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Indian-Spiced Eggplant Penne

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Indian-Spiced Eggplant Penne

Indian-Spiced Eggplant Penne

Jessica Braider
Indian spices and vegetables give this pasta dinner an exotic flair, but you can tone them down or up to your family’s tastes. Recipe tester Debbie Firestone said, “The creamy, nutty, salty cheeses combined with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the heat of the spices were a total winning combination."
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. curry powder or chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 tsp.
  • 1 large eggplant peeled and cubed into about 3/4-inch pieces
  • 16 oz. whole grain penne pasta (wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1/2 lemon juice only, about 2 Tbsp.
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes with their liquid, or use 4 – 5 fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley to taste, chopped, plus more for serving, if desired
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese or use grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat, add the oil, and when it is hot, add the onions, cumin, and curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic, and after about 30 seconds when it is fragrant, add the eggplant, and stir gently until it darkens, 5 – 8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  • Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, and parsley to the eggplant, bring it to a boil, and cook, partially covered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When the pasta is done, combine it with the sauce, and cover it to meld the flavors. Serve it immediately, topped with a spoonful of the cheese and additional fresh chopped parsley, if desired, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Add all ingredients except the pasta and feta cheese to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 - 12 hours, or on high for 4 - 6 hours. Serve over cooked pasta topped with cheese, as directed. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop the onion and parsley, peel the garlic, peel and cube the eggplant, cook the pasta and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, juice the lemon, crumble or grate the cheese if necessary and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add ¼ - ½ tsp. cayenne pepper with the other spices. Add 1/2 tsp. lemon zest with the lemon juice.
Tip: A recent study conducted by the National Institute on Aging determined that older people that filled up on foods rich in carotenoids like tomatoes have lower rates of memory loss and were less likely to be depressed - a good reason to try to incorporate one daily serving of tomatoes (or tomato based food like sauces, soups, or salsas) into your diet.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 315, Total Fat: 8g, 12.5%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 13%; Cholesterol: 13mg, 4%; Sodium: 352mg, 14.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 53g, 17.5%; Dietary Fiber: 10g, 39.5%; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 11g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, High Fiber, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Slow Cooker, Summer, Vegetarian
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