- 9 Tasty New Ways to Cook Yellow Squash
- How to Cook Eggplant
- 1. Appetizing Starters
- 2. Soup and Salad
- 3. Noodle Substitute
- 4. Soulful Stews
- 5. Burgers and Balls
- 6. Italian Dishes
- 7. Pan-Asian Dishes
- 8. Eggplant Steaks
- 9. Sandwiches and Paninis
- 10. Toppings and Filling
- How to Cook Eggplant to Tender, Silky Perfection
- 21 Easy Eggplant Recipes That Aren’t Just for Your Vegetarian Friends
- 1. Sheet-Pan Eggplant Parmesan
- 2. Tomato Eggplant Zucchini Bake With Garlic and Parmesan
- 3. Baked Eggplant Fries With Greek Tzatziki Sauce
- 4. Persian Eggplant Dip
- 5. Miso Eggplant With Black Garlic
- 6. Easy Mini Eggplant Pizza
- 7. Eggplant Patties
- 8. One-Pot Greek Eggplant and Rice
- 9. Grilled Eggplant Tacos
- 10. Eggplant Gratin With Feta Cheese
- 11. Eggplant, Caramelized Onion, and Tomato Pasta
- 12. Sichuan Eggplant Stir-Fry
- 13. Crisp Eggplant Chips With Smoky Seasoning
- 14. Eggplant Rollatini
- 15. Easy One-Pan Eggplant Chicken Dinner
- 16. Brussels Sprouts Eggplant Buddha Bowl
- 17. Eggplant and Caramelized Onion Grain Salad With Walnut Vinaigrette
- 18. Crispy Eggplant “Bacon”
- 19. Pressed Eggplant Sandwiches
- 20. Spicy Eggplant Balls With Minty Yogurt Wrap
- 21. Chickpea, Tofu, and Eggplant Curry
- 10 New Ways to Cook Eggplant
- Eggplant Pizza
- Summer Chicken and Eggplant Pasta
- Baked Eggplant Fries with Lemon Dill Dipping Sauce
- Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan
- Breaded Coconut Curry Eggplant Fries
- Baked Eggplant Chips with Tahini, Lemon, and Honey Dip
- Chania Moussaka
- White Bean and Eggplant Soup
- Healthy Baked Penne with Vegetables
- Vegan Eggplant Rollatini
- More on SHAPE.com:
- Beef & Eggplant Ragu with Rigatoni
- Roasted Curried Eggplant with Yogurt & Raisins
- Eggplant Stacks
- Linguine with Eggplant Ragout
- Sesame-Honey Eggplant
- Crispy Eggplant with Honey & Rosemary
- Ziti & Sweet-but-Hot Sauce with Sausage & Eggplant
- Eggplant with Garlic Sauce
- Eggplant Shakshuka
- Charred Eggplant with Tomato-Kalamata Vinaigrette
- Grilled Chicken and Eggplant Stacks
- Cheesy Vegetable Tart
- Eggplant Roll-Ups
- Ratatouille Riggies
- Spice-Grilled Eggplant & Feta Pizzas
- Chicken & Eggplant Stir-Fry
- Roasted Eggplants with Sicilian-Style Cannellini Beans
- Ratatouille with Oven-Poached Eggs
- Pappa al Pomodoro with Grilled Eggplant
- Grilled Eggplant Subs
- Grilled Ratatouille Boats
- Ratatouille Kebabs
- Baked Ziti with Eggplant
- Chicken Moussaka Stacks
- Lamb & Eggplant with Chiles Over Orzo
- Farmers’ Market Lasagna
- Smoky Eggplant & Feta
- Ratatouille Grilled Panini
- Eggplant Cacciatore Sandwiches
- Baked Eggplant and Zucchini
- Eggplant Parm Grilled Cheese
- Chicken Sorrentino Stacks
- Lamb & Eggplant Ragu with Pasta
- Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna
- Sweet Sausage & Eggplant Penne
- Glazed Eggplant with Sesame Seeds
- Vegetable Lasagnas
- Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant Bruschetta
- Baba Ghanoush
- Grilled Caponata with Charred Bread
- Cavatelli with Sausage & Eggplant
- Cod with Eggplants, Tomato & Basil
- Stuffed Eggplant Steaks
- Ratatouille Wraps
- Pork & Bell Pepper Stir-Fry
- Eggplant Raviolini Soup
- Cheesy Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
- Red Beans & Rice with Merguez & Eggplant
- Baked Salmon with Quick Caponata
9 Tasty New Ways to Cook Yellow Squash
You’ll be loving these exciting recipes when yellow squash goes berserk at the farmers markets and grocery stores.
1. Low Carb Yellow Squash Casserole
“This recipe was created to use up a large amount of squash we were given,” says Tigray. “It satisfies my husband’s low-carb diet and tastes great!”
Image zoom Photo by Paula
2. Yellow Squash and Tofu Stir Fry
“A great, quick vegetarian dish that includes yellow squash, zucchini, and tofu, making for a beautifully-colored dish,” says malevolentglitter.
Image zoom Photo by LilSnoo
3. Farmer’s Market Vegetarian Quesadillas
“These quesadillas make great appetizers or a quick and healthy meal,” says Jennifer Baker. “Serve while hot with your favorite salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.”
Image zoom Photo by CCLoves2Bake
4. Savory Summer Squash with Bacon
“I love squash but wanted a new recipe with fewer calories,” says Katrinika. “I came up with a bunch of pasta recipes. So I thought, why not substitute yellow squash for pasta? And it worked! All the ingredients can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to cook. Long, slender young squash make for the best texture.”
Image zoom Photo by lutzflcat
5. Zucchini Fritters
“Pan-fried zucchini, yellow squash, and carrot cakes, with golden crispy edges and tender insides,” says MooShell. “These make great dippers. You would never know that these nutritious fritters amount to eating your vegetables.”
Image zoom Photo by Linda T
6. Summer Squash Burritos
Try these with any squash, and your favorite filling, for an instant classic!
Image zoom Photo by Ann Marie Natal
7. Squash and Kohlrabi Empanadas
“Need to sneak some vegetables by a picky eater?” asks Jennie. “These empanadas are the perfect vehicle for spicing up vegetables. Use homemade dough if you want, but for those short on time as we all usually are, store-bought pie crust works great.”
Image zoom Photo by dfowler
8. Squash Zoodler Omelet
For this quick-and-easy omelet, you’ll zoodle squash and cook it with spinach and cilantro and top with egg and mozzarella cheese.
Image zoom Photo by Rock_lobster
9. Golden Gazpacho Dip
“Look for the yellowest tomatoes and the brightest yellow squash for this soup-inspired dip,” says SandyG. “As the dip rests, it may give off liquid, which can be drained if you like.”
Image zoom Photo by Allrecipes Magazine
Check out our collection of Yellow Squash Recipes.
Get more cooking tips and awesome food finds.
How to Cook Eggplant
Eggplants are low in calories, but pack vitamins and minerals. They make a delicious base for a wide array of vegetarian meals. Here are tips for choosing, preparing, and cooking this versatile veggie.
You can find fresh eggplants in the grocery store year-round, but they’re at their peak in late summer.
The most common variety is the large, dark-purple globe eggplant. Look for smooth, shiny skins with fresh-looking stems and no blemishes. The fruit itself (eggplant is actually a berry!) should feel weighty in your hand. And when you press on the skin, it should be firm but give slightly, and then bounce back. If you’re not preparing your eggplants right away, store them in the crisper of your fridge up to five days–any longer, and eggplant can become bitter.
How do you prepare and cook eggplant? Let’s take a look:
Image zoom Photo by Meredith
Do you have to peel eggplant before you cook it? You don’t. The skin is entirely edible, though with larger eggplants it can be a little tough. If your eggplant is young, tender, and on the small side, the nutrient-rich skin can probably be left on for skillet frying or braising. Otherwise, peel the skin and then slice or cube the flesh.
The flesh should be pale and creamy and free of blemishes. Remove dark or bruised portions and seeds that are turning brown, as they can have a bitter taste and an unpleasant texture.
If you’re roasting the eggplant whole in the oven or on the grill, leave the skin on, then after roasting, let it cool, and scoop out the flesh.
To Salt or Not to Salt
This is a much debated topic. Salting your eggplant slices or cubes does have a few things going for it. First, it draws out juices, which, particularly for older eggplants, can be bitter. It also tightens and firms up the flesh, making the eggplant less likely to soak up as much oil. And salt adds flavor.
However, many cooks point out that modern varieties are not the bitter fruits of the past and that salting them makes little difference. Varieties like Japanese and Chinese eggplant should be fine without salting. With globe eggplants, experiment for yourself.
If you choose to salt your eggplant, first slice or cube it, and then salt generously, allowing the fruit to sit in a colander for at least an hour, preferably longer. Salted eggplant can sit purging for hours without harming the taste or texture. But before cooking the eggplant, be sure to rinse the salt off well. Then place the slices between sheets of paper towel and press gently to remove juices and firm the flesh. This is particularly important when frying your eggplant slices or cubes.
How to Fry Eggplant
Eggplant slices act like oil-slurping sponges. Even salted, gently hand-pressed slices will soak up plenty of oil. To reduce the amount of oil you’ll need, try brushing olive oil onto one side of eggplant slices; then lay them oil-side down in a hot skillet without crowding (a crowded pan will cause the slices to steam rather than fry). Brush the up-side only just before turning. If you brush both sides at the start, the oil will simply soak into the flesh. Fry until the slices are nice and brown.
You can also deep-fry eggplant slices and cubes. The super-hot oil immediately surrounds the flesh and seals in the moisture as it quickly browns the surface, leaving slices that are not noticeably greasier than the pan-fried kind.
Image zoom Eggplant Tomato Bake | Photo by LatinaCook
Some Fried Eggplant Recipes:
- Eggplant Tomato Bake
- Easy Fried Eggplant
- Tasty Fried Eggplant Balls
- Eggplant Parmesan I
How to Roast Eggplant
How do you cook eggplant in the oven? Well, there are a couple ways. To roast whole eggplants in the oven, leave the skin on and roast at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) until the skin gets wrinkly and begins to collapse in on the softened fruit. This method will also produce velvety smooth eggplant dips or spreads.
Image zoom Baba Ghanoush | Photo by LYNNINMA
Some Roasted Eggplant Recipes:
- Baba Ghanoush
- Olive Oil Roasted Eggplant with Lemon
- Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry)
How to Bake Eggplant
To bake eggplant, you’ll cut the eggplant into rounds or strips and prepare them as the recipe indicates — for example, you can dredge them in egg and breadcrumbs or simply brush them with olive oil and bake them in a 350 degree F oven.
VIDEO: How to Make Baked Eggplant Parmesan
“Eggplant slices are coated with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and baked between layers of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese for a filling Italian-inspired meal,” says Dollface. “Add fresh garlic and basil to taste. I use 2 to 4 cloves fresh garlic and 5 to 10 leaves of freshly harvested basil in the sauce. Fresh basil layered in one of the layers adds lots of ‘fresh’ flavor!”
Some Baked Eggplant Recipes:
- Disney’s Ratatouille
- Eggplant Rollatini
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan
How to Cook Eggplant on the Grill
To grill eggplant, treat it like you would roasted eggplant. Brush sliced eggplant with a little olive oil (skin on!) and grill over a hot fire until the fruit is nicely browned and the skin wrinkles.
Image zoom Grilled Eggplant Rollups | Photo by France C.
Some Grilled Eggplant Recipes:
- Chef John’s Baba Ghanoush
- Grilled Eggplant Rollups
- Grilled Eggplant, Tomato, and Goat Cheese
- Grilled Eggplant Moussaka
One More Reason to Love Eggplant
Try as you might, it’s difficult to overcook eggplant. As long as it doesn’t burn in the skillet or under the broiler, the flesh will just get increasingly tender and mild. Unlike some veggies, the trick is not to undercook it.
Find more top-rated Eggplant Recipes.
Sometimes when I sit down to write my articles, I worry whether I will be able to think of ten ways a certain vegetable can be cooked. Today, however, I am worried how I will limit myself to just ten ways to cook with eggplant. Looking through my recipes alone, I found over twenty eggplant dishes I have made, so now I am not only motivated, but hungry. Eggplants, which have their peak season between July and September, are so satisfying with their creamy texture and meaty flavor.
They are also really healthy as they are filled with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals while being very low in calories. Did you know there are 5 types of eggplants? There are tender baby eggplants, mild Asian eggplants, the familiar purple globe eggplants, the sweeter heirloom white eggplants and the very cool-looking graffiti eggplants. Each one has distinct characteristics that make it most suitable for specific recipes. And speaking of recipes, let’s get started with some tantalizing ways to use the gorgeous, versatile eggplant.
1. Appetizing Starters
It only makes sense to start our recipe journey of eggplants with appetizers and meal starters. Eggplant is light enough to make a delicious first-course dish, while rich and flavorful enough to be completely satisfying. When eggplant is roasted, it becomes creamy, rich and perfect for dips and spreads. One of my favorite eggplant dips is Baba Ganoush (plus I love the name!). Just combine roasted eggplant with roasted garlic, tahini, lemon, cumin, cayenne and salt in a food processor and you have a decadent dip you will have to try not to eat by the spoonful.
Indulge in exotic flavors with this Moroccan Grilled Eggplant, Onion and White Bean Spread. Indian flavors make this Baigan Bharta or Char-Roasted Eggplant Dip spicy and delicious. Or, try this Spicy Eggplant Caponata for the Italian delights of red pepper flakes, garlic, tomatoes, capers and Kalamata olives. Eggplant appetizers don’t have to be dips and spreads, however. You can have all the fun of pub food with my Eggplant Fries with marinara dipping sauce. They are crispy on the outside and incredibly creamy on the inside. It is my duty to warn you: they are addictive.
2. Soup and Salad
One of the best soups I have ever made was a Roasted Eggplant Bisque. It was creamy, velvety and rich. To make it, roast an eggplant cut into halves along with some halved tomatoes and half a dozen garlic cloves. While they are roasting, saute some onions in a large soup pot. Add the roasted veggies to the pot along with thyme, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes. Add broth, bring to a boil, and then let simmer for an hour. Blend the soup with an immersion blender, add ¼ cup non-dairy milk or cream and bring it back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with vegan grated parmesan, fresh basil and diced tomatoes. Trust me, this soup is amazing. Eggplant is also perfect for salads, light but satisfying. Try this Kale Salad with Grilled Eggplant, White Beans and Fresh Figs.
3. Noodle Substitute
We all know that zucchini and carrots can be made into noodle shapes, but did you know that you can also use eggplant as a veggie-based noodle? Yes, you can! When I want to make a noodle-free lasagna, I simply slice an eggplant into thin, ¼-inch thick long slices and use them in lieu of the lasagna noodles. They soften in the oven just like the pasta does but they don’t fall apart so they work perfectly to keep the layered structure of the lasagna. Try this recipe for a Gluten-Free, Vegan, Noodle-Free Lasagna. If you’re handy with a spiralizer, try your hand at making these spaghetti-shaped Eggplant Noodles.
4. Soulful Stews
Nothing says comfort like a warm bowl of rich, hearty stew. Eggplant is a perfect ingredient for stews because even though it softens, it doesn’t fall apart when cooked for long periods. Stews, while satisfying, do not have to be heavy. Two of my favorite eggplant stew recipes are actually quite low in calories, though rich in flavor. My Ratatouille Stew is a big pot of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and bell peppers cooked in a rich garlicky tomato sauce with a salty and tangy kick from red pepper flakes, capers and green olives. Chickpeas add a crunchy texture to the stew.
When I’m craving an Indian stew, I combine eggplant, zucchini, carrots, potatoes and cauliflower with the fragrant spices of curry, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin and garam masala. Topped with chickpeas, this Indian Vegetable Stew is delicious alone or over rice or quinoa, but our favorite way to eat it is wrapped in Chickpea Scallion Crepes with a dollop of vegan sour cream or non-dairy yogurt. For a raw stew, try this Moroccan Vegetable and Chickpea Stew with Spicy Orange Cauliflower Couscous.
5. Burgers and Balls
Eggplant might not be the first vegetable that comes to mind when you think about making burgers or meatballs but it should be. When eggplant is roasted or sauteed until it is soft and creamy, it is the perfect vegetable to form into patties or balls (with the help of some flour or bread crumbs). This Baked Eggplant Burger is savory, filling and addictive. My Eggplant Crunchburger with Horseradish Mustard Mayo is the ultimate vegan burger. It is stuffed with vegan cheese and topped with potato chips for a fun, crunchy texture. For a Greek twist, try my Moussaka Burger with Béchamel Cream Sauce.
It’s a play on the classic eggplant and potato dish turned into a delicious and decadent burger. Just as you can make burgers out of eggplant, you can also make meatballs with them. After all, meatballs are sort of like little, round burgers. My Vegan Mozzarella-Stuffed Eggplant Meatballs are fun and easy to make. The eggplant gets a crispy crust when fried and when you bite into them, you are rewarded with ooey-gooey vegan mozzarella. These eggplant meatballs are perfect for subs, sandwiches or atop a big pile of spaghetti.
6. Italian Dishes
Speaking of spaghetti, eggplant is a very popular ingredient in Italy. One of my favorite Italian eggplant dishes is Baked Eggplant Parmigiana. Eggplant parm is probably one of the first dishes people think of or eat when they go veg. I choose to bake my eggplant rather than fry it when I make my parmigiana. I top it with marinara sauce, vegan mozzarella and fresh basil. Another favorite Italian dish is Eggplant Rollatini. I make a Spinach Tofu Ricotta and roll it up inside baked thin slices of eggplant. Put the little rolled-up treasures into a casserole dish, cover it with marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella and bake until the cheese melts.
Sometimes I use sauteed spinach and artichoke hearts rather than tofu ricotta to make a rollatini that is a play on spinach artichoke dip. Other times I cover the eggplant wrap with another wrap of Swiss chard for a beautiful, green rollatini. A Sicilian pasta dish named after the opera is Penne alla Norma which I veganize by sautéing cubes of eggplant with garlic, diced tomatoes and non-dairy cream. After seasoning with thyme, basil, salt and pepper, it gets tossed with penne and vegan mozzarella for a creamy and indulgent dish.
7. Pan-Asian Dishes
When I first became vegan, Chinese was the most common way I ate eggplant, besides Italian. My local take-out place made a dish that I tried to replicate, cooking cubed baby eggplants in a combination of chile sauce and tamari. A favorite Indian eggplant dish I make has cubed eggplant sauteed in chile-coconut yogurt sauce with onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, brown sugar and a blend of fragrant Indian spices. Another Indian eggplant dish you can try is this Bitter Melon, Potato and Eggplant Indian-Style Stir-Fry. My recent experiments with cooking Thai food led me to make a Thai Green Curry Eggplant with Basil. It has cubed eggplant cooked in a green curry sauce and coconut milk and topped with 20 fresh basil leaves. It looks, smells and tastes amazing. Use Japanese eggplants to make this incredible Stir-Fried Thai Basil with Eggplant and Tofu.
8. Eggplant Steaks
A thick, juicy steak does not have to be made out of meat. Eggplants can be sliced lengthwise into slabs that can be seasoned and grilled to make a healthy and satisfying meal. I love making Mediterranean Grilled Eggplant Steaks. Cutting each eggplant into 4 thick steaks, I season them with salt and pepper and cook them on a grill pan. While they are cooking, I saute roasted red peppers, garlic and spinach, adding nutmeg and Kalamata olives after the mixture is removed from the heat. Each eggplant steak gets topped generously with the spinach/pepper/olive mixture, topped with a few bread crumbs mixed with olive oil and parsley and then baked until the crumbs are browned and crispy. I usually serve this with a side of zucchini “pasta.” Eggplant steaks can also be made by roasting thick slices of eggplant after seasoning them with a mix of garlic, cumin, coriander, curry, turmeric, salt and garam masala. This is the perfect accompaniment for any Indian dish.
9. Sandwiches and Paninis
If I could have my choice of any hero right now, I would want an Eggplant Parmigiana hero. Vegan, of course, as the grilled eggplant slices would be covered with marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella, layered on Italian bread and put under the broiler to melt the cheese. Or maybe I would choose an Eggplant and Spinach Panini with grilled eggplant slices, fresh baby spinach, and vegan mozzarella on Ciabatta bread, pressed into a thin sandwich. Of course, there is also this Roasted Eggplant Sandwich with Caramelized Onions served with crisp greens on whole wheat buns.
10. Toppings and Filling
Eggplant may be award-winning as the headliner, but it also gives an amazing performance when it’s part of a larger cast. Grilled eggplant rounds are one of my favorite pizza toppings especially with marinara sauce and fresh basil. In this Eggplant, Pesto and Mushroom Pizza with Tofu, the eggplant is marinated in a mix of tamari, olive oil and maple syrup. Eggplant is paired with rice, Purslane and peanuts to make this colorful and flavorful Eggplant and Purslane Pilaf. For an exotic experience that combines Middle Eastern flavors with a touch of Greek and Turkish ones, try eggplant in this Legendary Middle Eastern-Style Vegan Bake.
Whew! I knew I would have trouble limiting myself to just 10 ways to cook eggplant; there are over 30 ideas here. But who can blame me? When you have a vegetable like eggplant that can be sauteed, pureed, grilled, roasted, fried, sliced, diced, and cubed, and that can be used with almost any ethnic flavor profile and can make incredible appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and more, the possibilities are as endless as they are mouthwatering.
Lead image source: Stir-Fried Thai Basil with Tofu and Eggplant
How to Cook Eggplant to Tender, Silky Perfection
Eggplant holds an esteemed place in many Mediterranean cuisines—caponata from Italy, ratatouille from Provence, moussaka from Greece, baba ghanouj from all over the Middle East, and myriad hot and cold dishes from Turkey, where eggplant is the king of vegetables.
But many American cooks hesitate when it comes to eggplant. What does salting the eggplant do? How to prevent it from soaking up all that oil? How to know if you’re properly cooking it when you’re grilling, roasting, or frying? Using these simple techniques for selection, preparation, and cooking, you’ll be able to grill, roast, or fry eggplant to succulent, creamy perfection.
For more eggplant how-to,start at the beginning and visit FineGardening.com for tips on growing your own eggplant, then watch our Test Kitchen pros demonstrate how to grill eggplant and how to roast eggplant.
