Our 27 Best Eggplant Recipes of All Time

From appetizers to dessert. Yes, dessert.

July 25, 2019
Photo by Julia Gartland

You bought too many eggplants. Or, you have an extra one that you have no idea what to do with. Or, your family always makes the same dish and you want to switch it up. That’s where these 27 recipes come in handy. From yogurt-y dips (hello, Saturday picnic) to chocolate cake (yes, seriously), these are some of our favorite ways to use one of summer’s favorite vegetables fruits.


1. Eggplant Caponata

Caponata wants to be plopped on ricotta-smeared bread or tossed with hot pasta. It’s all about the vinegar-sugar contrast, with lots of peppy mix-ins, like capers, olives, and pine nuts. I like to add raisins, too.

2. Romanian Eggplant Spread

Roasted eggplant and bell pepper, raw onion and garlic, and not much else—this recipe is simple cooking at its finest. Serve with salty pita chips.

3. Eggplant Dip With Yogurt

Yogurt turns eggplant into something creamy and lush. Use whole-milk for the best results and don’t skip on the lemon juice or fresh herbs.

Stews & Curries

4. Eggplant & Tomato Curry

Brown mustard, cumin, coriander, and garam masala help eggplant live its best life. If you have a low spice tolerance, remove the pith and seeds from the serrano, and plop some yogurt on top.

5. Israeli Eggplant

A one-pot recipe: Pan-fry eggplant in plenty of olive oil, invite along onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, then canned tomatoes and a smidge of sugar. Bread on the side is a must.

6. Sweet Corn Polenta With Eggplant Sauce

A summery spin on wintry polenta. Sweet corn instead of cornmeal and ripe eggplant instead of a braised meat. Yes, please.

7. Coconut Milk–Braised Eggplant With Shiitakes & Scallions

A weeknight take on the low-and-slow braise. Eggplant gets to know creamy coconut milk, while shiitakes and scallions make the whole dish ultra savory. Best with fluffy rice.

8. Butternut Squash, Red Lentil & Eggplant Sambhar

“Sambhar is a South Indian red lentil–based vegetable stew from Tamil Nadu that is eaten daily, all the way from Mumbai to Bangalore,” cookbook author Meera Sodha writes. “[It] puts vegetables front and center and surrounds them with a sharp, clean dal flavored with curry leaves, tamarind, tomatoes, and chiles.”

9. Tofu Aubergine & Beluga Lentils With Pomegranate Molasses

A seductive—yes, seductive—tofu recipe, co-starring eggplant (aka aubergine!), lentils, and sweet-tangy pomegranate molasses.

Pasta & Noodles

10. Zhajiang Noodles With Eggplant

Gingery, onion pork sauce. Thick, chewy noodles. You’re already sold, I’m sure, but you know what makes it all better? Eggplant!

11. Spicy Eggplant Pasta

Two teaspoons of red pepper flakes give this pasta plenty of kick. Feel free to dial that back and increase to taste if spicy isn’t your thing.

12. Eggplant-Porcini Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Vegetarian meatballs often apologize for not being meat—but why don’t meat meatballs apologize for not being eggplant-porcini? These are that good.

13. Easy Summer Pasta

Halfway to ratatouille, this easy-breezy pasta has eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes. We love the rustic additions of herbes de Provence and crème fraîche.


14. Eggplant Parmesan

This classic recipe, by way of Nancy Jo’s nonna, has been a community favorite since 2009.

15. Hasselback Eggplant Parmesan

Hasselback-ing an eggplant (cutting slices across but not all the way through) makes the cheesy bread crumbs even happier.

16. Unfussy Eggplant Parmesan

Low on time or energy? You still deserve eggplant Parm. This shortcut approach halves the eggplant and piles everything on top.

Halfway to Dinner

17. Fish Sauce–Simmered Eggplant

As cookbook author Nancy Singleton Hachisu puts it, “Eggplant and fish sauce are a perfect match, since the bland eggplant always seems to want some punch.” Serve with lots of rice.

18. Stir-Fried Garlic Eggplant With Pork

Read the recipe all the way through and get your ingredients ready-to-go before cooking. From there, this should take 10 minutes or less.

19. Marinated Eggplant

Marinate eggplant in soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Then microwave it. Wait, what?

20. Breaded Eggplant Cutlets

Like a chicken cutlet, but eggplant. The crispy coating is extra flavorful, thanks to Parmesan, panko, oregano, garlic powder, and hot paprika.


21. Egg & Eggplant Sandwich

Roasted eggplant and hard-boiled eggs meet up in a pita pocket, then fall in love. Tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, and yogurt sauce attend the wedding.

22. Eggplant Miso Tahini Toast

Roasted eggplant, mixed with miso, tahini, and maple syrup, is good enough to eat with a spoon. But just wait: It’s even better on yogurt-smeared toast.


23. Grilled Eggplant Agrodolce

Next time you grill an eggplant, dress with a sugar, vinegar, and olive oil dressing. It’s a game-changer warm or at room temp.

24. Warm Eggplant & Mint Salad

Eggplant and mint, olive oil and lemon juice. Not much else. You could serve this simple salad as a side, but I’d gleefully turn it into dinner with a hunk of bread.

25. Grilled Eggplant & Peach Caprese Salad

In this newfangled take on the caprese salad, eggplant and peaches join forces with burrata and basil. (You can swap in mozzarella, too.)

26. Spicy Miso Eggplant & Broccoli Salad

Eggplant and broccoli with coriander and sesame seeds is probably enough to hook you. But what about the gingery miso dressing on top?


27. Chocolate Eggplant Cakes

Inspired by applesauce in desserts, this recipe takes advantage of eggplant’s high moisture content to create a never-dry, very-fudgy chocolate cake.

How are you cooking with eggplant this summer? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jenina G.
    Jenina G.
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in November 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


Jenina G. July 25, 2019
here's another dessert:
Author Comment
Emma L. July 26, 2019
Whoa! I must try this.
Jenina G. July 26, 2019
Let me know how it goes!