Mistaken as a vegetable, the eggplant (also known as an aubergine)  is actually just a misunderstood fruit! Not unlike another misunderstood fruit, the avocado, the flesh of the eggplant will quickly turn brown once it’s been cut open. So get ready to cut into one and cook up some amazing dishes.

Eggplant is known for its vibrant dark purple color, egg shape and white meaty-textured flesh. It is most popularly eaten cooked rather than raw, but if you haven’t cooked eggplant before, now’s the time to try your hand at some new recipes! Eggplant can even be used in many dishes to help make them low-carb, often replacing starchy foods for something a lot more nutritious. Eggplant offers a great dose of dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and B6, potassium, folate, vitamin K and so much more. So with all those benefits, we went looking for amazing recipes that will make you want to start to cook with eggplant more. Now you can introduce this healthy food into your diet in new truly delicious ways!

1. Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant parmesan takes an old classic Italian dish and makes it easy. It will only take 15 minutes to prepare which makes it a great contender for weeknight meals. The rest of the “work” is just time spent cooking in the oven.

These eggplants are battered giving them a crispy layer. This eggplant parmesan is completely baked in the oven and is not fried. The outer layer still gets crispy and is full of flavor. Many love chicken parmesan because of its comforting aroma and flavor. This is a great way to introduce more nutrition into your meals while still maintaining a wonderful taste for your picky-eaters!

https://www.theseasonedmom.com/baked-eggplant-parmesan/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE SEASONED MOM

2. Low-Carb Eggplant Pizza Bites

Pizza is usually a top favorite in many households. Its simple and comforting flavors is what keeps the kids begging for more. Sometimes it can be hard to guide them towards the healthier options but meals like this make it easier.

Make a kid, and an adult favorite like pizza but put a healthy spin on it for a delicious weeknight or weekend meal! It is so easy to throw together because it only requires 6 easy ingredients and will be made in under 30 minutes.

https://gimmedelicious.com/2017/01/16/low-carb-eggplant-pizza-bites/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: GIMME DELICIOUS

3. Homemade Baba Ganoush

If you haven’t had baba ganoush before, it is an eastern Mediterranean dish that is often used as a spread, sauce or a dip. If you’re a hummus lover then you’ll bound to love this too. This homemade baba ganoush takes a restaurant style recipe and makes it easy to make on your own.

This baba ganoush starts with roasted eggplant and is then blended with lemon juice, tahini, garlic and many other savory flavors. The wrinklier the eggplant gets in the roasting process, the better! It is also important to peel the skin off and chuck the seeds from the eggplant after its done roasting so your baba ganoush doesn’t turn out with a bitter flavor. The secret to this recipe is to make it a day ahead of when you need it when it sits in the fridge for at least 24 hours the flavors get absorbed making this dip even more flavorful.

http://littlespicejar.com/homemade-baba-ganoush/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: LITTLE SPICE JAR

4. Loaded Grilled Eggplant With Creamy Herb Sauce

If loaded potatoes are one of your favorite go-to’s then you’ll definitely want to give these a try. It uses the same concept of loaded potatoes but with a unique twist with eggplant and complimenting flavors. This recipe calls for a different type of eggplant – baby eggplants! They’re not just charming in appearance, but are actually sweeter in flavor than other varieties of eggplant.

This dish only takes 20 minutes to make which makes it another awesome weeknight meal choice. The filling is made out of a nut crumble that won’t have you missing meat at all. It’s both light and savory with bold flavors, fresh herbs, and an amazing creamy sauce. It will make a perfect light meal that is still satisfying and the family will be bound to request this again.

https://lexiscleankitchen.com/loaded-grilled-eggplant-creamy-herb-sauce/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: LEXI’S CLEAN KITCHEN

5. Greek Moussaka

If you have never heard of Greek moussaka then you can think of it more simply as an eggplant beefcake. This is a very traditional Greek dish that offers a lot of flavor and texture. Although from a first glance it may look like a shepherds pie, it is far from it.

This dish is genuine comfort food that the whole family will enjoy. It has layers of ground beef, tomato sauce, baked eggplant and a buttery and cheesy sauce on top. It may take a little more effort to assemble but it is well worth the wait.

https://www.recipetineats.com/moussaka-greek-eggplant-beef-bake/comment-page-3/#comments PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: RECIPE TIN EATS

6. Ratatouille

A fresh and light dish, filled with summer vegetables like zucchini, vibrant tomatoes, eggplant and a few more. This ratatouille only takes 20 minutes of prep time making it an easy dinner to come together effortlessly. It’s very important to pick vegetables that are in season to maximize flavor and save on costs!