For more ways to cook eggplant,view a slideshow of our Top Summer Eggplant Recipes and subscribe to Fine Cooking magazine for more cooking techniques and triple-tested recipes for eggplant.
At the Market: How to Choose Eggplant
At the market, look for eggplant with smooth, shiny skin that’s unwrinkled. The fruit should feel firm and spring back slightly when you touch it. Try to find an eggplant with a stem that looks moist, as if recently cut. It’s best to use eggplant when it’s very fresh, but it will keep for two or three days in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Western or globe eggplant is the most common and versatile variety, and you can find it year-round, though in most parts of the country, the peak season is late summer. Though it needs a little preparation, the reward is a succulent, silky treat. Globe eggplant is the most versatile variety, too—its larger size enables you to get slices and chunks. It varies in size from 3/4 pound to 1-1/4 pounds, with dark purple skin. A fresh globe eggplant has pale pulp with a few noticeable seeds, which darken and become bitter as the eggplant matures. Eggplant with parts of dark, hardened pulp with lots of dark seeds will be a disappointment—these parts must be removed; otherwise, the flavor and the texture of the finished dish will suffer.
The one type of dish for which globe eggplant isn’t so good is stuffed eggplant dishes, such as Turkey’s famed imam bayildi (pronounced AH-mahn by-yahl-deh), where you need smaller, individual eggplant for the look of the finished dish. Japanese eggplant is perfect for this; I can always be sure that the pulp will be tender and that the eggplant won’t need peeling or salting.
Peel for the best texture
Because globe eggplant and other large varieties usually have tough skins, peeling it is a good idea, especially if you’re serving it in chunks or slices. But I don’t like to remove the skin entirely. Instead, I partially peel it in a striped fashion.
When you grill-roast the eggplant and then separate the flesh from the peel, keep the skin on during cooking to keep the eggplant intact.
Peel the eggplant in stripes (unless you’re using a tender-skinned variety) and then slice or cube it, depending on the recipe.
Salt for best flavor
Globe eggplant works deliciously in just about any eggplant dish, provided you salt it first. Salting, also known as purging, accomplishes two goals: it pulls out juices that carry bitter flavors, and it collapses the air pockets in the eggplant’s sponge-like flesh, thus preveniting it from absorbing too much oil and getting greasy.
To salt eggplant, peel it and then slice, cube, or quarter it, depending on the recipe. Sprinkle the pieces generously with salt and let them sit in a colander for an hour (you’ll usually see a lot of liquid beading on the surface). Rinse the eggplant in plenty of water to remove the salt, firmly squeeze a few pieces at a time in the palm of your hand to draw out almost all the moisture, and then pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Thorough drying is important; squeezing out excess moisture will give you a less greasy result.
Grill, roast, or fry—and always cook thoroughly
Eggplant is one vegetable for which slight undercooking will not work. It must be completely cooked through until it’s meltingly soft, smooth, and creamy; only then will it be flavorful on its own, as well as receptive to the other flavors with which you’ll blend it.
How to Grill Eggplant
Salt and thoroughly dry the eggplant. Brush the slices with oil and grill over a medium-hot fire until soft and cooked through. Watch a video to learn how to grill eggplant so that it cooks all the way through without charring.
Basic Grilled Eggplant
Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta & Herbs
Bruschetta with Grilled Eggplant & Vidalia Onion
How to Grill-Roast Eggplant
For the Eggplant with Fragrant Spices and the Eggplant & Pepper Dip, the eggplant needs a smoky taste. To achieve this, pierce the eggplant with a skewer and cook it whole and unpeeled directly over a grill flame until the skin is blackened all over and the flesh is thoroughly soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Grill-roasting can get messy, so if you’re trying this over an indoor gas flame, line the burner trays with foil or try broiling the pierced eggplant instead. Peel off the blackened skin, drain the flesh in a colander, and squeeze out all the moisture.
Rustic Eggplant Dip (Melanzanosalata)
Eggplant with Indian Spices & Herbs (Bhartha)
Grilled Bread with Red Peppers & Eggplant
How to Oven-Roast Eggplant
As an alternative to grill-roasting, pierce the eggplant in several places and roast it whole and unpeeled on a baking sheet at 350°F until it’s quite soft and starting to collapse, almost an hour. Peel and drain it as you would for grill-roasting.
Simple Oven-Roasted Eggplant Roasted Eggplant with Chiles, Peanuts & Mint Roasted Ratatouille
How to Fry and Stir-fry Eggplant
These cooking methods seem to throw people the most because of how much grease eggplant can soak up. If you’re using globe eggplant, salt it and squeeze it dry; other varieties don’t need salting. Be sure the oil is very hot and put the slices in the pan in one layer (if you crowd the pan, the eggplant will steam instead of fry and won’t cook evenly). Turn often and adjust the heat to avoid burning until the slices are a rich brown color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Quick-cooking Japanese and Chinese eggplant are the best candidates for stir-frying. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. When the oil is very hot, toss the cubes into the pan with a little salt and stir-fry until the eggplant is a rich brown color.
Eggplant with Tomato & Garlic Sauce Sweet & Sour Eggplant Relish (Caponata) Summer Shrimp & Vegetable Tempura
21 Easy Eggplant Recipes That Aren’t Just for Your Vegetarian Friends
When it comes to veggies, fall varieties like squash, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower get all of the love. But being a favorite means they’re often overserved—and overeaten. For something with a little more variety and a lot more flavor (trust us), we say next time you’re in need of some veg, reach for the humble eggplant. The squishy insides are perfect for soaking up all kinds of flavor, so go ahead and get saucy with one of these 21 healthy eggplant recipes.
1. Sheet-Pan Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Parmesan is classically made by frying the eggplant, soaking it in tomato sauce, and drenching it in melted cheese. While its hard to argue with that, we do love that this recipe that lightens things up by opting for baking and breaking the eggplant into single-serve portions—making it perfect for a dinner party or removing the temptation for overconsumption (because, melted cheese… ). Serve with a simple side salad or sautéed broccolini.
2. Tomato Eggplant Zucchini Bake With Garlic and Parmesan
There’s a reason eggplant and zucchini are often seated next to each other at the grocery store. They simply belong together. The slight crunch and bitterness of zucchini pairs perfectly with the squish and sweetness of eggplant, which is even more amplified with cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese.We love serving as a veggie side paired with flaky white fish or chicken or topping on grains (like quinoa) to keep it vegetarian.
3. Baked Eggplant Fries With Greek Tzatziki Sauce
Could veggie fries be any more genius? While we love potato, opting for alternatives like asparagus, zucchini, or eggplant, mean we can eat them that much more often.With bread crumb-coated eggplant and refreshing tzatziki sauce, these Mediterranean-inspired fries are one of our favorite departures from the norm. To make them extra crunchy, opt for panko instead of classic bread crumbs.
4. Persian Eggplant Dip
Hummus (or guac) may be the first dip you think of when craving something creamy and delicious, but this Persian eggplant dip will change that for good. Made with only a handful of ingredients, it’s way easier to whip up than the average hummus and is a great way to shake up the table—not to mention, your nutrient intake. Serve with warm pita, lavash, naan, or some good ol’ sliced veggies.
5. Miso Eggplant With Black Garlic
The sauce on these suckers is so darn good, we could honestly eat this dish for dessert. Made by blending black garlic (which is easily found at specialty shops), miso, sake, and mirin, its thick as can be and the perfect pairing to the light, natural flavor of eggplant. For a little crunch, add sliced scallions or toasted sesame seeds.
6. Easy Mini Eggplant Pizza
First comes fries, then comes pizza. Is there anything eggplant can’t transform into? This recipe is a great low-carb twist on the comforting classic and can be made in fewer than 30 minutes.Simply slice the eggplant, coat with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with marinara sauce and the toppings, bake for five more minutes, and get your pizza feast on.
