11 Grilled Eggplant Recipes That’ll Make You Forget Meat

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If you’re on the hunt for an amazing grilled veggie dish, you better not sleep on eggplants.

Eggplants have a long history of being a staple in many cuisines around the world.

From the famous eggplant moussaka in Greece to the nasu dengaku (or miso-glazed eggplant) in Japan, there are so many ways you can flavor and eat this veggie. 

Here are just a few of my favorite recipes I’ve tried over the years. Maybe you’ll find one or more recipes that pique your interest.

1. Easy Grilled Eggplant Recipe

Before we bring in the big guns, let’s start things off with something simple. This is an easy grilled eggplant recipe. 

I find that starting with the basics is a great way to develop skills in the kitchen. So, before experimenting with more complicated recipes, you should first master the art of grilling eggplants. 

Grab two medium-sized eggplants, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Slice your eggplants into rounds. Try to maintain the same thickness with all the slices so they can grill evenly.

The next step is to place your eggplant rounds on a plate and brush both sides with olive oil. Then, season your veggies with salt and pepper before grilling.

Usually, I grill each side of the eggplant for around five minutes. But, the total grilling time can vary depending on how high or low your heat is. 

So, checking on your eggplants every minute is a great rule of thumb. Once they have nice grill marks or are tender to the touch, get them out of the heat. 

Plate them nicely, and they’re ready to eat!

2. Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

Grilling eggplants properly is just a way for you to jumpstart your eggplant grilling journey. 

Once you get the hang of grilling eggplants, you can try other recipes, like this grilled eggplant Parmesan. 

To make this recipe, start by preheating your grill to about 400°F. While your grill is heating up, slice two large eggplants into rounds. 

Just like with the first recipe, brush both sides with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. 

Once your grill is hot enough, place your slices on the grates and grill as usual. After they’re tender and a little charred, remove them from the heat, and set them aside.

Place your grilled eggplant slices on a separate baking tray. Then, drizzle with grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheese (you can grate as much or as little as you want).

When you’re satisfied with the amount of cheese on your eggplant slices, place them back on the grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese becomes bubbly. 

This next step is optional, but you can add a dollop of tomato sauce on each eggplant round to make your version of healthy eggplant pizza bites. 

3. Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini

The grilled eggplant and zucchini is another go-to recipe for me. 

For this, you’ll need two medium-sized eggplants and two medium-sized zucchini. 

Slice both veggies into half-inch rounds and toss them in a bowl with a quarter cup of olive oil, four cloves of minced garlic, half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and two tablespoons of lemon juice.

After seasoning your eggplant and zucchini slices, place them on the grill and cook each side for three minutes. 

Finish the dish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a garnish of fresh herbs, such as chopped basil, parsley, or cilantro.

You can serve this dish as a side, or you can use it as an ingredient for your salads, sandwiches, and pasta.

4. Grilled Eggplant Dip

If you’re not the biggest fan of eggplants yet but still want to give them a chance, you can try this grilled eggplant dip recipe, also known as baba ganoush. 

It’s a fantastic (and healthy) appetizer that you can use as a spread for wraps, breads, or sandwiches. 

To get started, puncture two large eggplants with a fork and place them on your grill. For this dip, we want our eggplants to be as soft as possible, so leave them on high heat for about 17 minutes. 

The skin of the eggplant will look burnt but don’t worry. It’s the insides that count. 

After grilling your veggies, let them cool for a few minutes. When they’re comfortable enough to handle, cut them vertically in half and scoop out the flesh. 

Put the soft flesh in a colander to drain any excess liquid. This will help keep the flavor of the eggplant intact. 

Now that all the prep work is done, let’s turn this eggplant into a sauce. 

In a food processor (or blender, if you don’t have a food processor), combine your eggplant meat, a quarter cup of tahini, three cloves of minced garlic, and a quarter cup of lemon juice. 

To it, add your spices, including half a teaspoon of ground cumin, and salt and pepper. If you want it spicy, feel free to add half a teaspoon of chili flakes as well. 

Blend all the ingredients until you get a smooth and creamy consistency. Give it a taste, and transfer the rest of the mixture to a serving bowl.

