Perfect Roasted Eggplant

Here’s how to make the BEST roasted eggplant! Baking until it’s tender makes for unreal flavor. Serve it as a side dish, or toss with pasta!

Roasted eggplant

Wow, is this roasted eggplant full of flavor! Roasting until it’s tender makes for unreal savory flavor. Take one bite and you’ll be singing it’s praises too (promise!). It’s simply seasoned, with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. Serve it as a side dish, or toss it with pasta for a tasty dinner. Alex and I originally made it as a side dish, but it was so tasty, we made it into a plant based dinner recipe, too! So it also transforms into this Roasted Eggplant Pasta in a flash. This method works for diced eggplant or eggplant cut into large slices. Ready to roast?

Roasted eggplant

How to make roasted eggplant (diced or sliced)

This roasted eggplant is very easy to make: the hardest part is simply waiting for it to come out of the oven! This recipe gets the eggplant perfectly tender and charred. You can roast eggplant diced, like we have here, or sliced into rounds or long lengthwise pieces (planks). The result is the same! Here’s what to do:

  • Chop: Cut 2 eggplants into 1-inch diced pieces, into round slices, or oblong slices. (See the section below for more details.)
  • Mix with olive oil and salt: Mix with 1/4 cup olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Eggplant soaks up the oil in an instant, so mix it right as soon as the oil hits its flesh.
  • Roast at 425 degrees: Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes until the eggplant is browned and tender. Because eggplant has so much water, it will deflate quite a bit. The roasted pieces come out much smaller!
  • Flavor: Mix with grated garlic and basil, or other flavors of your choice!
How to Cut Eggplant

How to cut eggplant in this recipe

What’s the best way to dice eggplant? Don’t worry: we made you a video! In this roasted eggplant recipe, you’ll need to cut the veggie into 1-inch chunks. They’ll seem larger than you expect, but that’s okay: they shrink quite a bit while baking. Here’s the basic method for how to cut eggplant (and see the video below!):

  1. Using a large chef’s knife, slice off the top and bottom of the eggplant.
  2. Stand the eggplant up and cut thin slices lengthwise, 1-inch thick. (You can stop here, or go on to dice.)
  3. Stack the slices and cut them into strips. Turn the strips and cut them crosswise to the desired size.

Salting and draining eggplant before roasting: is it necessary?

Many eggplant recipes call for letting the eggplant drain with salt on it for 1 hour to extract some of the bitterness from the eggplant. If you’re like us, you’re starved for time already. Who has 1 hour to salt your eggplant? Is this extra step really necessary?

Guess what: salting and draining eggplant is not necessary! According to Epicurious, this used to be conventional practice with eggplants years ago because they were more bitter. Today’s eggplants are bred to be less bitter, so there’s no need to waste an hour salting the eggplant. Now we know! And we must say, we’re very happy about this.

Roasted eggplant

Ways to serve roasted eggplant

This roasted eggplant is so full of flavor, you’ll want to make it for every meal! (We do.) The flavors are Mediterranean style, so it works especially well with meals with an Italian or Mediterranean vibe. Here are a few ways we’d serve it:

Eggplant pasta
Roasted eggplant pasta makes this recipe into dinner.

This roasted eggplant recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Roasted eggplant

Perfect Roasted Eggplant


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (175 votes, average: 3.98 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Here’s how to make the BEST roasted eggplant! Baking until it’s tender makes for unreal flavor. Serve it as a side dish, or toss with pasta!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium to large eggplants (about 2 pounds)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or Italian parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch chunks, or you can cut it into long planks or round slices. In a large bowl, quickly mix with olive oil and kosher salt and fresh ground pepper (the eggplant soaks up the oil in an instant, so mix as soon as you add it!). Pour the eggplant onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread it into an even layer.
  3. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until browned and very tender, gently stirring the sheet at about the 25 minute mark. (If you’re roasting eggplant planks, flip the planks at 20 minutes and cook 35 to 40 minutes total, until browned and tender.)
  4. Remove from the oven and gently toss with the garlic and herbs, making sure to spread out any chunks of garlic that stick together. The eggplant will be very tender so handle it gently. Serve as a side dish, or as Roasted Eggplant Pasta or in an Eggplant Sandwich.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Roasted Eggplant, How to roast eggplant

More ways to eat eggplant

Here are a few more of our favorite eggplant recipes to serve this tasty veggie:

  • Easy Eggplant Pizzas Use eggplant for the crust to make eggplant pizzas! These mini pizzas are tasty and easy to make, covered in garlicky sauce and gooey cheese.
  • Baked Eggplant Parmesan Truly incredible: coated in a crispy crust that’s magically gluten free. You’ll never make it another way!
  • Eggplant Caponata An Italian appetizer that’s bursting with flavor! Eggplant and veggies make a tangy, garlicky spread that’s perfect over crusty bread.
  • Skillet Eggplant Marinara A tasty and easy vegetarian dinner, it features eggplant rounds baked in a skillet with marinara and gooey cheese.
  • Eggplant Sandwich with Tomato & Pesto This Mediterranean-style sandwich with basil pesto is seriously flavorful and easy to make!
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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa
    July 12, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    Hi,

    Why do you combine the raw garlic after the eggplant is cooked vs cooking the garlic with the eggplant?

    Thanks!

    Lisa

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      July 13, 2020 at 9:25 am

      Good question! We like the flavor of just a bit of raw garlic at the end — it’s a technique we learned from a cookbook and enjoy the flavor. You can also add it in while it’s roasting if you like!

  • Reply
    Rosa Kee
    August 5, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Hello, I followed this recipe exactly and I could not believe how delicious this dish is.
    I love the flavor of the raw garlic added at the end.
    Thank you

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      August 6, 2020 at 10:53 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! So simple and satisfying :)

  • Reply
    Brittney
    August 13, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Does this reheat really well? Only asking bc I meal prep for the week to cut dinner times down/ hubby brings it to work for over nights.

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      August 13, 2020 at 7:55 pm

      Yes roasted eggplant does reheat well!! It tastes just as good reheated (IMHO).

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