7. Eggplant Patties
Veggie burger patties tend to be overly dry or just a bit too soggy—they’re never just right. Eggplant changes that. Because of the veggie’s moist nature, the ingredients in the patty hold together perfectly. We’re talking no breakage and just the right amount of ooze (thanks to melted cheese). And because there’s no egg, it’s super simple to make it vegan. Simply sub vegan cheese!
8. One-Pot Greek Eggplant and Rice
We love this Big Fat Greek Dinner. Made by sautéing eggplant, tomato, onions, and garlic, and layering on rice, cheese, and spices, this dish is the perfect balance of comforting and healthy. If mizithra cheese sounds like something out of Lord of the Rings, worry not. You can sub goat cheese or feta for a similar flavor—and a much simpler shopping experience.
9. Grilled Eggplant Tacos
Who needs tortillas, anyway? As much as we love chips and salsa and all things taco, this recipe nails our favorite Mexican flavors—thanks to black beans, avocado, cilantro, and shredded cheese—without going crazy on carbs. And don’t worry, you don’t actually need a grill to get that charred, delicious flavor. Simply broil the eggplant or use a grill pan.
10. Eggplant Gratin With Feta Cheese
We want to dive right into this eggplant gratin. Made with an unexpected blend of cheeses—feta and Gruyere—and a killer combo of creams (yes, even more creaminess than just cheese), this recipe is a decadent spin on eggplant Parmesan that’s light on tomato and heavy on melted goodness. We love the combo of thyme, chives, and basil and that the eggplant is just sturdy enough to carry its dairy-filled load.
11. Eggplant, Caramelized Onion, and Tomato Pasta
While many recipes mask the flavor of eggplant with heavy sauces, this pasta recipe lets the eggplant shine. Store-bought tomato sauce is made slightly more punchy with the addition of sherry, and eggplant is accompanied by caramelized onions and herbs for a simple yet fulfilling easy weeknight night dinner. If you’re vegan (or don’t eat dairy), keep the recipe as is or feel free to top with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parm.
12. Sichuan Eggplant Stir-Fry
Sticky, sweet, sour, savory… what more could you ask of a sauce? This traditional Sichuan dish does require a trip to an Asian supermarket (or specialty store), but it’s all kinds of worth it. You can also make things easier by sticking to plain soy sauce (instead of the two recommended varieties), using dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine, and grabbing whatever dried chilis are available (just stay away from chipotle). We also love subbing crumbled tofu or ground chicken for the pork.
13. Crisp Eggplant Chips With Smoky Seasoning
Yet again, eggplant prevails over potato. Now we know what you’re thinking: How can watery eggplant create crispy chips? Great question. It’s actually pretty easy! The super-thin slices mean there’s no risk of sogginess—unless the chips are over-oiled before baking. To keep that oil light and just right, opt for a spray oil (like coconut or avocado) and make sure they bake without any overlap. Sayonara, processed food. These chips are utter perfection.
14. Eggplant Rollatini
These rollatini are anything but teeny. Eggplant is sliced length-wise to create the perfect sized roll-up, providing just enough space to squeeze in a hefty blend of cheeses (don’t worry, there’s delicious overflow too).For extra veg, we love adding thawed frozen spinach or diced marinated artichoke hearts. And though fresh basil does make for a beautiful topping, we actually love it sprinkled throughout the inside too.
15. Easy One-Pan Eggplant Chicken Dinner
This recipe is one of those simple dishes that requires throwing things in a pot, stirring a bit, and waiting for the heat to work its magic. Easy is an understatement.We’re also huge fans of its protein-packed prowess, a hefty dose of veggies, and that it tastes good with all kinds of additions and substitutions. Don’t love chicken? Use sausage or ground turkey. Sick of spinach? Use Swiss chard or kale.
16. Brussels Sprouts Eggplant Buddha Bowl
In a grain bowl rut? One of our favorite things about the easy lunch (or dinner!) is that you can throw pretty much anything in it, toss on some seasonings, and find yourself eating something super delicious.But if you do need some guidance—we all do every now and again—try this Buddha-inspired recipe full of hard-boiled eggs, roasted Brussels sprouts, and baked eggplant. As with many bowls, the secret lies in the dressing, which, in this case, is a perfect mix of tart and sweet.
17. Eggplant and Caramelized Onion Grain Salad With Walnut Vinaigrette
Hate boring salads? Don’t we all. This recipe uses some of our favorite salads tricks—we’re talking grains, fresh fruit, and creamy dressing—to make it all kinds of exciting (and nutritious too).We love the crunch from grapes and walnuts and the savory flavor from caramelized onions and eggplant. But what we love most of all is the secret addition of salty feta cheese and the fact that the lettuce is warm and wilted, making it the perfect fall or winter salad remedy.
18. Crispy Eggplant “Bacon”
Coconut bacon, tempeh bacon, rice paper bacon… as much as we love a good vegetarian substitute, none of the options we’ve tried nail the equally chewy and crispy consistency of our favorite bacon (as in, real bacon).Cue eggplant, the veggie that has once again swooped in to save the day. Its meaty insides mean that the texture resembles that of actual meat, and the seasoning is smoked and spiced to perfection. Whether you’re vegan or a tried-and-true bacon lover, this salty spin-off won’t disappoint.
19. Pressed Eggplant Sandwiches
Perfect for a picnic, an easy lunch, or an afternoon snack (it’s a snack if you share, right?), this eggplant sandwich packs so much freshness into one bite it’s a little ridiculous. Made with pesto, grilled veggies (roasted works too), fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, and hearty ciabatta bread, it’s everything you love about Italian flavors stuffed into a single bite. Feel free to skip the meat to keep it veggie or substitute grilled chicken for a boost of protein.
20. Spicy Eggplant Balls With Minty Yogurt Wrap
Lentil meatballs—and other vegetarian options, for that matter—not only take ages to make (so much boiling and blending!), but they’re also often dry and aren’t punchy enough when it comes to flavor.This recipe uses eggplant as a vegetarian filler and adds bread crumbs, garlic, onion, egg, and a slew of herbs and seasonings to make sure they’re anything but flavorless. Douse with yogurt sauce, wrap in warm pita bread, top with pomegranates, and enjoy the best Meatless Monday (or Tuesday, Wednesday… ) ever.
21. Chickpea, Tofu, and Eggplant Curry
We’ve talked a lot about eggplant’s unparalleled ability to soak up sauces. But nothing demonstrates this skill quite like curry. The rich flavors sink deep into the flesh of the eggplant, making every bite a curry-filled explosion—and that’s putting it lightly.We love the crunch from onion and chickpeas, extra protein from tofu, and the fact that the curry sticks to minimal ingredients—which never happens—and minimal cook time.
10 New Ways to Cook Eggplant
If the soft, tender flesh and glossy purple skin of eggplants don’t appeal to you, then the veggie’s rich health benefits will! Thanks to nasunin, an antioxidant in eggplant peels that helps protect brain cells, and a host of other vitamins and minerals, this wholesome veggie is an ideal brain food. And since it’s also low in calories and carbs, eggplant makes the perfect base for a variety of delicious entrees, side dishes, and snacks.
We asked healthy food bloggers for their most mouthwatering eggplant recipes, so you can start working this nutrient-dense vegetable into your diet right now!
252 calories, 12.4 grams sugar, 13.2 grams fat, 23.4 grams carbohydrates, 14.3 grams protein
Thick, juicy slices of eggplant take the place of traditional pizza crust in this healthy recipe. If you want to cut even more calories, go light on the cheese and get creative with toppings.
