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Baba Ghanoush

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Baba Ghanoush is a light, healthy dip made from roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. This is a Mediterranean appetizer and perfect with pita bread or vegetables. 

Baba Ghanoush in a white bowl.

BABA GHANOUSH

Today’s recipe for Baba Ghanoush is a Middle Eastern staple and often eaten as an appetizer or a side dish to a meal.

It is one of my favorite Middle Eastern dips. 

Eggplant season will be here soon and this is a recipe you need to make!

When we get together in my family we often have a spread of Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, Grilled Beef Kofta Kebabs, Easy Lebanese Salad and a Mediterranean Bean Salad.

It is a special recipe for me because my grandma first taught me how to make it. 

I love a traditional recipe like that.

The ones that have been passed down to each generation from your ancestors homeland.

You know my love for hummus runs deep, but recently I have gotten back into Baba Ghanoush, especially now that eggplants are in farmers markets and gardens.

I love eggplant in the summer and often make a variety of recipes like this Mediterranean Eggplant Salad, Ratatouille and this Mediterranean Eggplant Chickpea Salad

Baba Ghanoush with pita chips.

When you look at the cultures throughout the Middle East, you will see Baba Ghanoush made in a variety of ways and spelled differently. One common way you will see it spelled is baba ghanouj.

Lebanese food is by far my favorite cuisine to make and eat.

I love how healthy it is, and the great flavor it brings to meals. 

This Easy Baba Ghanoush Recipe is vegan, easy to make and has a delicious smoky flavor if you grill the eggplant. 

The only time consuming part is roasting or grilling the eggplant but once you do that it is super easy to make. 

If we are grilling on the weekends I will set an eggplant on the grill at the same time and let it roast away.

There is nothing like the flavor that eggplant gets after cooking over an open flame.  

Baba Ghanoush ingredients.

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN BABA GHANOUSH?

  • 2 SMALL GLOBE EGGPLANTS OR 1 MEDIUM GLOBE EGGPLANT {or you can even use a large globe eggplant}

  • EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL 

  • GARLIC CLOVES

  • TAHINI {SESAME PASTE}

  • LEMON JUICE

  • GREEK YOGURT {optional- dip won’t be vegan if you use this}

  • CUMIN

Baba Ghanoush in a white bowl.

HOW TO MAKE BABA GHANOUSH?

TO MAKE EGGPLANT IN THE OVEN:

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Line a baking tray with foil.

Use a paring knife to poke a few holes in the eggplant’s skin, and then place it on the prepared tray.

Baba Ghanoush eggplant on a tray.

Roast until it’s wrinkled and soft, about 40 to 55 minutes, turning over once halfway through.

Baba Ghanoush roasted eggplant on a baking sheet.
Once cool enough to handle, cut the eggplant open and scoop out the flesh (discard the skin).

Baba Ghanoush roasted eggplant.

Strain the eggplant flesh through a fine mesh sieve to drain off excess liquid. Put it in a large bowl. 

Baba Ghanoush eggplant in a strainer.
Add the garlic to a food processor and pulse a few times to chop.

Add the eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, yogurt, salt, cumin, and 2 tablespoons oil. Pulse until it’s well-combined.

It doesn’t have to be completely pureed unless you prefer it completely smooth.
Baba Ghanoush in a food processor.
Transfer the eggplant dip to a shallow bowl. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil on top.

 

Baba Ghanoush in a food processor.

HOW DO YOU GRILL EGGPLANT FOR BABA GHANOUSH?

Heat the grill to medium-high heat.

Slice the eggplant into rounds. Rub salt on each side of the eggplant and lay on a baking sheet for an hour.

Use a paper towel to pat the eggplant dry and then brush each side of the eggplant generously with olive oil.

Sprinkle each side of the eggplant with salt, pepper.

Place eggplants on the grill and cook for 5 minutes.

Flip eggplant and grill until browned on bottom and soft. You want to have slightly charred eggplants 

When the eggplant is cool to the touch, cut off the top, peel off the skin and discard the skin.

Keep the flesh of the eggplant and set aside.

Mediterranean Eggplant Salad on plate.

Add the garlic to a food processor and pulse a few times to chop.

Add the eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, yogurt, salt, cumin, and 2 Tablespoons oil.

Pulse until it’s well-combined. It doesn’t have to be completely pureed unless you prefer it completely smooth.

Transfer the eggplant dip to a shallow bowl.

Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil on top and garnish with sesame seeds, parsley and paprika. 

Add any additional toppings you like and serve with fresh pita bread, pita chips, or fresh vegetables for dipping. You will love the smoky taste from the grill! 

Store the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 

Baba Ghanoush with parsley.

TIPS FOR MAKING BABA GHANOUSH: 

SMOKY FLAVOR: If you can’t grill the eggplant you can still get the smoky flavor from adding a bit of liquid smoke to the dip.

