Grilled Eggplant

5 from 16 votes

Quick and easy grilled eggplant is a delicious and healthy side that takes minutes to make. This vegan side is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats at cookouts.

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This simple grilled eggplant recipe is a wonderful addition to so many main meals and makes for a great vegan side dish. It takes minutes to prep and cook, and it looks so pretty on the plate!

Grilled eggplant on a plate topped with pinenuts
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If you’re looking for a delicious and easy way to grill eggplant, look no further! Eggplant is a healthy vegetable that is low in calories and high in fiber. It also has a meaty texture that makes it perfect for grilling. This recipe is simple to follow, and the results are fantastic. The grilled eggplant is tender and flavorful, and the pine nuts add a nice crunch. Plus, this dish is healthy and vegan-friendly. Give it a try today!

Why You’ll Love Grilled Eggplant

  • Can be used as a side or a main. The great thing about grilled eggplant is that it is meaty enough for a main yet, perfect as a side And, if you’re hosting a summer BBQ, then having an array of choices for your vegan and vegetarian friends and family is a must.
  • Perfect for novice grillers. Perfect for those that are new to grilling. You can’t really mess up eggplant, even if you’re still learning!
  • Good for you. Eggplant is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a great choice for any diet or healthy lifestyle. Plus, the addition of pine nuts adds extra protein and healthy fats.

Ingredients You’ll Need For This Grilled Eggplant Recipe

  • Eggplant: When picking out eggplant, you want to look for ones that are firm and heavy for their size. Avoid any eggplant that is bruised or has brown spots, as they indicate age and have started to break down.
  • Oil: I used olive oil, but you can also use avocado oil or vegetable oil. Fair warning, eggplant is very absorbent, so be sure to use just enough oil and go straight to the grill once you’ve added the oil. You do not want to let it sit.
  • Spice Blend: This recipe uses a combination of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Feel free to adjust the amounts to your taste or add other herbs and spices.
  • Toppings: I like pinenuts for a crunch and some parsley for color and flavor. You could also add some chopped red onion or diced tomatoes.

How to grill eggplant

Slice the eggplant lengthwise and place it on a baking sheet. You can also slice them into rounds if you’d like.

Salt the eggplant on both sides and place paper towels on the top. Let it rest for 30 minutes to soak up excess moisture.

Process shots showing how to sweat the eggplant and then dry it

Combine the olive oil with the seasonings and brush over both sides of the eggplant slices.

Grill on both sides and serve with pine nuts and fresh parsley, for a Mediterranean flare!

Eggplant after grilling

Tips for grilling eggplant

  1. Salt the eggplant to remove excess moisture. This technique is something I always do when cooking with eggplant because of its high water content. To avoid soggy eggplant after cooking, I highly recommend salting the eggplant and allowing it to rest and release its moisture.
  2. Use a broiler if you don’t have a grill or grill pan. This recipe works great under a broiler. Once the broiler is preheated, place the eggplant on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Broil for 2-3 minutes, then flip and broil for another 2-3 minutes; watch it closely, so it doesn’t burn.
  3. Cut the eggplant slices into even thicknesses so that they cook evenly. If they are different thicknesses, some will be overcooked, and others will not be cooked all the way through.
  4. Don’t add any more oil to the eggplant than the recipe suggests. Eggplant is very absorbent, and it can become very greasy if you add too much oil.

Frequently asked questions

Do you peel eggplant before grilling it?

I like to keep the skins on the eggplants when grilling, but you can remove it with a vegetable peeler if you prefer. The skin on smaller eggplants is thinner, so you really don’t have to, but if it is larger, then it can be tough to eat.

Can you grill eggplant ahead of time?

I prefer to serve these eggplants as soon as they are ready. They have a quick cook time, so they can be made just before serving. I find that they can become a little soggy if made too far in advance. If you have leftovers or want to make them ahead of time, place them in single layers, separated by parchment, and keep them in the fridge. You can reheat them in the oven.

How do you serve grilled eggplant?

I like to sprinkle the eggplant slices with pine nuts and fresh parsley and then serve with yogurt or labneh. You can serve the eggplant as an appetizer or as a side with grilled meats and salads.

Spoon of yogurt being added to the grilled eggplant

Grilled eggplant is an easy and delicious way to enjoy this healthy vegetable. It’s perfect for novice grillers, ready in no time, and great for any diet or lifestyle. With just a few simple ingredients like eggplant, oil, spice blend, and toppings of your choice, you can create a flavorful dish that will satisfy everyone at the table. Give it a try today! Whether you’re hosting a summer BBQ or simply looking for interesting side dishes to add to dinner night – grilled eggplant should be on the menu!

For more recipes with eggplant:

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Grilled Eggplant

Quick and easy grilled eggplant is a delicious and healthy side that takes minutes to make. This vegan side is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats at cookouts.
5 from 16 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Side Dish
Calories 151
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
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  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • chopped parsley for serving
  • Toasted pine nuts for serving


  • Slice eggplant into ¾” thick slices either lengthwise or crosswise.
  • Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet, salt the eggplant on both sides, then apply another clean paper towel on top of the eggplant; let it rest of 30-45 minutes. Then dab the eggplant to remove any excess moisture.
  • Combine the olive oil, garlic powder and black pepper in a small bowl. Use a brush to spread the olive oil mixture on both sides of the eggplant.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill for 5 minutes on one side without moving. Then flip the eggplant and grill for 3-4 more minutes.
  • Serve with toasted pine nuts, fresh parsley and yogurt, if desired.


Storage: I recommend serving the grilled eggplant as soon as you make them. However, if you do have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for a couple days. 


Calories: 151kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 1749mg, Potassium: 524mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 53IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Course: Side Dish

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  1. Eddy daza says:

    Really liked this! We all enjoyed it so much!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      So glad to hear it. Thank you!