Eggplant has long been a staple of vegetarian cuisine. Its satisfying texture and great ability to absorb other flavors make it the perfect canvas for creative work in the kitchen.We’ve all heard of eggplant parmesan, but Moroccan eggplant stew (or Zaruk)? Whether you choose to go completely meat-free in your diet or incorporate more plant-based meals into your weekly menu, there’s a world of possibilities when it comes to picking hearty, healthy vegetarian eggplant recipes.
Whether you’re looking for Mediterranean cuisine, spicy Asian inspired cuisine, or a fusion of both, we’ve got you covered. With this wonderful fruit as our guiding star (yes, eggplant is a fruit!), we’ve compiled a list of 20 vegetarian eggplant recipes that unlock its true potential.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
20 Vegetarian Eggplant Recipes to Satisfy Every Taste
Ratatouille-style roasted vegetable pasta
Why we love it: Ratatouille has been a popular dish in French cuisine since the 1700s, but it turns out that very few people actually know what it is. Delicious peppers, zucchini, and eggplants are also great recipes for the transition from summer to fall. It’s also a great excuse to unwind over a delicious pasta meal. (Who wouldn’t like that?)
Hero Ingredients: Flame-roasted tomatoes add to the heat.
Healthy flatbread pizza with eggplant and ricotta cheese
Why we love it: The perfect summer dinner is here! Besides eggplants, you should have other ingredients in your fridge or pantry to make this delicious flatbread. You can use any type of pizza dough or pre-bought flatbread for this recipe, but I prefer Camille’s Homemade Pizza Dough.
Hero Ingredients: Ricotta cheese is an ideal summer cheese to add to your pizza. It’s creamy, slightly salty, and delicious when spread thinly or drizzled on top.
Caprese stuffed with charred eggplant
Why we love it: Italians know what they are doing. Caprese is simply the best summer salad. Made with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese and balsamic sauce, it becomes a must-have when it gets hot. Tossing stuffed eggplant with these ingredients makes it easy to enjoy all the flavors of Capri as a hearty, appetizer or light main.
Hero Ingredients: A good aged balsamic vinegar is a game changer.
Skillet eggplant lasagna
Why we love it: For the best use of eggplant in Italian cooking, you may need to set the eggplant parmesan aside. This skillet eggplant lasagna is lighter than the classic cheesy comfort dish and can be made all in one skillet. Score!
Hero Ingredients: Baby spinach is a great way to add a green accent to your lasagna.
smoky eggplant dip
Why we love it: Unlike the entrees, this eggplant dip is highly addictive and not easy to make. Roast and char the eggplants and toss them into the food processor along with other delicious ingredients. We’re talking garlic, tahini and crème fraîche to complement the smoky flavor of the eggplant.
Hero Ingredients: Smoky spices like paprika and toasted cumin provide flavor.
Baked eggplant stuffed
Why we love it: I am a big fan of all kinds of fruit and vegetable fillings. There’s just something about combining all the ingredients that makes for a huge burst of flavor in every bite. Like the baked potato, this eggplant can be customized with a variety of delicious toppings to suit your audience’s wishes.
Hero Ingredients: Pomegranate seeds add an unexpectedly delicious flavor and color.
Why we love it: This recipe showed me the true beauty of caponata making. Made with roasted eggplant and a variety of tangy, salty and slightly sweet flavors, it can be served with pasta or freshly sliced crostini. It’s the perfect snack for summer.
Hero Ingredients: Capers bring a slightly salty flavor. Don’t knock until you try it.
Why we love it: We love to grill everything and eggplant is no exception. Since visiting Jamaica a few years ago, I’ve been obsessed with perfecting a jerk marinade packed with all the best seasonings. Simply slice eggplant into large steak-sized pieces, marinate in a tangy, spicy marinade, and grill. Easy and delicious.
Hero Ingredients: This recipe includes a delicious barbecue-based sauce that is an absolute must-have for this savory grilled fruit.
Why we love it: Last year, I attended a cooking class to learn how to make the perfect chimichurri, and to my surprise, it was actually quite easy. Fresh herbs such as parsley and coriander are key to creating the most delicious toppings for all grilled dishes.
Hero Ingredients: Coriander is essential for both this chimichurri’s signature flavor and color.
Why we love it: If you’re hesitant about including eggplant in your diet, start with this recipe. As mentioned earlier, eggplant is great at absorbing bold spices and flavors, making it one of the best bases for dishes like curries.
Hero Ingredients: Coconut milk gives this dish the perfect creaminess without being overwhelmingly heavy.
Why we love it: These pizza bites aren’t just cute, they’re a plant-filled snack you can eat in bulk on a pinch. If you’re looking for a twist on the popular bagel bites, these are perfect for a light summer dinner.
Hero Ingredients: Whether homemade or store-bought, be sure to choose a high-quality tomato sauce.
Why we love it: here it is! This is the Zalouk recipe you’ve been waiting for. These toasts are a savory appetizer that combines the traditional Moroccan dish of zaalouk (eggplant, tomatoes, and copious amounts of spices simmered) with creamy burrata cheese.
Hero Ingredients: I could talk a lot about burrata cheese.
Why we love it: The classic Italian dish you’ve been waiting for. This Baked Eggplant Parmesan presents rich and comforting flavors of eggplant, tomato sauce and melted cheese while being completely vegetarian.
Hero Ingredients: Basically, you should use plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Why we love it: If you like your food spicy, this flame-roasted dal may become one of your favorite comfort foods. Indian soups are made with simple ingredients such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans, boiled in a variety of spices and served over your favorite starch. It’s so comfortable, it’s exactly what you want to curl up at the end of a long day.
Hero Ingredients: Top with a little yogurt or coconut cream for a touch of sourness.
Why we love it: Most of the time, cooking elaborate Thai meals just doesn’t fit in my schedule.but i’m always hungry Its pleasing complexity. This stir-fried eggplant can be eaten with rice or noodles that complement its bold flavor, making it an easy pairing for a weeknight.
Hero Ingredients: Add your favorite grilled tofu for extra protein.
Why we love it: Eggplant and tofu is an underrated combination. Sweet Hot Chili Glaze uses Asian-inspired ingredients that are often found in your favorite staple food. Simply bake or fry the eggplant and tofu however you prefer, add the sauce in a wok or large pot and fry all the rest of the ingredients.
Hero Ingredients: Hot chili sauce is a staple ingredient in our home.
Why we love it: These stir-fried vegetables are a great addition to appetizers or main dishes. A simple sauce of honey, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil will keep your plate from having bland veggies.
Hero Ingredients: Honey gives the sauce its richness and perfect sweetness.
Why we love it: If smoky eggplant dip echoes through the alleys, this Vine Gun Balta will lift your heart (stomach?). Indian-inspired spices complement this silky and hearty dish, which pairs perfectly with vegan naan, roti and basmati rice.
Hero Ingredients: Ginger is the key flavor in this recipe. Grow up or go home
Why we love it: Baked eggplant is versatile, but what could be easier than a sandwich? Combining fresh sourdough with arugula walnut pesto mayonnaise (delicious!), this eggplant sammy is anything but boring.
Hero Ingredients: From now on, you’ll want to add arugula-walnut pesto mayonnaise to every sandwich.
Why we love it: This vegetarian eggplant recipe is the perfect warm-season dish to enjoy at your next cookout or gathering. It’s nutritious and filling thanks to the protein and healthy fats, and the tangy tahini dressing gives it the perfect creamy flavor.
Hero Ingredients: Tahini has the ability to uplift anything, including this dish.