17 Eggplant Recipes You Need to Try

Updated: Dec. 20, 2023

If there was an award for "most versatile veggie," eggplant would take the grand prize. It's tasty in salads, on pastas, blended into dips or sliced on a sandwich. Read on for our most flavorful eggplant recipes.

Move over, eggplant parm! There are so many other fun, easy and exciting ways to cook with this farmers market find. A close cousin of tomatoes and bell peppers, eggplant is packed with fiber, potassium and folate. In addition to the big purple versions you typically see at the grocery store, there are dozens of different types of eggplant, including Japanese eggplant, Italian eggplant, Indian eggplant, Chinese eggplant and even graffiti eggplant.

And while it can technically be eaten raw (just don’t eat the leaves or flowers, which can be toxic), eggplant really shines when it’s fried, grilled or baked. Here are some of our favorite eggplant recipes, from dips like baba ganoush to entrees like ratatouille.

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bowl of crispy air-fried eggplant fries

Air-Fryer Eggplant Fries

These guilt-free fries come together in less than half an hour, including the dipping sauce. Don’t have an air fryer? No problem. You can also make eggplant fries in the oven.

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Baba Ganoush

It’s one of our takeout favorites, but it’s actually deceptively simple to make. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. But who are we kidding? There won’t be any leftovers.
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Slow-Cooker Ratatouille

Don’t skip the important step of salting the eggplant and letting it sit for 30 minutes before putting it in the slow cooker. It draws out extra moisture, gives it a softer texture and prevents the eggplant from tasting bitter.
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Eggplant Zucchini Bolognese

Time-saving tip: Roast the veggies in the oven while the pasta cooks. Your dinner guests will think you cooked all day, but the whole dish is ready in less than an hour.
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Lime and Sesame Grilled Eggplant

Thanks to the addition of ginger, soy sauce, honey and crushed red pepper flakes, this flavorful side dish is anything but basic. Serve it with burgers, fish, chicken or tofu…the possibilities are endless.
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Mamma’s Caponata

This eggplant, celery, tomato, olive and caper topping is delicious on a piece of toasted baguette. So delicious, in fact, you might be inspired to add it to pasta and make it the main dish.
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Caprese Eggplant Hero

Craving a giant sandwich? Transform your kitchen into a sub shop with this next-level hero, featuring eggplant, tomato, mozzarella cheese, arugula, basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Love balsamic vinegar? Find more ways to use it here.
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Think of moussaka as a Greek eggplant casserole. While this recipe is on the advanced side—it includes par cooking veggies and making bechamel sauce—the extra prep work is definitely worth it.
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Mediterranean Eggplant Dip

Roasting the eggplant in the oven makes this dish smoky, savory and complex. Try dipping with naan wedges, mini pitas, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, baby carrots or celery sticks.
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Grilled Eggplant with Feta relish

This light, meat-free side dish is a win for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Best of all, it takes less than an hour from fridge to table.
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Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

Just call this dish “kitchen sink quinoa.” While eggplant, zucchini, sweet yellow pepper and grape tomatoes are suggested in the ingredients, it would be delicious with pretty much any seasonal veggie you happen to find at the farmers market.
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Rustic Summer Vegetable Pasta

Looking for a healthy dinner recipe? This light and flavorful pasta is piled high with veggies and herbs, so you’re strongly encouraged to have seconds (and thirds).
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Baked Veggie Cups

Pigs in a blanket? Yawn. Up your appetizer game with these delightful veggie cups, featuring zucchini, sweet red pepper and smoky baked eggplant. Looking for more tasty baked eggplant recipes? Right this way.
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Creole Pork Tenderloin with Vegetables

Have last-minute dinner guests? Eggplant, fennel, summer squash and pork tenderloin come together for a vibrant, veggie-packed dinner that’s on the table in under an hour.
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Roasted Eggplant Spread

Whether you’re serving this eggplant spread for a party, a pre-dinner snack or to devour on your own, you’re going to want to make a double batch. And since the recipe calls for mostly pantry staples, it’s not too tough to whip up some more.
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Summer Bounty Ratatouille

This hearty dish from the Provence region of France is even more delicious when served over cubes of toasted baguette. If you can’t find herbes de Provence at the grocery store, combine dried rosemary, thyme, fennel, basil, savory and marjoram for a similar seasoning blend.
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Spicy Fresh Tomato and Eggplant Sauce

Prediction: You’re going to want to slather this delightfully spicy sauce on everything, from chicken to pasta. Not a spicy sauce fan? Try our basic tomato sauce instead.