Perfectly Grilled Eggplant Recipe

5 from 4 votes
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This perfect grilled eggplant is a versatile addition to your cookout menus that’s naturally low-carb, gluten-free, and with an incredible, smoky flavor.

Grilled eggplant slices in a bowl

When the sun’s out, the grill’s out – and I’m usually looking for something new to add to the unique, smoky flavor that the grill brings. After a bit of experimenting, I might have found the perfect thing – eggplant.

Grilling eggplant doesn’t need a lot of ingredients or fancy tools. All it needs is some good produce, a hot grill, and a little patience to deliver a vegetarian-friendly dish with incredible flavor. Plus, in this post, I’ve also included some handy tips and tricks to make sure you get great results every time you cook.

I’m a big fan of eggplants, so once you’ve tried my grilled eggplant recipe, you can cook this delicious veg in a variety of ways. Try it oven-roasted or baked, make baba ganoush, or use it to make my favorite eggplant fries – all great ways to increase the number of plants in your meals.

Removing cooked eggplant slice from the grill

Top Tips for Success

Here are my top tips to help you succeed every time you make this recipe:

  • Uniform Slices: Slicing your eggplant evenly will make for even grilling and make sure nothing cooks too quickly or too slowly.
  • No Soggy Slices: Eggplants can get very mushy and watery – so try this little trick. Sprinkle your eggplant slices with 1 Tbsp of salt and set aside. It might seem like a lot, but the salt allows the eggplant to “sweat” and removes both moisture and bitterness! Just make sure to wipe them dry before grilling!
  • Seasonings: You can easily elevate grilled eggplant with oil, garlic, and parsley or your favorite blend of herbs and spices. If you make the mix in advance, the flavors will have time to meld together and create an even more delicious blend.
  • Hot Grill: The easiest way how to grill eggplant to perfection is to make sure the grill itself is hot enough. High heat will give a nicely seared exterior while maintaining the desired tenderness inside.
  • Flip It: Turning your eggplant slices a few times during cooking makes sure it’s evenly cooked on both sides. Plus, it stops your eggplant from burning! It’ll also give the slices uniform texture and flavor.
  • Cover Up: Once the eggplant has been seared on both sides, try using a lid to cover the slices. This is going to enhance the flavor by trapping heat and smoke.
  • Grill Well: Keep grilling the eggplant until it’s tender and has those gorgeous grill marks on the flesh – this will tell you when it’s properly cooked.

Eggplant Seasoning Ingredients

Alongside your eggplants (make sure you have ripe ones with a meaty texture), you’ll also need a few kitchen-staple ingredients:

  • Salt: To draw out the water, sea salt or kosher salt will work equally well.
  • Olive Oil: Or another neutral cooking oil. For a richer flavor, use a combination of oil and melted butter.
  • Garlic: To add aromatic garlicky flavor.
  • Parsley: I like fresh, but dried works just as well.
  • Black and Red Pepper Flakes: I find these best for eggplants, but you can use other complimentary herbs and spices like basil, oregano, rosemary, nutmeg, cumin, onion powder, fennel seeds, and cayenne pepper. You could also add parmesan cheese, or use lemon juice or balsamic vinegar for an umami flavor.
Ingredients for grilled eggplants

How Do You Make Grilled Eggplant

Prepare the Eggplant

Cut your eggplant into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 0.5-0.6cm each). Sprinkle both sides of each slice with salt and let them rest for 15-30 minutes to “sweat”. During this time, the salt will draw out the moisture and bitterness. You can put the slices in a colander or arrange them over a wire rack.

Once your slices have sweat, wipe each of the slices with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel to remove the salt and moisture.

Steps for slicing and salting eggplants

Season the Eggplant

As your eggplant slices are sweating, preheat your grill to medium heat.

Mince the garlic. You can use a garlic press for this, or you can follow my essential guide for preparing garlic. Then, chop the parsley. In a bowl, combine the oil, garlic, parsley, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. If you’re using any extra spices or herbs, add them now.

Whisk the mix to thoroughly combine.

