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Turkish Eggplant Casserole - Imam Bayildi - Overhead hero shot of dish on dark gray background, gray towel garnished with chopped parsley and pine nuts

Healthier Turkish Eggplant Casserole - Imam Bayildi

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Healthier Turkish Eggplant Casserole is spin on the classic Imam Bayildi, known for the extravagant amount of olive oil that's typically in it.  Here's a lighter version without all the oil but with all the flavor!
Course Vegetarian / Vegan Entrees
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Diet Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 8
Calories 378


  • 2 large globe eggplants
  • Olive oil for baking dish plus 2 tablespoons for baking dish plus 2 tablespoons
  • Cooking spray preferably olive oil-based
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 large onions halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 can (15-ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup pine nuts toasted
  • Greek yogurt optional


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a round baking dish with a small amount of olive oil.
  • Slice eggplant into approximately ¼-inch slices. Spritz eggplant with the olive oil-based cooking spray or with olive oil from an oil mister. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes or until softened and lightly browned, turning once.
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 15-18 minutes or until very soft and beginning to turn golden.
  • Add the garlic, coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper and stir until garlic is fragrant, approximately 15 seconds.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and heat through.
  • Place a third of the tomato and onion combination in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  • Top with half the eggplant, overlapping the eggplant as necessary.
  • Spread a third of the tomato and onion combination over the eggplant.
  • Top with remaining eggplant followed by the rest of the tomato and onion combination.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and bubbling.
  • Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and parsley.


MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made ahead to the point of baking 1-2 days ahead of time.  Let sit at room temperature while the oven preheats.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 242IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg