Learn how to roast eggplant whole in the oven. From there you can use it in all sorts of dishes!
When it comes to saving time in the kitchen, a favorite technique of mine is roasting vegetables whole. No cutting. Sometimes no peeling, or even salt, like with this Whole Roasted Eggplant recipe.
Eggplant is mild in flavor to begin with, and roasting it whole can still leave it a little bland. Combining a baking and broiling process, however, infuses a smoky, caramelized flavor into the flesh.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
What Kind Of Eggplant Is Best For Roasting?
Any type of eggplant (or aubergine, depending where you are) works well for roasting. I’m using the globe variety in this recipe, and depending on what you’ll be using it for and the size of the eggplant, the bake and broil times may need to be adjusted.
Globe eggplants, which are the most common variety found in grocery stores, hold up well in a hot oven. Look for ones that have shiny, dark purple skin, without brown or soft spots, and feel heavy for their size.
For softer, spreadable eggplant perfect for dips like Baba Ganoush, roast according to this recipe. If you want eggplant slices, reduce the bake and broil time by about 10 minutes.
How To Roast Eggplant Whole
Globe eggplants naturally contain a lot of moisture which can boil and force the eggplant to burst open in a high-temperature oven, so small vent holes will need to be cut into the eggplant to prevent these mini explosions from happening.
While the oven is preheating, poke holes all over each eggplant using the tines of a fork or tip of a sharp knife. The vent holes also help with evaporation, concentrating the flavor of the eggplant. You don’t need to peel the skin, you can easily do that after cooking if you need to.
Place the eggplant onto an unlined baking sheet and rub with a little bit of olive oil, which will help caramelize the skin and add more flavor. If slicing the eggplant later, add salt to the outside of the eggplant, otherwise no salt is needed at this point.
Place the pan in the oven for 40 minutes, without opening the oven door. After the 40-minute bake time, (without opening the oven door – use the oven light if you want to peek inside) switch the oven from bake to broil. Broil the eggplant on high for five to eight minutes. This will lightly char the skin, similar to a roasted red pepper.
Remove the pan from the oven and let the eggplant sit for about five minutes before slicing or using it for other recipes.
Other Ways to Cook Eggplant
How To Use Whole Roasted Eggplant
Whole roasted eggplant is versatile enough to be served as a side dish, an appetizer, or as the star of the dinner table.
Mix it into pasta with a little olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs. Turn it into a spread like this Eggplant Caviar from Simply Recipes. Slather roasted eggplant over toast, sprinkled with everything bagel seasoning, for a spin on avocado toast. Maybe top it with a fried egg, too.
It also makes a healthy sandwich topping or spread. When covered with marinara sauce and mozzarella, it makes a deliciously low-carb parmigiana.
Podcast Episode About Roasting Whole Eggplant
Listen to me explain briefly about how to roast eggplant whole, along with some other great tips, by clicking the play button below:Print
This recipe creates a soft, spreadable roasted eggplant. For sliceable roasted eggplant, reduce the cook time by 10 minutes.
- 2 large globe eggplants
- 1/4 tsp. olive oil
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position; preheat oven to 425°F.
- Place eggplants on a sheet pan. Using the tines of a fork or tip of a paring knife, poke each eggplant 3-4 times to create shallow steam-release holes. Rub each eggplant with oil.
- Place pan in oven. Bake 40 minutes.
- Switch oven from bake to broil (don’t open the oven). Broil on high, 5-8 minutes to char eggplant skin.
- Remove pan from oven, let stand 5 minutes.
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This post originally appeared in March 2022 and was revised and republished in September 2023.