This Italian-style recipe combines eggplant and lentils in a skillet with a creamy sauce and zesty almond parmesan for a quick vegan meal.
I’m packing my bags and getting ready to fly to Portland early tomorrow morning for Vida Vegan Con, and with all my travel preparations, I haven’t had much time to cook. 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.
I was fortunate enough to have a can of lentils in the pantry. Finding canned lentils in our local stores can be hit or miss, so when I do find them, I like to stock up. It isn’t like lentils take all that long to cook, but sometimes, having them already prepared can be a huge time and energy saver. It’s often the difference between making a meal with lentils and making a meal with my trusty old favorite, chickpeas.
This simple recipe turned out to be a big hit. 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.
Want More WFPB Eggplant Recipes?
This is just one of the many different eggplant recipes on this blog, including:
- Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
- Supercharged Baba Ganoush (Eggplant Dip with Chickpeas)
- Oven-Fried Eggplant PoBoy Sandwiches
- Eggplant and Chickpea Curry
- Roasted Eggplant Pesto
Skillet Eggplant and Lentils with Almond Parmesan
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large eggplant (about 18 ounces) cut into quarters lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 15-ounce can lentils rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils)
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika or cayenne pepper optional
- 1 cup tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
- 1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy yogurt (if yogurt isn’t available, try 1/4 cup unsweetened soymilk mixed with 1 tsp. lemon juice)
- 1 cup fresh basil minced
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup whole raw almonds
- Saute the onion in a large, non-stick skillet until it begins to brown. Tip: Add a small pinch of baking soda to speed up browning. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the eggplant, water, and herbs and stir well to coat the eggplant with the seasonings. Cover tightly and cook until the eggplant begins to soften, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the fresh basil and Almond Parmesan. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until eggplant is tender and sauce has thickened. Season to taste with salt, add fresh basil, and serve over pasta or brown rice or other whole grain. Top with Almond Parmesan, if desired.
To Make Almond Parmesan
- Process 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and 1/3 cup whole raw almonds in a blender or food processor until crumbly. Store in refrigerator.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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LizJuly 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm
Hello! This looks great! Could you make it in a slow cooker instead of a skillet?
Susan VoisinAugust 29, 2013 at 9:52 am
It cooks so quickly that I think it would get over-cooked in a slow cooker.
DougMarch 11, 2013 at 6:39 pm
I enjoyed the recipe. Thank you
BarbaraApril 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!
TeresaJuly 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!
SusanSeptember 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.
Niti KasliwalSeptember 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!
KBeaneOctober 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!
Tom BrandstetterMay 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?
Susan VoisinMay 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.
LainaAugust 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. 🙂
MalloriSeptember 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 🙂
WernerMarch 31, 2015 at 6:21 pm
Terrific recipe, tasty comfort food! Was looking up your vegan eggplant parmesan and came across this, which seemed easier/faster. I have not had good luck w/ eggplant (mushy, bitter sometimes, etc.) so I used the microwave technique outlined in your Tunisian Vegetable Ragout. I think that really helped the eggplant stay together, no bitterness, just a yummy recipe. I stirred handfuls of spinach in at the end. Want to thank you always and forever for being a beacon for all of us striving to eat right and do right by our fellow creatures and our earth.
Bob CAugust 26, 2015 at 2:28 pm
I have never made an eggplant dish. Do I peel it first?
Susan VoisinAugust 26, 2015 at 3:42 pm
For this recipe, I left the peel on. But if there’s any chance your eggplants are old (tough skin) or you are afraid you might not like the texture of the skin, you can peel it.
Ran RMay 25, 2016 at 6:10 pm
Can I substitute dry basil leaves for fresh basil leaves? What ratio?
Susan VoisinMay 30, 2016 at 10:48 am
I’m not sure how it would taste in this recipe, but the usual ratio is to use half as much dried herbs as fresh, but I would never go over a tablespoon of dried no matter how much fresh basil is called for.
CharleenSeptember 7, 2016 at 9:27 pm
I was looking for an eggplant dish and this one caught my eye. I liked the idea of an eggplant-lentil pairing. It looked easy enough and I had all the ingredients handy. I tried it out tonight and all of us (including the non-vegans) found it very tasty! I will definitely add this to my repertoire of recipes.
Nicolette ChartierApril 5, 2018 at 5:39 pm
this recipe is such a keeper, I can’t believe how good it is! thanks for sharing it!