Healthy Roasted Eggplant is perfectly caramelized on the outside and tender on the inside. A simple recipe with seasoned and cubed eggplant baked in the oven resulting in a crispy, not mushy texture! Make up this quick side dish for dinner and mix up the flavors with your favorite herbs or spices.
Up until exactly 2 weeks ago if you had asked me my take on eggplant I would have adamantly replied…
“It’s bland and has a terribly mushy texture that I just can’t get on board with.”
However, knowing the nutritional benefits of this low-calorie, high-fiber food, I pledged to give it another go.
But this time, I would be making it at home… and I would do everything I could to ensure it wasn’t mushy.
Roasting vegetables in the oven does a remarkable job of bringing out the natural sweetness and allows them to caramelize until a delightful outer crisp forms.
So I applied that knowledge, popped some cubed eggplant into the oven, and waited to see what happened.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t hold my breath. My presumption was that it would, indeed, still come out a mushy mess.
As I pulled out the tray of slightly browned and fragrant roasted eggplant, the anticipation grew.
I popped a cube into my mouth – it was delicious!! Slightly meaty on the inside, crisp on the outside, and almost… sweet?!
I couldn’t believe it so I grabbed another bite, and then another, and another. Before I knew it I had devoured half the tray.
So if you have been a naysayer of eggplant, this Roasted Eggplant may be JUST the recipe you need to transform your wayward heart.
The simple ingredients you need to make this roasted eggplant recipe include:
- Eggplant. One pound of eggplant is usually equal to one medium to large eggplant. Keep the skin on for nutrition and texture. Sometimes called an aubergine, you can use Globe (AKA American), Italian, Japanese, or Chinese eggplant.
- Oil. A high smoke point oil like avocado oil is best since you are roasting at a high heat. You can substitute vegetable, canola, safflower, or even olive oil if that’s all you have available.
- Salt and Pepper. Go easy as a little bit goes a long way and more can be added after cooking. But make sure to add some before since the salt pulls out moisture from the eggplant while it roasts.
- Herbs. While optional, they add a great flavor. You can either season with herbs before or after cooking. Use either dried or fresh thyme, rosemary, parsley, or basil.
How to Roast Eggplant in Oven
The basic steps for making roasted eggplant are simple to follow:
- Cut into ¾-inch cubes. Make them all as close to the same size as possible so they cook at a similar rate.
Leave the skin on the eggplant, it packs in tons of fiber and keeps it firm. You should end up with roughly 4 cups.
- Toss cubed eggplant in oil, salt, pepper.
Go easy on the oil. You need just enough to lightly coat the eggplant, but not so much that it will make it soggy.
- Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Use a piece of parchment paper to avoid sticking and help it crisp up.
- Bake at 425° for 22-24 minutes.
The high heat allows it to roast up quickly and caramelize. Flip the cubes after 15 minutes to keep the edges from burning.
There are SO many different ways you can change things up when make roasted eggplant. Here are a few fun and creatives flavors you can experiment with:
Asian-style – Serve with soy sauce and Sriracha.
Italian-style – Mix with mozzarella, roasted cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil.
Garlic & Herb – Toss in crushed garlic and herbs before roasting.
Greek-style – Squeeze on some fresh lemon juice and top with tahini, and fresh parsley.
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: Don’t cut the eggplant until you are ready to roast, it will turn brown.
- To Store: After being cooked, eggplant can be sealed in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
- To Freeze: Place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3-4 months. Just note the texture will change slightly upon thawing.
- To Reheat: Warm up leftovers in the oven or air fryer at 350°. A microwave can also be used but it won’t be quite as crisp.
Uncut eggplant lasts for up to 3-4 days on the counter, or 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
No, leave the skin on to keep the texture firm and to add nutrition and fiber.
You may have used too much oil, or not roasted at a high enough heat. Also, make sure to sprinkle with some salt before cooking to pull out the excess moisture.
Yes, eggplant is low in calories while being loaded with fiber and nutrients.
Yes, eggplants are in the nightshade family.
It isn’t absolutely crucial, however it is highly recommended. The salt helps to draw out moisture which results in a firm and crispy texture.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Cube it up. This allows for more surface area to contact the high heat and crisp up.
- Toss halfway through. You want all of the sides to be exposed to the heat without burning.
- Roast at high heat. Quickly cooking gives a nice outer crust while keeping the inside firm.
- Right kind of oil. A high smoke point oil like avocado oil is best.
- Flavor it up. Change up the flavors and mix in herbs and sauces.
Roasted Eggplant Recipe | How to Roast Eggplant
Healthy Roasted Eggplant is perfectly caramelized on the outside and tender on the inside. Make up this quick side dish and season with your favorite flavors.
- 1 pound eggplant cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp. oil olive or avocado
- ½ tsp. salt to taste
- ¼ tsp. black pepper to taste
- Fresh herbs optional
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Add cubed eggplant to a large bowl along with oil, salt, and pepper. Toss until well coated.
Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Spread out cubed eggplant in a single layer.
Bake in preheated oven for 22-24 minutes, flipping the eggplant after 15 minutes of cooking.
Serve immediately with finely chopped fresh herbs and a sprinkle of salt, to taste. Enjoy!