In vegan cooking, eggplant is one of those ingredients that can stand in well for meat, whether it’s in a recipe for stir-fry or burgers. Both the taste and texture can change depending on how you cook it, making this versatile plant a must-try food to the plant-based eater’s diet. Whether you grill, marinate, spiralize, mash, bake, or fry it, eggplant will taste delicious in several different types of cuisines, including Italian, Indian, and American dishes. Check out these 10 delicious ways to enjoy eggplant:

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  1. The Vegan Eggplant Crunchburger

    This big, messy burger is a vegan take on Bobby Flay’s signature burger, The Crunchburger, complete with lettuce, tomato, onion, Horseradish Mustard Mayonnaise, and a handful of potato chips. By the time you bite through all of that, you might not even notice the eggplant taste.


  2. Eggplant Noodles

    Working with the eggplant to make noodles will be a tricky process, so try this recipe if you’re up for a challenge. Spiralizing eggplant will yield about 1.5 cups of noodles, so save the remaining flesh for another meal.


  3. Indian Baigan Bharta – Char Roasted Eggplant Dip

    This hearty dip is full of smoky flavor since the recipe calls for grilling or baking the eggplant until is it completely charred. You then mash the eggplant with a thick sauce made of cumin, red onion, ginger-garlic paste, tomatoes, and chilies.


  4. Bitter Melon, Potato, and Eggplant Indian-Style Stir Fry

    This is a simple dish to make and acts as a lovely appetizer to your dinner, as well as a good first introduction to Indian cooking.


  5. Eggplant Fries

    Instead of potatoes, try frying eggplant instead for a healthier take on this greasy fast food. Coat delicious pieces of eggplant fries with a breading of chickpea flour, cornstarch, flaxseed, almond milk, breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, and spices.


  6. Vegan Eggplant and Purslane Pilaf With Peanuts

    If you’re looking for a new ingredient to try cooking with, purslane is the answer. Purslane is a colorful and nutritious weed that pairs well with eggplant and peanuts in this fun rice dish.


  7. Eggplant, Pesto, and Mushroom Pizza With Tofu

    For this pizza, sauté tofu and garlic, then marinate mushrooms and eggplants. Throw these delicious toppings and a vegan pesto sauce overtop some homemade pizza crust (or use a store-bought, gluten-free pizza crust if you want to save time).


  8. Kale Salad With Grilled Eggplant, White Beans, and Fresh Figs

    This beautiful and complex dish is no boring lunch salad.  Marinate eggplant, bell pepper, and red onion, then grill those veggies. When they’re done, mix them in a hummus-based dressing.


  9. Spicy Eggplant Caponata

    Try this flavorful, Italian-inspired spread on crusty bread — a dish that is a great choice to serve at a party or gathering.


  10. Roasted Vegan Eggplant Sandwiches With Caramelized Onions

    These sandwiches are perfect to throw together for lunch using tofu leftovers from dinner. Undergoing the process of caramelizing onions will take an extra 15 – 20 minutes of effort, but doing so is well worth it for these burgers.

     

    Lead image source: Indian Baigan Bharta – Char Roasted Eggplant Dip