Eggplant is known for having a tender, buttery, almost meat-like texture that suits health-focused and comforting meals, just the same.
Whether you do your shopping at the local farmer’s market or Kroger, Americans are spoilt for choice when it comes to eggplant varieties, being easily sourced, and ready to eat.
A few of our go-to eggplant varieties are Globe, Japanese, and Fairy Tale, which each have distinct shapes, flavors, and textures to suit endless opportunities in food.
By putting forward 25 of the best eggplant recipes found online, this article is going to highlight the resourcefulness behind the mighty eggplant.
We’ve been sure to include veggie, vegan, and meaty meals to ensure that anyone and everyone can benefit from this fibrous and low-calorie purple vegetable.
The beauty of this dish is its versatility. With warm pan-seared eggplant, fresh cucumber, and creamy avocado, it makes perfect sense as a midday salad and a legitimate dinnertime dish.
Layer it on top of your favorite grain and it will present itself as a filling meal when there’s a health kick in place. Herby goodies like parsley and shallot are sprinkled on top to bring the dish and its appearance to life.
The creamy salad dressing compliments the freshness of the plate and is more than deserving to be generously poured.
Whoever says frittata can’t be eaten for dinner, has clearly never had the pleasure of tucking into this heavenly offering. This keto-friendly, egg-heavy meal is ideal for skipping the carbs but being pleasantly full afterward.
Try to seek out some Japanese or small globe eggplants as they offer a softer texture that suits this dish. Served with a stack of deliciously fresh greens on top, this eggplant frittata looks appetizing and tastes even better.
Many people associate eggplant with a pan and a lot of oil. Fried eggplant is undeniably delicious but it’s also quite heavy.
This baked eggplant recipe does away with the need for too much oil and brings a garlic parmesan crust to the table instead. One of the all-time ingredient pairings is garlic and parmesan, and this recipe hasn’t skimped on either one of them.
This is a simple eggplant dish that’s perfect to serve alongside a few more appetizer plates or the main meal, the choice is yours.
Inspired by the Levant classic Baba Ghanoush, this roasted eggplant and pickle dip uses Greek yogurt to give it a fresh and tangy taste. The half-sour pickles offer an extra memorable bite that will keep people going in for another scoop.
Serve it alongside a big bowl of toasted pitta wedges to really complete the Middle Eastern scene.
The motto about good things coming to those who wait is far from lost with this eggplant parmesan epic. It’s recommended to give the marinara it at least one night in the fridge before being called upon to do its thing – so plan ahead.
Another hot tip to ensure your parmesan portions come out as uniform as possible is to let the dish sit for 30 minutes in a low-heat oven prior to serving.
This is a pretty dedicated recipe for anyone who’s feeling inspired to cook and impress their veggie friends.
There’s no question about it, zucchini and eggplant are a match made in the vegetable heavens. Served alongside each other in vegetarian meals the world over, you just can’t go wrong when this dynamic duo is together.
Loaded with fresh ricotta, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil leaves, this cheesy veggie-bake feels, looks, and tastes of southern Italy – very Bellissimo indeed!
Just when meat-eaters may have been getting worried that this was a strictly vegetarian list, in steps these crispy-beef stuffed eggplants.
Stuffed eggplant is one of the hands-down best ways to use the eggplant’s tough and crispy skin to your advantage. Simple to make and offering a big impact when served, they are ideal for feeding the family mid-week and present well at a dinner party.
Pomegranate and parsley give the dish a vibrant aesthetic, a tarty taste, and help to seal the deal on this winner-winner eggplant stuffed dinner.
Warm eggplant salad with walnut kind of sells itself in our books, and this recipe captures its essence perfectly. This really doesn’t take a lot of time, energy, or ingredients to put together considering its spoils of taste and texture.
The soft and meaty eggplant works oh so well against the added crunch that the walnuts bring. Date syrup and honey give the sticky dressing a seductive sweetness that will melt your heart before it melts in your mouth.
A true work of art that is worth ditching the lunchtime sandwich routine for.
This is a contemporary recipe with a Japanese sensibility that is health-focused, flavor-filled, and extra fresh.
Whichever bright spark decided to smother eggplant in miso deserves a round of applause, because this recipe seriously works, but save the applause for after dinner of course.
