An easy tasty baba ganoush recipe with no tahini, the perfect eggplant dip to use when putting together a mezze.
What is baba ganoush (also spelled baba ghanoush or baba ganouj)?
It’s a thick eggplant appetizer that originated in Lebanon and is enjoyed as a part of traditional Middle Eastern cuisine in many countries such as Iraq, Israel, Egypt, and Turkey, to name a few.
The base ingredients are usually roasted eggplant, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and tahini, with many regional variations.
In this tasty tahini-free version I’ve substituted thick Greek yogurt for the tahini to keep it really creamy.
Why you’ll love it
- It’s an easy hands-off recipe.
- It’s vegetarian and gluten-free.
- It’s healthy, and low-calorie with a pop of protein from yogurt.
- It’s absolutely popping with flavor.
- It’s great as a sandwich spread or a dip.
- It’s quick to make.
- The ingredients are cheap and easy to find.
Ingredients and substitutions
See the main ingredients used in the photo below, after which I’ll discuss substitutions if you’re missing any ingredients (or aren’t that fond of them).
Lemon juice: Use fresh juice only and don’t substitute.
Salt: Don’t leave out, swap for a low-sodium version if you’re watching your sodium levels.
Olive oil: Use extra virgin here and don’t use any other oil. If you don’t have extra virgin olive oil at least try to use a “fruitier” one so that you’ll still get lots of flavor.
Garlic: Definitely use fresh cloves here and don’t swap for ground garlic. With baba ganoush, you really need to go bold or go home as otherwise, you’ll have a fairly tasteless grey mush that tastes like an insipid store-bought version. I like three for a strong bold taste but try two first if you’re not convinced, you can always blend in another one later.
Greek yogurt: Use full-fat if possible, if you must use lower-fat I’d prefer you used Fage as it’s creamy enough. If you’re vegan, you can substitute this with a nice thick sugar-free plant-based yogurt (like Daiya’s Greek yogurt alternative), or just leave it out (although it won’t be as creamy.
Eggplant: You’ll need three medium-sized eggplants for this recipe, which should weigh around 40 ounces (1-1.1 kilos) with the skin on. You could of course use two large eggplants that weigh around the same but I find that the really big ones are not as flavorsome as the smaller ones.
How to make it
It’s as easy as pie but I’ve included some photos of the whole process and detailed instructions here just in case you’re unsure of anything.
First things first, prepare the eggplants. Slice them in half (no need to remove the stem) and place cut side down on a (baking) parchment paper lined sheet, as in image one below.
Roast in a preheated oven at 475ºF (245ºC) for 35 minutes until the flesh is fork tender. Leave to one side to cool (they will cool much faster if you remove them from the hot baking sheet). You only need them to be cool enough to handle.
In the meantime, add all the other ingredients (the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and Greek yogurt) to a good blender or food processor (see image two above). I’ve tried it with both two and three cloves of garlic and prefer three but I’d suggest adding two and then tasting it later to see if it needs more.
Process until a smooth pale creamy liquid (image three).
Next, hold one of the aubergines by the stem, cut side facing up, and use a spoon to scoop the flesh into a strainer or fine mesh sieve (image four).
A lot of recipes skip this step as it can result in a slightly less smoky flavor but in my opinion, it’s worth it as it gives a thicker creamier dip.
Repeat using all the roasted eggplant halves and then roughly mash the soft flesh with the spoon (image five below). Place the strainer over a bowl and leave for five minutes to drain, giving it the odd stir.
Then simply add the drained flesh back to the processor bowl, and process until as smooth as possible (it will still be a little chunky, see image six above).
Done! Taste and adjust seasoning. If you only used two cloves of garlic, taste and see if you can add a third and process again (I like my baba ganoush very garlicky but each to their own).
Decant to a serving bowl or a container and tightly cover and store in the fridge until using.
Right before serving, optionally dust a little smoked paprika over the top, drizzle some more olive oil on top, and sprinkle some finely chopped parsley.
What to serve it with
Baba ganoush is amazing all but itself served with toasted pita bread or pita chips.
Other ways to enjoy it include:
- As part of a Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern style mezze. Add some homemade hummus without tahini, tabbouleh, spicy feta dip or tzatziki, dolma, falafel, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, etc. for a delicious meal.
- Thickly spread on toast! Or serve it with socca made on the stovetop (a thick chickpea flour flatbread).
- In a bowl with crudités (raw veggies, such as carrots sliced into batons, sliced peppers etc.) and/or breadsticks for dipping.
- Alongside quinoa or couscous, salad, and a protein for a delicious healthy filling Buddha-style bowl.
- As a dip on a vegetarian charcuterie board.
- Instead of hummus as a spreadable sauce in wraps (add crumbled feta, baby spinach, smoked tofu, and cherry tomatoes for example).
Once cooled to room temperature store in a container with a tightly fitting lid in the fridge for up to four days. Personally, I think it tastes even better the second day! You can also freeze it for up to three months.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, review, and/or comment below.
- 3 medium eggplants (40 ounces)
- 2-3 cloves garlic (I use 3)
- 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon cumin (optional)
- Pinch smoked paprika, fresh parsley, and extra olive oil to serve (optional)
- Cut the eggplants in half lengthways. Place cut-side down on a baking paper-lined tray and roast for 35-40 minutes in an oven preheated to 475ºF (245ºC) until a fork easily pierces the flesh. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Add the remaining ingredients (garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and Greek yogurt, optional cumin if using) to the bowl of a food processor or high-powered blender, and blend until smooth.
- Grasp an eggplant half by the stem and scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a mesh strainer. Repeat with the other halves. Roughly mash the flesh in the strainer with the spoon, then set over a bowl and leave to drain for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the drained flesh to the processor/blender bowl and process until smooth. Decant to a bowl or container.
- Enjoy at room temperature or chilled. Optionally, sprinkle with smoked paprika and chopped parsley and drizzle over extra olive oil before serving.
Store tightly covered in the fridge for up to four days.
Amount Per Serving Calories 126Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 1mgSodium 410mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 11gSugar 14gProtein 5g