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How to Bake Eggplant

Three Parts:

Baked eggplant is a classic, healthy dish that is very easy to prepare in its most basic form. Many people avoid baking eggplant because it can turn out oily and soggy if you aren't careful. Keep reading to learn how to prepare baked eggplant with just the right texture - creamy on the inside with a light layer of crunch on the outside.

  • Prep time: 40-45 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 60-65 minutes


Choosing and Processing the Eggplant

  1. Select a good eggplant.An eggplant, whether you choose the large variety or the smaller baby eggplants, should feel firm, even when ripe. Find one with smooth skin that is dark purple or black without too many bruises or blemishes.
  2. Wash the eggplant.Rinse the eggplant thoroughly in cool water, making sure to scrub away any dirt from the surface of the skin. You may want to use a vegetable scrub brush, especially if your eggplant is from a farmer's market and still has bits of soil on it.
  3. Slice the eggplant.Place the eggplant on its side on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut off the tip of the eggplant from the smaller end, taking care to remove the green cap and stem. Next, slice the eggplant according to your taste. Choose from the following common ways of slicing eggplant to prepare it for baking:
    • Slice it in half lengthwise. This is the simplest, most straightforward method, and is a great option if you're working with small eggplants. Each half of the eggplant will account for one serving. Place the eggplant on the cutting board and carefully slice it from tip to tip.
    • Slice it into discs. This is another popular method for preparing baked eggplant. Discs of eggplant may be baked by itself or used as the foundation for more complicated dishes, like stuffed eggplant. Place the eggplant on its side on the cutting board and use a knife to slice it into discs of equal width.
    • Slice it into cubes. Since eggplant breaks down when it bakes, slicing it into cubes results in a softer, creamier baked dish overall. To prepare it this way, slice the eggplant into discs, then slice each disc into quarters.

Salting the Eggplant

  1. Sprinkle the sliced eggplant with kosher salt.Place the cut eggplant on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and use a liberal amount of salt on the open side of the eggplant slices. Salting helps draw out the extra water, so the baked eggplant will turn out less watery and mushy. It also prevents the eggplant from soaking up too much oil. You can skip this step if you're in a hurry, but it's worth doing if you want the texture of your eggplant to turn out perfectly.
  2. Wait thirty minutes.As the salt sits on the eggplant slices, you will see droplets of water begin to bead and drip from the fruit. If you don't see this occurring, sprinkle more salt on the eggplant.
  3. Squeeze the saltwater from the eggplant slices.Carefully squeeze the water into a bowl or the sink, then pat the eggplant slices with paper towels to absorb the excess moisture. Be careful not to squeeze too hard and crush the eggplant.

