Learn the secret to making the BEST Baba Ganoush!  Made with only five simple ingredients, this Lebanese Eggplant Dip can be roasted or grilled. A delicious vegan appetizer. Video!

Baba Ganoush in a bowl with olive oil and fresh herbs

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What is Baba Ganoush?

Baba Ganoush is a smoky eggplant dip from the Middle East typically served as an appetizer with pita or veggies. A silky, luscious combination of eggplant, tahini paste, garlic, lemon juice, and salt.

Baba Ganoush | 60-Sec Video

Traditionally, eggplant is charred in ash, grilled over a wood fire, or baked in a wood-burning oven- which is why it tastes so good! That subtle smoky flavor gets infused with the eggplant, creating nothing short of divine. But this way of cooking isn’t accessible to many of us.

Ingredients In Baba

  • Baba Ganoush is made with five simple ingredients. It is the balance of these ingredients that makes this recipe shine!
  •  eggplant– easiest option is to use extra large globe eggplant.
  •  tahini paste make sure it is fresh, not bitter tasting!
  • garlic- fresh is best!
  • salt
  • lemon juice– fresh lemon juice always!

Garnish Baba Ganoush with a drizzle of Olive oil and zaatar and fresh herbs.

Why I love this recipe!

  • Because it tastes smoky! Traditional Baba Ganoush is made with eggplant cooked over a wood-burning fire, infusing the eggplant with that lovely smoky quality.
  • This recipe shows TWO simple ways to add that lovely subtle smoky flavor to the eggplant – through roasting the eggplant or grilling the eggplant. During the summer months, I prefer to use the grill; the flavor is exceptional!

How to Make Baba Ganoush

Option 1: Roast the Eggplant

The first way to make this easy baba ganoush recipe is by roasting the eggplants in the oven on a baking sheet.

  1. Slice eggplants in half, lengthwise and roast at 425F on a baking sheet until very tender, about 60 minutes.  Test by piercing the skin with a fork, and continue roasting until the eggplant is cooked, and the flesh is very tender and collapsing.
  2. Scoop out the cooked eggplant, discard the skins and drain in a strainer for 10 minutes.
  3. Mash with a fork and add the tahini paste, garlic, salt and lemon juice. Now you could also pulse in a food processor or blender, but I find mashing works just as easily here.
  4. Add a few drops of store-bought liquid smoke to the baba ganoush, to elevate it!

***Now before you gasp at the idea of using liquid smoke, please look at the ingredients. Liquid smoke really is made from just smoke: Wood chips like hickory or mesquite are burned, and particles of the smoke are collected in condensers. The resulting liquid is concentrated down for a stronger flavor.


Option 2: Grill the Eggplant

1.) Grill the eggplant whole, cutting slits into the sides of the eggplant.

cut slits into the eggplant.

Cutting slits into the eggplant ensures even cooking and also allows some of the smoke to penetrate, giving the baba ganoush a delicious flavor!

adding wood chips.

2.) Wrap ½ cup wood chips like alder, apple or mesquite into foil and create a foil packet. Keep the wood chips dry.

making a foil packet.

3.) Poke a hole with a knife and create a small opening for the smoke to come out.

making a foil packet for smoke to escape.

4.) Place the foil packet on the grill next to the eggplant (put it on the grill a little early to get it smoking.)  Grill the eggplant, close the lid so the smoke stays in. This will elevate your baba ganoush- I promise!

grilling the eggplant on the grill.

5.) Once the eggplant collapses and is nicely charred on all sides, place it in a bowl, along with the wood chip foil packet and cover the whole thing tightly with foil until it is cool enough to handle about 20 minutes.

letting the eggplant rest.

.) Essentially, you are creating your own “liquid smoke from heat and liquid that comes out of the eggplant as it cools. So cover it up tightly!

covering the eggplant.

7.) SAVE what is left in the bottom of the bowl – the smoky liquid, homemade “liquid smoke”. You’ll use this to season the baba ganoush!

collecting the smoky juices from the eggplant.

8.) Peel the charred eggplant and chop. I like the chopping method because little nuggets of eggplant in the final dip are really nice. What you will end up with is about 2 – 2 ½ cups of eggplant flesh- very little compared to the 2 huge eggplants you started off with!

Chopping the eggplant.

9.) Strain the chopped eggplant, and let it drain for about ten minutes. You don’t need to save this liquid, only the smoky liquid from the earlier bowl.

Straining the eggplant.

10.) Stir in the remaining ingredients, along with 1-2 tablespoons of the smoky liquid you saved from the bottom of the bowl. Such a great recipe- using the smoke from the woodchips!


Expert Tips

  1. As I said, I prefer using the grilling/smoke chip method, but if you are set on roasting instead of grilling, add a couple of drops of liquid smoke to elevate it.
  2. Drain the eggplant well, then add it back in, measuring the liquid. This will ensure the correct consistency.
  3. Chop the eggplant rather than puree for the most authentic texture.
  4. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle with zaatar for added flavor.
Baba Ganoush served n a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, herbs and pita bread.

Recipe FAQS

Is Baba Ganoush Healthy?

