Papoutsakia (stuffed eggplants with minced meat)

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Papoutsakia (little shoes!) is a Greek summer dish. Depending on how it is cooked, it may contain a large amount of calories. If, for example, the eggplant is fried, then it becomes harder to digest.  Our recipe for papoutsakia is just as delicious despite it being a lighter version of  the traditional one. Do not fry the eggplants but bake them in the oven. Prepare the béchamel with olive oil and do not add eggs.

Reduced-fat gruyere cheese (or any other low-fat cheese) may also be used.

Cheese may be part of a balanced diet as the right type is chosen and is consumed in reasonable quantities.

Studies have shown that eating cheese can help with weight loss. In particular, higher milk intake was associated with a lower body mass index, lower body fat, lower waist circumference and lower blood pressure.

Choose eggplants with vibrant, shiny skin, without discoloration, cuts or lumps which usually indicates that the flesh inside has been damaged and is possibly decaying.  The stem and cap on top of the eggplant should also not show any discolouration. Prefer those that are relatively heavy despite their size. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a few days.

Accompany papoutsakia with low-fat tzatziki


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Μελιτζάνες παπουτσάκια

Papoutsakia (stuffed eggplants with minced meat)


Papoutsakia (little shoes!) is a Greek summer dish. Depending on how it is cooked, it may contain a large amount of calories.


  • 4 eggplants 250 gr. in total
  • 250 gr lean minced beef
  • 120 gr reduced-fat gruyere, crumbled
  • 500 ml slightly concentrated tomato juice
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, oregano
  • For the béchamel sauce
  • 300 ml low fat milk
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • Salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Grated dry nutmeg
  • Chopped parsley for serving


  • Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion until it becomes translucent . Add the minced meat and sauté until it browns. Stir so that the minced meat does not have lumps.
  • Add salt, pepper, oregano and tomato juice. Lower the heat and simmer for 30΄. When the minced meat is cooked, mix it with half (60 g) of the gruyere.
  • Preheat the fan-oven to 200 C. Spread non-stick paper on a baking sheet. Spread 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Slice the eggplants in half and cut them in several places crosswise with a sharp knife without tearing the skin. Grease them with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place them with the cut surface on the non-stick paper. Bake for 30-40 minutes until soft.
  • Take them out of the oven and let them cool a bit. Spread new paper on the baking sheet. Place the eggplants upside down. Scoop a cavity out of each. Fill with minced meat.
  • In a small saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Gradually add the flour, stirring constantly . Slowly add the warm milk. Once the béchamel has thickened, add the remaining (60 g) cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix well.
  • Spread the béchamel over the eggplants with a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 ‘.
  • Serve papoutsakia with chopped parsley.


Cook’s Tip

When sautéing the minced meat you may add thyme, a cinnamon stick and allspice.

Doctor’s Tip

Eggplants are rich in antioxidants, especially nasunin which is found in the skin and gives them their purple colour. Nasunin has been found to protect lipids in brain cell membranes.


  • Serving Size: 1 μερίδα
  • Calories: 531
  • Sugar: 12 gr
  • Fat: 35,5 gr
  • Carbohydrates: 24 gr
  • Fiber: 4 gr
  • Protein: 43 gr
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Είμαστε η Εύη, food entrepreneur και η Φιλίτσα, ιατρός παθολόγος – διαβητολόγος.
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