Baking the Eggplant

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (177 °C).
  2. Oil the eggplant slices.Lay the eggplant cut-side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle the eggplant with olive oil or another type of vegetable oil. Use a pastry brush or the back of a spoon to smooth the oil over the eggplant until the flesh is lightly coated all over. Sprinkle the slices with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake the eggplant.Place the eggplant in the oven and bake it until the inside is creamy and the edges and surface have turned brown and crispy, about 20 minutes.
    • If you'd like cheesy eggplant, remove it from the oven and sprinkle it with Parmesan, cheddar, or goat cheese. Place it back in the oven for another 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
    • For another variation, try tomato garlic eggplant. Place tomato halves and garlic cloves around the eggplant slices and bake them together for 30 minutes.
  4. Finished.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can you bake eggplant and mozzarella together at the same time?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If you try to bake a slab of eggplant with mozzarella on it, the mozzarella will burn before the eggplant cooks. You can bake them together, but either cut the eggplant very thin or put the mozzarella on after the eggplant cooks a little while.
  • Question
    I can't salt foods because of health challenges, so how else can the water come out?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can put the slices in the microwave on a towel, then press out the remaining water with a flat pan.
  • Question
    Can I make eggplant Parmesan with the baked slices?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, but don't delay. The eggplant, like a peach or banana, oxidizes when cut and will turn brown to grey. You could try lemon juice or "fruit fresh," but that would change the outcome.
  • Question
    Do I need to bake the eggplant before mixing it with other ingredients?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It depends what recipe you are using, and what the recipe specifically calls for. Consult your recipe for specific cooking instructions.
  • Question
    If I want to add tomato sauce, can I cook an eggplant with sauce at the same time? How long do I cook it?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, you can. Bake the eggplant according to the above instructions, then add sauce and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Question
    How do I draw moisture out of eggplant without salt or a microwave?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can try a dehydrator. Monitor the progress. Too long will result in eggplant chips.
  • Question
    Can I bake eggplant with brown sugar and butter?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You could, but I'm not sure how good it would taste.
  • Question
    Can I use regular salt if I don't have sea salt?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, you can. It's just not considered to be as healthy as sea salt but it works just the same.
  • Question
    What difference will it make if I forget the oil?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The eggplant will be drier and slightly less flavorful, but still good.
Unanswered Questions
  • If the baked eggplant turns greenish, can it be eaten?
  • Do I cover eggplant while baking?
  • How long should it be in the microwave to draw out the water?
  • How long does it take to bake eggplant that is already stuffed?
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  • If your eggplant seems to be getting a little dry, spritz it with a little water in addition to pouring a bit of water into the cooking dish. Alternatively, you can place a metal cup of water in the oven with the eggplant.
  • Check on your eggplant while it's baking from time to time - the time required can vary greatly with the size of your eggplant.
  • Make sure that you choose firm, glossy eggplants that have no signs of deterioration (i.e. soft spots, large blemishes).
  • You may prefer to chop your eggplant into cubes and add these to a roast chicken or other dish while it's in the oven.
  • A more flavorful recipe using baked eggplant is the Italian classic eggplant parmesan.


  • Always make sure that you wash your eggplants well before using them.
  • Do not touch the eggplant straight away with your bare hands when it comes out of the oven - it's hot!

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Quick Summary

To make baked eggplant, wash the eggplant in cool water and slice it intodiscs of equal thickness. Next, sprinkle the slices with kosher salt and let it sit for 30 minutes to draw out the water from the eggplant and keep it from getting oily when it’s baked. Gently squeeze out the water, then arrange the slices on a baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Bake the eggplant in a 350 °F oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges are crispy.

Success Stories


7 days ago

"I wasn't familiar with eggplant, so this was very helpful."

Padmini Ravindra Nath

Jul 2, 2019

"The step-by-step explanations were awesome, especially the part about how the way we cut the eggplant would affecttaste and texture of the dish. The tip about adding mozzarella later too was helpful. A well thought out, well-written article. By the way, the dish turned out great."

Sandy O'Donghue

Jan 16, 2019

"After baking the slices, I topped with a slice of cheddar, then placed thinly-sliced onion rings on top of thecheddar. I then grated garlic cloves and thinly sliced a tiny bit of ginger and a little bit of fresh chili. Placed back in oven on grill."

Emerald Star

Aug 7, 2019

"Just found this recipe using a search engine. Was looking for a healthier way to fix eggplant that did not use toomany additional ingredients. Looking forward to my eggplant!"

Dev Ford

Jun 15, 2019

"This is a good basic recipe to build off of. Next time, I'm going to try more fresh ingredients with it, butdefinitely delicious."

Edwina Hunter

Apr 18, 2019

"This is my first time cooking eggplant. I'm just waiting for the end results. Thanks for your tips andinstructions. Bon appetite."

D. L. May

Jul 2, 2019

"Your article answered the questions I had, and allowed me to correct what I was doing wrong. Thank you!"

Antonia Casados

Jun 8, 2019

"Good ideas on how to use eggplant without a lot of dipping and dregging. "

Susan Rhoads

May 5, 2019

"Wonderful directions. Just what I was looking for, and easy to use."

Regina Rodriguez

Jun 29, 2019

"Detailed guidance offered with various options!"

Michelle Shong

Aug 18, 2019

"Times to bake and different ways to serve it."

Nancy Burge

Aug 29, 2019

"All of it helped.

Video: How To Make Baked Eggplant Taste Like Fried | Rockin Robin Cooks

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