Real simple eggplant recipes that will turn anyone into an eggplant lover

  • 2 Minutes Read
Katherine Isacks
Katherine Isacks, MPS, RDN Registered Dietitian

Learn the basics of preparing eggplant and discover some of our favorite healthy and real simple eggplant recipes. Who knew there were so many tasty, flavorful ways to enjoy eggplant beyond Eggplant Parmesan?

Real simple eggplant recipes

Storing eggplant so you can eat some real simple recipes made with it as soon as possible

Eggplant is available in different colors, shapes, and varieties. Make sure it feels plump and firm. But beware–don't let eggplant languish on the counter or in the refrigerator. For best flavor and to avoid spoilage, use it right away. Otherwise, wrap it, and refrigerate it in the produce bin and try to use it within 1-2 days.

Well-rounded resource for nutrients

Eggplant is flavorful yet low in calories, carbs, fat, and protein. A member of the nightshade family, eggplant has cousins among peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. Interestingly, tobacco and petunias also belong in this plant family.

Mostly water by weight, one cup of cooked eggplant contains only 35 calories and 9 grams of total carbohydrates. Although eggplant is not known for containing an abundance of any one nutrient, it is a fair source of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. It is a "jack of all trades but a master at none."

Eggplant is quite satisfying despite its low calories and modest amount of dietary fiber (2.5 grams per cup cooked). Add this lovely vegetable (or fruit, really) to your meals or include as an appetizer to help boost flavor without a lot of calories. Thanks to its meaty texture, eggplant serves as a meat replacement in recipes, so many vegetarians love it. Besides, it’s spongy texture soaks up flavorings in a recipe.

Is salt helpful for cooking eggplant?

According to Harold McGee (On Food & Cooking), salting reduces our perception of bitterness. Technically, salting doesn't really eliminate bitter–it works more like a masking agent. Salt also reduces the eggplant's ability to soak up fat during frying. However, the same can be accomplished by microwaving eggplant before frying.

If you salt eggplant, let it stand first for about 30 minutes before cooking. To reduce the sodium content, rinse the eggplant with water and then squeeze out excess moisture.

Actually, you do not need to salt eggplant before cooking. If you cook with little fat or use a less bitter variety of eggplant, then consider skipping the salt.

Real simple and delicious eggplant recipes

Four of our favorite healthy and real simple eggplant recipes from the MyNetDiary Premium recipe collection

Simple Ratatouille
A colorful, chunky vegetable stew rich in garlic and herbs. This rich, flavorful dish is enjoyed by both vegans and meat lovers.

Savory Baba Ganouj
Sometimes called “egglant salad”, this flavorful dip is often used as a dip with pita bread or raw veggies. It is also delicious on a salad or as a sandwich spread.

Air Fryer Eggplant
A simple, low-calorie side dish that's not swimming in oil.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
This cozy casserole-type dish layers eggplant dipped in breadcrumbs with tomato sauce seasoned with Italian seasonings.

More healthy eggplant recipes to explore, some vegan, too!

Grilled Eggplant and Tomato Stacks

Healthy eggplant recipes at Eating

Did you know that MyNetDiary allows you to import recipes from most recipe websites? Yes, MyNetDiary can import recipe ingredients and directions directly into your account! You can then make changes and save the recipe as your own for easy and accurate tracking. Check it out!

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Reviewed and updated by Brenda Braslow on April 20, 2024

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Foods & Recipes->Fruit & Vegetables
Apr 26, 2024
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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