This easy Baba Ganoush recipe is a gluten-free, vegan snack or appetizer that’s perfect for any get together. Served with veggies, crackers, or pita bread, it’s sure to be a crowd favorite!
I know what you’re wondering: What is baba ganoush? And where does this mysterious dip come from? The answer is actually quite simpler than what you’d expect. It could probably be considered a fancy form of hummus, but with eggplant in place of chickpeas!
Baba ganoush is a popular Levantine dish made from eggplant, oil, lemon juice, and seasonings. While a technical baba ganoush does not actually contain tahini (like its close cousin, mutabbal, does), our baba ganoush (along with most other Westernized versions of the dip), included added tahini for texture and flavor!
You may recall my recipe for Babaga Hummus. If you liked that – a blend of eggplants and chickpeas – you’re going to love this appetizer. It’s a recipe that’s super delicious and lets eggplants totally shine on their own. So, in all of eggplant’s glory, let’s baba ganoush!
Here’s what you’ll need
The ingredients for this recipe stick to those of pretty much all classic baba ganoush recipes. We use lots of eggplant, followed by oil, salt, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. I like to add parsley and cumin for extra flavor, but you can do what you’d prefer.
- Eggplant: For this recipe, either 1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplants will do.
- Olive Oil: We’ll be using 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to roast the eggplant. Aim for a high quality oil, which will impart some seriously delicious Mediterranean flavor.
- Salt: A pinch of salt brings out the natural flavor of eggplant.
- Tahini: Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds and will be used for both flavor and texture. You can use pre-made tahini, or you can make your own.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds the perfect zing to this baba ganoush. Fresh lemon juice is best, as it has a more fresh and lemony flavor.
- Garlic: For an extra kick, we’ll be using 2 cloves of minced garlic. Garlic lovers are free to add more!
- Optional Flavors: Though this recipe is filled with flavor on its own, a bit of added parsley and cumin can work wonders!
How to cook the eggplant for quicker baba ganoush
For this recipe, eggplant requires the most attention. After all, it is the bulk of baba ganoush! But we’ve got a secret that makes it ultra easy and quick to cook.
Eggplant is usually grilled or roasted whole. To save time, we’ll actually be slicing the vegetable into slabs and then broiling it. In doing so, we dramatically reduce the cook time, thus lowering our carbon footprint and speeding up our cooking all at the same time! We will also peel before slicing and cooking to make assembly easier later on.
Step 1: Prepare the eggplant
To begin making baba ganoush, preheat the oven to broil, peel the eggplant(s), and slice into ¼-inch thick rounds.
Step 2: Remove moisture
Next, spread the eggplant slices onto a paper towel in a single layer, then sprinkle both sides evenly with salt. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow moisture to be drawn out. Firmly pat eggplant slices as dry as possible with paper towels, then transfer to a baking sheet.
Step 3: Cook the eggplant
After transferring to a baking sheet, brush each side of the eggplant slices with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons total). Set on a mid/upper rack of the oven. Broil for 5 minutes per side, or until lightly brown on both sides and fork tender. (Those brown bits? They add flavor to the dip!)
Step 4: Mix ingredients
Next, allow the eggplant to slightly cool. Once cooled, add to a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher to form a paste. Stir in the tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. While stirring, slowly drizzle in the remaining oil. Taste and add the remaining salt if needed.
If you’d like, you can puree the mixture in a food processor. This will achieve a silky smooth finish. However, either option is fine. Below is an image of baba ganoush made without a food processor. As you can see, this isn’t a step that is absolutely required.
What to eat with baba ganoush
Baba ganoush and can be eaten with a variety of different finger foods. I love to eat it alongside cucumbers, carrots, pepper slices, and pita bread! You can also slather it onto sandwiches or combine it with a little water to form a creamy dressing (like we did in these Hummus Wraps). Basically, if you could eat it with hummus, you can eat it with baba ganoush.
Since baba ganoush is naturally vegan and gluten-free, it’s a great appetizer or snack to serve at get-togethers. It’s an easy crowd pleaser! Serve it alongside a platter of veggies and crackers for smiles all around.
Any extra baba ganoush should be good for about 3 days when kept refrigerated.
Similar dip-style appetizers
Dips are always a good idea. For even more dip recipes, check out these tasty options. Hint: The Easy Black Bean Dip is one of my all-time favorites!
- Vegetarian Buffalo Dip
- Easy Black Bean Dip
- Hidden Spinach Healthy Guacamole
- Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Mediterranean Layered Hummus
- 1 large eggplant or 2 small
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided, 60 mL
- 1 tsp salt divided
- ¼ cup tahini 60 g
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice 30 mL
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Optional flavors: 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, pinch of cumin
- Prep: Preheat oven to broil. Peel eggplant(s) and slice into ¼-inch thick rounds. Spread onto a paper towel in a single layer, then sprinkle both sides evenly with ¾ tsp salt. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow moisture to be drawn out. Firmly pat eggplant slices as dry as possible with paper towels, then transfer to a baking sheet.
- Cook: Brush each side of the eggplant slices with olive oil (about 2 Tbsp total). Set on a mid/upper rack of the oven, and broil for 5 minutes per side, or until lightly brown on both sides and fork tender.
- Assemble: Allow eggplant to cool slightly before using. Add it to a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher to form a paste. Stir in tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. While stirring, slowly drizzle in remaining 2 Tbsp of oil. Taste and add remaining ¼ tsp of salt if needed.
Tips & Tricks
- For smoother baba ganoush, transfer mixture to a food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Serve with pita bread, chips, veggies, or as a spread on sandwiches and wraps!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.