The BEST Baba Ganoush! Delicious and flavorful Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip made with roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. Gluten-free, vegan, and low-carb, learn how to make this easy Baba Ganoush Recipe and enjoy with crunchy vegetables, warm pita bread, or your favorite crackers.
What is Baba Ganoush
Baba ganoush is an Eastern Mediterranean appetizer consisting of roasted eggplant blended together with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Also known as baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj, the eggplant is traditionally baked or broiled over an open flame with the skin on. The result is a soft and smoky flesh which gives baba ganoush its unique and addictive flavor.
Baba ganoush is typically served as part of a meze, a collection of small dishes (tabbouleh, tzatziki, dolma, falafel, hummus, shish taouk, Muhammara, etc.) often served as part of a multi-course meal, or as small snacks.
Baba ganoush is one of my favorites – even if eggplant isn’t – especially when it’s served with soft, warm flatbread.
Baba Ganoush vs Hummus
Side-by-side the two look quite similar, however, baba ganoush and hummus are not the same things. What then makes baba ganoush and hummus different?
- The primary ingredient. Hummus is made with a base of chickpeas, while baba ganoush is made with a base of roasted eggplant. Common ingredients shared between the two (typically) include lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and olive oil.
- The taste. Hummus is nuttier, with somewhat bean-like undertones. Baba Ganoush, on the other hand, has a smokier flavor given the method of cooking the eggplant.
- The texture. I find that hummus is creamier and often thicker. Baba ganoush has a higher volume of water (given the nature of eggplant) so it tends to be less of a smooth, creamy paste.
Ingredients in Baba Ganoush
The ingredients in this baba ganoush recipe include,
- Eggplant – You’ll want 2-3 large globe eggplants. Big and meaty, this is the largest of all the eggplants and is why they are especially well suited for grilling, roasting, and yes, dips! Because of their large size, I recommend sprinkling with salt and allowing them to release some of their water before baking.
- Tahini – made from toasted, ground, and hulled sesame seeds, you’ll find tahini in recipes such as baba ganoush, hummus, and halva. Due to the growing popularity of hummus in the US over the past decade, it’s becoming easier to find tahini in many of the major supermarkets both refrigerated and jarred (for longer shelf life).
- Olive oil – Olive oil is used to both coat the eggplant for roasting and as an addition to the dip.
- Lemon Juice – Start with less and add more as needed. Please use fresh lemon juice. I guarantee it will taste better.
- Garlic – In the case of this baba ganoush recipe, it is better to start with less garlic (1-2 cloves) and only add more after tasting. It’s easy for garlic to overwhelm all the other flavors of this recipe, so unless you know that you really love a super garlicky baba ganoush, start with less and as more as needed.
- Salt + Pepper – You will need some salt and you will need some pepper. How much is entirely up to you.
How to make Baba Ganoush
To make this easy baba ganoush recipe simply,
Preheat oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and set oven rack to the top third of the oven. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Prepare eggplant. Slice each eggplant in half from stem to tip. Use a sharp knife to slice long shallow slits in the flesh (not the skin) and generously sprinkle with salt. Allow the eggplant to rest for approximately 10-15 minutes. After that time, use a paper towel to wipe away as much moisture and salt as possible. Transfer eggplant halves to the prepared baking sheet, flesh-side-down. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes or until softened and the skin of the eggplant is shriveled. Remove baking sheet from the oven and cover with foil to steam the eggplant and continue cooking (this will also make it easier to peel away the skin).
Blend and process. After 5-10 minutes, remove foil from the baking sheet. Carefully peel away the skin from the eggplant flesh (it will be hot so be careful!) and transfer the flesh to the bowl of a large food processor. Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, tahini, and garlic. Process until smooth and creamy. Season with additional salt, pepper, and tahini, to taste.
Serve. Serve garnished with freshly chopped parsley, olive oil, and sesame seeds.
If you don’t have a food processor, you may also blend your baba ganoush using a blender or even by hand. Keep in mind, however, that in order to get the creamiest dip possible you will have the best luck using a food processor or blender (plus, you’ll save loads of time!)
Is baba ganoush healthy?
Some of you may be wondering if baba ganoush is healthy? And if it is, is it healthier than hummus?
In my opinion, baba ganoush – made with roasted eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic – is an exceptionally healthy plant-based, gluten-free dip.
That’s right, you guys. Baba ganoush is gluten-free and vegan.
