appetizers dips gluten-free

The BEST Baba Ganoush

August 26, 2020

This is the BEST Baba Ganoush recipe. It’s a flavor filled smoked eggplant dip that can be served as a dip or topping to a Mediterranean inspired bowls or eaten on its own with homemade pita chips or veggies.


Are there some veggies that you have never cooked with… let alone eaten?! I’m willing to bet your answer was something along the lines of, “DUH”! Eggplant used to be that for me. I was intimidated by it for some reason, had no clue how to prepare it and just thought it was a bland, pointless vegetable. I’m happy to say I proved myself wrong! 

I started researching different dishes that featured eggplants and then I realized baba ganoush is made from eggplants! I love baba ganoush. I’m a big fan of all dips but my absolute favorite is baba ganoush. I grew up eating it in my house (along with vats of hummus) so it’s a nostalgic recipe for me.

The other day we were driving down a country road and there was the cutest little farm stand set up. They were overflowing with eggplants so I grabbed a bunch. I knew immediately I’d be making this homemade baba ganoush recipe because it really is the BEST!

What is Baba Ganoush?

Baba ganoush (also known as Baba Ganouj) is a thick dip or spread made from smoked eggplant, tahini (sesame), lemon, olive oil and garlic that is traditionally served in Middle Eastern cuisine. 

It has a similar flavor profile to hummus but instead of chickpeas you use smoked eggplant. The smoking is key, though I do give directions for a roasted baba ganoush recipe below.

Baba Ganoush Ingredients

  • Eggplant : Use fresh, whole eggplant, not the pre-chopped kind!
  • Garlic: You’ll also grill the garlic to bring out the sweetness and prevent any indigestion from raw garlic
  • Tahini: I like tahini in my baba ganoush because it makes it so creamy. Just make sure you buy quality tahini.
  • Olive oil: same as the tahini, you’re going to want to buy the good stuff!
  • Lemon: for a little added zestiness 
  • Salt: Don’t skimp on the salt. It helps bring out the flavor

How to Make Baba Ganoush

The most important piece to making baba ganoush is smoking the eggplant. It’s pretty easy to smoke it if you have a grill. I also prefer to smoke the garlic. I find raw garlic can be difficult to digest so smoking it makes it easier!

  1. Preheat grill to high heat
  2. Place whole eggplants on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Put garlic cloves inside of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Close tin foil tightly.
  4. Add eggplants and tin foil garlic directly to the grill and close top. Allow eggplants to char, tuning occasionally. After 10 minutes remove garlic. After 15-20 minutes (total) remove eggplant.
  5. Place eggplant back on baking sheet and let steam for 5 minutes. Carefully use a knife to cut eggplants lengthwise allowing steam to release. Open up garlic foil pack.
  6. Let eggplant sit until cool enough to be handled (10-15 minutes).
  7. Scoop out eggplant flesh and place into a fine mesh strainer. Use a spoon to press any additional liquid out of eggplant. Mash up any remaining chunks of eggplant with the back of your spoon.
  8. Remove garlic from foil pack and chop finely.
  9. In a large bowl add your strained and mashed eggplant, chopped garlic, tahini, 2 tbsp olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt until desired flavor reached.

What If I Don’t Have a Grill?

Fear not! You can make this homemade baba ganoush recipe without a grill. While I prefer the more traditional flavors of smoked eggplant, you can also roast your eggplant in the oven. 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Place whole eggplant on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Place the eggplant in the oven to roast for 40-45 minutes. You’ll want to turn them occasionally. Continue with directions as indicated below.

How to Serve Baba Ganoush

There are so many ways you can enjoy baba ganoush. Here are some of my favorites:

How to Store Baba Ganoush

Baba ganoush will last up to five days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. I do prefer it fresh but it’s delicious as leftovers too!

