Maybe you’re trying to create healthy or plant-based alternatives for yourself or the family and aren’t sure where to begin.
Perhaps you’re looking for ways to introduce veggies to your meals or snacks, but how do you go about this?
If you’ve been meaning to try eggplant, we share your excitement, but how do you make the eggplant compliment your meals?
In this article, we’ll provide 27 eggplant recipes that will shake up those meal times and give you a new appreciation for this vegetable or fruit, but we won’t argue with you.
If you want to look forward to meal times, read on.
The 27 Best Eggplant Recipes
Give your meal time a middle eastern twist that looks great with the pita bread base and with the tomato, cucumber, shallots, and dill, with an eggplant filling sure to elevate the taste.
You can even season it with salt and pepper, shake all the veggies together, and add that spicy tahini sauce to boost the flavor.
This recipe works great if you’re looking for a healthy spring or summer dinner idea (see also our favorite easy dinner ideas), with lemon juice and herbs like basil and mint giving it a more zesty flavor that you’re sure to savor for a long time.
Ensure that you use 2 medium-sized eggplants and ensure the char marks form when grilling so you get a great flavor.
If you’re tired of the beef version, you can have an eggplant alternative with parmesan cheese, which can go well with a caesar salad or a side of crusty bread if you’re cooking for around 4-6 people.
Make sure to add some salt and pepper between layers so the flavor is evenly distributed and can make the marinara sauce compliment the parmesan.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to spend too much time sourcing ingredients, this recipe only requires some eggplants, jalapeño peppers, small yellow onion, garlic, ginger, and basil.
Once you combine this with soy sauce and peanut oil, this only takes 4-6 minutes until it’s cooked, and you can try different flavors and peppers for a different result.
Suppose you want an exciting vegetarian meatball alternative (see also ‘23 Homemade Sauces For Meatballs You Need To Try‘).
In that case, the eggplant makes for a great savory flavor that can be added with parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and basil for the perfect meatballs.
Not only do you have a great alternative, but you also have the Italian experience, which you can combine with brown-rice spaghetti for a flavor kick.
This is another great alternative if you want to avoid common curry staples like chicken or lamb, and you can cook the eggplant while you prepare your other ingredients to save time.
This recipe uses ground pepper, cilantro, red curry paste, and white onion for a spicy burst of flavor that you could serve over any rice you decide to use.
If you thought pizza night couldn’t be topped, we have a recipe that will likely surprise you, and the great thing here is that the recipe is low in carbs.
You can go for spicy Italian sausage or maybe some buffalo chicken pieces if you’re looking for that spice and can be served alongside a salad for a balanced meal.
If you’re looking for a Mediterranean taste and veggies packed into roasted eggplants, these could make a nice lunch or snack idea (see also ‘27 Hot And Easy Lunch Ideas‘).
You can serve this with ground cumin and garlic cloves, with the addition of kalamata olives for a distinct taste that you can tweak the recipe a bit to find a flavor that hits the spot.
If you’re having a barbeque or want some inspiration, this burger recipe is the ultimate veggie burger that will be hard to beat.
You can fry each eggplant piece until they are lightly toasted on each side and serve with any type of sliced cheese, and you can cook the cheese on the eggplant until it has melted for that optimal diner experience.
Here you have an alternative to a recipe that will likely fill that snack time void with plum tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.
When the cheese is melted on top with basil and sea salt, it’s going to satisfy those taste buds and doesn’t take a whole hour of your time to make, and you can pair it with a beer or wine to balance out the light and heavy flavors.
Another excellent lunchtime idea, this recipe replaces the usual loading of cured meats, pickles, and cheese with something that is loaded with smoky grilled veggies instead.
You can add pimiento-stuffed green olives and pickled banana peppers for something unique that is about 380 calories if you’re looking to watch your intake.
If you’re looking for an alternative to regular cut fries, or if you want a nice appetizer for a party, these fries make for a great choice as they are crispy on the outside but nicely tender on the inside.
You can serve them with greek tzatziki sauce to jazz up the flavor, but you could use marinara sauce or a dip of your choice for a nice dipping sauce.
13. Eggplant Dip
You have the taste of a Persian vegetarian dip full of flavors such as saffron (see also ‘5 Saffron Substitutes‘), turmeric, liquid kashk, and dried mint.
Be sure that you don’t cook the eggplants all the way through, as this could affect the consistency when you begin the mix all the ingredients together into the mixture.