Steps for mixing oil with spices and garlic

Brush each eggplant slice with the oil mixture on both sides – you can also dip each slice if you prefer. Make sure the slices are generously covered.

Brushing eggplant slices with oil mixture

Grill the Eggplant Slices

Place the eggplant slices on the grill and cook them for 5-6 minutes on each side, flipping them a couple of times, until the slices are tender and golden and have distinctive dark grill marks on them.

Once cooked, you can sprinkle the eggplant slices with parsley, salt, or pepper flakes. Alternatively, you can brush them with any of the extra leftover oil mixture. Serve and enjoy.

Cooking eggplant on a grill

What to Serve with Grilled Eggplant

Grilled eggplant slices in a bowl

Storage Tips

To Store: Allow any leftovers to cool completely, then put in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll keep for up to 3 days.

Reheating: Spread out the slices on a baking sheet and warm in the oven at 350°F/175ºC or use the microwave to reheat.

Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing this grilled veggie as it can change the texture and will be very mushy when thawed. Enjoy them fresh or refrigerated.

A close up of grilled eggplant slice

More Eggplant Recipes

If you try this grilled eggplant recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Perfectly Grilled Eggplant Recipe

5 from 4 votes
By: Samira
This perfect grilled eggplant is a versatile addition to your cookout menus that's naturally low-carb, gluten-free, and with an incredible, smoky flavor.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 
 

  • 35 oz eggplants 2 medium-sized
  • 1 Tbsp salt used to draw out the water
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 0.35 oz garlic 2 cloves
  • 0.25 oz parsley a handful
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional, see the Notes below for more ideas

Instructions 

Prepare the eggplant

  • Cut your eggplant into ¼ inch-thick slices (about 0.5-0.6 cm each). Sprinkle both sides of each slice with salt and let them rest for 15-30 minutes to “sweat”. The salt will draw out the moisture and bitterness.
    Put the slices in a colander or arrange them over a wire rack.
  • Once your slices have sweat, wipe each of the slices with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel to remove the salt and moisture.

Season

  • As your eggplant slices are sweating, preheat your grill to medium heat.
  • Mince the garlic. Chop the parsley. In a bowl, combine the oil, garlic, parsley, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix thoroughly.
  • Brush each eggplant slice with the oil mixture on both sides – you can also dip each slice if you prefer. Make sure the slices are generously covered.

Grill

  • Place the eggplant slices on the grill and cook them for 5-6 minutes on each side, flipping them a couple of times, until the slices are tender and golden and have distinctive dark grill marks on them.
  • Once cooked, you can sprinkle the eggplant slices with parsley, salt or pepper flakes. Alternatively, you can brush them with any of the extra leftover oil mixture.

How To Store

  • To Store: Allow the eggplant to cool completely, then put in an airtight container and refrigerate. It’ll keep for up to 3 days.
    Reheating: Spread out the slices on a baking sheet and warm in the oven at 350°F/175ºC or use the microwave to reheat.
    Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing it as it can change the texture and will be very mushy when thawed. Enjoy them fresh or refrigerated. 

Video

Notes

  • Herbs and spices: I find black pepper and red pepper flakes are enough for eggplants. But you can use other complimentary herbs and spices: basil, oregano, rosemary, nutmeg, cumin, onion powder, fennel seeds, and cayenne pepper. You could also add parmesan cheese, or use lemon juice or balsamic vinegar for an umami flavor.
  • Uniform Slices: Slicing your eggplant into even strips will make for even grilling.
  • Hot Grill: Get the temperature high for perfectly seared and tender eggplant.
  • Flip It: Turning your grilled eggplant a few times during cooking not only makes sure it’s evenly cooked on both sides – it stops your eggplant from burning!
  • Cover Up: Once the eggplant has been seared on both sides, try using a lid to cover the slices.
  • Grill Well: Keep grilling the eggplant until it’s tender and has those gorgeous grill marks on the flesh.
Check the blog post for serving recommendations!
Course: Appetizer, Side
Cuisine: American
Freezer friendly: No
Shelf life: 3 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 189kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 1780mg, Potassium: 597mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 283IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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