Is it hummus? Not quite! It's a smoky baba ganoush dip that's definitely going to knock your socks off. And yes, eggplant is the secret weapon in this ultra-creamy wonder food.
Wait for it...
Baba ganoush (aka baba ghanouj or baba ghanoush) is a dip traditionally included in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. It normally consists of grilled or roasted eggplant, olive oil, garlic, lemon, tahini, and various spices.
This spread shares a lot of similarities with its more popular counterpart, hummus. The difference being that baba ganoush is made with a base of roasted or grilled eggplant instead of chickpeas.
Hope we didn't just scare you off with that last sentence.
We know eggplant can end up a slimy, bitter mess if not cooked properly. But, you don't have to worry about that anymore! The way we prepare it will leave you with nothing but a slightly sweet, creamy appetizer that's perfect for lunch, snacks, or as part of a mezze platter.
So, grab your eggplants and let's make this smoky baba ganoush dip already!
🍲 Key ingredients
- Eggplant: of course you can't have baba ganoush without eggplant, which is also known as aubergine. Combined with the other base ingredients, it creates a subtly charred flavor (who doesn't love some smoky deliciousness?). As an added benefit, this purple food contains heaps of anthocyanins, which help protect our cells against damage (yay!).
- Olive oil: to create an ultra-creamy and rich texture, a little bit of olive oil goes a long way here! You don't need much, but it really does make a difference in our opinion. And you can rest easy because olive oil contains a substance called oleocanthal, which helps reduce inflammation in the body. Step aside ibuprofen, olive oil to the rescue.
- Smoked paprika: to add the perfect amount of smoke and spice, we used this wondrous ingredient. Smoked paprika takes the roasted eggplant flavor to a new level, and it makes you feel like you own a barbecue without actually having to buy one (we really are helping you save money).
- Garlic: if there is an ingredient more versatile than garlic, we'd love to know. Until then, we'll keep dumping this into our recipes with no regrets (we stand by that). Seriously though, it's spicy, zesty, and intense — just the way we like it. Don't forget, it helps keep you healthy, which is especially important as we head into cold and flu season!
To start this recipe off, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the eggplant into ¼-inch circles, season with salt, and let them sit for 15-20 minutes to draw out excess water.
Then, rinse them slightly and pat dry with a clean towel. Although this step is optional, it will help prevent your dip from ending up too soggy!
Next, transfer your eggplant slices to the aluminum-lined baking sheet and lightly brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil and smoked paprika. Bake the eggplant slices for about 25 minutes, flipping halfway.
Then, turn your oven to high broil and leave them in for just a bit longer to char the eggplant. Remove your pan from the oven, and let the eggplant cool for 5-10 minutes before peeling the skin off (your finger pads will thank you). You should be able to remove the skin fairly easily.
Transfer the inner portion of your roasted eggplant to a food processor with a little more olive oil, smoked paprika, lemon juice, tahini, garlic cloves, parsley, salt, pepper, and liquid smoke. The last ingredient is optional, but we feel it's worth it if you can find some.
Blend everything until you achieve your desired consistency. We prefer a smooth consistency, so a food processor works great for us. However, if you like your baba ganoush a little chunkier, you can also just mash everything together with a fork.
Taste and adjust any seasonings to your liking. Add liquid smoke or smoked paprika for a more smoky flavor, lemon for tartness, olive oil for a richer texture, or garlic for more zest.
Serve immediately garnished with chopped parsley, toasted sesame seeds, pine nuts, or a drizzle of olive oil. If time permits, it's best to let the baba ganoush cool in the fridge before eating. Either way, this dip pairs unbelievably well with warm pita bread slices!
You can keep this in the fridge for about 4-5 days in an airtight container. It also stores well in the freezer for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe bag.
To thaw, set it out on your counter for about 15-20 minutes. Then, transfer the baba ghanoush into a strainer lined with cheesecloth to get rid of any excess water.
💭 Budget tips
We think everyone should be able to eat better for less, so here are a few tricks to make this recipe even more affordable:
- Buy your tahini at a local Mediterranean market for the best price and consistency
- Skip serving it with the garnishes
- Roast the eggplant with cheaper vegetable oil instead of olive oil
🍴 Tasting notes
This dip is a smokalicious twist on the infamous hummus. We know you'll love it! Its:
If you try this baba ganoush, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Smoky Baba Ganoush Dip
- Baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
- Food processor
- 1 large globe eggplant ($1.90)
- 1 tbsp olive oil ($0.12)
- ½ tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice ($0.18)
- 2 tbsp runny tahini ($0.12)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.08)
- 1 tsp Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely minced ($0.10)
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika ($0.03)
- 2-4 drops liquid smoke ($0.03)
- 1 tbsp olive oil ($0.12)
- Sea salt & pepper to taste ($0.02 USD)
- Toasted sesame seeds or pine nuts
- Fresh Italian parsley
- Olive oil drizzle
- Preheat your oven to 400°F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Cut the eggplant into ¼-inch circles, season with salt, and let them sit for 15-20 minutes to draw out excess water. Then, rinse them slightly and pat dry with a clean towel.
- Transfer eggplant slices to the aluminum-lined baking sheet. Lightly brush both sides with approximately 1 tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp smoked paprika.
- Bake the eggplant slices for 25 minutes, flipping halfway. Then, turn your oven to high broil and leave them in for another 2 minutes to achieve a smokier flavor.
- Let the eggplant cool for 5-10 minutes before peeling the skin off. You should be able to remove it fairly easily. Transfer the inner portion to a food processor along with the extra 1 tbsp of olive oil, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, 2-3 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp tahini, 2 garlic cloves, parsley, 3-4 drops of liquid smoke (optional), and sea salt & pepper to taste.
- Blend until you achieve your desired consistency (we prefer a smoother baba ganoush). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add liquid smoke or smoked paprika for a more smoky flavor, lemon for tartness, olive oil for a richer texture, or garlic for more zest.
- Transfer mixture to a jar or bowl and garnish with chopped parsley, toasted sesame seeds, or a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately, or let it cool in the fridge beforehand. Either way, this dip pairs well with warm pita bread slices or as a spread on falafel wraps!
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of this recipe.
- If you don't have liquid smoke, you can simply omit it or add in more smoked paprika.
- It isn't necessary to use a food processor, but we prefer a smoother texture. If you want a chunkier consistency, try mashing the eggplant with a fork before stirring in the rest of the ingredients.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more dips and dressings, check out our:
- Vegan basil pesto for an absolutely addicting way to dress up pasta, pizza, or sandwiches.
- 6-ingredient vegan tzatziki sauce if you want to try putting together a mezze platter.
- Vegan Caesar dressing because no one needs eggs or anchovies in their salad dressing.
- Lemon tahini dressing for another Middle Eastern-inspired recipe.
You'll basically want to salt and drain your eggplant the same way. But, instead of baking it, you'll grill it on medium-high. Since we don't actually own a barbecue, you can find good instructions for grilling an eggplant posted on the spruce eats website.
We get asked this question all the time, and what it really comes down to is where you purchase it. We buy ours at either Mediterranean markets or The Real Canadian Superstore. Check out our FAQ page for more info.