Have a dig around in the kitchen cupboard for whichever grain has been pushed aside for the longest and give it a run in this dish.
Barley, quinoa, freekeh, farro, they all work incredibly well at bulking out the dish and turning it into a legitimate meal at any time of the day.
This is one of those simple recipes which uses just a handful of ingredients that were meant to be together. Roasted eggplant, crispy kale, cherry tomatoes on a bed of lemony fresh yogurt is all you need to be happy in life.
Sure there are a few spices in the mix to offer an extra kick if desired, but the bare bones of this plate hit every note to perfection and will leave you feeling sufficiently satisfied while skipping the bloating.
11. Pasta Alla Norma
Pasta Alla Norma is an Italian pasta dish that is steeped in history. Originating on the food mecca of Sicily, it is pasta perfection that has no reason to be altered.
Buttery roasted eggplant, a rich tomato sauce, some grated Ricotta Salata, and that is basically it. Traditionally served with spaghetti or bucatini pasta, this is a meal of the people that wears its heart on its saucy sleeve.
Keeping with the Sicilian theme, this is another one of their traditional eggplant-based dishes that use a few key ingredients to bring out the best of the eggplant.
Sugar and vinegar are in place to create a sweet and sour marriage of flavor that is then soaked up by the thirsty eggplants. Fried on a skillet, this recipe will get the whole house smelling of the Mediterranean seaside, Sicilian style.
Unique by design, the eggplant of this recipe will offer a very distinct flavor once you’re done with it. Twice-cooked and charred right to the edge of being burnt, the eggplant will have an almost chocolatey element to it.
It is then cooked and mashed into submission with sweet paprika and sherry vinegar to give it a sourness that makes you eager for more. Serve it on its own as a dip, a side dish to lamb or slapped between two pieces of bread and call it a sandwich.
As a result of the hugely successful children’s movie “Ratatouille”, this humble dish is a front-runner, by name, for one of the most instantly recognizable meals of the modern time.
However, this Provençal classic has been a food of the people long before Remy learned how to cook. Concocted to use up all the questionable summer vegetables that had ripened at the same time, this is a French farmer’s stew, through and through.
Keeping with the classics, Moussaka is a widely celebrated dish that champions the eggplant.
While Moussaka has roots that date back to Ancient Levant, it wasn’t until the 1920s when French-trained Greek chef Nikolaos Tselementes, took the dish and modernized it in line with European eatings habits that it truly gained traction.
This recipe is a fairly traditional one, with the holy trinity of vegetables – eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes. Minced lamb, a thick layer of béchamel, and gruyére cheese finish off the mighty Moussaka lineup.
A fried eggplant sandwich is as out there as it sounds. But if no dish were ever out there, hanging on the fridges of acceptance, then the food world would be a much duller playing field as a result.
Once roasted the eggplant goes through a vital flour, egg, and panko-breadcrumb process. That, once fried, will give it a crispy decadence that needs to be bitten into, to be believed.
Melted cheese, tomato sauce, fresh basil, it’s all in there – the perfect meaty substitute for veggies, vegans, and anyone else who’s up for a juicy eggplant sandwich.
We’re guessing most people who partake in the eating of meat will have tried the fabled lamb shank over the years.
However, this recipe, created by chef extraordinaire Mehmet Gürs of Mikla, Istanbul has taken the shank to a whole new place. Resting on a creamy eggplant purée that’s been elevated with béchamel and gruyére cheese, this dish is truly something else.
Slow-braised in red wine, the shanks take on a devilish tenderness that perfectly compliments the inventive purée, and makes this your family’s new lamb shank recipe.
Before you even get the chance to cook them, there are those special recipes that you just know are going to blow the house down.
This is one of the clever ones that fuses flavors together that aren’t so used to each other’s company, and it does it with ease. Eggplant, fish sauce, cured meat, cocoa powder, canned chipotles, it reads like some mad scientist’s experiment, but it hits so very hard.
A crazy-good ragú served with linguine or spaghetti pasta, you can thank us later, as this needs to be tried now, right now.
A traditional Burmese curry that endorses the mighty eggplant in all its buttery glory, this one has got us very excited. This is a very cool recipe as it shows you how to make your own curry paste using dried shrimp, ginger, and a few other key ingredients.
