Baba Ganoush

Smoky, savory & creamy, this easy baba ganoush recipe is a must-try summer dip! Enjoy it with crunchy veggies & pita as a yummy healthy snack.

Baba ganoush

Baba ganoush is one of those things that I eat pretty darn often, but I rarely make at home. Well, that’s about to change because 1) it’s eggplant season, and 2) it’s way too easy and delicious not to have on hand at all times! Seriously, every time I’ve made baba ganoush lately, I haven’t been able to resist eating it by the spoonful standing at the kitchen counter. It’s creamy, it’s lemony, and it has a nice nuttiness thanks to the tahini. If I don’t eat it all in one go, it’s best served on a platter with warm pita and crisp summer veggies.

Baba ganoush ingredients

What is baba ganoush?

If you’re asking, “what the heck is baba ganoush?”, don’t worry –  it’s a lot simpler than it sounds. Baba ganoush is a Mediterranean eggplant dip made from roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Like hummus, it’s delicious with pita or fresh veggies, but its silky texture and irresistible smoky flavor set it apart. This baba ganoush recipe is a must-try summer dip!

Baba ganoush recipe

Baba Ganoush Ingredients

My baba ganoush recipe calls for 6 basic ingredients:

  • Eggplant, to make the smooth, smoky base
  • Tahini, to add creaminess and nutty flavor
  • Lemon juice, to brighten it up
  • Olive oil, to make it rich and smooth
  • And sea salt, to sharpen the nutty, smoky flavor

I list it as optional, but I like to add a small pinch of smoked paprika to amp up the smokiness of the dip. This is still a great recipe without it, but the extra smoky kick really takes it over the top.

Another note – be sure to use good tahini in this recipe. Because there are so few ingredients here, you really taste it, and bitter tahini will make for a bitter dip. My favorite brands are Cedar’s and Seed + Mill.

How to make baba ganoush

How to Make Baba Ganoush

Making baba ganoush isn’t difficult, but it does take some time, as the first step is cooking the eggplant. While many traditional recipes ask you to grill the eggplant, I find it easier to roast it in the oven. I wrap 2 medium eggplant in foil so that the eggplant steams inside its skin without the risk of exploding in the oven. Then, I place them on a baking sheet and roast them in a 400-degree oven until very soft, about 1 hour. Grilling instructions are also included in the recipe card below.

Once the cooked eggplant is cool, peel and discard the skin. Then, transfer the eggplant flesh to a strainer over a large bowl or your sink. Let it drain for 20 minutes – this step is essential for creating a thick, creamy dip that won’t become watery.

After that, it’s easy! Blend the eggplant in a food processor with the other ingredients until smooth. Traditionally, baba ganoush is mixed together without a food processor, but I personally like my final dip silky smooth, and the easiest way to achieve that is with a few quick pulses of the food processor.

Last – Garnish it up! Drizzle the dip with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped parsley, a pinch of smoked paprika, and a few red pepper flakes.  Sesame seeds would be a good choice too. Warm your pita and serve!

Baba ganoush recipe

What to Serve with Baba Ganoush

My favorite way to serve baba ganoush is as an appetizer or snack with crisp veggies and pita bread. You could also serve it as the creamy dip in a summer crudité platter or make an epic Mediterranean appetizer board with pita chips, tzatziki, hummus, and fresh or grilled veggies.

Alternatively, load it into pita sandwiches (I especially like it with falafel) or serve it alongside a simple salad like my Greek salad, couscous salad, or tabbouleh.

Baba ganoush

If you love this baba ganoush recipe…

Try my pesto, chipotle sauce, cilantro lime dressing, or guacamole next!


Baba Ganoush

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This easy baba ganoush recipe is one of my favorite healthy snacks! If I don't eat all of it straight out of the food processor, I love to serve it with pita and veggies.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 medium eggplant
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for serving
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Finely chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • Pita and veggies, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and wrap the eggplant in foil. Roast the eggplant for 50 to 60 minutes, or until it is soft and collapses to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Once cool to the touch, peel the skin from the eggplant, removing any big clumps of seeds. Place the flesh in a strainer over a bowl and let stand for 20 minutes to remove excess water.
  3. Place the eggplant flesh, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes, if using. Serve with pita and veggies.
Notes
Note: For a more traditional, smokier baba ganoush, cook the eggplant on the grill (no foil), until the eggplant is very soft and charred all over. Remove the charred skin and continue with the recipe instructions.

5 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Laurie
    08.05.2019

    I love eggplant but every time I make it at home, it’s bitter. How do I pick out a fresh one as t the market?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.05.2019

      Hi Laurie,

      In this recipe, I use 2 medium sized eggplant instead of 1 large globe eggplant. Small/medium eggplants have less seeds and tend to be less bitter. You’ll also notice in step 2, I scoop out any visible big clumps of seeds, this helps since the bitter flavor comes from the seeds.

      My other best recommendation is to just get fresh ones from the market while they’re in season. Although, in this recipe, once the eggplant is cooked super soft, blended with a good tahini and seasoned well, I don’t find it to be bitter. I hope this helps!

  2. Susan
    08.05.2019

    This sounds great, although I’m not sure my husband would eat it. I’m curious to know if you use raw tahini or the stuff made from toasted sesame seeds. I’ve been using the Joyva brand of toasted sesame tahini, which I was introduced to by a Lebanese friend, for 50 years or more, and I recommend that one, too.

    • Christine
      08.14.2019

      I would also like to know if you use raw or roasted tahini. Thanks!

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        08.14.2019

        I use raw tahini – I like Cedars brand or Seed + Mill (of the ones that I’ve tried). The most important thing is that you use a tahini that you like the taste of because it’ll really shine though in this simple recipe. I find some types of tahini to be a bit bitter. If you have a great roasted tahini that you love, it’ll work here!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.