Baba Ganoush is a healthy and authentic Mediterranean recipe sure to impress. This easy, vegetarian spread is a unique twist on hummus, and only needs roasted eggplant, oil, Tahini, and some spices. Next time you’re craving a low-carb dip, reach for this dish and dig in!

Homemade pita bread is dipped into an eggplant spread.

The first time I ever had baba ganoush I was on a Turkish Airlines plane to visit our friend in Bodrum, Turkey. 

I mistakenly thought it was hummus when I dug in with a big piece of pita bread. 

Imagine the shock when I didn’t taste the familiar flavor of a chickpea spread but instead a creamier, richer, and subtly sweet bite. 

As soon as we got home from that trip I set out to recreate a version of that delicious dip at home.

After a few rounds of experimenting I learned some important  things: 

  • Roasting the eggplant is necessary to bring out the naturally sweet flavors. 
  • You must remove as much of the liquid as you can. If not you’ll end up with watery baba. 
  • Pulse, don’t process. Keeping some of the eggplant texture is key to making an authentic dip. 

What is Baba Ganoush?

Baba Ganoush is traditionally considered to be Levantine. You might see it written as Baba Ghanouj, depending on where you are.

The word baba is Arabic and means father. Ganoush was likely a personal name. Together, this term historically has been interpreted as “father of coquetry” or “spoiled old daddy.” How it came to refer to this eggplant dish is still unknown.

This tasty Middle Eastern dip consists of roasted eggplant, oil, lemon juice, tahini, and seasonings. Sometimes, the eggplant is cooked on a grill over an open flame to give the dish a smoky flavor.

This appetizer is usually served with pita bread or vegetables, like sliced cucumber or carrot sticks, similar to hummus.

Eggplant, olive oil, tahini, seasonings, and lemon are the ingredients for this reicpe.
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Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this Baba Ganoush recipe include:

  • Eggplant. There are different varieties of this fruit with “Italian” being smaller and “American” being a little larger. You can use either one, just be sure to get a total of 2 pounds.
  • Oil. Olive oil is best for the most flavor and authenticity. But you can use avocado oil or another high-smoke point oil for roasting, if you prefer.
  • Tahini paste. This sesame seed paste is an essential element so don’t leave it out! Similar to making homemade hummus, tahini paste adds a unique flavor and texture.
  • Lemons. You need the juice from one lemon. It is best if it’s freshly squeezed, but bottled will work in a pinch.
  • Garlic. Fresh cloves of finely minced garlic adds so much flavor. But, garlic powder can be subbed.
  • Cumin. This spice adds a bit of earthiness and more depth of flavor to really round out the dip.
  • Red pepper flakes. These little slivers are great for an added kick. If you don’t like spice, you can leave it out. You can adjust the amount to your preference, as well.

How to Make Baba Ganoush

Below you’ll find the steps to follow to make this Baba Ganoush recipe:

Prepare the Eggplant

First, use a large, sharp knife to cut each in half lengthwise.

On your cutting board, drizzle 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil on the eggplant flesh. Use your fingers to gently rub it in so none of it drips off.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place each half on the pan, flat-side down.

Roast in Oven

Preheat your oven to 400℉.

Place the baking sheet in the heated oven and roast the eggplant for about 40-50 minutes.

The meat should be tender and slightly browned.

Remove Excess Liquid

After the eggplant is fork-tender, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool slightly.

Use a large, metal spoon to scoop out the flesh. You don’t need the skin for this recipe.

Place the inside of the eggplant into a fine mesh strainer that is over a large bowl. Allow the excess liquid to drain for around 15 or 20 minutes. This step is important, or your eggplant dip will be watery and less appetizing.

Check the amount of drained liquid after 20 minutes. Use the back of a spoon to press any remaining moisture out.

There should be about ⅓ to ½-cup of liquid removed and about 1 ¼-cup of eggplant remaining.

Pulse in Processor

Use tongs to transfer the eggplant flesh to a large food processor along with 2 tablespoons olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and seasonings. Be careful, as the meat might still be hot.

For this recipe, you want to pulse the ingredients, rather than blend. This dip is absolutely delicious with small chunks of eggplant. If you overprocess, the texture will be too fine.

