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This oven roasted eggplant recipe makes the perfect healthy addition to just about any meal. I kept the seasonings basic on these roasted eggplant slices, so that they can be used in a wide variety of ways. Turn them into eggplant Parmesan with marinara and mozzarella cheese. Or use them instead of pasta as lasagna layers (eggplant lasagna!). Or just serve them on the side of some chicken (or other idas below). You really can’t go wrong. I’ll show you how to cut eggplant and how to cook eggplant — everything you need to know about roasting eggplant can be found below.
Eggplant is one of those veggies that people often have strong opinions about. And I get it. I wasn’t always a big eggplant fan. But when you drizzle the slices with a generous amount of olive oil and season them correctly, they get caramelized in the oven and they are irresistible!
Everyone should have a basic baked eggplant recipe in their back pocket — and this is it.
Why You’ll Love This Roasted Eggplant Recipe
- Sweet, caramelized flavor
- Perfectly tender texture
- Just 3 basic ingredients (plus salt and pepper)
- Ready in about half an hour
- Healthy vegetable to enjoy as a side dish
How To Season Eggplant
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for roasting eggplant and how to prepare them, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
In this oven roasted eggplant recipe, we’re keeping the seasonings very basic. This is great because the eggplant can be used in so many different ways.
- Eggplant – Look for small to medium eggplants if possible, as larger ones are more bitter and have more seeds. You can test their quality by squeezing: Make sure the skin is smooth and the flesh feels firm. Soft spots indicate that it is starting to spoil. I used globe eggplants (sometimes called American eggplants), which are the most common in the USA, but the same ingredients and method works for baking eggplant of other types as well.
- Olive Oil – Oil is very important for caramelization. I like cooking eggplant with extra virgin olive oil, but you can substitute other heat-safe oils, such as avocado oil.
- Garlic Powder – Adds flavor. I don’t recommend substituting fresh garlic, as it will burn during the longer roasting time for eggplant.
- Salt & Pepper – I make all my recipes with sea salt, but kosher salt also works fine.
VARIATION: Want even more flavor without much effort?
Sprinkle with Italian seasoning! You can also use your own combination of your favorite dried herbs (such as basil, parsley, or thyme) or spices. If you like a little zing, add splash of fresh lemon juice to the olive oil and then brush it on.
How To Cut Eggplant
Some roasted eggplant recipes call for chopping it up into eggplant cubes, but I much prefer circles. It’s faster, you get better caramelization, and there’s no extra bowl to wash (just season right on the baking sheet).
To cut the eggplant, simply slice it crosswise to make circles, about 1/2 inch thick. Try to get them in even slices so that they cook evenly.
Tips For Cutting Eggplant:
- Cut off the leafy end only after you are done slicing. This way, you’ll have more to grab onto as you slice.
- The thinner your slices, the more caramelized edges you’ll get and the less the baking time will be. But, you risk burning if you slice them too thin, so 1/2 inch thick (or slightly less) is a good thickness to aim for.
How To Roast Eggplant In The Oven
This section shows how to cook eggplant slices in the oven, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Slice the eggplant. See above for instructions and tips.
- Season. Arrange eggplant on a baking sheet (or two if you don’t have room). Once you’ve laid out the slices in a single layer, drizzle them with olive oil and season them with sea salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Flip over the slices and repeat the oil and seasonings.
- Roast the eggplant. Cook them until they are soft, golden, and starting to caramelize.
How Long To Roast Eggplant?
The cooking time for roasted eggplant slices is about 30 minutes at 400 degrees F. You want them golden and soft. The time may vary if your slices are thicker or thinner than my recommendation of 1/2 inch thickness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Roasting eggplant is very straightforward, but a couple of questions come up often:
Do You Have To Peel Eggplant Before You Cook It?
No, you don’t have to peel eggplant before you cook it. The outer peel of the eggplant (the pretty purple one!) is totally edible and actually helps hold the eggplant together once it’s cooked. If you plan on turning your roasted eggplant slices into a dip like baba ganoush, you would remove the peel, but for regular roasted eggplant recipes like this one, leave the peel on.
Should You Salt Eggplant First?
No, you don’t have to salt your eggplant, because most eggplants today are bred to avoid bitterness. However, if your eggplant is large, it’s more likely to be bitter, so you can salt it if you like. To do this, sprinkle the eggplant slices generously with salt — at least 1 teaspoon of salt per eggplant — and place into a colander over the sink to drain for an hour. (It seems like a lot of salt, but this is necessary for the eggplant to release enough moisture and its bitterness along with it.) Then, rinse with water and proceed with the roasted eggplant recipe as written.
- Store: Store roasted eggplant slices in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Let them cool after you roast them and then place them in layers in an airtight container.
- Meal prep: You can roast eggplant in advance, but I don’t recommend slicing and storing the raw slices, because they will turn brown.
- Reheat: Warm up baked eggplant in the oven at 350 degrees F. (I use a lower temperature for reheating than for roasting, so that they don’t burn.)
- Freeze: This oven roasted eggplant recipe freezes well! After cooking eggplant, let it cool. Then, you can freeze the slices in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. When they are frozen solid, transfer the slices to a freezer bag and store for up to 3-4 months. Thaw before reheating.
What To Serve With Roasted Eggplant Slices
I love healthy eggplant recipes like this one because it goes with just about anything! You’ll find all of my healthy dinner recipes here and low carb dinner recipes here, but here are some popular categories that would be perfect with this baked eggplant recipe:
- Chicken – Keep it basic with crispy baked chicken thighs, roasted chicken drumsticks, or air fryer chicken breast, or make an Italian meal by pairing roasted eggplant slices with chicken cacciatore.
- Steak – You can’t go wrong with a great cut of beef, whether it’s sirloin steak, filet mignon, or even New York strip.
- Fish – One of the healthiest meal options… and one of the fastest! Try pan seared salmon, baked cod, sea bass, rainbow trout, or one of my other easy fish recipes.
- Seafood – For a special meal, baked eggplant pairs well with crab legs, lobster tail, or garlic butter shrimp.
- Lamb – Upgrade your dinner with lamb kofta kebab, grilled lamb chops, or braised lamb shanks.
- Sauce – I prefer marinara sauce on the side, but tahini sauce is also a delicious option. I also like to add a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
More Easy Eggplant Recipes
Roasting is one of the best ways to cook eggplant, but there are many other ways! Try these other simple options:
Tools For Cooking Eggplant
- Olive Oil Mister – You can simply brush or drizzle the olive oil onto your eggplant, but this mister speeds up the process. Unlike many I’ve tried, this one gives a nice, even mist.
- Nonstick Baking Pan – These are my favorite pans! They never stick and they clean up so well! I love the extra large pan for roasted eggplant recipes because you can fit a lot at once.
How To Roast Eggplant: Oven Roasted Eggplant Recipe
How To Cook Eggplant: Oven Roasted Eggplant Recipe
Learn how to cut eggplant and how to roast eggplant slices in 3 EASY steps! This oven roasted eggplant recipe makes the perfect healthy side dish.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
Slice the eggplant crosswise to make circles, about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick. Cut off the leafy end only after you are done slicing, so that you'll have more to grab onto as you slice.
Arrange the eggplant slices on an extra large baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Flip and repeat the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
Roast the eggplant slices in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, until soft and golden.
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Serving size: 4 slices, or 1/4 entire recipe
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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