11 AMAZING Vegan Eggplant Recipes for eggplant lovers and skeptics alike. Everything from stuffed eggplant to eggplant curries, there is a recipe for everyone. Most recipes are gluten free or gluten free adaptable.
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This post was originally published on 2/15/2019. Last updated on 7/10/2020
There was a time I didn't like eggplant.
I know, I know. It’s absolutely crazy. But I thought the vegetable was soft and slimy, generally without flavor and altogether gross. Hands up if you've ever felt that. Turns out, the problem wasn't eggplant. The problem was me; I wasn’t cooking it right! Once I started seeing all the vegan eggplant recipes out there, I realized that I was just doing eggplant wrong.
For the past several years, I’ve been making up for that by experimenting in the kitchen and finding new and inventive ways to use up this delicious purple vegetable all year long.
If you want to enjoy eggplant all summer with me, I’ve got a handful of suggestions and then a whole lotta recipe.
How To Pick Eggplant
Eggplant is a prolific vegetable and two or three eggplant plants will provide you more than enough eggplant for the season. Whether you are harvesting your own eggplant, picking it out at the farmer’s market, or shopping in the grocery store, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Look – A healthy eggplant should have smooth and shiny skin that is dark purple and uniform in color. Avoid eggplants with shrivel skin or have blemishes, bruises, or tan patches. They may be overripe or rotten.
- Feel – To test for ripeness, lightly press your finger against the skin. A ripe eggplant will leave a small imprint that will quickly disappear. Pick up the eggplant in your hand. A ripe eggplant should feel heavier than you expect.
- Smell – Ripe eggplants should have little to no odor. If you smell any negative or foul odor, toss it out!
I recommend buying or picking your eggplant when they are smaller. Smaller eggplants are sweeter, less bitter, and have fewer seeds.
Eggplant Cooking Tips
- Salt your eggplant. This draws out the moisture, takes away the bitterness, and brings out the flavor. If you're used to slimy flavorless eggplant, it's likely you've been skipping this step. Each recipe will have different guidelines for how to salt your eggplant but, whatever you do, make sure to rinse it off and pat it dry.
- I recommend a mandoline (<<affiliate link). With a mandoline, you can slice eggplant into super thin lasagna or ravioli noodles. Since making my first eggplant noodle lasagna last year, my mandoline has become a go-to kitchen tool.
- Cook eggplant with the right amount of fat. This is an important part of getting a nice skin on the eggplant which gives it that pleasant chewy texture. Don’t skimp on the amount of oil the recipe calls for and be ready to transfer it to the oven or frying pan right away.
- Don't drown it in the sauce. Eggplant is a delicious vegetable. Often people are tempted to slather it in a sauce but this can make the eggplant soggy as well as take away from the smoky natural flavors of the eggplant.
- Try grilling it! I love grilling sliced eggplant along with my portobello steaks and veggie burgers. Brush a little oil on it and place it on the hot grill for a delicious and simple eggplant side dish.
How To Store Eggplant
Refrigerator- Store eggplant in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Zucchini stays freshest when wrapped in a paper towel and stored in a plastic bag in the crisper. Cooked eggplant can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
Freezer - To freeze, wash and cut the eggplant into 1-inch chunks. Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. When frozen all the way through transfer the eggplant pieces to a ziplock bag. Freeze for up to two months. Frozen eggplant is great for stir fry, curry, or vegan meatballs.
Vegan Eggplant Recipes
Now let's take a look at 11+ of my favorite vegan eggplant entrées from around the internet! These recipes are classic dishes that will turn any eggplant skeptic into an eggplant lover.
This grain-free vegan Eggplant Lasagna looks so good! It’s made with a lentil/vegetable filling, vegan ricotta, and marinara sauce. Thinly sliced cooked eggplant is used in place of the noodles for a low carb, gluten free meal that is wholesome, healthy, and packed with flavor.
My mouth is watering just looking at this Chinese Eggplant in Garlic Sauce. It’s made from tender and juicy strips of eggplant stir-fried with red bell pepper, garlic, and ginger and served with a delicious Szechuan-style garlic sauce. I’ll take this over take out any day of the week!
Take a look at this Eggplant Bolognese Pasta! It’s another great recipe for eggplant skeptics. You’ve got a rich and creamy pasta filled with colorful vegetables and packed with delicious flavor. A simple weeknight meal that is fancy enough for dinner guests, this eggplant pasta recipe is a keeper!
Tofu and Eggplant baked in a rich and decadent sauce all served over cauliflower rice for a healthy, low carb, vegan and gluten-free meal. This meal is highly versatile so start experimenting today!
Everyone knows I love a good Reuben and this vegan Eggplant Reuben is top notch! It’s a saucy sandwich filled with Eggplant “Corn Beef”, homemade Russian Dressing, Sauerkraut, and your choice of vegan cheese. Lunch doesn’t get much better than this!
More Vegetable Roundups
Vegetables are amazing. They are versatile, delicious, and good for you! Do you need help with some of them? Here are a few of my other popular vegetable round-up articles.
- 11 PERFECT Sweet Potato Recipes
- 11 SAVORY Pumpkin Recipes
- 15 AMAZING Zucchini Recipes
- 11 of the BEST Cauliflower Recipes
- 11 DELICIOUS Kale Recipes
That's it! 11+ AMAZING vegan eggplant recipes. What is your favorite way to use eggplant? Tell me in the comments below.
Written by Sarah McMinn