This absolutely delicious, smoky eggplant dip from the Middle East is great as a healthy appetizer or snack. Baba ganoush is low-carb, keto, vegan-friendly and gluten-free so you can share it with all your friends!
Total carbs 10g, net carbs 5g
Fire-roasted eggplant is charred all over, then the creamy flesh is scooped out and mashed into a smooth and savory dip. It's one of my favorite vegetarian recipes.
🎥 Watch this video on how to make baba ganoush
This is a great recipe that doesn't require a food processor. All you need is a well-cooked eggplant and a spoon to mash it with.
👩🏻🍳 Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
- 🎥 Watch this video on how to make baba ganoush
- 👩🏻🍳 Table of contents
- What Is baba ganoush?
- How many carbs are in baba ganoush?
- Ingredients for homemade baba ganoush
- Baba ganoush without tahini
- 🔪 Instructions
- How to make baba ganoush in the oven
- How to make baba ganoush on the grill
- How to make baba ganoush over a gas cooktop
- How to make baba ganoush over an induction or electric cooktop
- Equipment you'll need
- Serving suggestions
- Make ahead
- Frequently asked questions
- Baba ganoush recipe card
- More great recipes for appetizers
- More great recipes for eggplant
What Is baba ganoush?
Baba ganoush, also spelled baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj, is an appetizer of roasted eggplant salad. The main ingredient is seasoned roasted eggplant. It is a Levantine appetizer that can be found in Lebanese restaurants served as a dip or spread. It is one of my favorite Middle Eastern dips.
How many carbs are in baba ganoush?
A ¼ cup serving of baba ganoush has only 5 grams of net carbs or 10g total carbs.
Ingredients for homemade baba ganoush
Here's what you'll need to make this great recipe at home:
For the best baba ganoush roast the eggplant. You'll need about 1 and ¼ pounds of raw eggplant. One large eggplant will work. Don't worry about peeling the skin, it will be burned away. I roasted a Prosperosa eggplant for this recipe. A small eggplant will also work. Just increase the number of eggplants used.
Tahini is a type of sesame butter. Sesame tahini can be found in the peanut butter section. The amount of tahini varies depending on your palate. Not everyone is a fan of sesame. Add tahini one spoonful at a time. I start with 2 tablespoons to thicken the mashed eggplant. It gives it a nice creamy consistency without overpowering the other flavors. Use more if you want a creamier, more pronounced sesame flavor.
salt and pepper
Use a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Add as much garlic as you please. When sharing, I find that 1-2 cloves of minced garlic is perfect for most palates. You can also use roasted garlic for a mellower flavor.
extra virgin olive oil
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the eggplant dip at the end to give it a golden sheen.
fresh lemon juice
Fresh lemon juice brightens, emulsifies and preserves the dip both by keeping the eggplant from darkening and keeping it from turning at room temperature. If you like it tart, just add more lemon juice.
Za'atar spice, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, sumac powder or toasted sesame seeds
Seasonings can vary. You can simply garnish the dip with a drizzle of olive oil. Za'atar spice or sumac powder is often used as a colorful, red garnish in Mediterranean cuisine. If you have that, it is a fantastic seasoning. Sumac isn't spicy, it is bright like a splash of lemon juice. If you don't have sumac, you can add a bit of red color and bright, peppery flavor by adding paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper or chili powder. I used smoked paprika here to enhance the smokiness of the eggplant. Or use a mild, nutty seasoning like toasted sesame seeds to enhance the flavor of tahini in the baba ganoush.
I like to top the dip with a few sprigs of fresh parsley for a colorful garnish. If you like parsley, you can add a handful of chopped parsley, but then this dish becomes more of an eggplant salad than baba ganoush spread.
Baba ganoush without tahini
Tahini is an optional ingredient. Sesame allergy is the ninth most common food allergy among children and adults in the U.S. If you or the people you cook for have a sesame allergy, don't worry, you can still make delicious baba ganoush without tahini. You may substitute tahini with equal amounts of olive oil.
The key to a good recipe for baba ganoush is to roast the eggplant until the skin is charred black and the flesh is soft and creamy. Cooking the eggplant is easy. Just take your time. You can use an oven, a grill or even a cooktop. Here are the basic steps using an oven's broiler setting:
Step 1: Turn on the broiler. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and poke holes in the skin of the eggplant with a fork or knife.
Step 2: Scorch the eggplant under a broiler or over a grill on all sides until the skin is blackened. Cook until eggplant's flesh is soft. About 20-40 minutes.