TAHINI PASTE: The tahini is an important part of this recipe. You can add more or less depending on your tastes. 

GARNISHES: I loe adding garnishes to my dip. Some favorites are fresh parsley, chopped mint, sumac, za’atar, cayenne red pepper, sesame seeds, extra virgin olive oil or olives. 

SERVING: When I make baba ghanoush I serve it with pita bread, pita chips, vegetables, crackers, pretzels or crusty bread.

SPICE IT UP: As always, spices are your friend! If you like your food with a bit of a kick add crushed red pepper or cayenne red pepper. If you like a lemony flavor add sumac. For an earthy flavor add a sprinkle of za’atar. 

OTHER USES: We also love using this dip on wraps or pita sandwiches. It is a nice addition to a buddha bowl or quinoa bowl too. 

Baba Ghanoush with parsley.

WHAT SHOULD I PAIR WITH THIS EGGPLANT DIP?

I like to use this dip as a spread on a variety of pita sandwiches with grilled chicken, falafel or as a side to dip grilled meats in. It is such a subtle and versatile dip.  

You can also have a little fun with the garnishes and add things like parsley, sumac, za’atar, Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend, toasted pine nuts, chopped vegetables or a drizzle of plain yogurt.

CHICKEN OR TURKEY: I love these Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs, Moroccan Chicken Thighs, Mediterranean Chicken, or Chicken Shawarma.

VEGETABLES: I like to make a spread of vegetables and dips and will include the baba ghanoush. Some favorites are these Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables and Turmeric Cauliflower.

SALADS: Salads are always a nice pairing. My go-to dishes are this Mediterranean Lentil Salad, Summer Orzo Pasta Salad or this Lemon Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts

BEEF: Serve it with these Beef Shawarma Pitas, Mediterranean Beef Kabobs, Grilled Beef Kofta Kebabs.

SEAFOOD: Seafood is a great meal to serve with baba ghanoush. I love this Air Fryer Cod, Black Sea Bass or this Baked Cod with Lemon. 

FATAYER: Make it a side to go with these Spinach Pies or Lebanese Meat Pies and a side of Lebanese Green Beans

Baba Ghanoush with logo.

Baba Ghanoush in a white bowl.

Baba Ghanoush

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Baba Ghanoush is a light, healthy dip made from roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. This is a Mediterranean favorite and perfect with pita bread or vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds eggplant, rinsed and patted dry (2 smallish globe eggplants, or 1 medium globe eggplant)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Greek yogurt {optional for a creamier dip but won't be vegan}
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • Topping Suggestions: Fresh minced parsley, sumac ,cayenne pepper, toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil
  • For serving: Fresh pita bread or pita bread chips, fresh vegetables, such as sliced cucumber or bell pepper strips

Instructions

TO MAKE EGGPLANT IN THE OVEN:

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking tray with foil. Use a paring knife to poke a few holes in the eggplant’s skin, and then place it on the prepared tray. Roast until it’s wrinkled and soft, about 40 to 55 minutes, turning over once halfway through.

Once cool enough to handle, cut the eggplant open and scoop out the flesh (discard the skin). Strain the eggplant flesh through a fine mesh sieve to drain off excess liquid.

Add the garlic to a food processor and pulse a few times to chop. Add the eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, yogurt, salt, cumin, and 2 tablespoons oil. Pulse until it’s well-combined. It doesn’t have to be completely pureed unless you prefer it completely smooth.

Transfer the eggplant dip to a shallow bowl. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil on top.

Add any additional toppings you like and serve with fresh pita bread, pita chips, or fresh vegetables for dipping.

TO MAKE ON THE GRILL:

Heat the grill to medium heat. Slice the eggplant into rounds. Rub salt on each side of the eggplant and lay on a baking sheet for an hour.

Use a paper towel to pat the eggplant dry and then brush each side of the eggplant generously with olive oil.

Sprinkle each side of the eggplant with salt, pepper.

Place the eggplant on the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Flip eggplant and grill until browned on bottom and soft.

When the eggplant is cool to the touch, cut off the top, peel off the skin and discard the skin.

Keep the flesh of the eggplant and set aside.

Add the garlic to a food processor and pulse a few times to chop. Add the eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, yogurt, salt, cumin, and 2 Tablespoons oil. Pulse until it’s well-combined. It doesn’t have to be completely pureed unless you prefer it completely smooth.

Transfer the eggplant dip to a shallow bowl. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil on top.

Add any additional toppings you like and serve with fresh pita bread, pita chips, or fresh vegetables for dipping.

Notes

Feel free to use a fork or masher to make this dip, especially if you like a chunkier texture. In restaurants you will often see a version that is chunkier, so many of you might like that better.
This is a great spread on pita sandwiches or grilled meat plates as a side dish for dipping.

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