Top it off with a sprinkle of smoked paprika, a drizzle of olive oil, and a few pieces of olives.

5. Grilled Eggplant With Balsamic Glaze

The next recipe on our list is the grilled eggplant with balsamic glaze. It’s not only a great side dish for any barbecue party. It can also be a light vegetarian main course option. 

If you want to try this at home, start by slicing two large eggplants into rounds. 

Then, in a small bowl, whisk together a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar, two tablespoons of honey, a quarter cup of olive oil, and — of course — salt and pepper. This will be your glaze. 

Brush both sides of your vegetables with the mixture you just made to make sure the eggplant slices absorb as much of the balsamic flavor as possible.

Once they’re completely coated, place them on the grill and let them cook for around eight minutes (or four minutes on each side). 

During the last minute of your grilling time, brush your eggplants with the rest of the balsamic glaze. This is the secret step to seal all the flavors, so don’t skip it. 

When you notice the eggplants start to caramelize, take them off the grill and serve. 

The sweet and tangy glaze mixed with the tender and smoky eggplant is such an amazing flavor combination. You’ll surely impress your guests with this recipe. 

6. Grilled Eggplant With Garlic Yogurt Sauce

One thing I love the most about learning new recipes is finding out which international cuisine they’re inspired by. 

In this case, the grilled eggplant with garlic yogurt sauce is influenced by Middle Eastern flavors. 

It features a creamy and garlicky yogurt sauce that perfectly complements the smokiness of the eggplant.

Similar to other recipes, start by slicing two large eggplants into discs. Then brush both sides with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill as usual and leave the eggplant to the side.

In another bowl, combine a cup of plain Greek yogurt (or any plant-based yogurt of your choice), three cloves of minced garlic, and two tablespoons of lemon juice. 

To this mixture, add a pinch of salt and black pepper to enhance the taste before whisking. You want to make sure the consistency is creamy and smooth. 

If necessary, you can adjust the seasoning. 

For instance, if you want it more tart, squeeze in more lemon juice. If you want it extra garlicky, add another clove of garlic. It’s totally your call. 

Once you’ve created a yogurt sauce that suits your taste, pour it over your grilled eggplants and serve with warm pita bread. 

7. Grilled Eggplant Salad

Are you looking for a refreshing way to enjoy year-round fruits and veggies? Why not try this grilled eggplant salad recipe? 

To make this salad, the first step is to grill your eggplant, and by now you know the drill: slice two eggplants into rounds, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Place your seasoned eggplant on the grill for four minutes, and leave them to rest and cool down.

While your grilled eggplant is cooling, prepare the rest of your salad ingredients. 

For this step, combine a cup of cherry tomatoes (halved or whole, it’s up to you), one peeled and diced cucumber, half a cup of sliced red onion, and a pack of leafy greens in a large bowl.

Add your grilled eggplant and a splash of your favorite salad dressing. 

If you want to make your dressing from scratch, here’s a simple recipe for you:

In a small bottle, squeeze a quarter cup of lemon juice, a quarter cup of olive oil, a clove of minced garlic, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and a teaspoon of honey, salt, and pepper.

Shake the bottle well until everything is combined, and you’ve got yourself an easy eggplant salad dressing!

Side Note: If there are fruits in season you want to incorporate (like mango, cranberries, blueberries, or grapes), by all means, add them to your salad!

8. Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

Looking for something more hearty and filling than a bowl of salad? Give this grilled eggplant sandwich a whirl. 

We’re starting with the same prep work as the other recipes. So, slice one large eggplant into rounds and season both sides with olive oil, salt, and pepper before grilling for four minutes.

When your eggplant discs are grilled to perfection, set them aside as you assemble your sandwich. 

To make your sandwich, start by slicing a crusty baguette lengthwise and brushing both sides with olive oil. Grill your bread (with the olive oil side down) and toast for about a minute or two. 

Once your baguette achieves that crispy texture, spread some goat cheese on the bottom half. 

Then, layer with your grilled eggplant slices, roasted red peppers (either homemade or from a jar), and some fresh basil leaves. 

I like to take it a step further and add sundried tomatoes and a slather of pesto sauce. In my opinion, these added ingredients just make the sandwich 100x better.

