Eggplant (or aubergine, as it’s known in the UK) doesn’t have the best reputation. In fact, in 2019, it was voted one of America’s least favorite vegetables. It’s true that if it’s not cooked properly, the texture of eggplant can be a little spongy, and the taste can be somewhat bitter. But we’re here to stand up in defense of this purple vegetable. When cooked well (and you can find out more about how to do that in our recipes below), eggplant can be a delicious addition to your diet. Plus, it’s really good for your health, too.

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Is eggplant good for you?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Eggplants are nutrient-dense, which means they contain a high amount of several different vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, K, and B6, as well as potassium, manganese, and folate. They’re also a good source of dietary fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy gut (you can read more about the importance of fiber here).

Box of EggplantPexels

On top of all of this, eggplants are a good source of antioxidants, which are plant compounds that help to tackle free radical damage in the body. Over time, this damage can contribute to the development of chronic disease. Eggplants are a particularly good source of anthocyanins, which, some research suggests, may help to support brain function. 

In fact, studies have noted that purple foods, in general, may be particularly good for the brain. So, along with eggplant, consider loading up your plate with blueberries, prunes, plums, and cherries, too!

RELATED: 13 Recipes Perfect for Father’s Day: From Brunch to BBQ

13 vegan eggplant recipes

Eggplant has an unfair reputation for being difficult to cook. When you know how to prepare it, this purple vegetable is actually quite easy to whip up into something delicious in the kitchen. Don’t believe us? Find vegan recipes for everything from eggplant enchiladas to hot dogs to gnocchi below.

VegNews.EggplantPortobelloEnchiladas.HannahKaminskyHannah Kaminsky

1 Vegan Eggplant Enchiladas With Paprika-Lime Cashew Cream

Indulge in these mouthwatering vegan enchiladas, where perfectly sautéed, cubed eggplant is combined with a deliciously rich sundried tomato sauce. Each enchilada is generously filled and then topped with a smoky, garlicky cashew cream that ties the whole dish together.
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VegNews.Donburi

2 Vegan Miso-Glazed Eggplant Dengaku Donburi

This recipe from The Everyday Vegan Cheat Sheet cookbook is guaranteed to make you fall in love with eggplant. The simple vegetable is transformed into delicious meaty slices, before being slathered in a sweet and salty miso sauce and served over a generous helping of sushi rice. Perfection.
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VegNews.EggplantHotDog3Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer

3 Smoky Grilled Eggplant Vegan Ballpark Hot Dogs

Sure, there are plenty of vegan meaty hot dog choices on the shelves, but if you want more of a whole-food option, check out these juicy eggplant hot dogs instead. Load them up with tangy sauerkraut and plenty of mustard for the perfect meat-free game day indulgence.
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VegNews.EggplantZucchiniChips.HannahKaminskyHannah Kaminsky

4 Baked Vegan Eggplant and Zucchini Chips

Stay with us. Eggplant really can be transformed into tasty chips. The secret is to slice them up extra thin, before sprinkling them with salt and coating them in mayonnaise and panko crumbs. Potato chips, who?
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VegNews.TomatoBacon

5 Vegan Heirloom Tomato Salad With Smoky Eggplant Bacon

Okay, so let’s get one thing clear, eggplant bacon isn’t going to taste like meaty bacon. If you want that, you’re better off picking a vegan meat brand (we’ve got you covered, follow our guide to vegan bacon here). But we do recommend giving eggplant bacon a chance anyway, it’s deliciously smoky, and the perfect addition to this vegan tomato salad.
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VegNews.EggplantGnocchiJessica Randhawa

6 Pillowy Vegan Gnocchi With Roasted Eggplant and Tomato

Combine gnocchi, roasted eggplant, and tomatoes and you’ve got yourself an easy, midweek dinner dish that is loaded with flavor. Roasting is a particularly good choice for cooking eggplant—it brings out the natural sugars in the vegetable, resulting in a sweeter, more complex flavor.
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VegNews.TurkishPideAmerica’s Test Kitchen

7 Vegan Turkish Flatbread With Eggplant and Tomatoes

This Turkish flatbread from The Complete Plant Based Cookbook is about to become your new dinner party staple. It’s loaded with flavor, thanks to the mix of smoky paprika, red pepper flakes, mint, and the hard-to-beat combination of eggplant and tomatoes.
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VegNews.NoMeatballsLuke Albert

8 Vegan Eggplant Meatballs in Homemade Marinara

Sautéed eggplant really is incredibly versatile. In fact, it can even be transformed into delicious meatballs, just like this recipe from the Vegan Fakeout cookbook demonstrates.
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VegNews.SichuanEggplantMaggie Zhu

9 Vegan Sichuan Eggplant Stir-Fry With Sweet and Spicy Sauce

Craving a takeout from your local Chinese restaurant? How about, instead, we challenge you to make your own delicious fakeout dish by following this crispy Sichuan eggplant recipe from the Chinese Homestyle cookbook? We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
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VegNews.ParmigianaChris Shoebridge

10 Vegan Parmigiana di Melanzane

You can’t go wrong with a classic parmigiana. If you love Mediterranean cuisine (and who doesn’t?), you’ll adore this recipe for the Italian classic, which is loaded with plenty of delicious eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, basil, sage, and more delicious Mediterranean flavors.
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For more plant-based recipes, read:

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