This supercharged baba ganoush recipe is not your standard eggplant dip. Enriched with chickpeas and vegan yogurt, it makes a delicious plant-based appetizer or sandwich filling.
Way, way back in the early days of the internet, I was a moderator of a vegan email group that used to ask potential members not-so-seriously where they sided on an issue that divided our community: Eggplant. Some members hated it, others loved it, while some simply believed that the purple vegetable was overused in vegetarian cooking.
Of course, if you’ve ever taken a look at my blog’s logo you can figure out that I’m a staunch eggplant supporter. And baba ganoush (also spelled baba ghanouj) is one of my favorite ways to eat it.
From burgers to curries, Parmesan to pesto, there’s so much that eggplant can do, if it’s cooked right. Cooking it right is often the problem, though. Once someone’s had underdone or bitter eggplant, it’s almost impossible to get them to try it again. That’s why I’m very careful to post only eggplant recipes that actually work. I don’t want to accidentally create more eggplant haters.
So believe me when I tell you that this is the baba ganoush recipe to end all baba ganoush recipes. My husband and I loved the flavor so much that I will never go back to my basic eggplant dip. I took that recipe and fortified it with protein-packed chickpeas and creamy soy yogurt, making it a more filling and substantial dish. Unlike traditional versions, this baba ganoush contains no olive oil–and you won’t miss it.
Plus, I make it a quicker way now by cutting the eggplant in half before I bake it. In traditional Middle Eastern baba ganoush recipes, the eggplant would be charred over a flame, giving it a delicious smokiness. Most of us don’t have the time or equipment to make it the traditional way, so I recreate that smokiness by adding a pinch of smoked salt and chipotle chili powder.
The results rival the best restaurant baba ganoush with a fraction of the fat and calories. I love this oil-free eggplant dip packed into pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and kalamata olives for a light and healthy meal. Or as a dip for fresh vegetables for an afternoon snack.
Try it or one of my favorite eggplant recipes below and let me know where you side on “the eggplant question.”
More Great Vegan Eggplant Recipes
These are some of my favorites, all oil-free and vegan:
- Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
- Oven-Fried Eggplant PoBoy Sandwiches
- Eggplant and Chickpea Curry
- Curried Eggplant, Lentil, and Quinoa Burgers with Onion-Pepper Relish
- Roasted Eggplant Pesto
- …and many more
Supercharged Baba Ganoush (Eggplant Dip with Chickpeas)
- 1 large eggplant about 1 1/2 pounds
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened non-dairy yogurt
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or smoked paprika
- 1 pinch smoked salt
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the eggplant in half the long way, from stem to bottom. Place the halves on the parchment, cut sides down. Bake until soft and sunken in the middle, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Once the eggplant is cooked enough to handle, discard any accumulated liquid and scrape the flesh from the skin. Discard the skin. (You may do these first two steps up to 3 days in advance, storing the eggplant in a sealed container in the refrigerator.)
- Peel the garlic and have all ingredients assembled. Turn on food processor. With the processor running, drop the garlic through the feel tube and processed until it is chopped. Add the chickpeas and pulse to chop well. Add the drained eggplant and all remaining ingredients and pulse until well-blended but with a little texture.
- Spoon into a serving dish and top, if you want, with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of parsley or other fresh herbs. Serve with pita bread and fresh vegetables.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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JoAnn M LakesSeptember 18, 2019 at 10:42 am
I can hardly wait to make this! (i ws going to make parm with the eggplant sitting on the counter but plans have changed now!).
I wonder about letting my eggplant cook in my air-fryer. I live in SW Florida and it’s still too hot to do the oven for a long roasting time.
BlueKarmaSeptember 20, 2019 at 10:39 pm
I live in Arizona, so no oven cooking here, either, during the summer. I have been successfully cooking eggplant in my air fryer. I cut it in half lengthwise, place the cut sides down, and cook away somewhere between 350 and 375 (I have a dubious dial). I think it takes about 25 minutes, depending on the eggplant, to get the texture I want for baba ghanouj. I let the halves cool, scrape them into a colander and let the goop drain for a half hour, or so, and proceed.
