This grilled eggplant is marinated in garlic and herbs, then cooked until tender and golden brown. An easy and healthy side dish that pairs perfectly with a variety of grilled meats and seafood.
You can’t go wrong with grilled veggies, whether it’s grilled zucchini, grilled asparagus, or this smoky and savory eggplant. You can serve this eggplant as-is, or dress it up to turn it into a vegetarian main course.
In my opinion, eggplant is an underutilized ingredient. It’s healthy, inexpensive, and is a neutral palette to absorb the flavors of sauces and marinades. This grilled eggplant is simple to make, yet totally delicious!
How do you make grilled eggplant?
Start by slicing your eggplant. Place the slices of eggplant in a quick marinade that’s made with olive oil, herbs, spices and fresh garlic. Let the eggplant marinate for at least 20 minutes, or up to 2 hours. Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan. Place the eggplant slices on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until tender and browned. Sprinkle the eggplant with chopped parsley, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect eggplant
- Make sure all your eggplant slices are similar in size so that they cook at the same rate.
- If you don’t have a grill available, this recipe will also work in the oven. Broil for 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through.
- Grilled eggplant tastes best when served immediately, but you can also serve it at room temperature with good results. Store any leftover eggplant in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- I do not recommend freezing this recipe. The eggplant will become watery upon being frozen and thawed.
- I like to finish this dish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. If you don’t have parsley on hand, try using dill, chives, basil or thyme leaves.
How do you cut an eggplant for grilling?
The easiest way to cut an eggplant for grilling is to cut it crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices. If you prefer, you can also cut an eggplant lengthwise into long slices, but I find those are more difficult to eat. If you’re using smaller eggplants, such as Asian eggplants, you can cut them into quarters. However you cut your eggplant, just be sure that the pieces are big enough that they won’t fall through the grates of your grill.
Do you peel eggplant before grilling?
You should not peel your eggplant before you grill it. The peel is what holds the eggplant together on the grill. If you remove the peel, you’ll end up with pieces of eggplant that will easily fall apart. The peel also adds nice color and texture to your finished dish.
Ways to use grilled eggplant
You can serve your eggplant as a side dish, or combine it with other ingredients to turn it into a main course.
- Pasta: Add grilled eggplant to baked ziti, spaghetti with marinara, or a ravioli dish for extra flavor.
- Salad: Coarsely chop your eggplant and add it to a green salad along with some crumbled feta cheese and toasted pine nuts.
- Sandwiches: Layer grilled eggplant with sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, spinach and pesto for an amazing sandwich.
- Pizza: Chop your eggplant and add it on top of a cheese pizza.
- Casseroles: Use slices of eggplant instead of pasta to make a low carb lasagna.
This recipe is my favorite way to enjoy eggplant – it’s easy, versatile and always a big hit.
More delicious grilling recipes
- Grilled Vegetables
- Easy Chicken Kabobs
- Grilled Shrimp Skewers
- Marinated and Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Lemon Grilled Chicken Wings
Grilled Eggplant Video
- 2 large eggplants cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley leaves chopped
- lemon wedges for serving optional
- Place the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and minced garlic in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the eggplant slices to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat.
- Cook the eggplant for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned and tender.
- Place the eggplant on a serving plate. Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with lemon wedges if desired.