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. This was my first time making and eating Baba ganoush. I was so surprised at how roasting them in the oven made them so sweet and soft. I thought for sure they would be bitter since I didn’t see a salt step before cooking them. I omitted the smoking because neither option was available this time. It is still very yummy, and oh so creamy! This recipe is a keeper!






    1. Wow! first time? Awesome Bea- this is truly one of my favorite things to eat and I’m so happy you gave it a go!

  2. I quadrupled the ingredients in the recipe. The Baba Ganouch still turned out spectacular! I used two methods to cook the eggplants.. I grilled four of the eggplants (whole). I used an air fryer @ 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes for the remaining four eggplants (cut in half). The air fryer only had a couple of drops of juice from the eggplants. The only difference between the two was the amount of time it took to cook the eggplants as needed.
    I will definitely be using the air fryer in the future. I did wet some wood chips and threw them in the air fryer as well. 🧐 I plugged the air fryer in by the back door just in case I needed to toss a smoking or firey air fryer outside. I watched the air fryer intensely as I tapped my fingers as I expected the worse.
    However, the curiosity,, got the better of me. There was neither fire nor smoke! The smokey flavor was positively intense. I (I’m not recommending anyone else putting the wood chips in the fryer due to risk 😳)
    Thank you Sylvia! Your recipes are delightful!






  3. I roasted the aubergines in the oven and then smoked the pulp still in the skins on a stovetop smoker, then covered to cool as suggested here. I used only the 5 ingredients in the recipe, plus olive oil, smoked paprika and chopped flat-leaf parsley to garnish. The result was a creamy consistency and intensely smoky taste, which was what I was hoping for. It’s definitely now my go-to recipe for baba ganouche!






  4. hi! im looking forward to using this recipe, I have a cedar board that i use for smoking fish in my oven by wetting it, would that work for this recipe too?

  5. Delicious!! I added a bit more lemon juice, as I prefer an acidic kick, and it was genuinely amazing. What’s more, my 8 year old professed it better than ketchup! He was eating it off a spoon!!






  6. Perfect. Eggplant looked like mush after 20 ish minutes so I was scared that I messed it up, but finished out the recipe, and it turned out perfect. Used a blender since I didn’t have a mixing bowl 😀






  7. I recently moved to a new apartment which only happens to have an old fashioned gas oven. Do you think its safe to put the wood chips in such an oven? As an alternative I thought of roasting the eggplants on a grill pan (so without wood/smoke). Please let me know what you think

    1. I think it is safe as long as you have a hood fan. Get them smoking on the stove top first, maybe in a dry cast iron skillet, and place the whole thing in the oven. Turn the fan on!

  8. Being from Lebanon, I have been making Baba Ganoush all my life, but I just learned a new trick from you! I usually char the eggplants directly on the gas stove or on the grill, but today, I added your secret ingredient, liquid smoke, and liked the enhanced smoky flavor. Next time, I will also try adding the wood chips to the grill. Thank you!

  9. I love baba ganoush but every time I made it similar to this recipe I ended up with a jar that is so sour it made my tongue crackle.. even though I haven’t added much lemon. What do I do wrong ? and what can I do out of the jar with the sour baba ganoush?Thank you for your help!






    1. Hummm, that is strange. I wonder if you are grilling the eggplant long enough? Are the eggplants collapsing on the grill?

  10. Love this recipe! I followed the oven instructions. I brought this over to a social distancing party and everyone was asking for the recipe. I will be making this often. Thanks!!!!

  11. Great recipe thank you. First time that I made really good baba ganoush! Ive tried twice before with other recipes under broiler but eggplant was never cooked right.
    I used the grill method with apple wood chips . Perfectly done and flavored.






  12. The absolute best baba ganoush I have ever had and my family loves it too. They ask me to make it often.






  13. So simple and so delicious! I used to be afraid of making baba ganoush but not any more. This is restaurant quality and I cannot wait to make it for friends. I served it with some bread and the chicken shawarma and Israeli salad as our main and the dinner was a hit.

  14. Amazing recipe!! So flavorful! I made it with 3 small eggplant (2 1/2 lbs) and only came to about 1 1/2 cups eggplant. So I read the notes for adjusting and was perfect! Made this with some naan! You won’t be disappointed.






  15. Good Recipe. We enjoyed it very much. Had it with lamb koftas, tzatziki, hummus and Greek style potatoes. Wouldn’t change a thing.






  16. Just making another batch as I write this, it’s amazingly tasty. I’m using liquid smoke today as have run out of chips, have used before and it is just as tasty. We are having it with slow roasted lamb shoulder. Delish! Thank you for the recipe, it is now my go to.






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