Once you’ve made your paste you simply fry off some onion in turmeric, paprika, and the remaining garlic paste.
Then mix through the eggplant and turn it all down to a very casual simmer, letting all those wonderful flavors work their magic into the eggplant and tenderize it into submission.
This recipe features three defined parts that culminate to create a pungent and creamy sensation of the ages.
You’ll be shown through the pickled peppers, cashew butter, and roasted eggplant, each, individually, with very clear instructions so that no home cook can go too off course.
Staying fresh for months, cashew butter will be your new secret weapon of the kitchen. A hush-hush weapon that no roasted veg will be spared from, from now on.
21. Fried Eggplant
Fried eggplant could be considered basic, but the contrast of crunchy outer and soft and gooey inner gives it a complexity in taste that’s beyond its pay grade.
What we mean is you get plenty of bang for your buck with fried eggplant, and that is something to be lauded for.
The seasoned white wine batter and the roasted eggplant make perfect harmonious sense once accompanied by a few lemon wedges. Battered eggplant and fries anyone?
Sometimes you just need to knock together a quick curry to feed the family and that’s about the short of it.
This tofu and vegetable curry is an easy one to make as it uses a red curry paste instead of the sometimes endless list of spices that curry recipes require.
Softened in coconut milk, the curry’s lineup that includes our good old friend eggplant is predictable, and that’s the idea, all family members can enjoy this curry, great and small.
Serve with a topping of cilantro and peanuts to bring a fresh crunch to the plate, if you so desire.
For the people who love a bit of spice in their life, there’s really nowhere else to turn to but spicy garlic eggplant. The steamed eggplant really helps to bring a lighter touch to the dish.
But there’s no need to worry about the eggplant being all soggy and sad, as it is then pan-seared to give it a delightful golden crunch. Salty, sweet, and spicy, this Chinese-inspired dish has all the hallmarks of perfect Asian food.
Served over a bed of hot and fluffy rice, it is a healthy and filling addition to the week.
Ready to be slurped up and chewed down in 30 minutes flat, this eggplant and beef stir-fry is another great family feeder. Fresh Thai chilies, fish sauce, lime juice, ginger, soy sauce, minced garlic, the ingredients list reads like a fairly stock standard stir fry.
However, the eggplant and beef work wonders together and help to give the stir fry an attractive uniqueness to eat.
Finishing the eggplant-centric proceedings, we’ve got a true winter warmer that is comfort-food at its best.
Thick slices of roasted eggplant layered over a bed of saffron-infused, white wine absorbing arborio rice, and as much mozzarella as you dare to throw on it. This is a jazzed-up rice bake recipe that will soothe any soul after the most trying of days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Eggplant Good For Weight Loss?
Being high in fiber and low in calories makes eggplant a great vegetable to aid weight loss. Fiber digests slowly into the human body which helps people to feel fuller for longer.
This coupled with its low calorie content makes eggplant a great veggie to be included in a weight loss program.
Can You Eat Eggplant Raw?
Unlike foods like potatoes, wild mushrooms, and kidney beans, eggplant is safe to consume raw. However, its chewy texture most definitely lends eggplant to being cooked before eaten.
Eggplant can be baked, fried, grilled, braised, and even puréed into a dip. All of these cooking methods are great, it just depends on which dish you’re looking to cook to know which method is best.
Should You Cook Eggplant With The Skin On Or Off?
This is really down to personal preference, but in general, most chefs and home cooks leave the eggplant’s skin as it is. The skin is the most nutrient-rich part of the eggplant so leaving it on is the healthier option.
The skin can also take on incredible flavors and textures of its own, which can be delicious if done right. If you have a particularly large eggplant at home, it could be a good idea to peel the skin away as it may be too thick and tough to eat.
With the traction that veggie and vegan food is gaining both here in America and across the world, it feels like the tender meatiness of eggplant is only just being tapped.
Versatile beyond belief, eggplant has it all in spades and can be thrown in the deep end of a dish, come out swinging, and taste great.
Not to mention its deliciously crispy, golden brown skin that is enough to convert even the most hardened of opinions.
Eggplant is a veggie of the now with its eyes on the future and we hope this article has inspired you to let a little more eggplant into your life.
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