Yes, Absolutely!  it’s vegan, gluten-free and plant-based and also keto-friendly and low in carbs. Very healthy!

What does Baba Ganoush taste like?

Baba ganoush tastes earthy, subtly smoky, slightly tangy, and nutty from the tahini -the flavors all work together to accentuate (not overpower) the eggplant. And if you get the balance just right, it is pure magic!

What is Baba Ganoush Texture

Baba Ganoush is silky and creamy! Eggplant, when cooked to perfection, becomes creamy and silky and luxurious. It melts in your mouth. If you like your baba ganoush a little extra creamy, add a couple of tablespoons of plain yogurt or drizzle with olive oil.

Baba Ganoush served n a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, herbs and pita bread.

How to serve it!

  • Serve Baba Ganoush in a beautiful shallow serving bowl, with a drizzle of good quality olive oil, a sprinkling of  Aleppo chili flakes, or zaatar spice, Dukkah, or sumac  – and some fresh herbs like parsley.

I hope you love this Authentic Baba Ganoush recipe as much as we do! Please let us know what you think in the comments and ratings below!

xoxo

Sylvia

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How to make the best Baba Ganoush! Learn the one secret that will take your baba ganoush to the next level. Authentic, easy, healthy and so delicious!

Baba Ganoush

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 75 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Roasted, Grilled
  • Cuisine: Lebanese
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Truly the BEST recipe for Baba Ganoush- made with eggplant, tahini paste, garlic, salt and lemon. A delicious Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip that is full of complexity and depth. Use the oven or grill for this recipe. Gluten-free, low-carb, vegan.


Ingredients

Scale
  1. 2 large eggplants ( 1.5 to 1.75 lbs each)
  2. 2 garlic cloves, finely minced (use a garlic press)
  3. 4 tablespoons tahini paste
  4. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. optional: 2 tablespoons plain full-fat yogurt

Optional Garnishes: olive oil, homemade zaatar spice, dukkah, fresh herbs like parsley, olives, toasted pita bread, or fresh veggies ( cucumber, tomato, carrot sticks, bell pepper, etc).


Instructions

Roasted:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F ( 425F if electric oven)
  2.  Slice eggplants in half, lengthwise and roast with flesh side down, on a parchment-lined sheet pan on the middle rack, until very tender, about 45-60 minutes.  Test by piercing the skin with a fork, and continue roasting until flesh is very tender and collapsing. Let cool.
  3. Scoop out flesh, drain in a strainer for 10 minutes. You should have about 2 cups, if less, see notes.
  4. Mash with a fork and add the remaining ingredients.  To achieve the smoky flavor, add a 1/4- ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke.
  5. Adjust salt and lemon to taste. Stir in optional yogurt.

To serve:

  1. Place in a shallow serving bowl, make a circular “well” with the back of a spoon and drizzle with olive oil, and your choice of aleppo chili flakes, zaatar spice, dukkah or sumac.
  2. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
  3. Serve with warm pita bread and/or veggies.

Grilled:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high or oven to 425 F
  2. Make a foil packet with wood chips for smoking. Wrap ½ cup of wood chips (mesquite, alder, apple) in heavy-duty foil and pierce the top, creating an opening in the foil so smoke can escape. Place this on the grill.  See photos.
  3. With a sharp pairing knife cut 1-2 inch deep slits into the eggplant, all over especially around the bigger bottom area. This will allow them to cook more evenly, and help the smoke penetrate the eggplant.
  4. When the foil packet is smoking, place the eggplant directly on the grill, and close the grill. Turn eggplant every 10 minutes or so and let the skin char. Grill until eggplant until it has collapsed and feels soft tender on the inside. This will take about 20 minutes.
  5. Place the eggplant along with the smoking foil packet in a large bowl or large pan and cover tightly with foil. Let sit until cool enough to handle about 20 minutes.
  6. Save ALL the smoky liquid that is under the eggplant in the bowl. Peel the charred skin off the eggplant and using a knife, chop up the tender flesh. Place the eggplant in a strainer and strain the eggplant flesh for 10 minutes. Discard this liquid.  (I know this may seem counter-intuitive – but you will be adding some of the “smoky” liquid from the first bowl back in.)
  7. Place the drained eggplant in a mixing bowl. You should have 2 cups (or 2 1/4 cups) of eggplant flesh. If you have less, see notes. If very seedy, feel free to remove some seeds, I usually just leave them in.
  8. Add the tahini paste, garlic, lemon, salt and 1-2 tablespoons (or more to taste) of the smoky liquid reserved from the bowl.
  9. Mix, taste, adjust salt, lemon.For a delicious richness, add 2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt (optional).  Stir with a fork until relatively smooth. Refrigerate until serving.

Notes

  • If you end up with less than 2 cups of eggplant flesh after it is drained, please modify the additional ingredients accordingly. For example, you may not need as much tahini, salt, lemon, etc. then proceed to number 9 in the instructions above.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ¼ cup
  • Calories: 120
  • Sugar: 5.5 g
  • Sodium: 402.3 mg
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.6 g
  • Fiber: 5.5 g
  • Protein: 3.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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Comments

  1. Brought back so many memories from many years ago when my departed husband and his friends used to make this for me. Thank you for this! It was wonderful.