Anyway, this recipe makes approximately 3 cups prepared. One serving (approximately 1/2 cup) contains just 160 calories, 12 grams fat, 5 grams fiber, and 4 grams protein.
Compared to hummus, baba ganoush ranks slightly healthier in that it contains fewer calories. This is because eggplant, compared to chickpeas, has fewer overall calories. That said, chickpeas a filled with insoluble fiber which help keep you feeling full, longer. Eggplant, on the other hand, while also filled with fiber, offers the soluble kind which does not help to keep you feeling full.
Tips and Tricks
- Prepare your baba ganoush ahead of time. If you’re planning to bring a big bowl to a party, I highly recommend preparing this the day before. Why? Just like many of my favorite soups and stews, it actually tastes better the next day once the flavors have had a chance to mix and mingle.
- Add some yogurt to make it extra creamy. I admit, this is not something I usually add. It’s not that I don’t love yogurt-based dips, it’s more that I’ve never felt that yogurt is necessary. But, if you’re looking for that little bit of extra creaminess, add a couple of tablespoons of yogurt. It should do the trick.
- Roasted eggplant looks gross and even smells a little gross, but don’t worry! Somehow it makes for a seriously delicious eggplant dip.
- Typically baba ganoush is made without the skin. However, the skin is filled with tons of vitamins and nutrients, so if you’re feeling a little adventurous, leave a little skin on and blend it all together. I double you’ll even notice it’s there.
What to serve with baba ganoush
I like to serve this baba ganoush recipe in a large shallow bowl drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley. Sometimes I’ll sprinkle on a little spice with sumac, zaatar, or Aleppo pepper flakes.
I will often serve this recipe,
- As a healthy snack or light lunch with warm pita bread and fresh, crunchy veggies.
- As a meze (or collection of small dishes) with other items such as tzatziki, Tabbouleh, flatbread, garden vegetables, and hummus.
- Wrapped in large flatbread with chicken, lettuce, and fresh tomatoes.
- With a side of rice, grilled or steamed tomatoes, fresh pita, and a sprinkle of sumac. (my fav!)
Can you freeze baba ganoush?
Yes, you can freeze baba ganoush. However, I do not recommend freezing plain roasted eggplant.
- If warm, allow your baba ganoush to cool to room temperature before transferring to a wire mesh strainer lined with two or three layers of cheesecloth. Set the strainer over a large bowl and transfer to the refrigerator so that it may continue to cool as it strains.
- Keep the baba ganoush refrigerated until completely cooled – approximately 1 hour.
- Transfer your baba ganoush to a large ziplock plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. Seal tightly.
- Lay the bag flat on a small baking sheet and transfer to the freezer. Allow the baba ganoush to freeze completely before removing the baking pan from the freezer.
- Best if used within three months.
To thaw: Remove the baba ganoush from the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature for approximately 15-30 minutes, or until you are able to start breaking it apart using your hands. Transfer the still semi-frozen baba ganoush to a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to drain any extra water resulting from ice crystals formed during freezing. Once thawed, transfer to a bowl and refresh with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and fresh chopped parsley.
More delicious dip recipes,
- BBQ Chicken Dip Recipe
- Hot Crab Artichoke Dip Recipe
- The Best Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe
- Ricotta and White Bean Dip with Roasted Strawberries
- Beet Hummus
- Easy Black Bean Dip Recipe
If you try making this Baba Ganoush Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Baba Ganoush Recipe
For the Roasted Eggplant
- 2 large globe eggplant
- olive oil - for roasting
- salt + pepper
- Preheat oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and set oven rack to the top third of the oven. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Prepare eggplant. Slice each eggplant in half horizontally along the y-axis. Use a sharp knife to slice shallow slits in the flesh and generously sprinkle with salt. Allow the eggplant to rest for approximately 10-15 minutes. After that time, use a paper towel to wipe away as much moisture and salt as possible. Transfer eggplant halves to the prepared baking sheet, flesh-side-down. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes or until softened and the skin of the eggplant is shriveled. Remove baking sheet from the oven and cover with foil to steam the eggplant and further cooking.
- Blend and process. After 5-10 minutes, remove foil from the baking sheet. Carefully peel away the skin from the eggplant flesh (it will be hot!) and transfer the flesh to the bowl of a large food processor. Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, tahini, and garlic. Process until smooth and creamy. Season with additional salt, pepper, and tahini, to taste.
- Serve. Serve garnished with freshly chopped parsley, olive oil, and sesame seeds, if desired. Serve with pita bread, fresh veggies, and crackers. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)