This dish also remains vegan, gluten-free, paleo, low-carb and whole 30 which means just about everyone can enjoy this. It is extremely healthy and filling and you could serve it with quinoa, potatoes, and your favorite protein. It also makes great leftovers as the flavors have more time to absorb and complement each other. You could consider making it a day ahead or making double servings to have more for the week to come. It also freezes well which makes it a great freezer meal you could save for later.

https://acleanbake.com/ratatouille/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: A CLEAN BAKE

7. Eggplant Fries With Greek Tzatziki Sauce

These eggplant fries take on a healthier version of fried french fries. They have an easy and simple seasoned and breaded outer layer that is baked in the oven, not fried. They’ll achieve a crispy outside while maintaining a tender eggplant on the inside.

These eggplant fries make a great appetizer, savory snack or side dish to a meal. They taste great dipped into tzatziki sauce and this recipe even offers a homemade version you can make yourself. If it’s too much effort store bought tzatziki sauce or another dip like ranch or marinara will taste great too.

https://www.themediterraneandish.com/baked-eggplant-fries-tzatziki-sauce/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE MEDITERRANEAN DISH

8. Caprese Grilled Eggplant Roll-Ups

When it comes to party planning the appetizer menu doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s easy to make something look gourmet with minimal effort and with simple ingredients like these Caprese grilled eggplant roll-ups. They come together so effortlessly and will take you under 15 minutes to create.

They offer excellent flavors that are complemented by gooey cheese. If you love a good grilled cheese then this would be a great low carb and guilt-free alternative.  Naturally gluten-free, it has a fresh and summery taste that everyone will enjoy.

https://www.carolinescooking.com/caprese-grilled-eggplant-roll-ups/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: CAROLINE’S COOKING

9. Eggplant Lentil Bolognese

Bolognese is an Italian cuisine that is traditionally a meat-based sauce which originates from Bologna, Italy. This recipe takes on a traditional bolognese but is completely plant-based with a lot of flavor. There are two secrets to this recipe that will make your palate scream with joy!

The first secret is to make sure the eggplant is roasted first so that you can easily scoop out tender eggplant that will melt in the sauce. This recipe’s quick trick to know if your eggplant is tender enough is to make sure it can mash from the back of a spoon. The second secret in this recipe is to use red wine in the sauce. It only requires about 2 cups worth so you can save the rest of the bottle to enjoy alongside your tasty cuisine. You’ll want to serve the lentil and eggplant bolognese with a thick noodle such as rigatoni so it can absorb all the flavors and compliment its creamy sauce.

https://www.delishknowledge.com/eggplant-lentil-bolognese/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: DELISH KNOWLEDGE

10. Grilled Eggplant Tahini Satay Kebabs

As soon as warm weather hits you can often just smell all the grills that are fired up in the neighborhood. There’s something about barbeque that can offer so many meals a delicious and sometimes smokey flavor. These grilled eggplant kebabs are a pleasant and unique take to a traditional satay recipe. It is also nut-free, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Traditional satay recipes call for peanut butter, however, this recipe uses tahini instead. Tahini has 3 times the amount of calcium than milk which makes it an excellent and maybe even better substitute for peanut butter. The secret to this recipe is to let the eggplant sit for 30 minutes in a simple marinade recipe. You’ll then want to thread the eggplant onto skewers and cook on the barbeque at a low temperature for a longer period of time. This will help the eggplant to cook all the way through while preventing the marinade from burning.

https://www.deliciouseveryday.com/grilled-eggplant-tahini-satay-kebabs/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: DELICIOUS EVERYDAY

11. Sweet Potato And Eggplant Lasagna

Lasagna is one of those childhood favorites that I’m sure everyone had at some time or other growing up. The layers of creamy sauce, comforting pasta noodles and ooey-gooey cheese, you might melt in your chair just thinking about it.

While lasagna is delicious it isn’t always very healthy. This recipe takes the concept of lasagna but puts a healthy twist on it. It has delicious layers of tender eggplant, mashed sweet potato and melted cheese on top. It might get a few interesting looks at the dinner table but once they dig in it will quickly become a crowd favorite.

https://vegetariskmatrecept.se/en/vegetarian-lasagna PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: VEGETARISK MAT

12. Eggplant Burgers With Honey Beer-Glazed Shallots

If the sight of these didn’t make your mouth drool then I don’t know what will! While many veggie burgers are made with some type of legumes this recipe uses eggplant instead. The eggplant actually gives the burger a meaty texture making them more than satisfactory for the average meat lover.

These tasty burgers are complemented from a big slab of gooey cheese and then topped off with beer-glazed caramelized shallots. It is important to choose a beer that you enjoy the flavor of because the undertones will become vibrantly noticeable once you cook with it. These burgers offer sweet and salty flavors that will impress everyone you serve them to.

https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2014/07/eggplant-burgers-honey-beer-glazed-caramelized-shallots.html#_a5y_p=4483404 PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: EATS WELL WITH OTHERS

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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