Eggplant is a purple-skinned fruit with a white, spongy pulp.
It’s usually used as a vegetable in cooking and a common ingredient in vegan recipes, especially those that mimic the flavors or textures of meat.
Eggplants have a creamy consistency when cooked. It is also very absorbent and absorbs the spices well, which makes it a hearty, aromatic ingredient for vegan dishes.
Here are 10 delicious vegan eggplant recipes.
Eggplant parmesan is one of the most popular methods of making eggplant, but it’s usually made from cheese, so it’s not vegan.
This vegan eggplant parmesan recipe solves that problem and uses a homemade nut-based mozzarella cheese that is dairy-free. It is a filling main course that is full of flavor and makes a great dinner.
The mozzarella cheese is made from cashew nuts, which are rich in heart-healthy fats and various vitamins and minerals.
Nutritional yeast is also used, a deactivated yeast with a salty, cheesy taste.
A gyro is a Greek sandwich made of meat that is roasted on a vertical skewer, served on flatbread and topped with yoghurt tzatziki sauce.
In this recipe, swapping meat for eggplant makes for a delicious, vegan version of gyros that can be served for lunch or dinner. Cooked eggplants are topped with tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and hummus instead of a milk-based sauce.
The eggplant also provides a good dose of antioxidants. The eggplant’s purple skin is a source of anthocyanin pigments, which act as antioxidants in the body, protecting cells from disease-causing damage (1).
Marinated in salty and smoky spices and cooked in a pan, thinly sliced eggplant can serve as a vegan version of crispy bacon.
To prepare eggplant bacon, first cut the eggplant into long, thin slices with a mandolin or a sharp knife.
In a large pan, heat a vigorous splash of canola or avocado oil over medium heat.
Then combine 1/4 cup (60 ml) reduced soy sauce with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup, 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Worcestershire vegan sauce, and 1-2 teaspoons (5 grams) smoked paprika. Brush both sides of each eggplant slice with the mixture.
Arrange the eggplant slices in the pan and cook them for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until crispy and lightly charred. Transfer the eggplant bacon to a plate with paper towels. Continue cooking the eggplants in batches.
Chicken teriyaki is a popular Japanese dish that uses a sauce made from soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and mirin (Japanese rice wine).
Eggplants are a great base for vegan teriyaki recipes because they soak up sauces so well. This eggplant teriyaki recipe is ready in under 30 minutes and is based on common ingredients.
Edamame beans are also used to add some filling soy protein. Edamame beans are also loaded with folic acid, an essential vitamin that is especially important for healthy fetal development (2).
Curry refers to a variety of dishes made with meat, tofu, beans, or vegetables that are cooked in spices like turmeric, ginger, cumin, and coriander.
Eggplants are a delicious addition to curries and add a creamy texture. This vegan version of eggplant curry uses coconut milk for extra creaminess and chickpeas for a protein boost.
Curry powder has also been linked to many health benefits. For example, eating dishes with curry powder can help lower blood triglyceride levels and reduce the risk of heart disease (3).
Roasted eggplants have a milder taste than their raw counterparts and a silky texture, which makes them a wonderful base for a soup.
To make vegan eggplant soup, cut a large eggplant in half lengthways and place it, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 30–35 minutes at 220 ° C until the fork is tender.
In the meantime, add 2 chopped onions and 4 chopped garlic cloves to a stockpot with 4 cups (1 liter) of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the eggplant is completely cooked in the oven.
Use a spoon to scoop the cooked eggplant meat into the pot. Season with salt and pepper and stir in 1 teaspoon (0.9 g) of dried thyme. Mix it with a hand blender or put it in an upright blender to mix in batches.
Since eggplant grows in warm weather, it is usually abundant during the barbecue season.
Grilled eggplants are an easy vegan side dish for any summer meal. It’s low in calories and full of fiber.
To prepare grilled eggplants, cut eggplants into 3 cm rounds. Brush each side of the rounds with a mixture of olive oil, fresh garlic, salt and pepper.
Place them on the grill or a vegetable mat on the grill and cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side. To reduce the bitter taste of eggplants, sprinkle the slices with plenty of salt and let them sit for 30 minutes to “sweat” before grilling.
Eggplants recreate the texture of meat in this vegan rendition of eggplant steaks.
Marinated in balsamic vinegar and topped with spinach cashew cheese and tomato salad, this eggplant steak recipe is sure to be a winner. It makes four servings and can be a simple family meal.
In addition to the eggplant, the spinach and tomatoes in their skin provide useful nutrients.
Spinach contains iron, an essential mineral that vegan diets may lack, while tomatoes are a source of vitamin C, which can aid iron absorption (4).
Baba Ghanoush is a vegan dip made from cooked eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon and garlic.
This creamy snack can be served with pita chips and vegetables or used as a sandwich spread. Many delicious Baba Ghanoush recipes can be found online, but this Lebanese Baba Ghanoush is particularly delicious.
Plus, the tahini used in Baba Ghanoush is made from ground sesame seeds, which are loaded with healthy fats, B vitamins, and many health-promoting plant compounds (5).
Baby eggplants can make a delicious vegan filling.
Mediterranean stuffed eggplants are full of flavor and nutrition thanks to ingredients like kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, parsley, and lemon. The dish uses mostly pantry staples and can be on the table in an hour.
The eggplant and other vegetables contribute fiber and several micronutrients. Kalamata olives are also a good source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that can have anti-inflammatory effects and support your immune system (6).
Eggplant is a delicious food for a vegan diet. Depending on how it is cooked and the seasonings, it can even mimic the taste of meat.
The recipes on this list are some of the most delicious ways to eat eggplant without any animal products. Keep the options above in mind whenever you need a healthy lunch, dinner, snack, or side dish.