1 large eggplant
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 14 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 tbsp. garlic gold
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Cheese of your choice (about 1-2 c.)
Slice eggplant into discs. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Flip eggplants. Add tomato paste and then pile on tomatoes (draining slightly if yours are runny). Top with garlic gold, Italian seasoning, and cheese. Bake 10 minutes more.
Makes 2-3 servings.
Recipe provided by Kath Eats Real Food
Summer Chicken and Eggplant Pasta
494 calories, 10.75 grams sugar, 15.6 grams fat, 66.6 grams carbohydrates, 29.45 grams protein
It may not be summer just yet, but this flavorful pasta is perfect all year long, especially when you want to indulge your carb cravings. Though the mouthwatering dish is on the heavier side, it includes plenty of fresh veggies (eggplant, zucchini, squash, and cherry tomatoes) and protein (chicken). You’ll walk away completely fulfilled!
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 in. thick slices
2 chicken breasts, about 4 oz. each
1 yellow squash
1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Salt & pepper
6 oz. angel hair pasta
5 tbsp. good, olive oil-based Italian dressing, divided
8-10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced or torn
Lay eggplant slices on a cooling rack. Generously salt each side and let sit for 10 minutes. Blot excess moisture and salt off the top with a paper towel. Brush each side with extra-virgin olive oil and season with pepper. Spray chicken breasts with non-stick spray and season each side with grill seasoning. Cut the ends off the zucchini and yellow squash, then cut in half. Cut into strips with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, then add strips and tomatoes into a medium-sized bowl and toss with 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil and grill seasoning. Heat a grill pan to medium-high heat and generously spray with non-stick spray. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Grill the eggplant slices until tender, about 3 minutes per side. Grill squash, zucchini, and tomatoes together until tender, tossing every so often, about 5 minutes total. Chop chicken and eggplant into bite-sized pieces. Meanwhile add angel hair pasta to a large pot of salted boiling water, and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Toss with 3 tbsp. Italian dressing. Divide pasta between four plates. Top with grilled chicken, eggplant, zucchini, squash, and tomatoes. Drizzle each plate with the remaining Italian dressing, and sprinkle with fresh basil.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe provided by Iowa Girl Eats
Baked Eggplant Fries with Lemon Dill Dipping Sauce
Without dip: 141 calories, 4.7 grams sugar, 1.3 grams fat, 28.3 grams carbohydrates, 5.9 grams protein
Crunchy eggplant strips coated in whole-wheat breadcrumbs taste just like fries, except without all the empty calories! Tossed in a mix of spices like paprika, cumin, and garlic powder, and accompanied by a creamy lemon dill dip, this savory baked treat is a much healthier alternative to French fries.
1 eggplant, cut into strips
1/3 c. plain soy yogurt
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 c. whole-wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
1 c. plain soy yogurt
1 tsp. dill
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Fresh black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper. Cut the top and bottom off of your eggplant. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and then into quarters. Next, cut the eggplant quarters into slices roughly 1/4 in. thick. Now cut the eggplant slices into strips roughly the size of French fries. Combine yogurt, parsley, garlic powder, paprika, ground cumin, onion powder, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl. Toss eggplant fries in soy yogurt mixture, coating evenly. Place breadcrumbs on a plate and lightly coat eggplant fries with breadcrumbs. Spread out evenly on trays making sure they don’t touch. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Turn halfway during baking to brown evenly. Serve immediately with lemon dill dipping sauce.
Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour to chill and allow flavors to combine.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe provided by Virtually Vegan Mama
Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan
372 calories, 5.7 grams sugar, 16.9 grams fat, 27 grams carbohydrates, 31 grams protein
This classic comfort food is often high in fat and calories since the eggplant is typically dipped in bread crumbs, then fried. Coated in almond meal, garlic powder, and egg whites, this version is far more nutritious yet still brimming with crunch and flavor.
1 eggplant, sliced into 4 thick slices (about 3/4 of the eggplant)
1/3 cup almond meal (just ground up raw almonds in your blender/food processor)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
2 egg whites (or 1/4 c. carton egg whites)
4 oz. pre-cooked chicken
1 cup jarred marinara sauce (choose a low-fat, low-sodium kind)
4 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle eggplant slices with sea salt. Let sit for at least 20 minutes (up to 2 hours), so the eggplant releases some water. Wipe with paper towel to remove excess salt. You could probably skip this step if you’re in a rush. Dip eggplant in egg white and into breading of almond meal, garlic powder. and parsley. Repeat process for a 4 slices of eggplant (or 2 slices if you want to lower the fat in the recipe; in this case, you’ll only need 3 tbsp. of almond meal for 2 slices of eggplant). Using a saute pan at low to medium heat sprayed with cooking spray (don’t have it on high, or the almond meal will burn!), brown both sides of the eggplant. Next, in a oven proof bowl or dish, place 1/4 c. pasta sauce in the bottom of each bowl. Then, place one slice of eggplant. Next, place 2 oz. of the cooked chicken. Then, top the chicken with another 1/4 c. of pasta sauce. Finally, place the second piece of eggplant on top, and top with Parmesan cheese. Place in the oven (cover each dish with tin foil) and bake for 15-20 minutes until the eggplant softens.
Makes 2 servings.
Recipe provided by Busy But Healthy
Breaded Coconut Curry Eggplant Fries
324 calories, 2.2 grams sugar, 13.6 grams fat, 42.3 grams carbohydrates, 6.4 grams protein
We couldn’t resist including yet another variation on baked eggplant fries! This one, however, is infused with exotic flavor, thanks to a generous dose of curry powder. A coating of panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut is a crunchy bonus too!
1 medium to large eggplant
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. whole-wheat panko bread crumbs (Ian’s brand)
1 1/2 c. unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
1 c. unsweetened, all-natural shredded coconut
4 tbsp. Bragg’s liquid aminos
4 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ginger powder
1 vegan bouillon cube
3-5 tbsp. coconut oil
Peel and slice eggplant into fry-sized pieces. Preheat oven to 385 degrees. Mix bouillon cube, liquid aminos, ginger powder, and curry powder together. Set aside. Note: if your bouillon cube does not mix well, heat up the milk for a minute. Mix flour and shredded coconut together and set aside. Grease your cookie sheet with coconut oil. Pour out the panko crumbs on a plate. Dip eggplant into the non-dairy milk mixture. Roll it into the flour. Dip it into the non-dairy milk mixture again. Roll it into the panko bread crumbs. Place onto your cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
Makes 6-8 servings.
Recipe provided by Veg Obsession
Baked Eggplant Chips with Tahini, Lemon, and Honey Dip
81 calories, 2.9 grams sugar, 6.2 grams fat, 6.7 grams carbohydrates, 1.4 grams protein
If your late-night cravings won’t let up, pass over the greasy potato chips in favor of baked eggplant crisps instead. These veggie chips get a spicy kick from a sprinkle of paprika powder, and they won’t break the calorie bank. Even better, dip them into a tahini spread for extra snacking pleasure!
1 eggplant, thinly sliced
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. turmeric
Pinch of cayenne powder (optional)
1 heaped tbsp. tahini
1-2 tbsp. cold water
1 tsp. raw honey
1 small clove of garlic (optional)
A sprinkle of paprika
First prepare the eggplant by slicing it thinly and then covering each piece of sliced eggplant with a sprinkle of sea salt. Place in a bowl for 1 hour-overnight. This step helps reduce the bitterness and baking time of the eggplant. Once that time is over and your ready to cook drain out the water that would have come off the eggplant and dry each piece of eggplant. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a separate bowl mix together the olive oil, paprika, turmeric, cayenne (if used) and a little bit of salt. Brush each piece of eggplant on both sides with the spice-oil mixture. Place covered eggplant pieces onto a baking tray and cook in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes (fan-forced) or until lightly browned and crispy.
