Even eggplant skeptics will fall in love with these 15 tasty eggplant recipes! With tacos, pastas, salads and more, they include something for everyone.
Of all the vegetable recipes I post, eggplant recipes are the most divisive. At first this surprised me because eggplant recipes have always been among my favorite foods to eat. As a child, I never wanted to stop playing at dinnertime, except when my mother was preparing eggplant parmesan. And when I started exploring vegetarian cooking on my own, Grilled eggplant was one of the first dishes I mastered.
But if I learned one thing from writing Love and Lemons, it’s that not everyone likes eggplants. I heard it was spongy and bitter and bland, and to that I said, “Valid!” If it’s not well prepared, it can be all of these things. But when it’s done right, it’s delicious. Plus, its character totally transforms depending on how you cook it. It can be meaty and smoky right off the grill, rich and silky after baking, or crispy on the outside and tender in the middle after a few minutes on the stovetop. Sure, you don’t like it one way, but if you cooked it differently, you might!
In short, I hope all eggplant skeptics will give this controversial vegetable another shot. To help you get started, I’m sharing 15 easy eggplant recipes below. They include bright summer pastas, cool grill recipes, cozy casseroles and everything in between. Forget the caution and have fun exploring these tasty eggplant recipes! I bet you will find one you like.
Grilled Eggplant Recipes
Of all the different eggplant recipes, grilled eggplant recipes will always be my favorite. I love how the outside of the eggplant is nicely charred, while the inside gets silky smooth.
When I first learned to cook vegetables, grilled eggplant was one of my favorite things to do. It’s not hard to see why: it’s super easy, and it’s absolutely delicious! Enjoy it on its own as a side dish or take it to the next level by piling a fresh couscous salad on top.
This eggplant salad recipe is a celebration of summer produce! Sweet and smoky grilled eggplant plays with tender peppers, juicy tomatoes and fresh herbs.
Grilled ratatouille toast
When it’s too hot to stand over a pot of Ratatouille over the heat, I make these toasts with grilled ratatouille instead! Pair them with your favorite rosé, and your guests (and you) can’t get enough.
Zucchini and Lemon Orzo
By late summer, I could eat this vibrant orzo pasta every night! It gets its bold, fresh flavor from simple ingredients like lemon, feta cheese, pine nuts, eggplant, and grilled zucchini.
Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplantpage 179 of Love and Lemons Everyday
No grill? Carefree! You can make this recipe two ways: on the grill and in the oven. In the grilled version, I stir fresh basilic and arugula in the bulgur filling, and in the baked version, I smother the stuffed eggplant with crispy panko and pecorino cheese. Both ways are delicious!
Grilled Eggplant Pastapage 139 of The Love & Lemons cookbook
This grilled vegetable pasta is the perfect meal for a balmy summer night. It packs a huge punch of flavor, yet it comes together in minutes!
Baked Eggplant Recipes
Cooking eggplant in the oven shows its versatility. Chop it up and roast it briefly, until golden and tender, or cook it whole, until it crumbles to the touch. You’ll find both of these approaches in the baked eggplant recipes below.
My lighter riff on my mom’s classic recipe! Instead of frying the eggplant slices, I bake them with a coating of panko and parmesan cheese. When they are golden brown and crispy, I layer them with marinara saucefresh mozzarella and basil to create a comforting and craving-worthy dish.
Oven roasted eggplant
This simple roasted eggplant is crispy and golden around the edges and melts in your mouth tender in the middle. I love it as a side dish with fresh herbs and lemon juice, but it’s also a wonderful addition to salads and pastas.
Another way to use roasted eggplant? In caponata! This Sicilian dish is tangy, salty and slightly sweet with a mouth-watering silky texture. Serve it with crostini for an elegant summer aperitif.
No it is not Hummus! It’s baba ganoush, a silky, smoky eggplant dip. It’s better with fresh pita bread and crunchy veggies, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself standing at the counter, eating it out of the food processor with a spoon.
Vegetarian tacos with avocado sauce
You can make these tangy tacos with almost any roasted vegetable, but if eggplant is in season, I always add it. I love how the earthy roasted eggplant contrasts with the bright and tangy tomatillo sauce on top.
As Parma Eggplant? You too will love this recipe! Delicate planks of roasted eggplant surround a rich mixture of ricotta, lemon zest and pecorino cheese. Oven-baked marinara saucethese little wraps are comfort food at their best.
Sauteed and Fried Eggplant Recipes
In these easy eggplant recipes, I cook eggplant on the stovetop. This way it absorbs the flavor of other ingredients like olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and herbs while cooking.
No eggplant recipe list would be complete without ratatouille, a Provençal stew made with eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes. In my recipe, I sauté vegetables on the stovetop until soft. Then I transfer them to the oven, where they melt into a rich, tangy stew that’s fantastic with a drizzle of olive oil and lots of crispy bread.
Puttanesca with zucchini noodlespage 177 of Love and Lemons Everyday
Sauteed eggplant acts like a sponge in this brackish and salty pasta recipe. As it cooks, the eggplant takes on the flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes, capers, olives and white wine. When you sit down to eat, it will be rich, tangy and tender – make sure you get some in every bite!
Air fryer eggplant
Instead of frying this eggplant in a skillet, I cook it in the air fryer! The hazelnut Parmesan coating becomes beautifully crisp and golden, while the eggplant interior becomes soft and silky. Serve it over pasta with tomato sauce And cashew cream for a tasty and satisfying meal.
More Favorite Summer Recipes
If you love these healthy eggplant recipes, then check out these delicious summer recipes:
Eggplant Recipes: Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Serves 6 at 8
This Baked Eggplant Parmesan is one of our favorite eggplant recipes!
- 2 big eggplant, cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, split
- 2 coffee spoons Oregano
- 2 soup spoons fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, more to sprinkle
- Freshly ground black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil, to water
- 28 ounces marinara sauce
- 2 large balls of fresh mozzarella, minced
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves
Prevent your screen from going dark
Preheat oven to 400°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium deep dish, whisk the eggs and almond milk.
In another medium-sized shallow dish, combine panko, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and several peppercorns.
Dip the eggplant slices in the egg mixture then in the panko mixture. Place on baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 18 minutes or until tender and golden.
In an 8 x 12 or 9 x 13-inch baking dish, spread ½ cup marinara, layer half the eggplant and top with 1 cup marinara and half the mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, remaining marinara and remaining mozzarella. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a few additional pinches of sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Turn oven to broil and broil for 2 to 4 hours or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil.