Baba ganoush is a gorgeous Middle Eastern eggplant dip that is easy to make at home with a food processor, roasted eggplant, and a few simple ingredients.

It has a lovely smooth, creamy, and velvety texture with a lush mouthfeel. Its captivating flavor has smokey, nutty, citrusy, and garlicky undertones.

Enjoy baba ganoush as a dip or spread with warm pita bread, falafel, hummus, or fresh veggies.

Baba ganoush on a blue plate with eggplant on the side

Dietary Note: this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diet. It’s low in cholesterol and saturated fats.

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What is Baba Ganoush?

Baba ganoush on a plate with halloumi, pita, and shirazi

Did you know that Baba Ganoush means “spoiled old daddy“?

History narrates that it was first made by a man who mashed some charred eggplant pulp into a puree to feed its toothless dad.

Baba ganoush with pita bread and eggplant

I don’t know if this story is true, but what’s certain is that Baba Ganoush’s velvety texture and smoky, nutty flavor make it a mouthwatering dish.

Serve it as a starter on a meze platter with other Middle Eastern small plates, such as hummus, falafel, tahini sauce, sumac onions, tabouli salad, shirazi salad, and warm pita bread.

Baba Ganoush video recipe

Ingredients for eggplant dip

Baba Ganoush ingredients

Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Eggplant

Use Italian eggplant or globe eggplant (aubergine in the UK), which has a dark purple peel.

Tahini

We recommend tahini made from 100% hulled sesame seeds with a light beige, pale sandy color and a smooth, pourable consistency.

Avoid dark sesame pastes, as they can be bitter.

Lemon

We recommend fresh lemon juice.

Garlic

A small clove is enough. Garlic should not be the dominant flavor in Baba Ganoush.

Salt and Pepper

Sea salt and kosher salt are both excellent options. Black pepper is optional.

Toppings (pick one or more)

  • Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley: substitute mint or coriander.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pine nuts: substitute Dukkah, an Eastern Mediterranean nuts and spice mix.
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Smoked paprika
  • Ground cumin
Baba ganoush on a small plate with hand holding a pita bread

How to make Baba Ganoush + Nico’s Tips

Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

1. Cook the eggplant

There are several ways to cook eggplants; here, we’ll show you the most common ones.

Remember that the smokey flavor is only achievable if you char the eggplant on an open flame or barbeque.

OPTION 1: Open flame or grill

Important: cooking on an open flame can be dangerous, so be cautious. If you don’t feel comfortable with this step, use the oven-roasted method below.

Your kitchen is going to get smokey, so open windows and ensure there’s enough ventilation. Also, your stovetop will get messy as the juices from the eggplant will come out. But flavorwise, this method is unbeatable!

Pierce the eggplant with a fork, then place it on an open flame or a hot grill – we use our gas stove – and cook it until very soft and completely charred on all sides.

Turn eggplant often with metal tongues. Use a kitchen glove to prevent burns.

broiling an eggplant on the gas stove

Let the charred eggplant cool down for a few minutes, then remove all charred skin by scraping it off with a paring knife. Add flesh to a food processor.

Discard the stem and the skin.

charred eggplant without skin

OPTION 2: Oven Baked

Preheat the oven to 430°F or 220°C.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, score their flesh with a knife, and season it with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a twist of black pepper.

eggplant cut on cutting board

Arrange the eggplants cut side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake them for 40 to 50 minutes, until very tender.

charred and scored eggplant after baking

Let them cool down for 10 minutes, then scoop the flesh out with a spoon, and transfer it to a food processor.

Discard the stem and the skin.

Tip: roasting the eggplant cut in half, as opposed to roasting the whole eggplant, 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.

hands using a spoon to remove flesh from roasted eggplant

OPTION 3: Cook in the air fryer

Cut eggplants in half, score their flesh with a knife, season with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and arrange them cut side down in an air fryer basket.

Cook them at 400°F or 200°C for about 20 minutes or until fork-tender.

Scoop the flesh out with a spoon and add it to a food processor.

Note: This method is the easiest, but it won’t give you a smokey flavor. You can add some liquid smoke or smoked paprika or combine one air-fried eggplant with one gas stovetop eggplant.

air fryer eggplant

2. Blend until smooth

To the food processor with the eggplant pulp, add tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and salt.

Pulse a few times until you reach your desired consistency.

ingredients for eggplant dip in a food processor

The texture depends on your preference, ranging from slightly chunky to completely smooth.

Taste and adjust for salt and lemon juice before serving.

Baba ganoush after blending in a food processor

Transfer the mixture to a bowl or plate and spread it with a spoon.

You can garnish with finely chopped parsley, mint, extra virgin olive oil, smoked paprika, pine nuts, dukkha, and pomegranate seeds.

Baba ganoush on a small plate with olive oil and fresh parsley

Serving suggestions

Serve Baba Ganoush as a spread or dip. Try it with pita bread, chips, or crackers, in a wrap or sandwich, or with raw vegetable sticks such as red peppers, carrot sticks, or cherry tomatoes and cucumber discs.

You can also serve it as part of a mezze platter with other small Middle Eastern dishes.

Make a Middle Eastern feast

Baba ganoush with pita bread, pickled red onions, and olives

We have plenty of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean recipes you can serve Baba Ganoush with:

You can pick one or more of these dishes, arrange them on a large platter with olives, feta cheese, grilled halloumi, and lemon wedges, and make an excellent mezze (appetizer) platter.

Upgrade your grain bowls

mediterranean bowl

Add a dollop of baba ganoush to one of our grain bowls for a beautiful meal with a creamy and smokey twist. Try it with:

Storage

Make ahead: Baba Ganoush is an excellent recipe for meal prep. The flavors get better if the ingredients sit together for a while. We recommend making it a few hours and up to a day before serving it.

Refrigerator: Store the leftovers in an airtight container or covered with foil in the fridge for two to three days. Stir in fresh lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Freezer: We don’t recommend freezing this recipe.

Variations

Mutabal

Mutabal with spoon and hand

Mutabal is a delicious Levantine eggplant and yogurt dip similar to baba ganoush, but the yogurt gives it a richer and creamier texture.

Here’s our mutabal recipe.

Chipotle Eggplant Dip

eggplant dip with chipotle peppers in adobo

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 chipotle sauce, and we thought, why not try them in baba ganoush?

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.

Chickpea Eggplant Dip

eggplant dip with chickpea

This variation is as simple as blending a 15-ounce can of chickpeas with the other ingredients.

Simple, nutritious, and, most importantly, really tasty!

Melitzanosalata (Greek eggplant dip)

Melitzanosalata is a Greek eggplant dip with many similarities to the original baba ganoush recipe.

We do this when we run out of tahini or don’t want to use our food processor.

To make it, roast the eggplants, scoop out the flesh with a spoon, and add it to a bowl.

Next, add:

  • 1/4 finely chopped red onion
  • 4 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 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 it rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving.

It should resemble 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 warm bread.

Greek eggplant dip on a blue plate

Questions

What does Baba mean in Baba ganoush?

It is not sure what Baba means in Baba ganoush. Baba is an Arabic word that translates to “dad” affectionately, but some suggest the term could refer to eggplant.

What is the difference between baba ganoush and hummus?

The main difference between baba ganoush and hummus is that the main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, while the main ingredient in baba ganoush is eggplant.

Both recipes contain tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and, depending on the local variations, can include cumin. They are also eaten in the same Eastern Mediterranean, Levantine, and Middle Eastern regions.

Baba ganoush with pita bread and eggplant

More eggplant recipes

More dips and spreads

Baba ganoush on a plate with fresh parsley and paprika

Baba Ganoush

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 5 votes
Baba ganoush is a gorgeous Middle Eastern eggplant dip that is easy to make at home with a food processor, roasted eggplant, and a few simple ingredients.
It has a lovely smooth, creamy, and velvety texture with a lush mouthfeel. Its captivating flavor has smokey, nutty, citrusy, and garlicky undertones.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Dip, Spread
Cuisine: Middle-Eastern

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants about 2 pounds or 900 grams
  • cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or more to taste
  • 1 small clove garlic or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste

GARNISH WITH:

  • 1 pinch flat-leaf parsley or mint.
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika optional
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts substitute dukkah or pomegranate seeds.

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 430°F or 220°C or air-fryer to 400°F or 200°C.
    Cut 2 medium eggplants in half lengthwise, score their flesh with a knife, and season it with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a twist of black pepper.
    eggplant cut on cutting board
  • OVEN BAKE: Arrange eggplants cut side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until very tender.
    AIR FRYER: Arrange eggplants cut side down in air fryer basket and cook for 20 minutes.
    charred and scored eggplant after baking
  • TIP: Optionally, to add the smoky flavor, cook one eggplant on an open flame/grill.
    Pierce the eggplant with a fork, then place it on an open flame or a hot grill—we use our gas stove—and cook it until very soft and charred on all sides.
    Turn eggplant often with metal tongues. Use a kitchen glove to prevent burns.
    Remove charred skin by scraping it off with a paring knife. Add flesh to a food processor.
    how to char an eggplant on the gas stove
  • Scoop the pulp out with a spoon and transfer it to a food processor.
    Discard the stem and the skin.
    hands using a spoon to remove flesh from roasted eggplant
  • To the same food processor, add ⅓ cup tahini, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 small clove garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt.
    Pulse until you reach your desired consistency. The texture depends on your preference, ranging from slightly chunky to completely smooth.
    ingredients for eggplant dip in a food processor
  • Taste and adjust for salt and lemon juice before serving.
    Transfer to a plate and garnish with 1 pinch flat-leaf parsley, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1 tablespoon pine nuts.
    Baba ganoush on a small plate with olive oil and fresh parsley

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 portion of Baba Ganoush out of 6 portions.
STORAGE & MAKE AHEAD
Make ahead: Baba Ganoush is an excellent recipe for meal prep. The flavors get better if the ingredients sit together for a while. We recommend making it a few hours and up to a day before serving it.
Refrigerator: Store the leftovers in an airtight container or covered with foil in the fridge for two to three days. Stir in fresh lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil before serving.
Freezer: We don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
ALSO ON THIS PAGE

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 593mg, Potassium: 583mg, Dietary Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 205IU, Vitamin B6: 0.2mg, Vitamin C: 9mg, Vitamin E: 1mg, Vitamin K: 15µg, Calcium: 50mg, Folate: 66µg, Iron: 2mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 54mg, Zinc: 1mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

5 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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