20 Mouth-watering Eggplant Recipes to have for dinner

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Whether you are looking for meatless dinner recipes or just love eggplant, this collection of vegetarian and meaty eggplant recipes will give you inspiration for your next dinner menu!

I seem to have an affinity for all those frequently-unloved vegetables like okra, Brussels sprouts, and eggplant. Eggplant usually makes a fairly regular appearance on my table, but I’ve been on an unintentional eggplant hiatus for a little while. 

This week I brought it back for the first Friday of Lent by making one of my old recipes for grilled balsamic eggplant stacks, and I was reminded just how much I love this unique vegetable!

With its dense and spongy texture, it’s almost meaty (making an excellent main ingredient for dinner on days you want to go meatless), and it takes on just about any flavor profile beautifully!

Like any vegetable, eggplant can get watery and fall apart if it’s overcooked, but as long as you keep it “al dente” it’s quite a treat!

To celebrate my love of eggplant, I’ve put together a collection of recipes — both with meat and meatless — that feature eggplant as a main ingredient. I love how many different countries’ cuisines are represented in this roundup! Just goes to show how versatile it really is. There are several recipes on here in my regular rotation and so many more on my list I want to try right now!

I hope you’ll find your next favorite eggplant dinner recipe here!

 

Eggplant recipes for dinner (with meat)

I've made this recipe a million times, both with and without chicken! Whether or not you're going meatless, this eggplant pasta is a favorite of mine, especially with homemade pasta or pasta fresh from the farmers market!

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I saw those cute little round green Thai eggplants at the farmers market and thought they would be a great complement to the cinnamon basil I had growing in my garden. If you can't find cinnamon basil you can use Thai or sweet basil plus a little cinnamon instead! An excellent stir-fry.

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One of my favorite eggplant recipes to make! The stuffing is so flavorful with the addition of Italian sausage, mint and basil, and roasted onions and tomatoes top the whole thing off! Although it's a bit of a process to make, this recipe is in my regular rotation now!

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This one has smoked salmon in it so I HAD to include this in my list. A lot like my balsamic eggplant stacks (featured in the meatless section), this one includes roasted red pepper, but trades mozzarella for goat cheese and adds smoked salmon. Heaven!!

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With cinnamon, lamb, mozzarella, and pine nuts... I can only imagine how delicious this must be!

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I love a good meaty bolognese, and this one has added eggplant and mushrooms too! Try this when you're looking for a more sophisticated take on spaghetti with meat sauce.

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Meatless eggplant recipes for dinner

Whether you are vegetarian, do meatless Mondays or need meatless meals for Lent, or just love eggplant as much as I do, you'll love these meatless eggplant dinner recipes!

In this recipe, grilled eggplant steaks are layered with fresh mozzarella and big slabs of roasted red peppers. A good, syrupy balsamic vinegar makes this an ultra-decadent meal! I love having these with a side of fresh pasta!

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This pasta with eggplant, tomato, and white wine looks like the perfect simple dinner! Wine makes any sauce better, amirite?

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Marinated in garlic, oregano, chili and mint, this Italian eggplant recipe looks to die for!

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This classic dish of layered summer vegetables, including eggplant, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes, is as beautiful as it is delicious!

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Think of this dish as a cousin to manicotti - eggplant rolls stuffed with a blend of cheeses and topped with a homemade San Marzano tomato sauce. Delightful!

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You can eat this delicious eggplant caponata over brown butter pasta or crostini, or make it into cheesy hand pies! (linked in the recipe)

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For something a little different, try an Asian flavor profile in these sweet and spicy eggplant lettuce wraps!

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These rolled eggplant slices stuffed with a walnut filling capture all the flavors of Georgia (the country, not the state!). I can't wait to try this delicious recipe!

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This one's definitely going on my list to make, with its unique blend of Armenian herbs and spices, including cinnamon, cumin, allspice, and mint.

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Catholic Relief Services has a wonderful collection of international meatless recipes for Lent, including this vegetable stew from Haiti. This stew includes eggplant, cabbage, squash, and coconut milk for a unique blend of flavors!

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Haloumi is a firm cheese similar to mozzarella that you can grill! It blends excellently with grilled eggplant and fresh fennel in this delicious salad recipe.

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What's not to love about smothering something in tomato sauce and cheese? Eggplant parmesan is the perfect way to turn someone into an eggplant lover!

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How beautiful are these grilled baby eggplants? This is an ultra-simple 20-minute recipe perfect for a weeknight, but absolutely gorgeous!

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Moussaka is a middle Eastern stew that uses mostly eggplants, tomato, and chickpeas. I've never met a Lebanese dish I didn't like!

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My shopping list for next week is eggplant, eggplant, and more eggplant! I can’t wait to try so many of the mouth-watering recipes on this list and I hope you will too! 

What’s your favorite way to prepare eggplant? Let me know in the comments!

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Helene
    March 11, 2019 at 12:57 am

    That’s a brilliant collection of eggplant Recipes. Lots to try!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      March 11, 2019 at 10:32 pm

      I have several of these on my to-make list! Trying the Georgian eggplant rolls this week.

  • Reply
    David
    March 12, 2019 at 12:25 am

    Wow, what a collection! So many to try, and so glad to be included!

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