This baba ganoush is restaurant-quality: smoky, creamy, and super flavorful. Easy to make, it’s naturally vegan, Whole30, and low carb, too. This Middle Eastern and Mediterranean appetizer is one of our all-time favorite dip recipes!
What Makes This Baba Ganoush So Good
- Baba ganoush (or baba ghanoush, or baba ghanouj) generally starts with grilled eggplant, but sometimes you don’t have that perfect grill-weather… or even a grill! Never fear. Oven-roasting the eggplant gives the recipe an incredible, deep, rich flavor. You could add a little liquid smoke to give it even more of that grilled smokiness, but I don’t find that you really need it in this recipe!
- The food processor (or blender) gives you amazingly silky, creamy baba ganoush with just a few simple ingredients. There’s no dairy or added sugar in this recipe, either!
- You can serve this with pita or fresh veggies; it’s perfect either way! Try it as a mezze platter for a last-minute get-together: add a variety of olives (try green stuffed with garlic, kalamata tossed in fresh herbs, and dry-cured black olives); a block of feta cubed and tossed in a bit of olive oil and some fresh herbs; a few stuffed grape leaves (dolma; dolmata) from the olive bar; and a bowl of baba ganoush with pita wedges and crudité. Easy, refreshing summer entertaining in a heartbeat!
- Baba ganoush is a great make-ahead option if you’re meal prepping or just like to snack on leftovers! Refrigerate it in an airtight container and it’ll keep up to 5 days.
Key Ingredients for Baba Ganoush
Eggplants – Use the freshest eggplant possible for the best taste and texture! When you’re picking out your perfect eggplant, give them a little squeeze – they shouldn’t feel soft or mushy, and you shouldn’t be able to pierce the skin with your finger. It should be heavy for its size, with a smooth and shiny skin. Small- and medium-sized eggplants won’t taste as bitter as large ones, and they’ll contain fewer seeds.
Tahini – Sesame seeds ground into paste. Who knew something so simple could be so amazing? It’s creamy and a little nutty and delectably savory and I’m not necessarily saying you should eat it by the spoonful but I’m also not saying you won’t be tempted to. You can make your own tahini or pick some up at the store, whichever works best for you! Just make sure to use a really good tahini – you’ll notice if you don’t. It can be toasted or raw, whichever you prefer.
- This recipe is a loose one, which means you can really dial in each ingredient to make your personally perfect baba ganoush! Your eggplants may be a different size than mine, so you’ll want to adjust the tahini, salt, and lemon juice accordingly. My recommendation is to start low and add smaller increments until you’ve reached a flavor that you really love. Does your baba feel a bit heavy and sticky? Try a bit more lemon. Does it feel flat, one-dimensional? Try a bit more tahini. Does it taste properly smoky and not heavy, but just not quite “there“? Add a bit more salt.
- Piercing the skin of the eggplants is a simple but important step, so don’t skip it! The piercings let the liquid drain from the eggplant so your baba ganoush isn’t thin and watery. Oh, and it lessens the chances your eggplants will explode in your oven, so… Super important! To drain them even more, set a metal baking rack in your baking sheet and broil eggplants on top of the rack (instead of directly on the pan).
- Setting a bowl upside down over the broiled eggplant traps heat and moisture, creating a steam that’ll soften the skins of the eggplants and make them suuuuper easy to remove! Trust me, you’ll thank me for this tip.
Try These Other Dips & Appetizers, Too
- Guacamole Dip (Restaurant Style)
- Beer Cheese Dip
- Addictive Hot Crab Dip (Low Carb, Keto, Gluten Free)
- Best Vegan Queso (Ever)
- Tomatillo Red Chili Salsa
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- Baking sheet
- Large bowl
- Blender or food processor
- Preheat broiler on high. Use fork to pierce eggplants all over.
- Place eggplants on baking sheet and set directly under broiler. Broil eggplants approximately 45 minutes, turning periodically, until blackened all over.
- Remove from oven. Set large bowl over eggplants to capture steam. Let cool, covered with bowl, until room or handling temperature.
- Once eggplants have cooled, remove bowl and set aside. Remove top of eggplant and peel away eggplant skin. Discard.
- Place peeled eggplants in blender or food processor. Add garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and paprika.
- Blend until smooth. Taste and add more garlic, tahini, or lemon juice as desired. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt. Taste again. Add additional salt, if desired.
- Transfer baba ganoush to serving bowl. Serve warm, or refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Serve with vegetables (celery, carrots, etc.) and/or pitas or pita chips.
- I recommend starting with the smaller quantities of each spice, then tasting the mixture and adding more if desired. You can always add more, but you can’t take it back out if you use too much!
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