Eggplant is sometimes called the “crème de la crème” of vegetables and with good reason: eggplant recipes are delicious.
There’s just something about eggplant that boggles the mind. When cooked, it’s creamy and decadent, but it’s also one of the healthiest veggies you can eat. You can easily dress eggplant up as a main dish such as eggplant parmesan, or you can simply have fried eggplant. Either way, you’re in for a treat.
If you’re cooking eggplant correctly, it’s incredibly flavorful and tender.
Are you wondering what to do with eggplant? You can find eggplant recipes from all over the world, from Asian recipes to Mediterranean recipes.
In the southern part of the U.S., gardeners and home chefs love to make simple eggplant recipes such as fried eggplant, which is cooked in much the same way as fried green tomatoes.
Eggplants, also known as aubergines, are versatile and nutritious vegetables that can be prepared in a myriad of ways. With their shiny, deep-purple skin and spongy texture, eggplants offer endless possibilities for creative cooking. Their mild taste and absorbent nature make them ideal for soaking up a variety of flavors, which can help eggplants shine in any dish they are included in.
One of the reasons why eggplant recipes have become increasingly popular is their health benefits. Eggplants are low in calories and high in essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Their antioxidant properties, mainly found in the skin, can help reduce risks of chronic illnesses. In addition to being a healthy choice, eggplant dishes cater to different dietary needs, such as vegetarian and vegan diets.
However, eggplant is also delicious in recipes, and you can make grilled eggplant, baked eggplant recipes, or roasted eggplant.
Vegetarian eggplant recipes can add tons of flavor and texture to a vegan or vegetarian diet, or eggplant dishes can contain meat if that’s what you like.
Are you ready to discover the delicious world of tasty eggplant recipes? Let’s dive into the best eggplant recipe list.
In the South, fried eggplant is nearly as beloved as fried green tomatoes, fried okra, and fried yellow squash.
When you fry eggplant, the center is so tender and creamy.
We love this fried eggplant recipe because it shows you how to fry eggplant using less oil.
To cook fried eggplant, you need to use oil with a high smoke point. For example, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, or avocado oil all work beautifully.
This recipe uses just an egg wash, but you can find a recipe online that uses cornmeal or bread crumbs to make fried eggplant.
When it comes to healthy eggplant recipes, few can rival the flavor and diversity of classic baba ganoush.
Baba ganoush is like hummus but it’s made with eggplant instead of chickpeas.
You need a food processor to make baba ganoush and it’s deliciously creamy.
This recipe calls for roasted eggplants, tahini, roasted garlic, fresh lemon juice, cumin, a pinch of cayenne pepper, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil. Garish your baba ganoush with smoked paprika.
Serve baba ganoush with pita chips, bread slices, crackers, raw veggies, or potato chips.
If you love the idea of eggplant parmesan but don’t want a lot of fried foods, this baked eggplant parmesan is going to save dinner at your house.
This recipe offers an easy, healthy update to this classic Italian eggplant recipe.
We love how cheesy and creamy this eggplant parmesan is, and you can make it as cheesy as you like.
For this eggplant parmesan recipe, you need both parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
You can make a homemade marinara sauce or tomato sauce for your eggplant parmesan.
Garnish with fresh basil.
Eggplant is a veggie that lends itself well to roasting and it’s one of our favorite vegan eggplant recipes.
When you roast eggplant cubes, you have a roasted vegetable that is plump and juicy on the interior but beautifully caramelized on the outside.
Eggplant is a vegetable that is fairly bland in its raw state, but it transforms into something wondrous in the oven.
The best part is that all you need to create this masterpiece is eggplant, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Seriously, that’s it!
The secret to perfect roasted eggplant is to cut the eggplant into larger pieces that you roast at a high temperature.
When you cook roasted eggplant, you’ll want to make a double batch of cubed eggplant so that you can have some extra to make roasted eggplant salad.
This roasted eggplant salad is a great way to use smaller eggplants.
