26 of the Easiest-Ever Eggplant Recipes
Eggplant is the best kind of vegetable, which is to say, it’s a multi-tasker that can take on many different and delicious forms and be incorporated into all kinds of recipes. It can stand up to being grilled or fried, tastes bomb when breaded (like in eggplant parmesan or eggplant rollatini) and lives its best life when roasted, stewed, or sautéed for ratatouille, baba ghanoush, and more. Bonus: eggplant works as a substitute for meat, too, and learning how to cook eggplant is actually—dare we say it—easy.
One of the most popular types of eggplants in America resembles a long pear-shaped zucchini, with glossy skin and a deep purple color. The flesh inside is beige-colored and spongy in consistency with seeds. Choose eggplants that have a firm, smooth, and shiny skin and feel heavy for their size. They should be free of discoloration, bumps, and bruises, which indicates that the veggie's been damaged and could be decayed. Eggplants are also available in plenty of other sizes and colors, including lavender, green, orange, and yellow. Though they're available year-round, eggplants are in peak season from July to October.
The nightshade veggie packs a host of vitamins and minerals, including fiber, vitamin B, copper, vitamin K, and folate, plus it contains phytonutrients and plenty of antioxidants. It’s easy to prepare and tastes divine when done right—try one of these easy eggplant recipes and you’ll be part of the purple gang in no time.
Eggplant, Feta, and Lemon Tart
This elegant eggplant tart recipe is easy, fresh, and incredibly flavorful. The thinly-sliced eggplant melts into the buttery pastry, and the thin slices of lemon brightens up every bite. And did we mention the slices of feta? This flavorful tart is the star of any dinner party as a veggie main, or slice into small squares for a bite-sized appetizer.
Roasted Eggplant With Miso and Sesame Seeds
Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini
Give eggplant parmesan a twist—literally—by rolling the ricotta mixture inside each pre-baked eggplant slice before topping with marinara sauce and freshly grated mozzarella. This eggplant recipe has all the cheesy, sauce-y goodness you’d expect from lasagna, but without the heaviness of pasta noodles. Bake until browned and bubbly, then serve warm to guests.
Eggplant and Chicken Caponata Pizza
Here, fresh eggplant, shredded chicken, and salty capers come together to create a delicious (and surprising) topping for pizza.
Crispy Eggplant With Minty Yogurt
To make this delicious dip, you'll simply stir mint jelly with yogurt sauce and serve it with crispy eggplant rounds. The mint jelly adds a fresh herbal twist, plus welcome sweetness to balance out the crunchy coating on the eggplant rounds.
Greek Lamb Burgers with Baked Eggplant Fries
Alongside this delicious burger recipe comes crispy eggplant fries. The key to the coating on these crispy on the outside and tender on the inside fries, is a bath in frothed egg whites and then a toss in panko, or Japanese breadcrumbs. It’s easy, but with complex flavors—the best kind of entertaining recipe.
Let the eggplant shine in this simple grilled salad recipe. To avoid any bitterness, choose young, smaller eggplants that don’t have a lot of seeds. This recipe utilizes more fresh summer produce, but feel free to vary the other vegetables depending on the season.
For a fun alternative to salsa or hummus, serve this dip made from roasted eggplant, onion, garlic, and parsley.
Roasted Eggplant Dip
Serve this creamy roasted eggplant dip with pita chips, crudité or tortilla chips for a party-pleasing dish. The base of roasted eggplant is fairly versatile, so feel free to play around with the spices to achieve a different flavor profile depending on what else is on your menu.
Roasted Eggplant and Olive Pasta Salad
Who doesn’t love pasta salad? Salty olives and feta cheese combined with fresh tomatoes, chewy pasta, and tender cubes of roasted eggplant make this the perfect satisfying and healthy lunch or dinner. The longer it sits, the more the flavors meld together, so make extra and eat well all week long!
Grilled Eggplant and Smoked Mozzarella Melts
For those days when you’re just craving a sandwich, this open-faced melt will do the trick. Grilling thick slices of country bread and melting mozzarella over the top elevates the humble sammie into an elegant meal you would be proud to serve to anyone (or keep all to yourself).
Fettuccine With Spinach, Ricotta, and Grilled Eggplant
The ricotta will soften a little as it comes into contact with the warm pasta, adding a little creaminess to the final dish.
Grilled Eggplant With Parsley and Pine Nuts
This tasty grilled eggplant dish comes together in no time at all. While you already have the grill on, throw on a piece of meat or fish for an easy and complete meal.
Halibut With Grilled Eggplant Salad
For a no-fuss meal, grill the fish and eggplant together, then drizzle with a no-cook dressing of rice vinegar, ginger, jalapeño, and soy sauce.
Bulgur Wheat Salad With Tomato and Eggplant
Nutty and nutritious, bulgur bulks up this simple side dish with tender slices of baked eggplant.
Tortellini With Eggplant and Peppers
Using only one large skillet, this vegetarian one-pot meal makes cleanup a snap. That, combined with its nutritious ingredients (eggplant and peppers), translates to a winning dish for the whole family.
Creamy Eggplant and Feta Dip
What's better than a creamy crowd-pleasing dip recipe that's as healthy as it is delicious? Simply mix together cheese, herbs, and a few other ingredients before cooking in the oven, when eggplant roasts to tender and silky.
Eggplant and Tofu Stir-Fry
Add a sliced chili to this vegetarian stir-fry for a boost of heat.
Spicy Eggplant With Cauliflower and Basil
Red curry paste provides the heat in an Asian-inspired vegetarian meal.
Eggplant Pasta Salad
This picnic-ready salad is loaded with ingredients that pack a punch, including capers, pine nuts, and sautéed tomatoes and eggplant.
Curried Eggplant With Tomatoes and Basil
Eggplant Lasagna With Herbed Ricotta and Asiago
Broiled eggplant slices stand in for traditional noodles in this meatless make-ahead dish.
Penne With Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Mozzarella
Instead of basil, sprinkle with fresh mint for an unexpected hint of cool, tingly flavor.
Grilled Eggplant Provolone
Eggplant halves become the main attraction when grilled and topped with melted, bubbly provolone cheese.
Roasted Baby Eggplant
Stuff the eggplant with lemons, garlic, and oregano to allow their pungent flavors to permeate the entire dish.
This rustic French classic is chock-full of healthy summer veggies, including zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, and—of course—eggplant.