Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce Recipe from Bulgaria | Delicious and Healthy

Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce

Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce Recipe from Bulgaria | Delicious and Healthy
Region / culture: Bulgaria | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce
Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce

Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce is a classic dish that combines the rich, creamy texture of aubergines with the tangy sweetness of tomatoes. This dish is a staple in many Mediterranean cuisines, showcasing the simplicity and elegance of using fresh, quality ingredients to create a meal that is both comforting and sophisticated. Whether served as a main course or a side dish, this recipe is sure to delight the palate with its harmonious blend of flavors.


The origins of Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce can be traced back to the Mediterranean region, where aubergines have been cultivated and enjoyed for centuries. This dish is a testament to the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes vegetables, fruits, herbs, and the use of olive oil. Over time, the recipe has traveled and evolved, with various cultures adding their own twist to it. However, the essence of the dish remains the same: a celebration of the aubergine, also known as eggplant, in a rich tomato sauce.


How to prepare

  1. After cutting the aubergines into slices, season them with salt and set aside for 10 minutes to drain any excess water. According to the original recipe, dip each slice into flour and fry them in a pan. Alternatively, you can use a deep-fat fryer. Another option is to grill the slices for 5–10 minutes on each side after brushing them with a little oil. Allow them to cool.
  2. For the tomato sauce, heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Add half of the crushed garlic and stir. Then, add the can of tomatoes and simmer until the sauce thickens. Add the remaining garlic and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and add the chopped parsley.
  3. In a dish, arrange a layer of sauce followed by a layer of aubergines. Cool in the fridge for a few hours or serve immediately.


  • Add mozzarella or Parmesan cheese for a richer flavor.
  • Include capers or olives in the tomato sauce for a salty, briny twist.
  • For a heartier dish, layer cooked ground meat between the aubergine slices.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results when making Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce, consider the following tips:

- Salt the aubergine slices and let them sit for 10 minutes to draw out moisture. This step helps to reduce any bitterness and improves the texture.

- Use high-quality tomatoes for the sauce to achieve a rich and vibrant flavor.

- Be generous with the garlic and parsley to add depth and freshness to the dish.

- If you prefer a lighter version, grill the aubergine slices instead of frying them.

Serving Suggestions

This dish can be served as a main course with a side of crusty bread or rice to soak up the delicious tomato sauce. It also pairs well with a simple green salad for a lighter meal.

Cooking Techniques

Grilling the aubergine slices instead of frying them not only reduces the fat content but also adds a smoky flavor to the dish. When making the tomato sauce, simmering it slowly allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a gluten-free version, use cornstarch or a gluten-free flour blend instead of plain white flour.

- Swap the aubergines for zucchini for a different take on the dish.

- Use fresh tomatoes instead of canned for a fresher flavor.

Make Ahead Tips

This dish can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The flavors will continue to develop, making it even more delicious when reheated.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the dish in a beautiful ceramic dish, garnished with extra chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil for an elegant presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio pairs wonderfully with the flavors of this dish.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a microwave or on the stovetop, adding a little water if necessary to prevent drying out.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce contains approximately 200-300 calories, making it a moderate-calorie dish that can fit into a balanced diet.


A serving of Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce contains approximately 20-30 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of these carbs come from the aubergines and the tomatoes, making this dish a good source of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates.


The fat content in this dish can vary depending on the cooking method used. When fried, a serving may contain between 10-15 grams of fat, primarily from the frying oil. Opting to grill the aubergine slices can significantly reduce the fat content, making it a healthier choice.


Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce is relatively low in protein, with each serving providing about 3-5 grams. To increase the protein content, consider adding a protein-rich side dish or incorporating cheese or meat into the recipe.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a good source of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, which are found in both aubergines and tomatoes. Additionally, aubergines are a source of B vitamins, while parsley provides vitamin K and iron.


This recipe is naturally free from most common allergens, including gluten, nuts, dairy, and seafood. However, those with sensitivities should ensure that the flour used for coating is gluten-free if necessary.


Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce is a nutritious dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. By choosing the grilling method and being mindful of the amount of oil used, it can also be a low-fat and calorie-conscious option.


Aubergines in a Tomato Sauce is a versatile and flavorful dish that embodies the essence of Mediterranean cuisine. With its rich nutritional profile and the ability to adapt to various dietary needs, it's a perfect addition to any meal plan. Whether you're looking for a comforting main course or a tasty side dish, this recipe is sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a cherished one. It was a warm summer day and I was visiting my friend Maria in her quaint little villa nestled in the Italian countryside. Maria was known for her culinary skills and always welcomed me with open arms and a delicious meal.

On this particular day, Maria invited me into her kitchen to help her prepare dinner. As we chopped vegetables and stirred pots on the stove, she shared with me the secret to her famous Aubergines in Tomato Sauce. I watched intently as she expertly sliced the aubergines into thin rounds and sautéed them in olive oil until they were golden brown.

As the aroma of garlic and tomatoes filled the air, Maria explained to me the importance of using fresh ingredients and taking the time to let the flavors meld together. She told me that this recipe had been passed down through her family for generations and was a beloved dish at all of their gatherings.

I was mesmerized by Maria's passion for cooking and her attention to detail. I could see the love and care she put into each step of the recipe, from selecting the ripest tomatoes to sprinkling a pinch of basil over the finished dish. I knew then that I had to learn how to make this dish for myself.

After dinner, Maria wrote down the recipe for me on a worn piece of paper, complete with detailed instructions and helpful tips. I treasured that piece of paper as if it were a precious heirloom, and I couldn't wait to try my hand at making Aubergines in Tomato Sauce.

When I returned home, I gathered all the ingredients and set to work in my own kitchen. I followed Maria's instructions to the letter, taking my time to ensure everything was just right. As the sauce simmered on the stove, I could already smell the familiar scent of garlic and tomatoes wafting through the air.

When the dish was finally done, I took a bite and closed my eyes in bliss. The flavors were rich and savory, with just a hint of sweetness from the tomatoes. I could taste the love and care that had gone into every step of the recipe, and I knew that this dish would become a staple in my own kitchen.

Over the years, I have made Aubergines in Tomato Sauce countless times, each time adding my own twist or variation to the recipe. I have shared it with friends and family, who have all raved about its deliciousness and begged for the recipe.

But no matter how many times I make this dish, I will always remember that warm summer day in Maria's kitchen, where I first learned the secret to making the perfect Aubergines in Tomato Sauce. The recipe may have come from her family, but it has now become a part of mine, a cherished tradition that I will pass down to future generations.

And every time I take a bite of this dish, I am transported back to that moment, surrounded by the sights and smells of Italy, learning from a dear friend the magic of cooking with love and passion. The memory of discovering this recipe will always hold a special place in my heart, a reminder of the joy and connection that food can bring to our lives.


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