Looking for the BEST authentic Baba Ganoush recipe? This step-by-step tutorial will show you exactly how to make this silky, creamy, smoky eggplant dip with tahini, garlic and citrus.
Baba Ganoush is much easier to make than most people think! Be sure to grab my tips and watch the video toward the bottom of this post.
I mean, what better way to kick-start your dinner than a creamy, dreamy dip and some homemade pita to go along?!
It's time to learn how to make baba ganoush, hummus' smoky cousin!
What is Baba Ganoush?
Where I grew up, and all over Middle East, this tasty eggplant dip is called baba ganoush (or baba Ganouj), which literally means "spoiled dad." (It's that good that if you ate it, you can't help but feel a bit spoiled)!
In the Levant, it is called muttabal or salat hatzilim, meaning eggplant salad.
The French, I learned from David Lebovitz, call it caviar d’aubergines.
All these fancy names refer to the same thing, a silky, creamy, delectable eggplant dip with garlic, citrus and tahini.
What's in it? Ingredients:
- Eggplant. I use 1 large globe eggplant, which is widely available in most supermarkets. There are a couple of ways to prepare the eggplant for baba ganoush. You can either bake it or cook it over open flame for a more smoky flavor (I'll share both options)
- Tahini paste. Tahini paste is made of toasted sesame seeds. I use 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of Soom tahini made of 100% roasted and pressed organic Ethiopian White Humera sesame seeds offering a creamy texture and a nutty flavor.
- Garlic. 1 to 2 fresh garlic cloves, depending on how garlicy you enjoy your dips
- Lemon juice. Citrus gives this eggplant dip a nice lift, but it's very subtle. I use about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or lime juice, and you can add more to your liking.
- (Optional) Greek Yogurt. I use about 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt to enhance the color of this baba ganoush dip turning it from a deep beige to something a little brighter and more appealing. It does also add a tiny bit more creaminess. Again, this is totally optional. And if you like it, you can add a little bit more.
- Seasonings. Salt and pepper, of course. If you like, add a bit of Sumac and cayenne pepper for heat.
- Garnish. I add some fresh parsley and a few toasted pine nuts on top. But a more important garnish is a generous drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil; it seals the deal on this authentic baba ganoush recipe and adds an extra measure of silkiness.
Is babaganoush healthy?
Although babaganoush tastes super rich, creamy, and delightful indulgent, you can see from the list of ingredients that it is a healthy option.
The main ingredient here is eggplant, which is a great source of vitamin B, vitamin E, fiber, and antioxidants. Plus, we have things like garlic, citrus, and tahini, which is also rich in nutrients and contains some anti-inflammatory properties.
Babaganoush is Mediterranean diet friendly; vegetarian (vegan if you don't use the yogurt); and fairly low in carbs.
Do I need to grill the eggplant for Baba Ganoush?
Baba ganoush is easier to make than you think, and no, you do not have to grill the eggplant to make it.
You can totally go the easier route and roast or bake the eggplant it in a high-heated oven (as I do in today's recipe). Let's take a look at the two options:
Option #1: Grill or smoke the eggplant. Traditionally, the first step to making baba ganoush is to grill the eggplant, whole, over an open fire or the flame of a gas stove, until it's deep purple skin is super charred and flaky (I do in this Smoky Baba Ganoush Recipe, which I highly recommend trying at some point.)
Option #2 (the easier, less messy option): Roast or bake the eggplant. To do this, I like to cut the eggplant in halves, make a few slits on the skin, then roast it in a high-heated oven (flesh side down) until super tender. Important tip: if you have the time, before roasting, salt the eggplant flesh generously and let them "sweat out" their bitterness for 20 to 30 minutes, then pat dry very well before you do anything else.
Either option you choose to cook the eggplant will work just fine!
For this easy baba ganoush recipe, I just went with option #2 and roasted the eggplant. From there, using a food processor, the tender eggplant flesh is combined with tahini paste, garlic, citrus, a little salt and pepper, sumac, and a hint of cayenne pepper for a little heat (totally optional.)
You'll notice I added a tiny bit of Greek yogurt, I just think it helps the texture, but you can certainly omit that if you are looking for the vegan version.
How to make baba ganoush from scratch?
Once you've prepared the eggplant by either grilling or baking, all you need to do is blend the eggplant (flesh only) with the remaining ingredients in a food processor.
Here's how I do it, step-by-step (I chose to bake/roast the eggplant for this demo)
Time needed: 50 minutes.
Baba ganoush recipe: step-by-step (print-friendly option below)
- Preheat oven and prepare the eggplant
Note: If you prefer to cook the eggplant over open flame, leave the eggplant whole and follow my instructions above for how to grill the eggplant.
To bake or roast the eggplant, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the eggplant in half and make a few slits through the skin.
(If you have the time, salt the eggplant and let it “sweat out” its bitterness for 20 to 30 minutes before roasting. Make sure you pat the eggplant dry before proceeding)
- Roast eggplant in the oven
Place eggplant halves on a lightly oiled baking sheet, flesh side down. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top.
Roast in the heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the eggplant is very tender.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
- Scoop eggplant flesh and drain
When the eggplant has cooled, scoop the flesh out and transfer to a colander to drain for 3 minutes. Discard the skin.