14. Eggplant Tacos
When you thought we were out of uses for the eggplant, we come back with delicious bean corn and tomato salsa with melted cheese, fresh cilantro, and avocado bites if you want something healthy to pair with it.
This recipe is low carb and is perfect by itself or with eggs if you want a breakfast alternative. If you’re looking for dinner breakfast recipes to add to your collection, eggplant tacos are a great choice to consider.
While many pasta recipes have a thick and hearty consistency that is really filling, the eggplant is a great addition here because it can take on a meat-like consistency, making this recipe a good vegetarian or vegan option.
You can also Sauté the onions until they become caramelized, and you can add a bit of sherry vinegar to the pan to supplement the flavor even more.
This recipe is a great snack if you want something healthy for your work break or if you get those mid-day cravings.
Make sure your cuts of the eggplant aren’t too thick. You can add turmeric and cayenne pepper for a nice seasoning that makes them smokier in taste.
A great option if you’re struggling to incorporate salads into your meal times during the colder months, with crispy Brussel sprouts and roasted eggplant.
You can integrate sunflower seeds, hard-boiled eggs, and a tangy apple cider vinaigrette for a warming meal that is plentiful in superfood goodies and can be made in 30 minutes.
18. Eggplant Bacon
If you’re not a fan of the bacon meat-free alternatives, why not make your own, with strips of eggplant with maple syrup, tamari, and vegan Worcester sauce for the ultimate flavor.
You can bake the strips for 35-50 minutes to achieve the crispy texture you know well and can make for a good addition to a meal or a simple snack.
With the eggplant, you aren’t limited to your options and can use it in your recipe to create higher-end cuisines that incorporate zucchini, tomatoes, dried oregano, and dried thyme, to name just a few.
You can also make this recipe in advance, and if kept chilled and covered, you can reheat it for another occasion.
20. Eggplant Parm
This can be a great comfort recipe for those cold days or if you’re looking for a dish that has a great flavor and texture combination.
The inclusion of ground almonds, dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, and shredded mozzarella cheese make a great addition to the eggplant base and can be served immediately.
The use of the eggplant also extends to soups, as you can create a creamy soup (see also ‘Creamy Soup Recipes: 33 Of The Best‘) that is vegan and gluten-free, and with the addition of roasted chickpea croutons, you’re set for a filling soup.
If you make too much, you can always freeze and serve some for later, which you’ll want to make sure is hot throughout to experience the optimal texture and taste.
Yes, we’re going there, and you might find this recipe sounds unpleasant, but you can add extra fiber and cut the calories so that you can tuck into those guilty pleasures without too much guilt.
You can go for a vegan brand or dark chocolate, which will mask the taste of the eggplant thanks to the chocolate that is mixed into the batter.
23. Eggplant Donuts
You can even have a nice side addition of these donuts that will likely go down well at parties and large gatherings.
You can mix the eggplant shell with the baking powder and top it with cinnamon, dark brown sugar, and kosher salt for a full flavor.
24. Baba Ganoush
This recipe uses eggplant as its base ingredient, and some cumin, smoked paprika, and fresh parsley make for a great alternative to hummus.
This can be a great Mediterranean dip that you can pair with pita bread and raw crunchy vegetables, and you can even use it as a spread if you’re looking for something new.
Another excellent option for a delicious appetizer for parties or a quick snack is a superb eggplant base roll-up with large tomato slices and cheese that can make an irresistible gooey center.
You can use a cocktail stick to hold the roll-up together, and at only 59 calories, you have a healthier option as well.
You can grill these kebabs until they’re soft, and you can also add tahini satay marinade, which is a nice change from traditional satay kebabs.
These kebabs are vegan, nut-free, and gluten-free, which are good for barbeques.
This Thai recipe has a unique twist of tofu (check out our favorite tofu recipes), chile peppers, fresh cilantro, and garlic cloves that can be good as a side for salads or as a snack.
If you use a blender, you can mix these ingredients into a smooth mixture you can use with your eggplant for a truly unique flavor.
As you can see, there are many different uses for this versatile ingredient that you can use for almost any meal in your day and can cut down on your time if you’ve already cooked, fried, or baked your eggplant to perfection.
This way, you have a base in which you can add any types of veggies or sauces you have lying around in your kitchen, but as the eggplant is a staple of Mediterranean cuisine, this doesn’t have to limit your options.
You can experience authentic flavors of different cultures, and with the eggplant base, it’s never been easier.