ChanaSeptember 18, 2019 at 10:48 am
Is there any substitute for the yogurt? I can’t find unflavored unsweetened plain vegan yogurt
Susan VoisinSeptember 18, 2019 at 1:50 pm
Try a couple tablespoons of soy milk, if you have it, the lemon in the recipe will make it more like buttermilk. If you don’t use soy, and plant-based milk will do.
SueDecember 7, 2019 at 5:23 pm
This was very good. Love the addition of chickpeas.
DiannaSeptember 19, 2019 at 2:41 pm
Chana, it is really easy to make your own soy yogurt from unsweetened plain soy milk. I make mine in the crockpot. Just Google it.
MariaSeptember 19, 2019 at 1:04 am
This sounds really good! You DO have a way with eggplant, Susan! Thanks for the recipe xo
JeanSeptember 19, 2019 at 10:26 am
Thanks! This looks yummy. Is it possible to leave out the tahini? I know it’s a very important ingredient, but the jars are huge to keep around.
Susan VoisinSeptember 19, 2019 at 12:12 pm
Tahini really does make a huge difference, and you can refrigerate it and keep it almost indefinitely. (I buy one jar about once a year.) But if necessary, you could use more yogurt instead of the tahini.
HeidiSeptember 19, 2019 at 8:35 pm
So … Hummus With Eggplant.
Barring the yogurt, it sounds worth a try, substituting a little soymilk instead. I can get behind a little extra whole-food protein!
Jo-Anne LoweSeptember 20, 2019 at 5:30 am
I’m so glad you thought it “was that good”! I think so too and now, this is a fav of mine to make. Thanks for your creativity with food. I make and enjoy many of your recipes.
Susan VoisinSeptember 20, 2019 at 9:17 am
I’m so happy you liked it! I think the yogurt is a subtle but important flavor. Thanks for trying it and my other recipes!
BarbSeptember 22, 2019 at 7:20 pm
Thanks! I made it and love it. We used it in wraps with roasted veg
Susan VoisinSeptember 22, 2019 at 10:41 pm
I’m so glad you liked it! I love the idea of pairing it with roasted vegetables.
AliSeptember 26, 2019 at 12:22 am
I am 100% eggplant lover and will eat it just about any way, but getting my husband to eat it is more challenging. His favorite is the cornmeal crusted eggplant from your po boy recipe, I make it all the time!
Julie MartinOctober 5, 2019 at 11:06 am
This is absolutely the BEST!!! My whole family loved this, including the grandchildren! I’m sure I love eggplant as much, if not more, than you do, Susan. Your recipes are phenomenal! I’m wondering if you’d consider creating a Pasta Alla Norma recipe? Thanks again for a wonderful Baba Ganoush.
Susan VoisinOctober 6, 2019 at 2:53 pm
I’m so glad your family loved it! I’ll look into making Pasta Alla Norma.
LyndaOctober 5, 2019 at 2:29 pm
Some ethnic grocery stores that cater to Ukrainian or Russian people will carry jars of puréed roasted eggplant with nothing much else in it. Not very expensive and very tasty. You could throw that in your hummus and use as a dip or I think I remember making this once last year and using it as a mayo. L
MenelausNovember 14, 2019 at 6:58 pm
I loved this recipe and I have an enhancement you should try. Instead of using tahini try Chinese sesame paste. Same ingredient as tahini: ground sesame seeds, But with Chinese sesame paste the seeds are deeply toasted before grinding which results in richer roasted flavor than lighter tasting tahini. I thought it really enhanced the dish and helped Susan’s objective of getting to that smokiness that is so good in baba ghanoush.
LorynMay 26, 2020 at 6:18 pm
This turned out so well, but I must admit I had a bit of a cheat. We had a cookout over our fire pit, so I roasted the eggplant whole over the fire. So good! If anyone is cooking out, I highly recommend cooking the eggplant this way.
I didn’t have any yogurt, so I didn’t drain my chickpeas for a bit more liquid.
I’ve eaten the baba ganoush was a veggie dip, and as a sandwich on pita with lots of veggies and kalamata olives. It was excellent both ways. Will definitely be making this again, with or without a wood fire.