Print

Baba Ganoush

This is the BEST Baba Ganoush recipe. It’s a flavor filled smoked eggplant dip that can be served as a dip or topping to a Mediterranean inspired bowls or eaten on its own with homemade pita chips or veggies.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Smoked
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs eggplant (roughly 4 medium-large)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt, to taste
  • optional: sumac + parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to high heat
  2. Place whole eggplants on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Put garlic cloves inside of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Close tin foil tightly.
  4. Add eggplants and tin foil garlic directly to the grill and close top. Allow eggplants to char, tuning occasionally. After 10 minutes remove garlic. After 15-20 minutes (total) remove eggplant.
  5. Place eggplant back on baking sheet and let steam for 5 minutes. Carefully use a knife to cut eggplants lengthwise allowing steam to release. Open up garlic foil pack.
  6. Let eggplant sit until cool enough to be handled (10-15 minutes).
  7. Scoop out eggplant flesh and place into a fine mesh strainer. Use a spoon to press any additional liquid out of eggplant. Mash up any remaining chunks of eggplant with the back of your spoon.
  8. Remove garlic from foil pack and chop finely.
  9. In a large bowl add your strained and mashed eggplant, chopped garlic, tahini, 2 tbsp olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt until desired flavor reached.
  10. Add additional toppings, if desired.
  11. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  12. Recommended serving: Homemade Pita Chips

Like this Baba Ganoush recipe? Here are others you might enjoy:

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  • Reply
    thelittlehoneybee
    August 15, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I actually don’t believe this… take one guess at what I made for Amy’s veggie challenge. This is not real. Ahem but I waited hahaha love you

  • Reply
    Madison
    August 15, 2013 at 11:16 am

    LOVE this recipe! I’ve been looking for new ways to experiment with eggplant and you answered that. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks Madison! It was actually kind of fun to experiment. Maybe I should give cilantro another try…

  • Reply
    Jessie
    August 15, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Eggplant is always a vegetable I forget about purchasing at the grocery store. I’m not even sure why since there truly are many recipes for it. I once made eggplant jam. It was pretty good.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Eggplant jam?!?! I can’t even comprehend what that would taste like! I’m also a little thrown off by the look of eggplants. They’re so funny shaped!!

  • Reply
    [email protected] Out
    August 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Eggplant is actually one of my favorite veggies! I agree that it can be a bit bland when not cooked right though… my cafeteria at college sometimes just steams it, and it has zero flavor and a weird texture. But when they roast it, it’s fantastic!
    I’m so glad you decided to make this because Baba Ghanoush is one of my favorites too! Love the use of Greek yogurt, it makes dips so creamy and yummy. 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Roasting it makes it so much better! I can’t even imagine eating steamed eggplant…it probably tastes like air!

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    August 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    What a fun linkup idea! I really like eggplant, but it has to be prepared just right. I really love the looks of this recipe, especially the ingredient list. Pinning it! I also just noticed your cauliflower recipe from yesterday…. I will be making that today. I’ve had a head of cauliflower in my fridge that really needs to be used. Thanks for the great recipe ideas!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Thanks Kim! Let me know how the cauliflower recipe goes! Thank you for the great recipe ideas. I have nothing on the roster for dinner tonight but I’m thinking I’ll choose a recipe from you pancake roundup!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    August 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    This looks GREAT!!! I don’t think I’ve ever had baba ganoush to be honest, but it looks a heck of a lot quicker to make than the moussaka that I’ll be posting! Thanks so much girl for getting the word out about the link-up!! You’re my fave 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      I’ve never has moussaka! Let’s trade! Soooo I was a bit premature on the post but hopefully this gives people a week to buy their eggplants and strawberries and get cooking right? Promise to play by the rules next time! <3

  • Reply
    Shashi Charles
    August 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe Davida!
    My daughter loves eggplant – and this healthy baba hanoush recipe sounds like one we will both enjoy!
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      I sure hope you do! Let me know if you make it 🙂 The weather is cooling down now so I am definitely keeping your lentil stew in mind!

