This easy smoky Grilled Eggplant recipe turns a simple eggplant into a smoky grilled vegetable that’s hearty and satisfying.
Top your aubergine steaks with your favorite sauce and serve them as a side dish or veggie/vegan main.
Seriously, you are all going to LOVE this recipe! Grilled eggplant (aka grilled aubergine) is super easy and turns the simple veg into something pretty special!
Some vegetables can be very satisfying, and eggplant is definitely one of them! What I like most about eggplant is that it’s incredibly versatile. By itself, it's fairly plain, but it soaks up any flavor you pair it with.
It can also be baked, fried, and even grilled. In this recipe, I cut up eggplant into quarter-inch pieces lengthways (or you can cut them into rounds) then seasoned it with simple spices along with liquid smoke.
It’s then popped onto a grill or indoor grill pan for a smoky grilled eggplant steak that tastes incredible!
This eggplant dish is made from start to finish in just 30 minutes or less and can be served in many different ways.
You can add your favorite sauce right on top, and serve it with your favorite side dishes like rice, salads, or you can cut it up and add it to a pasta dish.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Grilled eggplant is budget-friendly and uses simple ingredients and seasonings.
A great dinner option for any vegan or vegetarians in your life.
You can grill your eggplant/aubergine outdoors or indoors on a grill pan.
It can be served with any side dish, or as a side dish!
You can change up the seasonings to whatever ones you enjoy. Try making them with cajun seasoning, Jamaican jerk seasoning or give them a Middle Eastern flair with Baharat spice blend.
Eggplant - aka Aubergine. This vegetable is highly versatile and perfect for adding seasonings and flavors.
Cooking Oil - Helps the eggplant get a nice char and stay tender on the inside. I use extra virgin olive oil.
Soy Sauce - Adds a salty umami flavor to the eggplant.
Spices - You’ll need garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to season the eggplant.
Liquid Smoke - This is optional, but gives the eggplant a light smoky flavor.
Step By Step Tutorial
Wondering how to grill eggplant? Let me show you how!
Follow this step by step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Prepare and season the eggplant: Wash the eggplant then cut off the leafy top. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice lengthways (or in rounds), about ¼-inch thick.
Add the oil and all seasonings to a large dish and mix.
Marinate: Brush the mixture over the eggplant slices. You can use them right away or let them sit, in the fridge, for half an hour.
Grill the eggplant: Heat an outdoor or indoor grill to medium heat. Place eggplant steaks on the hot grill and flip every few minutes until eggplant is soft on the inside and charred on the outside.
Baking eggplant: If you do not have a grill pan, you can bake these eggplant steaks in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C and place the seasoned eggplant on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until eggplant is cooked through, flipping halfway through.
When choosing your eggplant, make sure you choose ones that are wide and not skinny as these make the best steaks.
You can also cut your eggplant into thick circles for different shape steak.
If your eggplant is on the bigger side and has a lot of water, sprinkle some salt on the steaks and let them sit for 20 minutes before patting with a paper towel. This will help release any excess moisture.
Make sure your grill pan is hot enough to char the eggplant. Cooking at a lower heat will steam the eggplant and give it a mushy texture.
Add a few steaks to a hearty Grilled Halloumi Sandwich.
Top the steaks with creamy Mushroom Sauce.
Use your favorite dried herb seasoning blends to brush onto the eggplant such as Greek, Italian, Lemon Pepper, or even taco seasoning.
If you don’t like a smoky flavor, feel free to omit the liquid smoke and use regular paprika in the recipe.
Top with marinara sauce and Italian cheese for a twist on eggplant parmesan.
Add balsamic vinegar to the eggplant steak seasonings for a tangy and slightly sweet flavor.
Storage, Prep & Freezing
Storing: Store any leftover grilled eggplant in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat using the microwave or saute gently on a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.
Prep ahead: You can cut and marinate the eggplant steaks up to 2 days in advance before grilling.
Freezing: Because of the naturally high water content in eggplant, freezing is not recommended.
While some like to soak the eggplant in milk before grilling to keep it tender, that step is not necessary in this recipe as the steaks are cut thin enough to stay tender on their own.
Yes. This is why you want to make sure you are grilling only until soft on the inside. Overcooking could zap out all the moisture on the inside making it tough and chewy when grilling.
While eggplant is healthy cooked any way, the healthiest way to cook eggplant is by sealing in any nutrients which can be achieved by grilling.
Sauces for Grilled Eggplant
Use a quick and easy sauce on your grilled eggplant to give it a huge POP of flavor!
More Eggplant Recipes
I hope that you'll love this grilled eggplant recipe as much as we do! Be sure to check out these other recipes too.
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Smoky Grilled Eggplant
To serve (optional)
- Wash the eggplant, cut off the leafy top, then thinly slice lengthways, about ¼-inch thick.
- Add the oil and all seasonings to a large dish and mix. Brush it over the eggplant slices.
- Heat a griddle pan or clamp grill (like a George Foreman grill). Place the eggplant steaks onto the hot grill and cook until soft and lightly charred, then flip and cook the other side.
- Alternatively heat a grill/grill pan/bbq/broiler and cook as above. Or, heat the oven to 200°c/400°f and bake on a tray for 25 minutes or until soft and juicy.
- Serve drizzled with any remaining marinade or even some carrot top chimichurri.
- When choosing your eggplant, make sure you choose ones that are wide and not skinny as these make the best steaks.
- You can also cut your eggplant into thick circles for different shape steak.
- If your eggplant is on the bigger side and has a lot of water, sprinkle some salt on the steaks and let them sit for 20 minutes before patting with a paper towel. This will help release any excess moisture.
- Make sure your grill pan is hot enough to char the eggplant. Cooking at a lower heat will steam the eggplant and give it a mushy texture.
- Enjoy as a side dish or veggie / vegan main as eggplant steaks.
- Pairs well with a side of Turmeric Rice or Greek Spinach Rice.
- Add a few steaks to a hearty Grilled Halloumi Sandwich.
- Finish with an easy dessert of Grilled Nectarines.
- Use your favorite dried herb seasoning blends to brush onto the eggplant such as Greek, Italian, Lemon Pepper, or even taco seasoning.
- If you don’t like a smoky flavor, feel free to omit the liquid smoke and use regular paprika in the recipe.
- Top with marinara sauce and Italian cheese for a twist on eggplant parmesan.
- Add balsamic vinegar to the eggplant steak seasonings for a tangy and slightly sweet flavor.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.