Pulse a few times, then check the consistency. Continue until you reach your desired texture.

Serve it Up

Scoop some into a small bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and top with red pepper flakes and parsley.

Similar to hummus, this gluten-free, vegan dip goes perfectly with pita bread, or an assortment of sliced veggies like cucumbers, bell peppers, or carrots.

While this recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of baba ganoush, a serving is only 2 tablespoons so it definitely makes enough for a small crowd!

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: This dip is even better when made a day or two ahead of time. Keep it in the fridge in an air-tight container until about an hour before you’re ready to serve.
  • To Store: Baba ganoush will last in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days.
  • To Freeze: Place leftovers in a freezer-safe container with as little air touching the dip as possible. Leave in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: Allow this recipe to thaw in the fridge for about a day. Then, pulse in a food processor a few times until you get the consistency you want.
A platter with veggies and pita to drip in vegan baba ganoush.

FAQs

Are hummus and baba ganoush the same?

Baba ganoush and hummus are similar looking dips, but they have different flavors and ingredients. Hummus is made from chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, while baba ganoush consists primarily of eggplant.

What do you serve baba ganoush with?

Baba ganoush is delicious with pita bread, crackers, or sliced vegetables like cucumber, carrots, or bell peppers.

Is baba ganoush healthier than hummus?

Both of these dips are relatively healthy, but baba ganoush is a little better for you. Eggplant has more vitamins and less carbohydrates and calories than chickpeas.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Upside down. Roast the eggplant flesh-side down to allow the meat to get extra tender and caramelized.
  • Let it drain. Be sure to allow plenty of time for the excess moisture to seep out of the eggplant or the dip will be watery.
  • Give it a pulse. Do not overprocess the eggplant in the food processor, you want a few small chunks left.
  • Make it hot. If you like more spice, top this dip with red pepper flakes.
  • Add some smoke. For extra flavor, grill the eggplant instead of roasting.
Creamy and healthy eggplant dip in a white bowl surrounded by pita and veggies.

What to Serve with Baba Ganoush

This baba ganoush recipe is delicious when served with any of these dishes:

More Eggplant Recipes

If this recipe has gave you a hankering for all things eggplant, try one of these next:

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 7 votes

Baba Ganoush Recipe

Baba Ganoush is a healthy and authentic Mediterranean recipe sure to impress. This easy, vegetarian spread is a unique twist on hummus, and only needs roasted eggplant, oil, Tahini, and some spices.
Yield 12 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 1 hour 10 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs. eggplants about 2-3 medium-sized
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil divided
  • ¼ cup tahini paste
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • ½ tsp. salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼-½ tsp. red pepper flakes to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut eggplants in half lengthwise and drizzle them with 2 tablespoons of oil. Place the cut halves flat-side down onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until tender and browned.
  • Scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Place the flesh into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes. Mash the eggplant to drain any excess liquid. (You should end up with roughly 1 ¼ cups of eggplant and ~⅓-½ cup of liquid.)
  • Add the eggplant, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and remaining ingredients to a large food processor. Pulse until just combined and to your desired texture.
  • Serve the baba ganoush with a drizzle or olive oil, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and parsley, and with pita bread or vegetables. Enjoy!
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 7 votes

Video

Notes

  • Recipe makes ~1 ½ cups of baba ganoush. One serving is roughly 2 tablespoons.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: This dip is even better when made a day or two ahead of time. Keep it in the fridge in an air-tight container until about an hour before you’re ready to serve.
  • To Store: Baba ganoush will last in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days.
  • To Freeze: Place leftovers in a freezer-safe container with as little air touching the dip as possible. Leave in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: Allow this recipe to thaw in the fridge for about a day. Then, pulse in a food processor a few times until you get the consistency you want.

Nutrition

Calories: 94kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 85mg, Potassium: 206mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 54IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
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Comments

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Mary! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  1. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! I did not add the red pepper flakes but otherwise followed recipe as written. I am so enjoying it!! Thank you!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Mary! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

    1. Hi Suzanne! You can include them in the food processor, or simply sprinkle on top. It’s your prefence.