Baba Ganoush ♥ (Recipe for Middle Eastern Eggplant Spread)

Baba Ganoush, another easy vegan appetizer ♥
graphic button small size size 10 Say hello to the traditional Middle Eastern spread that's found on meze platters in Middle Eastern restaurants along with hummus, tabbouleh, olivada and other shareables. This one's homemade, no more than eggplant, garlic, lemon, tahini and a touch of fresh parsley. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Paleo. Whole30 Friendly. graphic button small size size 10

BACK IN 2008 What's Baba Ganoush, you ask? First, let's just put this out there, that if you like hummus, odds are high that you'll like Baba Ganoush. And if you love hummus but avoid legumes, Baba Ganoush is your new savior, it's like a vegan, low-carb hummus: eggplant substitutes for chickpeas. So what is Baba Ganoush, again? It's a simple purée of grilled or roasted eggplant mixed smooth with garlic, lemon juice, tahini and parsley. It's a healthy Middle Eastern spread or dip that's traditionally served with pita bread but is easy to use up in other ways too. We like it schmeared on burgers!

Before I loved the garlicky, lemony taste of Baba Ganoush, I loved the sound of Baba Ganoush, pronounced [bah-bah gah-NOOSH]. Say it three times, you might love the sound too – but it only takes one taste of baba ganoush to love how it tastes!

ALTERNATE SPELLINGS (These are for you, Word Dancers!) Baba ghanoush; baba bannoujh; baba-ganouj; babaganoush

TAHINI Baba Ganoush calls for tahini, a thick paste of ground sesame seeds. Look for brands that contain only sesame seeds. It comes in a big jar and is expensive so you'll want to be able to use it in something other than Baba Ganoush. The other classic recipes that calls for tahini is hummus, it's a signature ingredient in recipe like mine, Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus but also shows up in places like Armenian Tahini Bread. It's not-quite-everyday ingredients like tahini that inspire me to keep up this list of favorite ingredients. Anyone else you know who knows all their best recipes that call for tahini? Useful, eh? :-)

For the record, I don't recommend Trader Joe's Tahini Sauce product, it is not tahini. Since that product launched, Trader Joe's also sells small-ish jars of tahini, it's not bad but I prefer the imported bottles. Tahini should be stored in the refrigerator. Over time, it will separate, just run it through the food processor to reconstitute the tahini.

2017 I adore recipes that stand up to the test of time. This recipe for Baba Ganoush is especially useful because you can grill or roast the eggplant, either one, whichever works better. And then with a few pantry ingredients, it's a matter of adjusting to taste. Next time, I'll use a bit more parsley, the green color is quite pretty!

Baba Ganoush is easy to make thus easy to add to a regular repertoire. In fact, that's what my notes recommend, "Definitely make more often. Easy, easy."


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes 1 1/4 cups

1 pound (450g) globe eggplant
Olive oil

1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest & juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons) plus more to taste
4 tablespoons tahini
Parsley to taste
Salt & pepper to taste

GRILL THE EGGPLANT Wash the eggplant but leave it whole. Prick the skin with knife tip in a few places so it won't explode. Grill for about 30 minutes, turning every 7 or 8 minutes. The skin should be blackened. When it's done, the eggplant will start to deflate. Slice off the stem end, let cool until you can handle it. Slice into the eggplant (it'll be a little messy) and scrape the flesh off the skin (a grapefruit spoon works great). Discard the skins and any big swaths of seeds, let the eggplant flesh drain in a colander for 10-15 minutes.

Heat oven to 400F/200C. Wash the eggplant, prick it with the tines of a fork or the sharp tip of a knife in a few places, then cut in half lengthwise. Lightly oil the flat side and place flat-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes. Scrape the flesh out of the skin (a grapefruit spoon works great), discarding the skin and any seedy swaths. Let eggplant drain in a colander for 10-15 minutes.

MIX In a food processor, mix the eggplant flesh with all the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Taste and adjust to taste. Serve with pita bread or as a spread for sandwiches.

KEEPS Baba Ganoush keeps for several days in the refrigerator.

graphic button small size size 10 NITPICKING ALTON BROWN (2008) I just now noticed that all of Alton Brown's ingredients seemed double what seemed "right" to my taste. Perhaps this is because he used a two-pound eggplant, even though the recipe didn't say? AB, you're a rock star but some times, details do matter! (2017) I've written the recipe quite specific to my taste but please, do feel free to adjust the ingredients to what tastes good to you!
graphic button small size size 10 GLOBE EGGPLANT? Other varieties of eggplant would work just fine, but have a higher proportion of skin:flesh so you'll need to start off with more eggplant. Here's what varieties of eggplant look like.
graphic button small size size 10 DRIZZLE WITH HONEY? The inspiring recipe from Alton Brown suggested adding sugar or honey if the baba ganoush tastes slightly bitter. There was no bitterness here but I so loved the idea of honey that after taking the photo, I swirled some in (not mixing it in, leaving it distinct) and – oh swoon – very good!

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© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2008 & 2017 (repub)
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. i LOVE baba ganoush - such a wonderful flavour!!

  2. Must make this again soon. I went through a time making this every other day!

  3. Your blog is one of my favorites! Thank you for your posts. Today, you posted one of my favorites too! I love the sound of baba ganoush too!

  4. I love baba, even more than hummus. I'm looking forward to finding globe eggplant in the farmers' market later this summer.

  5. The only thing better than saying "baba ganoush" is eating it. I love it as a spread on sandwiches and in wraps too.

  6. Ya know, I've never liked baba ganoush~ which is weird cause I love Mediterranean food. I'm all over hummus, falafel and tahini. Maybe I should try making it myself and using the honey idea. I like the way that sounds.

  7. AnonymousMay 01, 2008

    Eggplant is one of my favorite foods and I adore baba ganoush. I've never made it with grilled eggplant before and really like that idea. The sweetener is a good tip, too, as I've had some come out a little too bitter. Making a mental note of that for the next time and will give it a try with agave!

    And that Armenian Tahini Bread... oh my, yum!! Will have to give that a try as well. :)

  8. AnonymousMay 25, 2008

    Mmm... I just finished making this, and am letting it marinate for a little while before my boyfriend and I dig in. The initial taste test (aka fingers smuggled into the food processor post-process) had great results. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  9. I just made a version of baba ganoush-I have some snack size baggies of "ratatouille" in the freezer from the fall-- it was mainly eggplant, but also yellow squash, zucchini, shrooms, onions, and garlic all roasted in vinaigrette. I pureed that in the food processor with tahini, lemon juice and parsley. It was very tasty!

    I'm looking to use up the last bits of put-up produce before the spring growing season really kicks in.

  10. LOL You must have read my mind!! I was looking at this eggplant sitting on the kitchen counter wondering if I should make Baba Ganoush? I walked away to check my emails and there you were! Thanks for the recipe! Now I don't have to go searching my files!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna