Our 20 Favorite Eggplant Recipes

Charred Eggplant Recipe
Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Eggplants are the perfect vegetables for a summer dish because they're all about versatility. Their mild flavor complements bold dishes such as with spicy eggplant stir fry or eggplant bread gratin.

01 of 20

Cheesy Eggplant Rollatini

Cheesy Eggplant Rollatini
© Abby Hocking

Grilling the eggplant for this simple, hearty dish lends both flavor and texture. Make sure the eggplant slices are completely tender before they come off the grill; they won't soften more in the oven.

02 of 20

Seared Eggplant and Coconut Milk Curry

Seared Eggplant and Coconut Milk Curry
© Todd Porter & Diane Cu

Seared eggplant cooked in a rich coconut broth makes this savory vegetable curry a knockout in the kitchen.

03 of 20

Sardinian Stuffed Eggplant

Sardinian Stuffed Eggplant
Quentin Bacon

Chef Efisio Farris says that his mother used only eggplants from the first pick of the season (le primizie) for this dish because of their supple texture and earthy-sweet flavor without a hint of bitterness. But if you don't have the primizie option, you should seek out firm, heavy eggplants with smooth, evenly colored skin. Check for ripeness by pressing them lightly; if this leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ready to use.

04 of 20

Eggplant Goat-Cheese Sandwiches with Tomato Tarragon Sauce

Eggplant Goat-Cheese Sandwiches with Tomato Tarragon Sauce

Golden eggplant slices sandwich tangy, melting cheese, all set off by a fast tomato sauce flavored with the unusually complementary tarragon.

05 of 20

Eggplant Parmesan with Crisp Bread Crumb Topping

Eggplant Parmesan with Crisp Bread Crumb Topping
© Kana Okada

This eggplant Parmesan is all it should be: delicate slices of fried eggplant nestled in a bright, tangy tomato sauce, layered with gooey fresh mozzarella. The best part is the exceptionally crisp topping, made with dry bread crumbs.

06 of 20

Eggplant Compote

Eggplant Compote. Photo © Tina Rupp
© Tina Rupp

Joël Robuchon ingeniously softened spongy eggplant by steaming it instead of sautéing it in oil. "Usually, cooked eggplant absorbs so much oil and becomes full of fat," he said.

07 of 20

Charred Eggplant with Burrata and Pomegranate-Walnut Relish

Charred Eggplant Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

Velvety eggplant is paired with a tart-yet-earthy relish of toasted walnuts, cilantro, and pomegranate seeds. Toasting the walnuts brings out their full nutty, slightly bitter character and plays well against the bright pomegranate seeds, which provide fresh bursts of juice and sweetness.

08 of 20

Spicy Eggplant and Zucchini Stir-Fry with Plant-Based Meat

Eggplant and Chili Garlic Stir-Fry with Plant-Based Meat
Photo by Ellen Mary Cronin / Food and prop styling by Radin+Croney Collective

Eggplant and zucchini cook quickly, absorbing plenty of flavor from the chile-garlic and soy sauces, without getting overly tender. Fresh cilantro adds an extra pop of freshness to the finished stir-fry.

09 of 20

Eggplant Caponata

Eggplant Caponata
© Tina Rupp

Sicily's caponata is a tangy eggplant salad served as a side dish or appetizer. This version adds bits of velvety avocado, full of monounsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol.

10 of 20

Broiled Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Pomegranate Seeds

Broiled Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Pomegranate Seeds
© Guy Ambrosino

Creamy tahini makes a sumptuous accompaniment to broiled eggplant, while jewel-like pomegranate seeds add a slight crunch.

11 of 20

Baba Ghanouj on Pita

Baba Ghanouj on Pita
© Helene Dujardin

The creamy Middle Eastern eggplant dip called baba ghanouj is traditionally served with warm pita and an assortment of salads. Here, we top the pita with the dip and a mixture of romaine, tomato, and cucumber for an extraordinarily tasty meal.

12 of 20

Garlicky Eggplant Salad with Tomato Sauce

Garlicky Eggplant Salad with Tomato Sauce
© Akiko Ida & Pierre Javelle

Like many Moroccan salads, this super-silky and intensely flavored version of ratatouille is made from spiced or sweetened cooked vegetables that are mashed rather than cut into pieces. Like Italian antipasti, Moroccan salads are often served as an appetizer.

13 of 20

Grilled Eggplant with Summer Marinara

Grilled Eggplant with Summer Marinara Recipe
Chelsea Kyle

A mix of canned whole peeled tomatoes and tomato puree creates the perfect silky, but still chunky, texture in the sauce. Pomodori pellati tomatoes are hand-peeled, seeded, and processed with salt and basil at peak season, to capture their ripe, sweetly acidic flavor.

14 of 20

Eggplant and Chili Garlic Pork Stir-Fry

Eggplant and Chili Garlic Pork Stir-Fry
© Todd Porter & Diane Cu

White on Rice's Todd Porter and Diane Cu stir-fry eggplant pieces with pork and chili garlic sauce in this quick and simple recipe.

15 of 20

Iraqi Lamb and Eggplant Stew with Pitas

Iraqi Lamb and Eggplant Stew with Pitas
© Ellie Miller

This sweet and tangy Middle Eastern stew, with falling-apart-tender lamb, is one of wordsmith and perfect host Jesse Sheidlower's favorites. He found it in Nawal Nasrallah's Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and a History of the Iraqi Cuisine. "It's a fantastic though little-known cookbook," Sheidlower says. "It's incredibly extensive and provides a lot of cultural and historical background. And it's good to keep in mind that all of this Iraqi culture and history is getting destroyed."

16 of 20

Berenjenas con Miel (Fried Eggplant with Honey)

Berenjenas con Miel (Fried Eggplant with Honey)
Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

Fried eggplant and honey is a classic combination served across Andalusia, especially in Córdoba. This version is the one José Andrés has on the menu at his Washington, D.C., restaurant Jaleo.

17 of 20

Eggplant Caponatina

Eggplant Caponatina
© Dana Gallagher

Baskets of lightly toasted bread slices and little mustard-yellow terra-cotta bowls filled with caponatina (a finely chopped version of the Sicilian sweet-and-sour eggplant dish caponata) often appear on the tables at Italy's Il Bacco Felice soon after guests are seated.

18 of 20

Eggplant and Porcini "Meatballs" in Tomato Sauce

Eggplant and Porcini “Meatballs” in Tomato Sauce

While writing her book, The Glorious Vegetables of Italy, Domenica Marchetti unearthed this classic Sicilian recipe. To make the dish more savory, she adds dried porcini mushrooms to the eggplant, and the porcini soaking liquid to the tomato sauce.

19 of 20

Fusilli with Roasted Eggplant and Goat Cheese

Fusilli with Roasted Eggplant and Goat Cheese
© Quentin Bacon

Melissa Rubel Jacobson's filling vegetarian pasta is perfect for a cold winter night.

20 of 20

Eggplant Börek

Eggplant Börek
© Petrina Tinslay

Börek is a Middle Eastern pastry filled with anything from vegetables to cheese and ground meat. For this version, Meltem Conant sautés eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes and bakes them in layers of phyllo.

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