Our 35 Best Eggplant Recipes of All Time

From appetizers to dessert. Yes, dessert.

June 21, 2022
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 35 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.

Our Best Eggplant Recipes

1. Mapo Eggplant

There are layers upon layers of savory, spicy flavor in this tofu-eggplant hybrid dish, inspired by Sichuan mapo tofu. Both elements get stir-fried in a wok, then simmered with peppercorns, chili powder, doubanjiang, soy sauce, wine, dark soy sauce, and sugar.

2. Eggplant & Shishito Phyllo Pie

“Layers of thin, flaky phyllo hold a filling of tender charred eggplant, blistered shishitos, and fragrant chard,” writes recipe developer Pierce Abernathy. This savory vegetarian pie is a summer stunner that’s perfect for feeding a crowd.

3. Burnt Eggplant & Tomato Tahini

Rather than using up the remains of a jar of tomato sauce for pasta, whip up this delicious dip that meshes roasted eggplant, tahini, and homemade (or store-bought!) sauce together.

4. Smoky Eggplant With Whipped Ricotta & Pistachios

Grilling eggplant in the summer is a must, but what do you do with it once it’s ready? Cut it into slices, serve it over a lemony whipped ricotta, and garnish with sumac and chopped pistachios.

5. Seasoned Steamed Eggplant

Think of this as a back pocket eggplant recipe (bet ya didn’t know you needed one!). If you prefer lighter, brighter vegetable dishes, this steamed preparation will hit the spot.

6. Grilled Eggplant with Miso & Doenjang

The thing that’s great about grilled eggplant is that yes, it’s an excuse to grill and indulge in charred, summer flavors. But it’s the specific cooking technique that absolutely transforms eggplant from a tough and spongey into a soft, silky vegetable.

7. Eggplant Confit

You know and love duck confit and garlic confit and even tomato confit. Enter: eggplant confit. “Just as special as the silky, oil-preserved slices of eggplant is the infused olive oil they’re kept in. Use it to fry eggs or pour it on a bunch of other summer produce,” writes recipe developer Rebekah Peppler.

8. Eggplant-Harissa Sandwiches With Tahini

Yes, you can totally eat these piping hot, but we honestly kind of love them wrapped up and placed in a picnic basket for eating on the beach or in the park. Even leftovers are top-notch.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.”

17. Tofu Aubergine & Beluga Lentils With Pomegranate Molasses

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

18. 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!

19. 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.

20. 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.

21. 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.

22. Eggplant Parmesan

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

23. Hasselback Eggplant Parmesan

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

24. Unfussy Eggplant Parmesan

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

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. Marinated Eggplant

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

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. 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.

31. 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.

32. 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.

33. 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.)

34. 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?

35. 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.

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    Emma Laperruque
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


Kay August 26, 2022
Time for an eggplant cookbook.
Jenina G. July 25, 2019
here's another dessert:
Emma L. July 26, 2019
Whoa! I must try this.
Jenina G. July 26, 2019
Let me know how it goes!