9. Grilled Eggplant Pasta

If there’s one food I can eat for the rest of my life, it’s pasta.

From the choice of noodles to the sauces and the toppings, you can mix and match pasta in a bunch of different ways. And lately, I’ve been adding grilled eggplant to my pasta. 

It may sound unusual to some people, but believe me, it works. 

I start by cutting, seasoning, and grilling one medium eggplant as I normally would. 

As my eggplant is grilling, I cook my pasta noodles according to the package instructions.

Personally, I would go for penne pasta because it has a hollow middle to scoop up extra sauce, but you can use rigatoni or fusilli if you like. Just make sure to reserve half a cup of pasta water for later.

Now that my noodles and eggplant are ready to go, I move on to making my pasta sauce. 

To make the sauce, I heat two tablespoons of olive oil, add three cloves of minced garlic, and sautée for about two minutes or until it becomes fragrant.

I then add a cup of cherry tomatoes and cook for another two minutes. 

Next, I add the grilled eggplant, cooked pasta, and the remaining pasta water to the sauce and mix everything until every noodle is covered with tomato goodness. 

At this point, I do a little taste test, and add more salt and pepper if it needs more flavor. 

Once I get the right flavor, I transfer the eggplant pasta to a serving dish and top it off with grated Parmesan and basil leaves. 

10. Grilled Eggplant Rollatini

Besides pasta, here’s another Italian-inspired dish you might want to try: grilled eggplant rollatini. 

It’s essentially rolled-up eggplant slices and a ricotta cheese filling. At first glance, it sounds like something you would order at a fine dining restaurant, but it’s actually pretty easy to make at home. 

First, grab two large eggplants and slice them thinly lengthwise. Season your slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then grill. 

Since these slices are thinner than the other recipes on this list, limit your grill time to about two minutes. 

Second, while your eggplant is grilling, mix a cup of ricotta cheese, half a cup of grated Parmesan, a quarter cup of finely chopped basil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

By now, you should have your grilled eggplants and filling ready, which we need for our next steps: assembly and baking.

Lay your eggplant slices flat on a plate and place a dollop of your cheese mixture. Roll the ends of your eggplant slices and set them aside for now. 

Spread a cup of tomato sauce at the bottom of your baking tray. I usually use store-bought tomato sauce because it’s accessible, but if you have a family recipe, you can use that too. 

Once your tray is evenly lined with tomato sauce, place your rolled-up eggplants (rollatini) on top (seam-side down). 

If you have remaining tomato sauce, spoon it on top of the rollatini and drizzle some grated Parmesan cheese for that added nutty flavor.

The last step is to bake your grilled eggplant rollatini for 20 minutes. A good test to see if it’s cooked through is if you see the cheese oozing out of the rolled eggplants. 

Before digging in, be sure to give your dish some time to rest. I know it can be hard to resist, but you must wait until it cools down a bit.

Trust me, this will be a fast favorite for you and your family. Before you know it, you’ll be making this at every gathering for the foreseeable future.

11. Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Rolls

For this last recipe, we’re sticking with the theme of “rolls.” The steps to make this dish is pretty similar to the grilled eggplant rollatini (minus the baking). The only difference is the filling. 

Instead of using ricotta cheese, we’ll be using goat cheese as the star ingredient. 

So, to make the filling for your grilled eggplant rolls, you need to mix 8 oz. of room-temperature goat cheese, half a cup of chopped sundried tomatoes, and a fourth cup of finely chopped basil. 

Don’t forget to season your filling with just the right amount of salt and pepper. 

Next, grab your grilled eggplant slices and spoon some of that filling inside. Roll them up tightly, and secure them with a toothpick. 

Now, they’re ready to serve. 

Explore Grilled Eggplant in 11 Different Ways

Can you believe just how much you can do with eggplant? 

From the simple grilled eggplant to the more gourmet recipes, there’s absolutely no shortage of dishes you can try with this one ingredient.

The best part is: all recipes are vegetarian and nutritious! 

So, if you’re trying to cut back on your meats or are trying to incorporate more healthy dishes into your diet, this is the right list for you.

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