  2. When you say a “few drops” of liquid smoke, how much us that? I’m so excited to make this. When I can, I top baba with pomegranate seeds. Delish!

    1. Yes, Dana, I usually do unless the eggplants are overly seedy (or dark)- then I’ll remove some. 🙂

    1. Great to hear Timothy! I was just thinking I needed to make this soon…I am craving it!

  3. The tips on smoking the eggplant on the grill are good. However you dont giveanyindication of how long the eggplant should be cooked for, or whattodo with the seeds. Am I supposed to eat thatbitortoss it out?
    Also the website itselfis buggy, so if I come back tocheck on the next step,itcrashes in chrome. 3 out of 5.






    1. Sorry about that, we were updating our site. The time is listed in the steps but really depends on the size of your eggplant. Grill until soft and tender and collapsed roughly 20 minutes. Seeds may be removed if there are a lot of them, I generally just leave them in. Up to you.

  4. I am just now making it for the third time and doubling the amount! It is the bomb!!!!! My neighbors love it too but I think this time I am not going to tell them I made it. It is all mine! Mine MineMine! Thanks for the recipe.






    1. Hi Gloria- I’ve had this happen too with certain eggplants. Sometimes around the seed area- there is this “enzymatic browning” that occurs-it happens from time to time and it is not harmful- just a reaction to oxygen. As long as your eggplant was firm and fresh- it is safe to eat.

  5. This was so perfect. I was concerned that the salt was too intense at first taste, but once I got the dip on some toast it was perfectly balanced. I did the oven version and used 5 Japanese eggplants from my garden. I garnished with EVOO, parsley, and pine nuts. Excellent!!!






  6. From Romania: we call it Salata De Vinete (eggplant salad). It’s best when the eggplant peel is almost charred, that makes it most smoky. Then: we add HOMEMADE mayo. For that you mix egg yolk and vegetable oil. Drain the juice out of the eggplants. Mix with mayo and add either 1 minced clove of garlic or a 1/4 of an onion grated and juice squeezed out. Eat as spread on bread, serve with tomato or bellpepper. Best food on Earth!

    Extra tip: to get the meat out of the eggplants: wrap them in plastic foil, cut the green end off, and squeeze the eggplant out like a tube of toothpaste.

    Enjoy!

  7. Just made this using the grill. Everything came together quite well. I had one eggplant and some wood chips that use for my stovetop smoker. Worked well, the “liquid smoke” idea is pretty interesting and I was happy to try it. I’ll be trying it with a few more grilled things with my gas grill. Also added a little smoked paprika for an additional smoky flavor. All in all definitely will be making this one again.






  8. I found that adding a pinch of ‘smoked’ paprika powder (hot or mild according to taste) provides a smoky flavour without any hassle.






  9. Incredible! Be prepared for the BEST homemade baba out there. The extra steps it takes to make the liquid smoke are well worth it. Based on some of the suggestions I made with 3 tbsp tahini and an extra 1/2 tbsp lemon juice and the flavor was still super rich and yummy. Thanks for another delightful recipe, Sylvia!






      1. UPDATE: Wanted to share that I made the recipe again but this time stuffed the two whole garlic cloves into the slits in the eggplant to get them roasted up as well! Turned out AMAZING and really made the garlic flavor more toasty and texture creamy. Thanks, again!






    1. UPDATE: Wanted to share that I made the recipe again but this time stuffed the two whole garlic cloves into the slits in the eggplant to get them roasted up as well! Turned out AMAZING and really made the garlic flavor more toasty and texture creamy. Thanks, again!






  10. I grew up eating baba ghanouj not baba ganoush, but maybe that’s how the dish is pronounced in the part of the Middle East where you or your family is from. Trying to get the smoky flavor at home is a nuisance. The dish tastes just as good if you char the eggplant under the broiler, turning the eggplant to get it charred on all sides. Then peeling and mashing as noted in the recipe above. You are actually going to have to play with the quantities of tahini and lemon until you get the consistency you want or like. My family and friends do not put leban/yogurt in baba ghanouj.

  11. I made this twice now and love the taste, but can’t understand why my Baba Ganoush turns out very dark and not white like the pictures and the Baba Ganoush I have had in restaurants.
    Thanks for your help






  12. Delicious! My husband does not like eggplant and gobbled this up. We ate the whole thing in one sitting. We will be having this regularly. Highly recommend.






  13. I made the baba ganoush roasting the eggplants using my grill with apple wood chips. It was delicious, and we loved the genuine smoky flavor. I found 4 Tbsp of tahini to be a little too much and will reduce it a little next time, but otherwise it was great. I’m not a fan of liquid smoke, I highly recommend using a grill and wood chips to achieve the smoky flavor!






  14. I just had time to read the start but it looks like a good recipe. I have a new cutting board from oak at home and I am looking forward to using it. But I wonder is your recipe plant based?

    Waiting to leave full review until after I know if it’s plant based or not.

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