Perfect Oven Roasted Eggplant

It’s hard to believe, but you can make boring eggplants exciting. I’ll show you the best way to roast eggplants with only salt, pepper and olive oil in 30 minutes!

These roasted eggplants are bursting with flavor, perfectly caramelized with crispy edges with soft and juicy flesh!

Roasted and caramelized cubes of eggplant.

Roasting eggplants (aubergines in the UK) at high temperature with a generous amount of olive oil is the secret to unlock the best eggplant flavor!

They are so versatile: you can use roasted eggplants as a low-carb side dish, as a base for casseroles or salads or as a delicious snack simply dipped in marinara or your favorite sauce!

Ingredients

For this simple roasted eggplant recipe you’ll only need the following ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants (about 1 ½ pounds or 700 grams)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Serving of roasted eggplant pieces on a small plate.

You can totally get creative with the spices here: believe me, you’ll be wanting to make this roasted eggplant recipe many, many times!

How to roast eggplant in the oven

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 450 °F (230 °C) and line the baking sheet with parchment paper. This will keep the eggplants from sticking and make clean-up a breeze!

Globe eggplants.

Step 2. Wash the eggplants well to remove dirt and pesticides. I always gently scrub them with my tawashi brush.

Slicing eggplants.

Step 3. Hold the eggplants by the leafy end and cut them into slices a little over 1″ thick.

After slicing them into rounds (step 3) you can use the following cutting technique to make the cubes uniform in size:

Slicing eggplant.

Step 4. Cut the smaller (narrower) slices into four cubes.

Slicing eggplant in cubes.

Step 5. Cut the larger (wider) slices into six cubes.

There, now you have an evenly cut and cubed eggplant! This method of slicing eggplants works great even if your eggplants are much wider at the bottom than at the top, like globe eggplants usually are.

Step 5. Season the eggplant cubes with salt and pepper, and drizzle them with olive oil.

Step 6. Spread the eggplants evenly on the lined baking sheet in a single layer.

Hot tip: Eggplant pieces absorb olive oil like a sponge! Be quick while drizzling and toss the cubes around for the olive oil to spread evenly.

Alternatively, you can use an olive oil spray. It’s much easier to coat all the eggplant as it creates a fine mist. I use this refillable oil spray, so I can put my favorite olive oil inside and always have it on hand when I need it.

Spraying olive oil on eggplants.

Step 7. Feel free to spray a bit more of olive oil for good measure.

Step 8. Roast the eggplants at 450 °F (230 °C) for about 30 minutes.

Stir them once after about half of the cooking time has elapsed for even browning.

You can choose at which point you’ll remove the eggplants from the oven, it depends on how cooked you like them

I like my eggplants super soft and well browned, so I leave them for much longer than it’s actually needed to cook them.

These are some approximate time ranges for how long you should roast the eggplants according to your taste:

  • Softened and golden: About 25 minutes at 450 °F (230 °C).
  • Fully caramelized and browned: 30 to 35 minutes at 450 °F (230 °C)

Roasted eggplants garnished with basil.

Hot tips for the best results

Follow these simple tips to get perfect roasted eggplants every time:

  • Cut large pieces: At least 1-inch cubes or larger so they will stay tender and juicy with caramelized edges. If you you cut the eggplant into small pieces, they will either dry out or turn into mush before they get caramelized.
  • Even sized pieces: If the eggplant in cut into uneven sizes, they will cook at different speeds. By the time the large pieces are tender, the smaller ones will be burned.
  • Don’t skimp on the olive oil: Olive oil brings out the richness of the flavor and helps caramelize and soften the eggplants. Drizzle generously.
  • Hot oven: The heat will seal the outside of the eggplant and stop the juices from evaporating, keeping the flavor inside!
Roasted eggplants on a serving plate with spoon.

Frequently asked questions

What to serve with roasted eggplant

Roasted eggplants make a great keto and low-carb side dish option. love serving them with this Middle-Eastern Camel recipe or my Cabbage and Ground Beef Lasagna!

You can also use roasted eggplant cubes in salads, casseroles, wraps and bowls.

What’s the best eggplant for roasting?

The globe eggplant variety, which is the most common type of eggplant available in the US, is great for roasting. It has a meaty flesh and not so bitter taste.

The globe eggplant is also called American eggplant. Other good eggplants for roasting are the Italian eggplants, Japanese eggplants and Rosa Bianca eggplants, so you can also use these in this recipe.

Different ways to cut eggplant

For this recipe, I chose to cut in cubes. But there’s many other ways to cut eggplant for roasting:

You can just slice them in the middle, longitudinally like boats. This method is good for making stuffed eggplants. Or, you can slice them into rounds, or half-moons, or triangles.

You can follow this recipe to make roasted eggplant in any of these shapes, you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time.

Larger pieces of eggplant will take a bit longer to roast. The results will be the very delicious same!

Do you have to peel the eggplant before cooking?

There’s no need! It’s actually better leave the peel on for this recipe, because the peel helps hold the eggplant together as it softens during cooking.

If you don’t like the skin on the eggplant, you can remove the excess by peeling “zebra stripes” on it before cutting. Simply shave off ribbons of skin lengthwise, in an alternating pattern.

By cutting the zebra stripes you are removing about half of the skin, but leaving enough on so that the eggplant pieces won’t collapse into mush.

The only scenario where you should fully peel the eggplant before cooking is if you’re planning to make an eggplant puree dish, like baba ganoush.

A serving of roasted eggplants on a small dish.

Do you need to salt eggplant first?

It’s not necessary to salt the eggplant in most cases.

In the past, it was customary to salt eggplants to help remove their bitterness, but they are now bred to be less bitter. If you buy your eggplants from a supermarket it’s very unlikely that they will need to be salted.

Still, some varieties can have some bitterness to them, or if you buy larger or older eggplants they might have developed some bitterness. So, you can salt them if you like.

Storage

Roasted eggplant tastes best fresh from the oven. If there are left overs, keep them refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

Reheat the baked eggplant in the oven at 350 °F (175 °C). Remove as soon as they are warmed up to prevent them from burning.

You can also reheat them in the microwave, but they will get too soft (they will lose the crispness).

I do not recommend freezing the roasted eggplants, as the texture is not as good when thawed and reheated.


Serving of roasted eggplant pieces on a small plate.

Perfect Roasted Eggplant

5 from 2 votes
Caramelized, juicy eggplant is easy to make in the oven with just olive oil, salt and pepper!
Author: Pris Frank
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients
 

  • 2 eggplants 2 medium or 3 small, about 1 1/2 pounds (700 grams)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 450 °F (230 °C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wash the eggplants and pat them dry. Holding by the stem, cut them into slices a little over 1" thick. Cut each slice into 4 or 6 cubes. Cut similar sized pieces for uniform browning.
  • Place the eggplant cubes in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper. Drizzle or spray olive oil evenly and toss well to spread the seasonings.
  • Spread the eggplant pieces on the lined tray on a single layer, and take it into the oven at 450 °F (230 °C). After 15 minutes, flip the eggplants and return them to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, until they are tender and golden brown.

Notes

Pick eggplants that feel heavy for their size, with round and smooth bottoms. These are generally younger, less bitter and with smaller or less seeds.
You can add different seasonings to taste, like paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin or garlic powder.
Serving ideas: Oven roasted eggplant is delicious plain, but you can dress it up with a squeeze of lemon juice or dip in marinara sauce, aioli, tahini or ranch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 167kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1.7gFat: 13.4gFiber: 5.1gNet Carbohydrates: 4.9g
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us know how it was!

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