For this recipe, lentils are cooked in a flavorful vegetable broth or chicken broth so that they absorb loads of flavor.
The cooked eggplant is caramelized on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside.
The lentils and roasted eggplant are tossed in a tangy lemon garlic dressing.
Best of all, this salad keeps very well, so when you’re making dinner, you can just make your salad for tomorrow’s lunch, too.
It seems like eggplant and marinara sauce were born for each other, doesn’t it?
We love a good eggplant and marinara recipe, and this recipe for cheesy baked eggplant slices with savory marinara sauce is scrumptious.
You can certainly make your own homemade marinara sauce for this eggplant recipe, but there are some really high-quality marinara sauce jar versions available.
This recipe calls for Muenster cheese, but you can use mozzarella cheese if you want. Sprinkle the finished dish with parmesan cheese for more perfect cheesy goodness.
Garnish your eggplant dish with fresh basil leaves.
Nearly everyone has heard of the “Ratatouille” movie, but have you ever actually eaten ratatouille?
Ratatouille is a traditionally rustic humble French dish that consists of stewed late summer veggies such as zucchini and tomato.
Eggplant is the star of the show in ratatouille, but this recipe also calls for yellow squash, onions, tomato, zucchini, and sweet bell pepper.
These delicious summer veggies are stewed and simmered in a lively and delicious tomato sauce until they’re the perfect tenderness.
This ratatouille recipe calls for dry white wine, but you can substitute vegetable broth, chicken broth, or even water.
When you’re following a low carb, paleo, or keto diet, sometimes you just crave some pizza!
Fortunately, there are tons of excellent crust alternatives for low carb diets, and eggplant makes the perfect pizza crust.
We love that this easy recipe calls for only six ingredients and takes just 30 minutes to make.
Because eggplant doesn’t have a strong flavor on its own, it’s the perfect neutral base for pizza because it doesn’t overpower the other delicious flavors of the mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and other ingredients.
For an easy eggplant recipe that is also super impressive, give this interesting eggplant involtini recipe a try.
The eggplant is made with Spanish mojo sauce and this orange garlic-flavored sauce is super addictive.
To make the sauce, you need blanched almonds, garlic, roasted Piquillo peppers, cumin, sherry vinegar (or balsamic vinegar), and extra virgin olive oil.
The eggplant involtini is made with eggplant, coconut oil, crumbled feta cheese, sea salt, black pepper, and chopped cilantro for a tasty garnish.
Serve this eggplant recipe with some delicious crusty bread and a green salad for a full meal.
Anytime we can find another use for pesto, we are delighted.
If you have some leftover grilled eggplant, there is no better use for it than this delicious sandwich that’s made with roasted peppers, tomato, avocado, and fresh mozzarella cheese.
This tomato recipe calls for a homemade pesto that’s made with fresh basil, arugula, garlic (or garlic powder), walnuts (or pine nuts), fresh lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.
Are you in a hurry? No problem. Use a store-bought pesto.
If you’re vegan, simply skip the cheese for this yummy sandwich.
Serve these veggies piled high on a ciabatta roll.
Eggplant caponata is a classic appetizer from Sicily that has eggplant as one of its main ingredients.
Along with eggplant, eggplant caponata has sautéed bell pepper, fire-roasted tomatoes, celery, raisins, capers, and green olives.
Honey and red wine vinegar give this recipe a wonderful sweet and tangy flavor.
And if you love bold flavors, you will love this recipe for eggplant caponata.
The red pepper flakes, bay leaf, chopped fresh mint, and garlic give this recipe tons of flavor.
Also, this recipe uses roasted eggplant, not fried eggplant, which makes it slightly different from other recipes for eggplant caponata that are out there.
When you’re looking for an elegant pasta meal that uses eggplant, you will love this roasted eggplant pasta dinner.
This pasta recipe calls for just six common ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
The recipe specifies rotini pasta, but you can actually use any hearty pasta noodle. You can even use veggie noodles such as zucchini noodles (zoodles). We love zucchini noodles!
