Our roasted eggplant dip is an excellent appetizer made with roasted eggplant, lemon, garlic, and tahini. It has a creamy-dreamy texture with a silky mouth feel that is impossible to resist.
We follow the classic recipe of middle eastern baba ganoush to make this simple and delicious eggplant dip.
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In our family, eggplant dip is a synonym for baba ganoush, a popular Levantine dish made with roasted eggplant and served as a "meze," aka appetizer, on a platter with pita bread and other dips, falafel, and small dishes.
We wanted to share our baba ganoush recipe with you because it's effortless to make and because this is one of our favorite dips, hands down.
In the traditional recipe, the eggplant is roasted over an open flame to infuse it with a smoky flavor, then peeled, and the flesh mashed either with mortar and pestle or finely chopped with a knife.
However, we modified the recipe slightly to make it more everyday friendly, roasting the eggplant in the oven, scooping it out of its peel, and blending it with a food processor.
The result is a light, creamy, silky-textured dip that we serve in a bowl garnished with some good extra virgin olive oil and chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and mint.
Dig in with some warm pita bread, close your eyes, and you'll experience the herby, fruity, earthy, smokey, and tangy flavor of this middle-eastern delicacy.
Use globe eggplant (aubergine) the dark-purple variety you can find in most grocery stores. Italian eggplant is good too.
It is crucial to use tahini made from 100% hulled sesame seeds, preferably imported from a middle eastern or Levantine country like Lebanon or Palestine.
The tahini should be light in color and pourable. Avoid dark sesame pastes made with whole (skin-on) sesame seeds and other ingredients. They are often bitter and unpleasant to eat, and the eggplant dip won't be as delicious.
We cannot stress this enough; the wrong tahini will ruin this recipe. The right one will make it a winner.
A couple of tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice is all you need to add freshness to the eggplant dip. You can use one or two extra tablespoons if you like the recipe extra tangy.
Garlic should not be the dominant flavor in baba ganoush. We'd recommend starting with half garlic clove only to add more later if you like the dip more garlicky.
Make sure to chop the garlic before adding it to the food processor for the best results.
Salt and Pepper
Sea salt or kosher salt are good options. We add a tiny bit of black pepper for roasting the eggplant.
Fresh parsley and mint
Add fresh flat-leaf parsley and fresh mint, finely chopped, on top to garnish the baba ganoush right before serving it. Eggplant, parsley, and mint fit perfectly together.
We recommend a good quality extra virgin olive oil because we drizzle it on top of the eggplant dip, and you'll taste its flavor. A low-quality oil will ruin your baba ganoush. We also use some oil to roast the eggplant.
Add smoked paprika and ground cumin for more aroma. Start with ¼ of a teaspoon each.
Preheat the oven to 430°F or 220°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, then wash, dry, and cut the eggplants in half lengthwise.
Score the flesh of the eggplant with a knife, then season with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Consideration: roasting the eggplant cut in half, as opposed to roasting the whole eggplants, allows for the extra moisture to evaporate, and you won't have to drain the excess liquid in a colander. Also, cut this way, the flesh is easier to scoop out.
Arrange the eggplants cut side down and bake at 430°F or 220°C for 50 minutes.
Tip: for an extra smokey flavor, turn the broiler on and broil for 5 to 10 minutes to slightly char the peel of the eggplant. You can also grill the eggplant until tender instead of baking it.
Let eggplants cool down for 10 minutes, then scoop the flesh out of the peel with a spoon, and transfer it into a food processor.
Add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and salt, then pulse a few times until you reach your desired consistency.
Tip: baba ganoush should be creamy, with a bit of texture, and not completely smooth. Taste and adjust for salt and lemon juice.
Transfer to a serving bowl, swirl it with the back of a spoon, and top with finely chopped parsley and mint, a generous drizzle of olive oil, and optionally some smoked paprika.
Serve baba ghanouj with freshly baked flatbread , warm pita bread, pita chips, crackers, or raw vegetable sticks like red peppers, carrot sticks, or cherry tomatoes and cucumber discs.
Chipotle Eggplant Dip
If you love stronger smokey and spicy flavors, you will love this variation of baba ganoush with hot chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
We had some chipotle peppers left over from our delicious chipotle sauce, and we thought, why not try them in baba ganoush. After all, eggplant is delicious with some extra spice and smokiness. It was one of the best improv recipes we've ever put together.
To make it, you'll need one to three chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, depending on your spice tolerance. Add them to the blender with the rest of the ingredients, and pulse until creamy. It's hot, smokey, earthy, and a must-try for chipotle lovers.
Chickpea Eggplant Dip
This one is a kind of hummus with roasted eggplant. What we like about this variation is that the chickpeas add nutrition (protein and healthy carbs) and make the dip more satiating.
To make it, add one 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, to the other ingredients in the food processor. Double the lemon juice and salt, and add an extra tablespoon or two of tahini. Blend until creamy and smooth.
Melitzanosalata (Greek eggplant dip)
Melitzanosalata is a Greek eggplant dip that shares a lot of similarities to the original recipe of baba ganoush. We make this when we run out of tahini or don't want to use our food processor.
To make it, roast the eggplant as described in our recipe. Then, scoop the flesh out with a spoon and add it to a bowl.
- ¼ finely chopped red onion
- 4 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
- 1 finely chopped garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper (or red pepper flakes)
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (or red wine vinegar)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Mash with a fork to reduce the eggplant flesh into smaller pieces, stir, then let rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving. It should look like a mix between a dip and a Mediterranean eggplant salad.
Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley, mint, onion, a drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with olives, on pita, flatbread, or other toasted bread.
This eggplant dip can easily upgrade your meal or appetizer with an added creamy texture and a mild earthy flavor. Here are some of the best ways to eat it:
- As a dip (mezze platter): served with flatbread, warm pita, tabbouleh, shirazi, crostini, and veggie sticks.
- Use as a spread: in a sandwich with grilled tofu, lettuce, and slices of tomato.
- In a wrap: in our chickpea crepes or piadina wrap.
- With a salad: such as chickpea salad, quinoa salad, or couscous salad.
- On top of bowls: add a dollop or two on top of your favorite grain bowl. Ours is a bowl of rice salad and one of barley salad.
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Store baba ghanoush in an airtight container in the fridge for two to three days. Add fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil before serving. We don't recommend freezing this recipe.
For many more starter ideas, check out our starters category page.
Eggplant Dip - Baba Ganoush
- Food processor
- 2 medium eggplants (about 2½ pounds) (+ 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ pepper to season them before roasting)
- 3 tablespoons tahini (made with 100% hulled sesame seeds)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- ½ clove garlic (or more to taste)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespon mint (optional, finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (to drizzle on top)
- Preheat the oven to 430°F or 220°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then wash, dry, and cut the eggplants in half lengthwise.Score the flesh of the eggplant with a knife, then season with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Arrange the eggplants cut side down and bake at 430°F or 220°C for 50 minutes.Tip: for an extra smokey flavor, turn the broiler on and broil for 5 to 10 minutes to slightly char the peel of the eggplant.
- Let eggplants cool down for 10 minutes, then scoop the flesh out of the peel with a spoon, and transfer it into a food processor.
- Add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and salt, then pulse a few times until you reach your desired consistency. Taste and adjust for salt and lemon juice.
- Tip: baba ganoush should be creamy, with a bit of texture, and not completely smooth.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, swirl it with the back of a spoon, and top with finely chopped parsley and mint, a generous drizzle of olive oil, and optionally some smoked paprika. Serve with freshly baked flatbread, warm pita bread, pita chips, or raw vegetable sticks like red peppers, carrots, or cherry tomatoes.
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