Balkan The Balkan Cookbook

Bulgarian Meatballs in an Eggplant Sauce

One of the standout recipes from Inge Kramarz’s The Balkan Cookbook, these straightforward meatballs are taken to the next level when placed within a rich, stick to your ribs eggplant sauce.

It’s no surprise to anyone that meatballs are a fan favorite at any social gathering. However, these Bulgarian meatballs offer something unique from the usual appetizer fare with its distinctly Mediterranean flavor palette. Coated in a stewed eggplant/tomato sauce, these meatballs take on a whole new dimension and the eggplant gives them an even richer, more fulfilling experience.


1 lb lean ground beef
1 slice of bread, soaked in water and squeezed
2 eggs, beaten
2 onions, finely chopped
3 medium eggplants
1/4 oil for frying
1 tsp paprika
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
4 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper


  1. Combine ground beef, bread, eggs, and onion. Add salt to taste.
  2. Shape into meatballs and fry in pan. Remove from oil and keep warm.
  3. Slice eggplants in half length-wise and roast in oven until tender.
  4. Scrape flesh off of skin and add to oil.
  5. Add paprika, tomatoes, and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to boil and simmer.
  6. Add parsley, and black pepper. Return meatballs to sauce and cook for 10-15 minutes over low heat.