 29, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I had four little eggplants from the farmer’s market and about 2 days later this was posted, so how could I not try this? We were out of non-dairy yogurts that weren’t fruit flavored so I finely mashed up some tofu with a fork for this recipe and it tasted great. The little pieces of tofu made it look like I had used ricotta cheese, which I thought added to the attractiveness of the dish.


38 Nikki August 31, 2011 at 9:59 am

yet another hit in our house. my picky 10 year old who likes plain pasta sauce LOVED this…this was so easy to make and was so yummy. thank you again…


39 lani August 31, 2011 at 8:14 pm

This was so yummy. I was fascinated as the baking soda turned the onions yellow and seemed to create alot more liquid. I look forward each and every day for a new recipe to try!


40 lea September 1, 2011 at 7:59 am

I made this last night and it is really really good! The lentils give it nice substance, plus I added a few mushrooms. Susan, I think that your blog should be sponsored by the national eggplant growers association (if there is one). Before I started following your blog, the only eggplant I had tasted was the parmesan kind back before I went vegan. Thanks to you I am bravely exploring a whole new world of eggplant… yummy!


41 Jim September 1, 2011 at 9:00 am

Alas, both eggplant and tomato are nightshades. Any ideas for substitute vegetables?


42 Nikki September 1, 2011 at 11:23 am

oh – forgot to mention my boys like their a lot of sauce on their pasta so I used an entire can of crushed tomatoes to make it more of a sauce…


43 Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner September 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Yum yum YUM!!!! I’m loving this!


44 Marsha D September 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I am so looking forward to trying this recipe. Love lentils and eggplant, sounds delicious. Keep those great recipes coming. They certainly help to keep me on the right vegan track. Only doing this for about 6 mos, but enjoy the cooking creativity,was getting bored with the “sSame old stuff” and the health benefits as well. My cholestrol dropeed 50 points in 3 months alone!


45 Kurt September 2, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Making this tonight… added some mushrooms and a half a green pepper I had left over from earlier this week. Smells quite delicious!


46 Liz September 10, 2011 at 5:38 am


Are the oregano and thyme fresh or dried?


47 SusanV September 10, 2011 at 7:31 am

I used dried oregano and thyme, but you could use fresh if you tripled the amount.


48 Allison September 18, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Going to make this tomorrow night. I got 6 beautiful Japanese eggplants out of the garden, along with some garlic and basil from the garden as well. Im wondering whether I could make this recipe with almond meal for the almonds… I assume its the same, just the almonds are blanched before powdered. Just trying to use up random stuff from the garden and pantry. Its amazing how many random ingredients you accumulate cooking! Ill try it with the almond meal and see how it turns out. I imagine it jsut allows you to skip the step of powdering the almonds…


49 SusanV September 19, 2011 at 7:32 am

That’s true-you should be able to just mix the almond meal with the nutritional yeast in a jar. Hope you enjoy it!


50 Megan September 23, 2011 at 9:19 pm

This recipe helped me to use up a bunch of wonderful veggies from my CSA– eggplants, tomatoes, basil, onions, garlic. Delicious!


51 Reesa October 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm

This recipe seem delish but, my husband cannot have tomatoes. What could I substitute with for a great flavor. Happy cooking.


52 Orsolya November 17, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Wow! This is a fantastic recipe! I love the flavors and textures. Definitely one of my favorites so far:) I love your blog!


53 JoLynn-dreaminitvegan December 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Susan this meal was excellent. As my husband was scarfing this down he was telling me how good this was. He’s not a huge fan of lentils either so that’s saying alot! Thanks for this easy and filling dish.


54 nikki January 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm

can you use refrigerated coconut milk (like so Delicious) in place of the yogurt?


55 Liz July 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Hello! This looks great! Could you make it in a slow cooker instead of a skillet?


56 Susan Voisin August 29, 2013 at 9:52 am

It cooks so quickly that I think it would get over-cooked in a slow cooker.


57 Doug March 11, 2013 at 6:39 pm

I enjoyed the recipe. Thank you


58 Barbara April 22, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Just made this one and just love it! Even my meat eating man enjoyed it! I never knew what to do with eggplants but your site is like a treasure chest for me. Thank you!


59 Teresa July 6, 2013 at 5:17 pm

This was excellent. I preferred it more as a stew in a bowl, without added rice or pasta. The yogurt made an excellent touch — thank you for this recipe!


60 Susan September 2, 2013 at 8:13 am

hi Susan! This recipe is another winner! Thank you. The soymilk and lemon really adds alot of flavor. So easy to prepare too!!! Looking forward to the leftovers this week.


61 Niti Kasliwal September 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Thanks for wonderful recipes. We are vegetarian by religion but i wants to become vegan and have been trying your recipes to reduce dairy products in my cooking!!
do i need to add any water or oil to almond parmesean? when i make pesto with nutritional yeast, we add oil to make ingredeints moving in the blender. how would dry almond and dry yeast mix and become crumbly? please suggest. Thanks again!


62 KBeane October 17, 2013 at 12:13 pm

This recipe is super good. I topped mine with lots of the almond parmasan. Thanks for another great meal idea!


63 Tom Brandstetter May 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

I’m not familiar cooking eggplant. Do you use eggplant peeled or unpeeled? If the recipe doesn’t mention peeling is it assumed the skin is left on?


64 Susan Voisin May 23, 2014 at 11:43 am

I usually leave the skin on, but some people like it better peeled. If a recipe wants peeled eggplant, it will say so in the instructions.


65 Laina August 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Umm umm good!!!

I had 6 white Japanese eggplant in my garden. Was going to make the eggplant casserole, but was missing some ingredients plus it wasn’t enough eggplant either.

So I looked to see what else you had foe eggplant recipes and saw this one. I still was a tad short on eggplant so I added a few mushrooms and a medium zucchini. And I only had tomato sauce and used the soy milk/ lemon suggestion. I really didn’t think I’d like it as much as the casserole, but this really is so flavorful.

So if any of you want to pass because the picture doesn’t look so appetizing, don’t let that from stop you. You don’t know what you’ll be missing out on.

This one will be added to my favorites list. And Susan, I’ll try the Iraqi inspired dish next time since it’s your favorite. :)


66 Mallori September 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm

I was surprised at how much I could taste the tomato even though I only did 12 oz rather than 16 oz of tomato puree. And I was kind of sad that I couldn’t taste the eggplant more. But otherwise this was a really yummy recipe and I would recommend it :)


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