Mix together the tahini, water, honey, and garlic. You may need to add a bit more water to thin it out. You want it to have a syrupy texture but not watery so adjust the water content to get your desired texture. Pour a bit of olive oil in the middle (around 1 tsp.) and sprinkle with paprika. Serve the tahini dip with the eggplant chips.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe provided by Health Food Lover
312 calories, 15.2 grams sugar, 13 grams fat, 31 grams carbohydrates, 22.5 grams protein
Inspired by this blogger’s honeymoon to Chania, a city on the island of Crete, this dish is a kosher version of traditional moussaka, which typically includes ground lamb and Bechamel sauce. Instead, this healthier recipe calls for lean ground turkey and a plethora of veggies such as eggplant, Swiss chard, and carrots.
2 large eggplants, cut into 1/4-in. round slices
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus non-stick cooking spray as needed
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, chopped, or spinach
1 green pepper, chopped
Ground cinnamon to taste
3 tbsp. trans-fat free margarine
2 medium onions, sliced into half moons
Garlic cloves, sliced, to taste
3 carrots, cut into 1/4-in. round slices
2 tbsp. currants or raisins
15 oz. tomato sauce, canned or homemade
1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 tbsp. whole-wheat bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rectangular baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Place the eggplant slices on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt. Top with paper towel, and place a pan or other weight on top. Let rest until ready to cook. The salting will draw out the bitterness from the eggplant, drawing out the salt with it. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the eggplant and sauté until slices are browned on both sides. Add cooking spray as needed to keep sautéing the eggplant. Transfer the eggplant to the baking pan, forming a layer on the bottom of the pan. It’s okay if the eggplant overlaps slightly. Add the chopped Swiss chard and green peppers to the pan and sauté about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to baking dish and season with cinnamon. Spoon tomato sauce over the vegetables. Add 2 tbsp. of margarine to the pan. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes until onions are translucent. Set aside in a bowl. Add the carrots and currants to the pan and sauté 3-4 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Set aside with onions. Add ground turkey to pan, breaking it up with a fork. Cook most of the way and then transfer to the baking dish, spreading the turkey evenly. Top with more sauce, followed by the onions, carrots, and currants. Press down to compact, and add more cinnamon to taste. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Add the last tablespoon of margarine to the pan and heat until melted. Drizzle melted margarine over the breadcrumbs. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Uncover and cook for 15 minutes longer until golden brown and bubbling around the edges. Serve with bread or rice.
Makes 4-5 servings.
Recipe provided by Nutritioulicious
White Bean and Eggplant Soup
440 calories, 10.4 grams sugar, 3.7 grams fat, 81 grams carbohydrates, 26.8 grams protein
The good news: You only need five ingredients to whip up this creamy eggplant-based soup! The bad news: It will disappear so fast you won’t have any left over for tomorrow’s lunch. A blend of eggplant and white beans creates a chunky consistency that will leave both vegetarians and meat eaters completely satisfied!
2 medium eggplants (aubergine)
2 knobs butter or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 14 oz. cans white beans
2-4 tbsp. lemon juice
Preheat oven to its highest setting. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and place on an oven-proof tray cut side down. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until eggplant is very soft. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan and cook onion, covered for about 15 minutes or until very soft and golden. Add beans and the liquid to the onions and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes or until your eggplant is ready. Scrape the flesh from the cooked eggplant and add to the soup. Simmer for a minute or so, then puree if you like. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Makes 3-4 servings.
Recipe provided by Stonesoup
Healthy Baked Penne with Vegetables
585 calories, 21 grams sugar, 15.3 grams fat, 89.6 grams carbohydrates, 23.4 grams protein
This hearty whole-wheat pasta serves up one truly satisfying meal. It’s packed with vegetables, including eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, onions, and mushrooms, and bursts with intense flavor, thanks to spices like oregano and red pepper.
1 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1-in. wide strips
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-in. cubes
2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-in. cubes
8 cremini mushrooms, halved
1/2 small eggplant, diced
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-in. strips
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
Garlic powder to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Whole-wheat penne pasta (16 oz.)
3 c. marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
1 1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 c. grated fontina cheese; 1/2 c. grated mozzarella; 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese>p> Directions:
Chop all the veggies and preheat your oven to 450 degrees. On a baking sheet (or in a casserole dish/large pan), toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, eggplant, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander. Once the veggies are done, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. If you used a large casserole dish/pan to roast the veggies in, you can just dump all of the additional ingredients (pasta etc.) into that pan to mix everything together. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined. Top the pasta with the remaining cheese (about 1/3 c.). Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe provided by The Picky Eater
Vegan Eggplant Rollatini
115 calories, 5.4 grams fat, 12.2 grams carbohydrates, 7.3 grams protein, 340.3 milligrams sodium
This vegan-friendly recipe is easy to make with just a handful of common ingredients. Instead of a rich ricotta stuffing, each individual rollatini bursts with a faux tofu ricotta filling. Serve with spinach or a side salad for a satisfying low-carb meal. As a bonus, these yummy eggplant bites are almost too pretty to eat!
2/3 block of extra-firm tofu
Juice from half a lemon
Dash of salt
Dash of dried basil
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 c. tomato sauce
1 large eggplant
2 tbsp. whole-wheat bread crumbs
Combine the tofu, lemon, salt, dried basil, nutritional yeast, and olive oil to make a crumbly “tofu ricotta” mixture. Spread some tomato sauce on the bottom of an 8×8 in. pan. Thinly slice the eggplant, length-wise, so each slice is about a 1/4-in. thick. Spread the eggplant slices with tomato sauce and tofu ricotta. Roll each eggplant slice and place (seam-side down if possible) in the baking dish. Top with remainder of the tomato sauce, tofu ricotta, and bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve on a bed of steamed spinach or with a side salad. If vegan eats aren’t your thing, feel free to un-veganize with the addition of some shredded mozzarella cheese inside the eggplant rolls as well.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe provided by Sound Eats
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Is Eggplant a Good Weight-Loss Food?
- By Tiffany Tse @twinksy
Beef & Eggplant Ragu with Rigatoni
In this 30-Minute Meal, eggplant and ground beef come together to make a hearty and decadent pasta sauce. Don’t forget the ricotta!
Recipe: Try our Beef & Eggplant Ragu with Rigatoni
Roasted Curried Eggplant with Yogurt & Raisins
You’ve never had eggplant like this before! This easy recipe makes a great app, side dish, or even a meatless main course.
Recipe: Try our Roasted Curried Eggplant with Yogurt & Raisins
Stack ’em up! Made with layers of grilled eggplant and mozz, this Caprese-inspired dish will taste great long after tomato season ends.
Recipe: Try our Eggplant Stacks
Linguine with Eggplant Ragout
This elegant, meatless main course makes a great special-occasion supper for vegetarians.
Recipe: Try our Linguine with Eggplant Ragout
Eggplant is a staple in Asian cuisine and plays well with classic flavors like sesame, soy sauce, and fresh ginger.
Recipe: Try our Sesame-Honey Eggplant
Crispy Eggplant with Honey & Rosemary
Photography by Armando Rafael
This popular 30-Minute Meal is a great idea for tapas night, but it also works well as an appetizer or main course!