- Blend in food processor
Transfer drained eggplant flesh to the bowl of a food processor.
Add yogurt (optional), tahini, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper and spices. Run the food processor briefly or pulse a few times until everything is well-combined and you reach the desired consistency (you do not want runny baba ganoush, so be sure not to run the processor too long.)
Taste and adjust spices and lime juice to your liking.
- Transfer to serving bowl and chill
Transfer the baba ganoush dip to a servng bowl, and if you have the time, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Just before serving, top the baba ganoush with olive oil, a sprinkle more sumac, toasted pine nuts and parsley leaves. Enjoy with a side of warm pita bread or these epic homemade pita chips.
What do you eat baba ganoush with?
Obviously, I'm a big fan of serving babaganoush the traditional way with pita bread to dip. But you can use baba ganoush in different ways:
- As a spread. Just smear a bit of baba ganoush on sandwich bread. It will add so much more dimension and flavor to an ordinary sandwich!
- As part of a larger mezze platter
- As a side to grilled lamb chops or chicken kabobs
- To create the perfect dinner bowl! Add baba ganoush next to your favorite protein and a side salad for the perfect dinner bowl (something like I did with chicken shawarma bowls here).
A few important tips
- For best consistency and texture: make sure you have drained the roasted eggplant of any excess water before combining with the rest of the ingredients. And, do not run the food processor too much. Start with a few pulses and go from there. OR, for a more chunky dip, don’t use the food processor. Instead transfer the eggplant to a bowl, add the remaining ingredients (making sure the garlic is minced), and mash with a fork. This methods is especially helpful in ensuring that you avoid a runny baba ganoush.
- To store leftovers: store leftover babaganoush in the fridge in an airtight container. If stored properly, it should keep well for 3 to 4 days. (Some say that homemade baba ganoush can last up to 1 week, that may be true, but we don't typically have much leftover, so I can't personally verify that.)
- For vegan Baba Ganoush, simply omit the Greek yogurt. I use a little bit, and I think it does help the consistency and texture, but can certainly do without.
Watch the video for this easy Babaganoush recipe:
BEST Baba Ganoush recipe! Creamy, silky, flavor-packed eggplant dip with garlic, tahini and lemon or lime juice. Perfect served with homemade pita chips or warm pita along with other mezze favorites. Be sure to view the step photos and tips and watch the video above.
- 1 large eggplant
- Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt (optional)
- 1 ½ tablespoon tahini paste (I used Soom tahini)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice, more if you like
- Salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (eliminate if you prefer mild)
- ½ teaspoon sumac, more for garnish
- Toasted pine nuts for garnish
- Parsley leaves for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Trim the top of the eggplant and cut in half, and using your knife, make a few slits in the skin.
- Sprinkle the eggplant flesh with salt and let it sit for a few minutes to "sweat out" it's bitterness, then dab dry.
- Place the eggplant halves, flesh side down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet then drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the 425 degree F heated-oven for 30-40 minutes or until the eggplant fully softens through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- When the eggplant has cooled, scoop the flesh out and transfer to a colander. Let drain for 3 minutes.
- Transfer eggplant flesh to the bowl of a food processor attached with a blade. Add the yogurt, tahini, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, sumac and cayenne. Pulse or run the food processor ever so briefly just until everything is blended (avoid over-blending).
- Transfer the baba ganoush spread to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour (if you don't have the time, try refrigerating for a few minutes to let the flavors meld and the baba ganoush thicken a bit.) Just before serving, top the baba ganoush with a sprinkle of sumac, olive oil, toasted pine nuts and parsley leaves. Enjoy with a side of warm pita bread.
- To grill eggplant instead: If you would like to grill or smoke the eggplant instead of roasting, skip steps #1 and #2. Instead, place the whole eggplant over a gas burner turned on high (or an outdoor grill.) Using a pair of tongs, turn the eggplant every 5 minutes so until it is completely tender and the skin is well charred and flaky (about 15 to 20 minutes.) Don’t worry if the eggplant deflates, it’s supposed to. Remove from heat and let the eggplant cool, remove and discard charred skin, and follow the recipe from step #4 on.
- Recipe Note: For vegan version, simply omit Greek yogurt.
- Recipe Note: This recipe will serve 4 to 5 people, you can simply double it to serve a larger crowd.
- Pro-Tip: For best results, allow the baba ganoush to cool and thicken in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.
- Pro-Tip to Ensure Thick Consistency: If you want the baba ganoush to be more chunky, don’t use the food processor. Instead transfer the eggplant to a bowl, add the remaining ingredients (making sure the garlic is minced first), and mash everything with a fork until well-combined.
- Pro-Tip for storing leftovers: You can make this recipe ahead of time, refrigerate in an airtight container. It will keep well for 3 to 4 days or so. Some say homemade baba ganoush can last a good week or so if properly refrigerated, but honestly, we don't typically have much leftover.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: Mediterranean/Middle Eastern
Keywords: Baba Ganoush, eggplant dip, babaganoush
- This article first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2015 and has recently been updated with new information and media for readers' benefit.