Eggplant is a kind of nightshade, a group of plants that also includes potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes. It’s referred to as aubergine in various European countries, and brinjal in South Asia and South Africa. There are several cultivars, each with a different size, shape, and color, though most remain a lovely shade of purple.
Eggplant is a popular ingredient for its ability to absorb flavor and develop a rich, creamy texture when cooked. Many cooks insist on first salting or brining eggplant to draw out any excess moisture, but others skip this step, favoring a simpler approach and preparation. Here are our favorite easy eggplant recipes so you can enjoy this ingredient no matter how busy your schedule.
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If you’re exploring eggplant recipes it’s best to start with the basics, which is where this baked eggplant comes in. The recipe also provides a few great tips on how to prepare your eggplant so you can master the ingredient. Toss your baked eggplant with pasta or simply place them on top of flatbread with feta cheese.
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Sichuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce
This delicious dish owes its origins to Sichuan, China, a region known for its spicy and bold cuisine. Vegetarians and vegans can also easily adapt eggplant in garlic sauce, swapping the pork for seitan or tempeh and using vegetable instead of chicken stock.
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Eggplant also tastes delicious on the grill (but then again, what vegetable doesn’t?). Grilled eggplant is great added in dishes like antipasto salad or as a part of a Greek meze.
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Easy Vegan Ratatouille
For a quick and easy version of the French classic, combine summertime vegetables like zucchini and eggplant with a tomato sauce and cook until tender. Serve vegan ratatouille with pasta, rice, or crusty bread.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
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Low-Fat Vegan Eggplant Lasagna
Lasagna is surely delicious, but it can be time-consuming to make. Enter this easy eggplant lasagna, which incorporates all the same flavors but is virtually fuss-free thanks to jarred pasta sauce and frozen spinach. Add a few layers of mozzarella if you're not vegan.
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Eggplant fritters may not be the prettiest dish, but they sure are tasty. The recipe calls for frying these fritters, but you can also sauté them in a little oil. Serve them with any of the sauces suggested in the recipe or this creamy remoulade.
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Baingan Aaloo Ki Subji
Cooked with spices, potatoes, and tomatoes, baingan aaloo ki subji is an easy but flavorful way to enjoy eggplant. Serve with your favorite Indian curry or dal for a filling meal.
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Easy Baked Eggplant Casserole
Few things are as comforting as a casserole. This recipe certainly fits this description with cheese, a pat of butter, and creamy baked eggplant. Serve it up with a spring green salad, and you’re set for a delicious, hassle-free meal.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
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Vegan, Gluten-Free Baba Ganoush Without Tahini
Besides how well it holds up on the grill or as a stand-in for meat, another reason to love eggplant is for how deliciously creamy it becomes when blended into dips. Take this Greek eggplant dip, which can be spread on sandwiches or served with roasted vegetables.
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Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Salad
This grilled vegetable salad proves that salads can be both flavorful and filling. Because olive oil does so much heavy lifting in this recipe, we recommend using a high-quality one. You can enjoy this dish, as is, or serve it up with a filet of salmon or a bed of pasta.
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The sabich sandwich combines tahini, hummus, and amba sauce for a delicious (and potentially messy) meal. You can enjoy the classic version of this recipe, or make various substitutions, depending on what you crave. Swap the hummus out for zucchini baba ganoush or use any variety of middle eastern cheese to replace the tahini sauce.
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Seasoned Eggplant Raita
Raita is a cooling yogurt dip in Indian cuisine. It expertly balances the intense flavors found in many Indian dishes, and it’s common to see it served with a variety of chutneys and pickled vegetables, too. Eggplant raita is especially delicious any one of the many Indian flatbreads, which range from soft and chewy to crispy and delicate.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
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Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
Battered and pan-fried slices of eggplant are delicious even without cheese. Vegan eggplant parmesan makes for a fun appetizer, main course, side dish, or can be added to a sub roll with tomato sauce for a filling sandwich.
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Pan-Fried Eggplant with Miso
Miso is a real superstar ingredient. With just a few daubs, it gives a savory punch to the glaze used in this pan-fried eggplant dish. Use vegetable oil or another high-heat oil for frying the eggplant.