For the tomato sauce, you can make your own homemade recipe, but you can also use a store-bought version. We like to recommend Classico Riserva Marinara because it’s delicious and has less sugar than other brands.
13. Grilled Eggplant
Eggplant is a vegetable and one of the quick eggplant recipes that work beautifully on the grill.
Because of its size, you can cut some nice slices of grilled eggplant rounds that are perfect for grilling.
In this recipe, the grilled eggplant slice is full of delicious smoky flavor and they’re just lightly charred.
You can serve this grilled eggplant as an elegant side dish with your beef dishes, steaks, grilled chicken, and more.
We have you covered with baked eggplant parmesan, but how about grilled eggplant parm?
This lightened-up version of sliced eggplant parmesan is great for low carb diet options, and the tomatoes give this recipe so much flavor.
Also, this recipe doesn’t use the traditional breading that comes with classic eggplant parmesan.
We like to think of grilled eggplant parmesan as a modern classic.
You can serve this elegant healthy eggplant recipe as a main dish or an appetizer.
The mozzarella cheese is super melty, and the parmesan cheese adds more cheesy flavor.
If you have leftover grilled eggplant, you’re in luck. All you need to do is make this delicious Mediterranean grilled eggplant salad.
This delicious fresh salad is the perfect main dish salad because it’s so hearty, but it also makes the perfect side dish for a BBA or cookout.
You can pair this sale with any chicken dish or beef dish and it is sure to please your guests.
The crushed red pepper gives this salad a nice kick, and the cooling fresh mint adds the perfect balance.
Don’t skip the za’atar. That’s what really makes this dish super special.
Did you know that you can enjoy “meatballs” even if you’re following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle?
One of the best meatless options for making meatballs is eggplant.
These eggplant meatballs are delicious served as a main course with spaghetti, but they’re also a great appetizer.
You will need a food processor to make these eggplant meatballs, and it makes the job super easy.
The spices and herbs used in eggplant meatballs are chopped basil leaves, garlic cloves, chopped parsley, and black pepper.
Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese make this dish super cheesy.
What Are Japanese Eggplant (Asian Eggplant)?
Mediterranean and Italian eggplants are globe-shaped. However, Japanese eggplant, which is also known as Asian eggplant, is long and thin.
While finding Japanese eggplant at grocery stores can be challenging, you can often find this delicious veggie at specialty stores and farmer’s markets.
For any of the recipes in our list, you can use either type of eggplant.
How to Cut Eggplant
Here is how to cut eggplant.
- To dice eggplant: Use a large chef’s knife and slice off the bottom and top of your eggplant. Then, stand the eggplant up on its end and cut it lengthwise into thin slices. After you have your thin slices, lay the slices down and cut the slices of eggplant into uniformly sized stips. Then, turn the strips sideways and cut crosswise until you have your desired size.
- To cut eggplant rings: Lay your eggplant on its side and slice off the bottom and top using a large chef’s knife. Slice your eggplant into thick or thin slices, depending on the width your recipe calls for.
Is Salting and Draining Eggplant Really Required?
In the past, eggplant was more bitter than modern eggplant. For this reason, chefs and home cooks soaked their eggplant in salted water for up to an hour. This process extracted the bitterness from the vegetable. However, today’s eggplant isn’t very bitter, so you don’t actually have to soak your eggplant in salted water, according to Epicurious.
Do you want five more extra amazing eggplant recipes? Check out this video below for Italian eggplant recipes.
Our 20+ BEST Eggplant Recipes (+Easy Fried Eggplant)
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 egg whites whisked
- Peanut oil or avocado oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice your eggplant into thick slices.
- Sprinkle with salt and let them sit for about 30 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly and pat dry, then sprinkle with salt again.
- Brush the eggplant slices with the whisked egg whites.
- Fry in a skillet until golden brown on both sides.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.