15 Amazing Eggplant Recipes to Inspire Your Seasonal Menu

Grilled Eggplant Tartines
Photo: Carson Downing

The beautiful thing about eggplant is the fact that it inspires so many different dishes around the world. If you're one that considers the purple veggie (technically it's a fruit, but usually called a vegetable due to savory preparations) bitter or bland, we encourage you to try one of these eggplant recipes to convince you otherwise. Whether it's a classic like an eggplant Parmesan, a roasted eggplant recipe, or even a creamy dip, there are plenty of eggplant dishes including global flavors here that will make your stomach happy.

01 of 15

Stuffed Eggplant Caponata

Stuffed Eggplant Caponata
Carson Downing

Eggplant makes a wonderful plant-based meat substitute. This showstopping stuffed eggplant recipe will impress both meat lovers and veggie-only eaters in your life. The hollowed-out eggplant flesh becomes part of the irresistible stuffing that includes a savory blend of roasted bell pepper, raisins, capers, pine nuts, and fresh herbs.

02 of 15

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush
Jacob Fox

If your garden harvest produced a lot of eggplants this year, consider turning them into this creamy spread popular in Mediterranean cuisine. Prepared similarly to hummus, this roasted eggplant recipe blends the veggie with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and oil. Serve on toasted baguette slices or warm pita bread.

Buy It: Hamilton Beach Food Processor ($58, Target)

03 of 15

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan
Karla Conrad

This list wouldn't be complete without an eggplant Parmesan recipe. The classic Italian dish features layers of breaded eggplant, herbed ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and tomato sauce. Enjoy this baked eggplant Parmesan on its own for a light dinner or over your favorite noodles.

04 of 15

Moussaka

Moussaka
Blaine Moats

This eggplant dish is traditionally served in Middle Eastern cuisine. Prepared similarly to lasagna, this classic recipe features layers of eggplant, ground lamb, and a creamy sauce. If you're not a fan of lamb, go for ground beef.

05 of 15

Grilled Eggplant Tartines

Grilled Eggplant Tartines
Carson Downing

A meatless main that's like eggplant Parmesan, bruschetta, and Caprese salad all in one? Count us in! This easy grilled eggplant recipe only takes 25 minutes to make. Expect it to disappear fast at your next outdoor party.

Buy It: Expert Gas Grill ($89, Walmart)

06 of 15

Lamb with Eggplant Relish

Lamb with Eggplant Relish
Andy Lyons

Sauteeing eggplant, onion, tomatoes, and garlic makes the perfect base for our homemade relish. A bit of shredded orange peel and orange juice added to the mix give a refreshing finish. Grilled lamb pairs beautifully with this eggplant recipe, but you can easily serve it alongside other meat such as beef kabobs or chicken.

07 of 15

Eggplant Panzanella

Eggplant Panzanella
Andy Lyons

If you ever spot Japanese eggplant at the store, grab them for this delicious take on Panzanella salad. You'll find the thinner, purple-hued veggies have more tender skins and sweeter flavor than regular eggplant. Paired with arugula, fresh mozzarella, and a tarragon vinaigrette, you'll be making this eggplant recipe on repeat.

08 of 15

Pasta with Eggplant Sauce

Pasta with Eggplant Sauce
Peter Krumhardt

Enjoy this eggplant pasta recipe the next time you need a summer dinner idea. The best part about this easy eggplant recipe is the fact the sauce is made in the slow cooker. That means less hands-on time and no oven required to heat up the house.

Buy It: Crock-Pot Slow Cooker ($50, Target)

09 of 15

Saucy Beans and Eggplant

Saucy Beans and Eggplant
Andy Lyons

Have 20 minutes to spare? That's enough time to get this delicious eggplant dish on the table for a quick, nutritious dinner. Adding white beans to the meaty fried eggplant takes the plant-based protein count to a whopping 17 grams per serving. Enjoy over a bed of brown rice (use instant to keep the prep time down).

10 of 15

Ratatouille Cassoulet

Ratatouille Cassoulet
Aubrie Pick

Two famous French recipes (ratatouille and cassoulet) combine for this summer-perfect eggplant recipe. The purple vegetable joins layers of zucchini, summer squash, and red bell pepper in an unbeatable tomato sauce that gets Middle Eastern flair from za'atar seasoning.

11 of 15

Greek Eggplant Fries

Greek Eggplant Fries
Blaine Moats

If you're a fan of french fries, just wait until you try this healthier take on fries. To keep this eggplant recipe lighter on the calorie count (it's only got 187 calories per serving!), we coat the "fries" in panko and bake them at a high temperature to get them nice and crispy. Topped with Greek yogurt, fresh oregano, and feta cheese, this makes an excellent appetizer for at-home happy hour.

12 of 15

Eggplant, Garlic, and Herb Pasta

Eggplant, Garlic, and Herb Pasta on plate
Blaine Moats

When you score a great deal on produce, keep this roasted eggplant recipe in mind. Three pounds of eggplant are needed to make the hearty pasta dish. To change things up, top your bowl of pasta with ricotta salata, an Italian sheep's milk cheese that's slightly drier than feta but packs the same salty punch.

13 of 15

Eggplant Parmesan Heros

Eggplant Parmesan Heros
Andy Lyons

Our Test Kitchen turned an eggplant parmesan recipe into an incredible sandwich. The secret ingredient to our crispy baked eggplant is coating the slices in marinara and a breadcrumb mixture made from croutons. Serve with a side salad or chips for the perfect restaurant-quality lunch.

14 of 15

Mushroom-Farro Melanzane

Mushroom-Farro Melanzane
Andy Lyons

Melanzane is simply the Italian word for eggplant. Here we turn it into a filling eggplant main dish by preparing it with meaty mushrooms and whole-grain farro. Bonus: This vegetarian dinner comes together in one skillet by starting on the stove top and ending in the oven.

Buy It: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Pan ($145, Williams Sonoma)

15 of 15

Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread

Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread
Andy Lyons

This roasted eggplant recipe blends the purple veggie with red pepper, and entire bulb of garlic, and chipotle pepper. Serve alongside deli meat, crackers, and cheese for a standout addition to your charcuterie board.

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