  • Reply
    Danielle @Labelsarefortincans
    August 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    I’m totally going to participate in veggie and fruit of the month! What a great idea. I love baba ghanoush!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      You should!!! All the fruits and veggies that are chosen are in season so hopefully you will have them in your CSA!!!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Health Foragers
    August 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I am pumped that the veggie is eggplant! I have a ton of frozen eggplants from our CSA because we had no idea what we wanted to do with them. Great recipe. Thanks for posting it!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      I saw the eggplant in your pic! How about this, you make the baba ghanoush and I’ll make the grilled cheese & tomato sandwich!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    August 15, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Honestly, you deserve a standing ovation in my mind for attempting a recipe with eggplant – it’s my least favourite veggie as well and I can’t even remember the last time I ate it. But a dip is a -perfect- avenue, especially when it’s healthy 😀

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      hahaha thanks Amanda! I was a bit intimidated but I do love me a good kitchen challenge. I may have even gotten over my dislike of eggplant!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    August 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    That’s a fun idea! I was also dismayed when I read your first veggie pick as eggplant (not too fond of them, except for the Japanese ones). It is also one of my least favorites and I won’t eat on its own at all 🙂 however, I can imagine eating baba ghanoush. Aren’t dips versatile? I love tahini, it’s the base of everything else! I haven’t been to Israel, when did you go last time? I heard it’s a bit expensive now due to more tourists. Wow, what a massive difference, your low-fat and low-calorie baba ghanoush sounds good to try! My favorite eggplant dish is probably the breaded eggplant cutlets with vegan cheeze/tomato sauce (like a pizza snack) and wok-fried eggplants in saucy Chinese black bean sauce.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      I don’t think I’ve ever tried the Japanese ones! Must track them down in Toronto…along with kabocha squash which I can never ever seem to find!!!

      Those eggplant cutlets sound fantastic and I love me a good vegan cheese (my stomach thanks me!). Is the recipe on your blog or elsewhere? Would love to try it!

  • Reply
    kellyrunsforfood.com
    August 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I love eggplant! My favorite is probably eggplant parmesan. Not the most exotic, but super tasty!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Now that I’ve gotten over my eggplant aversion I definitely need to give eggplant parmesan another shot!

  • Reply
    Molly
    August 15, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I’ve never tried baba ghanoush but mixing eggplant into a spread sounds like a wonderful idea. I too find them a bit blah and my family isn’t keen on the texture so whenever I purchase one I can’t seem to eat it all before it goes mushy. You always post great recipes. Yum!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 16, 2013 at 12:37 am

      Aw thanks Molly! Eggplant is truly transformed in this dip! The garlic helps 🙂

  • Reply
    Dixya
    August 15, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    m not an eggplant person either but i will take them in the form of dip. I made a sweet & savory eggplant awhile back – i will link it up. thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 16, 2013 at 12:38 am

      That sounds awesome! You should definitely link-up. I’ll wait until next Thursday for the recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats Celebrities
    August 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    I see pureed eggplant recipes all the time and I always drool over them, you have officially pushed me over the edge to ACTUALLY MAKE ONE!!

  • Reply
    Run like a G!
    August 16, 2013 at 1:44 am

    I have never tried eggplant!
    Can I come stay with you for a week and you can teach me all these fabulous recipes? 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Don’t blame you for never having tried…they aren’t exactly versatile! But if you do ever decide to try I highly suggest this recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    Kammie @ Sensual Appeal
    August 16, 2013 at 4:17 am

    Gotta love baba ghanoush! 🙂 mmmm

  • Reply
    Sarah Cook
    August 16, 2013 at 4:36 am

    I have to agree with your- eggplant isn’t my favorite veggie because of the texture but I think it looks great like this! It looks just like hummus which I am insanely addicted to so I think I would love it!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 16, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      Total hummus addict here too! I can go a bit overboard on it though…gotta come up with a lightened up hummus recipe now 🙂

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    August 19, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    What a delicious dish, that I can’t wait to try. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  • Reply
    selena
    August 20, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Oh my gosh I am obsessed with baba ganoush! and anything eggplant pretty much…totally going to try this, love how simple it is!! 🙂

  • Reply
    *CaNdY FiT*
    August 21, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Pinning! I need to make this! Baba Ghanoush is something I enjoy but never thought of making!

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