16+ Delicious Eggplant Recipes

Eggplants, also known as aubergines, are often referred to as the ‘crème de la crème’ of vegetables, and for good reason: they’re incredibly versatile and delicious when prepared correctly. With their shiny, deep-purple skin and spongy texture, eggplants offer endless possibilities for creative cooking.

Easy Fried Eggplant


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In the Southern United States, where culinary traditions are deeply rooted in cultural heritage, the allure of fried eggplant is rivaled only by its fried green tomato, okra, and yellow squash counterparts. The velvety tenderness and rich creaminess that lie at the heart of a well-fried eggplant slice are the very essence of Southern cooking. What sets this particular recipe apart is its commitment to minimizing oil usage while still achieving the perfect crisp exterior. To achieve optimal results, it’s essential to employ an oil with a high smoke point, such as grapeseed, peanut, or avocado oil. While this recipe relies solely on an egg wash for added flavor and texture, enthusiasts of fried eggplant may also explore variations that incorporate cornmeal or bread crumbs for added crunch.

Classic Baba Ganoush


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While eggplant recipes abound, few can match the rich flavor and versatility of the classic baba ganoush. This popular Middle Eastern dip is essentially a creative spin on hummus, substituting roasted eggplants for chickpeas. The result is a delightfully creamy spread that’s surprisingly easy to prepare. With just a handful of ingredients – including roasted eggplants, tahini, roasted garlic, fresh lemon juice, cumin, a pinch of cayenne pepper, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil – you’ll be on your way to creating this tasty treat. To take it to the next level, finish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika for added depth. Serve baba ganoush alongside pita chips, crusty bread slices, crunchy crackers, fresh raw veggies, or even potato chips for a satisfying snack.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan


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For those who adore the flavors of eggplant parmesan but prefer to keep their meals light on fried foods, this baked version is a game-changer. By swapping out traditional frying methods for a healthier approach, you’ll enjoy all the rich, cheesy goodness without compromising on taste or nutrition.

This recipe takes the classic Italian dish and gives it a modern twist, allowing you to customize the level of cheesiness to your liking. To bring this eggplant parmesan to life, you’ll need both Parmesan and mozzarella cheese – a match made in heaven.

Take things to the next level by crafting a homemade marinara sauce or tomato sauce from scratch. The result is a dish that’s not only delicious but also packed with flavor. Finally, add some freshness to your plate by garnishing with basil leaves.

Oven Roasted Eggplant


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Eggplant, a versatile vegetable, shines when roasted into tender, caramelized cubes. Its flavor profile transforms from bland to wondrous, as if infused with sweet, savory notes. Roasting eggplant is surprisingly straightforward, requiring only three essential ingredients: the star of the show itself, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. The key to achieving perfect, juicy roasted eggplant lies in cutting larger pieces that are cooked at high heat, allowing for an even caramelization.

Roasted Eggplant Salad


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When preparing roasted eggplant, it’s a good idea to cook a double batch of cubed eggplant to ensure there are plenty of leftovers to transform into a delicious roasted eggplant salad. This salad is an excellent way to repurpose smaller eggplants and elevate the dish to a whole new level.
The lentils in this recipe are cooked in a rich, flavorful broth – either vegetable or chicken-based – which allows them to soak up an abundance of flavor.
Meanwhile, the roasted eggplant is caramelized on the outside, retaining its juicy and tender interior. When combined with the lentils, the tangy lemon garlic dressing brings everything together in perfect harmony.
One of the best aspects of this salad is its impressive shelf life; it can be prepared for dinner one day and served as a satisfying lunch the next – no need to worry about leftovers going to waste.

Eggplant Marinara


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Eggplant and marinara sauce – a match made in heaven? Perhaps, but what’s undeniable is the scrumptiousness of this recipe for cheesy baked eggplant slices smothered in savory marinara sauce. The beauty of this dish lies not only in its homemade or store-bought marinara sauce options, but also in the versatility of using Muenster cheese – or substituting it with mozzarella if you prefer. To take it to the next level, sprinkle a layer of parmesan cheese on top and garnish with fresh basil leaves for an added pop of flavor and visual appeal.

Eggplant Pizzas


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While adhering to low-carb, paleo, or keto diets can be a challenge, there’s no reason to deprive yourself of the joy of pizza. Fortunately, eggplant makes an excellent substitute for traditional pizza crust, providing a neutral base that won’t overpower the rich flavors of mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and other toppings. This simple recipe requires just six ingredients and a mere 30 minutes to prepare, making it an ideal solution for satisfying your cravings.

Eggplant Tomato & Pesto Sandwich


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Pesto is always a welcome addition to any dish, and when we find another creative way to use it, our hearts are filled with joy. Take leftover grilled eggplant, for instance. It’s the perfect canvas for this vibrant sandwich featuring roasted peppers, juicy tomato, creamy avocado, and melted fresh mozzarella cheese. The magic that happens when these ingredients come together is undeniable. To bring this flavor profile to life, we recommend whipping up a homemade pesto using fresh basil, arugula, garlic (or garlic powder), walnuts (or pine nuts), a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Of course, if time is of the essence, store-bought pesto is always an option. And for our vegan friends, simply omitting the cheese doesn’t compromise the overall taste or satisfaction. Serve these colorful veggies piled high on a crusty ciabatta roll, and you’ll be in for a real treat.