Step 3: Use tongs to remove the charred skin, or wait until the eggplant has cooled before handling the eggplant with your fingers.
Step 4: Place cooked eggplant in a bowl and cover. Let the eggplant continue steaming in its skin for 10-20 minutes or until cool to the touch.
Step 5: Scoop flesh away from skin into a bowl. Discard the burnt skin and stem.
Step 6: Season with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Step 7: Mix well until the eggplant mixture is smooth and creamy.
Step 8: Spoon into a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, garnish with spices and parsley.
How to make baba ganoush in the oven
If you have an oven, then you can make baba ganoush. Use your oven's broil setting to scorch and char the eggplant all over to get that smoky flavor. This will take several minutes on each side. Don't skimp on cook time. The eggplant needs to cook through for a creamy dip. Raw or undercooked eggplant is not delicious. You may want to run the vent if the oven gets too smoky.
How to make baba ganoush on the grill
If you have a grill, then you may set your grill to high heat and scorch the eggplant on all sides for a smoky flavor. This is not grilled eggplant, be sure to char the skin and cook the eggplant flesh until it becomes a soft, creamy texture. Close the lid in between turns.
How to make baba ganoush over a gas cooktop
This is my least favorite method because the eggplant juices bubble and leak as the skin chars, leaving a burnt mess on your cooktop to be cleaned up. However, if you don't have an oven or grill, then you can scorch the eggplant directly over the open flame of a gas cooktop until charred on all sides.
How to make baba ganoush over an induction or electric cooktop
Alternatively, you can blacken the eggplant in a very hot cast-iron skillet. It will still be messy, but easier to cleanup.
Equipment you'll need
You don't need fancy equipment to make smoky eggplant dip. Baba ganoush can easily be made without a blender or food processor:
- rimmed baking sheet
- large bowl or mixing bowl
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- cutting board
Serve baba ganoush in serving bowl as an appetizer, snack or for dinner tonight. Baba ganoush goes well with falafel or chicken as a main dish, or try it with crisp veggies or pita such as:
- sliced cucumbers
- endive spears
- sliced peppers
- pita chips
- pita bread
What if you could make a big batch of baba ganoush and store it for later? That way you always have a healthy snack on hand!
Store in the fridge
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can baba ganoush be frozen?
Yes, just leave out the parsley. Stored in an airtight container, baba ganoush can be frozen for up to 2 months. Simply thaw it in the fridge overnight before serving.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. The main ingredient is eggplant which is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients. In addition, baba ganoush contains healthy fats from olive oil and tahini. According to this Healthline article, "Adding eggplants to your diet may help keep your blood sugar in check."
Low in carbs and high in flavor, this baba ganoush recipe will have you feeling satisfied every time. A single serving has only 5 grams of net carbs.
This delicious, smoky eggplant dip is great as a healthy appetizer or snack. Baba ganoush is low-carb, keto, vegan-friendly and gluten-free so you can share it with all your friends!
- 1 whole eggplant, unpeeled (approx 1-¼ lb)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pinch of salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- a pinch of cayenne powder, or sumac seasoning, or chili powder, or paprika or toasted sesame seeds
- a few sprigs of chopped parsley
- Poke holes in the skin of the eggplant with a fork or knife.
- Place on a baking sheet.
- Scorch the eggplant under a broiler for 5-10 minutes on each side or until the skin is charred all around and the eggplant flesh is tender. This take about 20-30 minutes.
- Place cooked eggplant in a mixing bowl and cover. Let the eggplant continue steaming in its skin for 10-20 minutes or until cool to touch.
- Scoop flesh away from skin into a mixing bowl. Discard the burnt skin and stem.
- Add salt, pepper, garlic, tahini and lemon juice.
- Mix well until the eggplant mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Spoon baba ganoush into a serving bowl.
- Drizzle olive oil over the top.
- Sprinkle with paprika.
- Garnish with parsley.
- Make sure that the eggplant is fully cooked and soft.
- Use smoked paprika and/or smoked sea salt to enhance the smoky flavor.
- Season with your choice of cayenne powder, or sumac seasoning, or chili powder, or paprika or toasted sesame seeds.
- Add more lemon juice if you like it tart.
- Pour off excess liquid from the eggplant if you want a thicker dip.
- You can also chill the baba ganoush to thicken it.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20-40 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: eggplant, keto, low-carb, diabetic, dip, appetizer, baba ganoush, baba ghanoush, Lebanese, cuisine