Recipe: Try Rachael’s Crispy Eggplant with Garlic & Rosemary
Ziti & Sweet-but-Hot Sauce with Sausage & Eggplant
Photography by Armando Rafael
By leaving half the skin on and taking half of it off, you’ll get lots of texture variation in this easy, meaty eggplant sauce.
Recipe: Try our Ziti & Sweet-but-Hot Sauce with Sausage & Eggplant
Eggplant with Garlic Sauce
Garlic lovers, this one’s for you. You’re just five ingredients away from this easy Asian-inspired side!
Recipe: Try our Eggplant with Garlic Sauce
Shakshuka is traditionally made with tomatoes, but this version layers in eggplant too for an extra hit of veggies.
Recipe: Try our Eggplant Shakshuka
Charred Eggplant with Tomato-Kalamata Vinaigrette
Photography by Sarah Anne Ward
Fire up the grill to make this barbecue-ready side dish.
Recipe: Try our Charred Eggplant with Tomato-Kalamata Vinaigrette
Grilled Chicken and Eggplant Stacks
Rach’s Tip: Leave the skin on half of the eggplant — it gives the dish great color and texture.
Recipe: Try our Grilled Chicken & Eggplant Stacks
Cheesy Vegetable Tart
Zucchini, eggplant, onions, and plenty of cheese. What more could you want?
Recipe: Try our Cheesy Vegetable Tart
Store-bought ingredients make this delicious weeknight dinner quick and affordable!
Recipe: Try our Eggplant Roll-Ups
Pan-fried zucchini slices dress up this easy, family-style Eggplant Marinara with Rigatoni.
Recipe: Try our Ratatouille Riggies
Spice-Grilled Eggplant & Feta Pizzas
Pizza on the grill gets toasty and caramelized with all those classic charcoal flavors.
Recipe: Try our Spice-Grilled Eggplant & Feta Pizzas
Chicken & Eggplant Stir-Fry
Kick your Chinese takeout habit with this easy stir-fry recipe. Want to go healthier? Make it with brown rice!
Recipe: Try our Chicken & Eggplant Stir-Fry
Roasted Eggplants with Sicilian-Style Cannellini Beans
This meatless main is a total showstopper.
Recipe: Try our Roasted Eggplants with Sicilian-Style Cannellini Beans
Ratatouille with Oven-Poached Eggs
Photography by Joesph De Leo
Poach your eggs in the oven like Rachael does in this 30-Minute Meal and never look back!
Recipe: Try our Ratatouille with Oven-Poached Eggs
Pappa al Pomodoro with Grilled Eggplant
Sweat out your eggplant to remove the moisture by salting it, setting it on paper towels for 10 to 15 minutes, then patting it dry.
Recipe: Try our Pappa al Pomodoro with Grilled Eggplant
Grilled Eggplant Subs
This is a handheld meal jam packed with color and flavor!
Recipe: Try our Grilled Eggplant Subs
Grilled Ratatouille Boats
Make zucchini boats in a flash by scooping out the seeds and a bit of flesh from the center for a hallowed-out shell that can be stuffed and grilled or baked in the oven.
Recipe: Try our Grilled Ratatouille Boats
Photography by Andrew Purcell
Grilled sirloin, eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash all come together on a kebab. Make rice in foil packets and dinner’s done!
Recipe: Try our Ratatouille Kebabs
Baked Ziti with Eggplant
It’s like if eggplant parm and baked ziti had a love child.
Recipe: Try our Baked Ziti with Eggplant
Chicken Moussaka Stacks
Pick up some ground chicken tonight and get ready to meet this new family favorite.
Recipe: Try our Chicken Moussaka Stacks
Lamb & Eggplant with Chiles Over Orzo
Photography by John Kernick
This hearty meal will warm you up from the inside out.
Recipe: Try our Lamb & Eggplant with Chiles Over Orzo
Farmers’ Market Lasagna
We love this recipe so much, we put it on the cover of our June 2016 issue!
Recipe: Try our Farmers’ Market Lasagna
We’ve cut this rich Greek casserole down to size.
Recipe: Try our Moussaka
Smoky Eggplant & Feta
This recipe is so easy, it practically makes itself.
Recipe: Try our Smoky Eggplant & Feta
Ratatouille Grilled Panini
Photography by Christopher Testani
Turn your grill into a panini press with this veggie-packed sammie.
Recipe: Try our Ratatouille Grilled Panini
Eggplant Cacciatore Sandwiches
Garlic bread makes the perfect vessel for these ooey, gooey Italian heroes.
Recipe: Try our Eggplant Cacciatore Sandwiches
Baked Eggplant and Zucchini
Make this five-ingredient dish in no time!
Recipe: Try our Baked Eggplant and Zucchini
Eggplant Parm Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese and eggplant parm are better together.
Recipe: Try our Eggplant Parm Grilled Cheese
Chicken Sorrentino Stacks
You can never have too many chicken recipes in rotation. This 30-Minute Meal is worth adding to the lineup!
Recipe: Try our Chicken Sorrentino Stacks
Lamb & Eggplant Ragu with Pasta
Japanese eggplants are those super skinny ones you see at the market. Just slice ’em up and add them to your lamb sauce with onions and garlic. YUM!
Recipe: Try our Lamb & Eggplant Ragu with Pasta
Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna
Instead of frying breaded eggplant in oil, we layered sliced eggplant with lasagna noodles to combine two favorite Italian-American dishes.
Recipe: Try our Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna
Sweet Sausage & Eggplant Penne
Meat and eggplant play well together in this stick-to-your-ribs pasta recipe.
Recipe: Try our Sweet Sausage & Eggplant Penne
Glazed Eggplant with Sesame Seeds
This Asian-inspired snack is great for appetizers or entertaining.
Recipe: Try our Glazed Eggplant with Sesame Seeds
Surprise! This lasagna has ZERO gluten.
Recipe: Try our Vegetable Lasagnas
Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant Bruschetta
The classic tomato-basil combo gets an eggplant makeover!
Recipe: Try our Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant Bruschetta
This easy Middle Eastern eggplant spread is best eaten with fresh pita bread.
Recipe: Try our Baba Ghanoush
Grilled Caponata with Charred Bread
Make sure to get a good char on the veggies for a healthy and flavorful spread.
Recipe: Try our Grilled Caponata with Charred Bread
Cavatelli with Sausage & Eggplant
Saffron adds a rich sweetness to this hearty dish.
Recipe: Try our Cavatelli with Sausage & Eggplant
Cod with Eggplants, Tomato & Basil
Let flavorful summer produce do its thing in this simple recipe.
Recipe: Try our Cod with Eggplants, Tomato & Basil
Stuffed Eggplant Steaks
Firm yet buttery, eggplant holds up well when filled and grilled. And it’s a good source of fiber, too!
Recipe: Try our Stuffed Eggplant Steaks
A French side dish is made into a meal with whole-wheat wraps and creamy goat cheese.
Recipe: Try our Ratatouille Wraps
Pork & Bell Pepper Stir-Fry
Make it a stir-fry night.
Recipe: Try our Pork & Bell Pepper Stir-Fry
Eggplant Raviolini Soup
This is a soup-version of Rachael’s favorite Pasta alla Norma.
Recipe: Try our Eggplant Ravolini Soup
Cheesy Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
Salty prosciutto and creamy jarlsberg cheese are the perfect accompaniments to eggplant and grilled bread.
Recipe: Try our Cheesy Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
Red Beans & Rice with Merguez & Eggplant
Rice and beans — it’s a classic for a reason!
Recipe: Try our Red Beans & Rice with Merguez & Eggplant
Baked Salmon with Quick Caponata
You can never have too many healthy fish dinners in rotation.
Recipe: Try our Baked Salmon with Quick Caponata