This rich, smoky, creamy baba ganoush recipe is a healthy and easy roasted eggplant dip that can be enjoyed as an appetizer, snack, or sandwich spread. It’s fantastic! It’s naturally vegetarian, low carb, keto, and gluten free, so it can accommodate so many diets.
Put a bowl of baba ganoush and some dippers in front of me and I will eat the entire thing without coming up for air. It’s irresistibly creamy, smoky, and so delicious! This baba ganoush recipe is one of my absolute favorite afternoon snacks.
What is Baba Ganoush?
Baba Ganoush is a popular Mediterranean appetizer, where the main ingredient is grilled or roasted eggplant. In Arabic, “baba” means father and “ghanoush” means spoiled. This “spoiled dad” dip is very similar to hummus, except eggplant is the star instead of chickpeas. They’re often served together with pita bread or raw veggies. I love them both, but today we’re focusing on baba ganoush!
Baba Ganoush Ingredients
At the base of this dip is eggplant, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. I also add a touch of cumin, paprika, and plain yogurt, which all take it up a notch! Let’s break it down.
- Eggplant – This recipe calls for 2 small-to-medium eggplants. Small/medium eggplants have less seeds and tend to be less bitter. But you certainly can use a large globe eggplant if you want. You can either bake it or grill it for a more smoky flavor.
- Tahini paste – Tahini paste is made of toasted sesame seeds and lends a creamy texture and nutty flavor to baba ganoush.
- Garlic – This recipe calls for 2 garlic cloves, but you can decrease or increase that amount depending how how strong you want the garlic flavor.
- Lemon juice – The lemon citrus is light and bright! I use 2 tablespoons, but you can adjust to taste.
- Plain Yogurt – Yogurt is optional here, but I highly recommend it! Plain (or Greek) yogurt adds a bit more creaminess to the texture, a subtle tanginess, and also makes the dip more visually appealing with a lighter, brighter appearance. (If wanting this dip to be vegan, simply omit this ingredient.)
- Seasonings – Salt and pepper are must. I also add in cumin, paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes. These lend smokiness and just a little heat so the dip isn’t flat. The flavors are truly fantastic.
- Garnish – A sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts, plus a drizzle of extra virgin olive are all completely optional, but they finish off the dip in a beautiful and delicious way.
Do You Grill or Roast the Eggplant?
For Baba Ganoush, you can grill or roast the eggplant.
Traditional baba ganoush calls for grilling the eggplant. You simply grill the eggplant (no foil) over high heat, turning until it’s very soft and charred all over. Transfer to a paper bag, close the bag and let the eggplants steam in their skins for 15-20 minutes. Remove the charred skin and continue with the recipe instructions.
If you don’t have a grill, though, no worries! You can easily roast the eggplant in the oven. By slicing the eggplant in half and then roasting it cut-side down, you can still achieve the smoky flavor due to the caramelization that forms. This is the method I use.
Blend with a food processor or Mash with a fork?
Some recipes call for blending all the ingredients in a food processor, while others have you mash everything together with a fork in a bowl. I prefer the latter.
Baba ganoush, in my humble opinion, is best when it has some texture, so simply mashing and stirring with a fork is the way to go. Roasted eggplant readily falls apart when you stir it with a fork, anyway. Also? Less clean up! But you certainly can use your food processor; just know that it will be extremely smooth and you’ll want to be careful not to over process or you could end up with paste!
What to eat with baba ganoush
Basic baba ganoush is the perfect appetizer to serve for friends and family, because it can suit just about anyone, especially if they have dietary restrictions. It’s always vegetarian, gluten free, low carb, and nut free (if you don’t garnish with pine nuts.) Omit the yogurt from my recipe and it even becomes vegan.
I like to serve this baba ganoush with raw veggies like carrots, celery, bell pepper, and pita wedges. You can also use baba ganoush as a sandwich spread!
How to store baba ganoush
This eggplant dip tastes best the same day you make it, but is still wonderful the next day. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. You can serve it chilled right from the fridge or let it come to room temperature, which is personal preference.
Watch the video for Baba Ganoush
Other Eggplant recipes to try!
- The absolute best! Ratatouille Recipe
- Grilled Eggplant
- Oven Roasted Eggplant (with cherry tomatoes)
- Eggplant with Couscous
Baba Ganoush (Roasted Eggplant Dip)
- 2 pounds eggplant (2 small-to-medium eggplants)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil , divided
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons plain full-fat yogurt , optional but recommended
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 clove garlic , finely minced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley , plus more for garnish
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt , or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- pinch smoked paprika
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Toasted pine nuts , for serving, optional
- Toasted pita wedges and/or an assortment of sliced veggies , for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with the rack in the middle position.
- Poke the eggplants in several places with the tines of a fork. Slice them in half lengthwise and brush the cut sides lightly with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon.)
- Place on a baking sheet, cut side down, and roast until very tender and deflated, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- When the eggplant has cooled, scoop the flesh out (leaving the skins behind) and transfer to a colander; let drain for a few minutes (don't skip this step!)
- Dump the eggplant flesh into a large bowl; pick out any huge clumps of seeds and stray bits of eggplant skin, and discard. Mash well with a fork.
- To the bowl with the eggplant, add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes.
- Mash well. (You want the mixture to be somewhat smooth but still retaining some of the eggplant's texture.)
- Allow the baba ganoush to cool to room temperature, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
- If you have time, allow to chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving.
- Swirl a little olive oil on the top, if desired, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts.
- Serve with toasted pita bread and a variety of fresh vegetable dippers.
- For tips and frequently asked questions, please refer to the full article and watch the video!
- Baba ganoush tastes best the same day you make it, but is still wonderful the next day. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. You can serve it chilled right from the fridge or let it come to room temperature, which is personal preference.
- Nutritional calculations do not include the pine nuts or dippers.