Grilled eggplant might just be the best way to eat aubergines, and this grilled eggplant recipe is just crazy good. With plenty of garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano, it’s easy but super flavorful. Perfect alongside other grilled recipes for a healthy summer side dish and made in about 15 minutes.
The first words out of my mouth when I tasted this grilled eggplant recipe just happened to be:
Excuse me what?!
I was expecting it to be good, but like… not this good? Not this much flavor? Not quite so tender? Not so ughhhhhh let’s have grilled eggplant three times this week?
The combination of flavorful ingredients really does the eggplant a lot of favors here: lots of fresh garlic, dried oregano, lemon juice, and olive oil. It takes just a couple minutes to whisk together and coat the eggplant in, resulting in a super tasty grilled summer side dish that I think you’re going to love.
And in total, this recipe takes about 15 minutes, not including the time it takes to preheat the grill. It just happens to be vegan, Whole30 compliant, paleo, and generally super healthy, too. Ding ding ding!
Why This Grilled Eggplant Recipe Is So Good
- The eggplant is coated in a marinade of fresh garlic, lemon juice, oregano, and olive oil, for a super flavorful side dish for other summer dishes.
- It takes only about 6-10 minutes to grill, 15 minutes total, making this eggplant perfect alongside a grilled main course.
- The grilled eggplant turns out beautifully golden and so, so delicious. It’s the perfect blend of garlicky and bright, herbed, salted. Just so much goodness.
- This recipe is naturally healthy, vegan, paleo, and Whole30 compliant.
How to Make Grilled Eggplant
Start by preheating your grill on high heat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.
Prep your eggplant: cut 2 medium eggplants into about 3/4″ slices and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or another surface. Stir together your marinade: oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and salt.
When you’re ready to grill, brush both sides of the eggplant with the marinade, making sure to layer on some of the fresh, minced garlic. Avoid brushing on the marinade ahead of time to prevent soggy eggplant.
When your grill is ready, use tongs to carefully place each slice of eggplant onto the grill, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook 3 minutes then gently lift up one piece to see how cooked and how strong the grill marks are on the underside.
If you want darker grill marks, let the eggplant continue to be grilled for 2-3 minutes longer, then flip. Otherwise, flip all slices of eggplant and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a fork. Don’t overcook, or you’ll end up with mushy grilled eggplant!
What does grilled eggplant taste like?
Grilled eggplant is unlike many other preparations of the aubergine. I find it to be firmer but still tender, not watery and loaded with flavor. It might actually be my all-time favorite eggplant recipe, although I do love my baba ganoush!
Other Recipes You’ll Love:
- Baked Potatoes on the Grill
- Quick Chimichurri Shrimp Skewers (Whole30, Paleo, Keto)(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Grilled Red, White, and Blue Potato Skewers with Ranch Dressing
- Grilled Ribs (Whole30)
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Grilled Eggplant Recipe
A super flavorful and quick grilled eggplant recipe that makes a perfect side dish for any grilled or summer meal.
- 2 medium eggplants see Note
- juice of 1 lemon about 3 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 4 cloves garlic minced
Lightly oil the grates of your grill then preheat your grill on high heat with the lid closed until hot, about 15 minutes.
Cut your eggplant into about 3/4" slices and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or another surface. Whisk together the remaining ingredients (lemon juice, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic) in a small bowl.
When ready to grill, brush the marinade onto both sides of each eggplant slice, making sure to get fresh garlic on the surface. Avoid brushing on the marinade much before you're ready to grill to prevent soggy eggplant.
Using long tongs, carefully place the eggplant in a single layer on the grill surface. Do not overcrowd. Do not close the grill.
Cook for 3 minutes without touching, then carefully lift up one slice of eggplant. If the underside is cooked with clear grill marks, flip all slices. If you want stronger grill marks and the bottom is not yet softened, continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes without moving, then flip all.
Cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side, until just tender when pierced with a fork. Do not overcook or the eggplant will become soggy. Immediately remove from the grill and serve.
To select an eggplant, choose a medium globe eggplant with a firm, dark skin. If you press your finger into the flesh, it should leave a mark. Globe eggplants are the standard eggplant you'll find at an American grocery store.
If you don't have an outdoor grill, try using a cast-iron grill pan. Oil the pan and heat over medium-high heat until very hot. Follow the directions in the recipe.