Roasted eggplant is tasty, versatile and ready in 30 minutes. Learn how to roast eggplant perfectly every time and use it in a variety of recipes.
Being from the Middle East, I grew up loving eggplant in many dishes. From stuffed eggplants and Persian eggplant soup to the best middle eastern eggplant recipe, I love all the delicious dishes one can make with this versatile vegetable. Today, I'm going to focus on a foundational skill of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking: how to roast eggplant. Once you master the art of roasting eggplant, you can use it in so many recipes!
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About this recipe
Eggplant is such a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be used in so many different recipes. Some of the most essential eggplant recipes we've posted to date include mutabal, baba ganoush and melitzanosalata, which are delicious starters, fried eggplant as a side dish and a super-easy eggplant lasagna dinner.
Being able to successfully roast eggplants in the oven is an essential skill for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. In this post you'll find everything you need to know about roasting eggplants from what kind of eggplant to use to different uses for roasted eggplant, so keep on reading!
What kind of eggplant to use
To roast an eggplant in the oven, first of all you must make sure you have the right eggplant for roasting.
Depending on the recipe, I usually go for globe, Italian or Chinese eggplant for roasting. These eggplants have bright flesh and are very juicy which makes them perfect for roasting.
If roasting Italian or globe eggplants, you can roast them sliced, cubes or halved. However, if you're planning to roast Chinese eggplants you can simply halve them since they're quite thin.
Make sure the eggplant is not mushy on the outside and doesn't have soft brown spots. The perfect eggplant has a firm and shiny skin and feels heavy for its size.
Salting the eggplant, yes or no?
I recommend salting the eggplant before roasting or frying. Not only it gets rid of the excess liquid, but also it would remove the potential bitterness. To salt the eggplants, sprinkle some pink or kosher salt on the eggplants (cut, cubed or sliced) and let them sit for 30 minutes until they "sweat." Wash under cold water and dry completely using a paper towel. Proceed with the recipe as instructed to roast the eggplants.
How to roast an eggplant in the oven
- Wash and pat dry the eggplant with paper towels, then slice it in half lengthwise and cut diamonds inside the eggplant, making sure you're not cutting into the skin. Cutting the diamond inside the eggplant is an optional step, but it will help the eggplant to roast evenly - especially if it's a large one.
- Salt the eggplant on both sides and let it sit for 30 minutes to "sweat." This helps to get rid of the excess liquid and bitterness. After 30 minutes, rinse and dry the eggplant.
- Brush some olive oil on the cut side of the eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet, cut side down, and place it in the oven. Broil for about 20 to 30 minutes, rotating every ten minutes to ensure it cooks evenly.
- Once the eggplant is completely roasted, take it out of the oven and start peeling the skin. Because the eggplant is completely roasted, the skin peels off very easily.
Roasting eggplant cubes
- Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and place them in a colander placed over a bowl. Sprinkle some salt on the eggplants and let them sit for 30 minutes to sweat. Then rinse and pat dry with a kitchen paper towel.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the cubed eggplants and add salt and pepper.
- Transfer the eggplant cubes to a lined baking sheet and roast in the oven at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until fully cooked. You can use cubed eggplant in various recipes, such as eggplant caponata and vegan eggplant chickpea stew.
Using roasted eggplant
You can make different recipes using roasted eggplants. Personally, I'm a huge fan of middle eastern eggplants with tahini sauce. If you're making roasted cubed eggplants, you can add them to pastas, salads or pizzas as well. It also makes a delicious side dish served with some middle eastern tahini sauce, yogurt sauce or goat cheese.
Frequently asked questions
I don't peel eggplant before roasting because in younger and smaller eggplants the skin is completely edible. For this roasting method, I leave the skin on because eggplant has a very tender flesh that might burn if it's broiled directly, therefore I peel the eggplant after it's roasted.
Cubed or sliced roasted eggplant can last up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container. If you've roasted eggplant halves, you can scoop the flesh out, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Absolutely. Simply peel the skin and mash the eggplant. Freeze them in freezer bags for up to two months. To use, thaw the eggplant in the fridge overnight and then use it in your preferred recipe.
Yes. This is a basic recipe that you can easily enhance with your favorite spices. Add turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, rosemary or thyme for more flavor.
More eggplant recipes
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Roasted Eggplant Recipe (How to roast an eggplant)
- 2 eggplants
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
To roast eggplant halves:
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with cooking spray.
- Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Cut diamonds in the eggplant using a sharp knife. Make sure not to cut into the skin of the eggplant.
- Sprinkle the kosher salt on the eggplants and let them sit on a baking sheet on in a colander for 30 minutes to sweat. Then rinse under cold water and dry with a paper towel.
- Brush the cut side with olive oil and place the eggplants cut side down on the baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet about 5 inch below the broiler and turn the broiler on to high.
- Broil the eggplant for 20 to 30 minutes until the skin is wrinkled and the eggplant is fully cooked and tender.
- Peel the skin off and serve the eggplant with tahini sauce or use it in your desired recipe.
To roast eggplant cubes:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.
- Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and place them in a colander placed over a bowl. There is no need to peel the eggplant.
- Sprinkle some salt on the eggplants and let them sit for 30 minutes to sweat. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Drizzle the olive oil over the cubed eggplants and add salt.
- The most important step in making the perfect roasted eggplant is to select the perfect eggplant. The eggplant you select needs to be heavy with a tight skin and without any brown or soft spots.
- You can use Italian eggplant, globe eggplant or Chinese eggplant for roasting.
- This is a basic recipe that you can jazz up easily with your favorite spices. Add turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, rosemary or thyme for more flavor.
- For crispy roasted eggplant, slice the eggplant rather than cut it into halves or cubes. Brush well with olive oil and flip once halfway to make sure it's crispy on both sides. You can also turn on the broiler for a few minutes as well but make sure to keep a close eye.
- Cubed or sliced roasted eggplant can last up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container. If you've roasted eggplant halves, you can scoop the flesh out, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Absolutely. Simply peel the skin and mash the eggplant. Freeze them in freezer bags for up to two months. To use, thaw the eggplant in the fridge overnight and then use it in your preferred recipe.