Eggplant Caponata


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In the culinary heartland of Sicily, a beloved appetizer has emerged – eggplant caponata. This delectable dish takes center stage with its star ingredient, the rich and meaty eggplant. But that’s not all; it’s joined by a medley of sautéed bell peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes, celery, sweet raisins, salty capers, and briny green olives. The harmonious balance of honey and red wine vinegar imbues this recipe with an irresistible sweetness and tanginess. If you’re a fan of bold flavors, you’ll be utterly enamored with eggplant caponata. A trifecta of red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and garlic adds depth to the dish, while fresh mint brings a bright and refreshing touch. What sets this recipe apart is its reliance on roasted eggplant, as opposed to fried, lending it a distinct character that distinguishes it from other versions.

Roasted Eggplant Pasta


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Indulge in the rich flavors of roasted eggplant pasta dinner, a dish that’s as elegant as it is effortless. This recipe requires only six everyday ingredients you likely already have stocked in your pantry. While rotini pasta is specified, feel free to substitute with any robust noodle or even opt for veggie noodles like zucchini noodles – we’re big fans of zoodles! For the tomato sauce, you can either whip up a homemade version or rely on a trusted store-bought alternative, such as Classico Riserva Marinara, which strikes a perfect balance between flavor and sugar content. Check out loveandlemons.com for inspiration.

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan


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Grilled eggplant parmesan takes the classic Italian-American dish to new heights by swapping out traditional breading for a lighter, healthier twist. This modern take on sliced eggplant parmesan is perfect for low-carb diet options, as the smoky flavor from the grill pairs beautifully with the sweetness of ripe tomatoes. Without the need for breading, this recipe lets the natural flavors of the eggplant shine through. We’re not just talking about a variation – we’re talking about a modern classic that’s sure to impress. Whether served as a main course or an elegant appetizer, grilled eggplant parmesan is sure to delight with its gooey mozzarella and savory parmesan cheese. And at the heart of it all is the tender, smoky eggplant, bringing everything together in perfect harmony.

Mediterranean Grilled Eggplant Salad


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If you’ve got leftover grilled eggplant on your hands, consider yourself fortunate – it’s the perfect base for a mouthwatering Mediterranean-inspired salad. This hearty yet refreshing side or main dish is sure to delight your guests when paired with a savory chicken or beef dish. The crushed red pepper adds a welcome kick, while the cooling freshness of mint provides a delightful balance. And don’t even get us started on the magic that happens when you add za’atar – it’s what truly elevates this dish from good to great.

Best-Ever Eggplant Meatballs

You might be surprised to learn that you can indulge in ‘meatball’ goodness even if you’re adhering to a vegan or vegetarian diet. One of the most satisfying meatless alternatives for creating meatballs is actually eggplant. These eggplant-based meatballs not only make a fantastic main course when served with spaghetti, but they also serve as an excellent appetizer option. To prepare these meatless marvels, you’ll need a food processor, which simplifies the process significantly. The key spices and herbs that bring out the flavor in eggplant meatballs include chopped basil leaves, garlic cloves, chopped parsley, and black pepper. What really takes this dish to the next level is the generous helping of Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese – talk about a cheesy treat!

What Are Japanese Eggplant (Asian Eggplant)?

While Mediterranean and Italian eggplants are typically globe-shaped, their Japanese counterpart, also known as Asian eggplant, boasts a long and slender shape. Despite being more difficult to find at traditional grocery stores, enthusiastic home cooks can often track down this sought-after variety at specialty stores or bustling farmer’s markets. The good news is that both types of eggplant can be seamlessly substituted in any recipe featured on our list.

How to Cut Eggplant

When it comes to cutting eggplant, there are a few techniques you can use to get the desired result. To dice eggplant, start by trimming both ends with a large chef’s knife, then stand the vegetable upright and slice it lengthwise into thin strips. Next, lay the strips flat and cut them into uniform pieces. You can further refine your cuts by turning the strips sideways and cutting them crosswise to achieve the desired size. For a more rustic approach, try cutting eggplant rings instead. To do this, place the eggplant on its side and slice off both ends with a large chef’s knife. Then, cut the eggplant into thick or thin slices, depending on your recipe’s specifications.

Is Salting and Draining Eggplant Really Required?


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In the past, the bitterness of eggplants was a significant issue for chefs and home cooks. To counteract this, they would soak sliced eggplant in salted water for up to an hour, a process that effectively extracted the unwanted flavor.

Fortunately, modern eggplants have undergone significant improvements, rendering them much less bitter than their predecessors. As a result, the need for this lengthy soaking process has become obsolete, as confirmed by Epicurious. With this newfound ease of use, you’re free to explore a vast array of delicious eggplant-based dishes.

Summary

Get ready to delight your loved ones with these scrumptious recipes. Whether you’re hosting a family gathering or simply want to spice up your daily meals, these mouth-watering dishes are sure to impress. Take a moment to share your thoughts and let us know how they turn out!

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