/Fire Up the Grill and for This Easy Whole Grilled Eggplant Recipe
Simply Recipes Whole Grilled Eggplant LEAD 06 b1595e49b8664331af4f42bc0919fcb7

Fire Up the Grill and for This Easy Whole Grilled Eggplant Recipe

Plate of Whole Grilled Eggplant Next to a Platter of More Eggplant and an Oil Dispenser
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang

All it takes is a grill and 5 ingredients for this melt in your mouth whole grilled eggplant. 

You may be familiar with grilling slices of eggplant in thick rounds—but this is another simple grilled preparation that you’ll fall in love with this summer. You throw the entire eggplant on the grill to slow roast until soft and collapsed, revealing a silky smooth and slightly smoky interior when sliced in half. 

Then, it’s finished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of flaky sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, a squeeze of lemon to brighten it up, and fresh flat-leaf parsley (a 3-ingreident recipe, not counting your pantry staples). Now that’s what lazy summer dinners are made of! 

So, along with my other easy summer favorites, like corn on the cob, this hands off whole grilled eggplant makes its way into my weekly dinner rotation without any extra effort or prep time to worry about. 

Platter of Whole Grilled Eggplant Surrounded by Bowls of Salt and Pepper
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang

Tips for Picking Eggplants

This recipe calls for dark purple globe eggplant, most commonly found in grocery stores. When you’re picking out your eggplant, it should feel sturdy and dense with a smooth exterior (steer clear of eggplants with bruises or soft spots). 

This Simple Recipe Shines With Quality Ingredients

Since the amount of ingredients in this recipe is minimal, it’s important to make each one count. 

  • Extra virgin olive oil: Opt for high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Anything cold pressed will taste great and bring richness to this subtle dish. Plus, it’ll be nice to have in the pantry for future salad dressings. 
  • Flaky sea salt: Use a flaky finishing sea salt, like Maldon for this recipe.
  • Black pepper: Use whole black peppercorns and coarsely grind right before serving for the freshest taste with a natural textural variety that pre-ground black pepper won’t deliver. 

Serving Suggestions

This easy eggplant recipe will come in handy whether you’re feeding a crowd this BBQ season or simply getting dinner on the table for two.

Platter of Whole Grilled Eggplant Surrounded by Bowls of Salt and Pepper
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang

The Perfect Make-Ahead Meal

The eggplants can be fully cooked on the grill up to 1 day ahead. Keep them on a sheet tray, wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and warm them up in a 400°F oven until the inside flesh is smoking hot, 5 to 10 minutes. 

Finish the eggplants with the extra virgin olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and parsley as instructed in the recipe.

Have Leftovers?

Great! Store in an airtight container or zip top bag and it will last in the fridge for 2 days.

You can even blend leftover grilled eggplant into dips like hummus or babaganush. From there, grab a bag of pita chips and you’re all set for a delicious snack. 

Plate of Whole Grilled Eggplant Next to a Platter of More Eggplant and an Oil Dispenser
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang

More Eggplant Recipes for Summer Fun!

Preheat a gas grill to 500°F set to medium-high heat. 

Adjust the grill as needed during cook time in order to maintain a temperature between 450°F to 500°F.

Grilled Turned on for Whole Grilled Eggplant Recipe
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang

Poke slits in the eggplant for steam to escape: 

With a sharp knife, poke 10 shallow slits spread out around the surface of the eggplant, this will help steam escape, so the eggplant doesn’t abruptly burst open as it cooks. 

Eggplant Pierced on Cutting Board for Grilling Recipe
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang
Eggplant Pierced on Cutting Board for Grilling Recipe
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang

Grill the eggplant: 

Place the eggplant on the preheated grill using tongs and close the lid. The grill will be smoky, that’s okay, as there is no oil (or fat) to cause a flare up. 

After 20 minutes, check on the eggplant. If it looks deflated or sunken in on itself and the grilled side is softened to the touch, it’s ready to be flipped. If not, wait another 5 minutes, then use a pair of tongs to flip it to finish cooking until it’s softened all over and mushy between the tongs, 5 minutes.

Whole Eggplant Placed on Grill with Tongs
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang
Whole Eggplant Placed on Grill with Tongs
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang
Whole Grilled Eggplant on the Grill
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang

Let the eggplant cool a bit:

Once the eggplant is completely cooked through, use the tongs to gently remove it from the grill and onto a cutting board. Let it cool for 2 minutes.

Whole Grilled Eggplant Placed on Cutting Board Using Tongs
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang

Slice the eggplant and transfer to serving plate:

Slice it in half lengthwise and transfer the halves to a serving plate. Loosely drag a fork through flesh to loosen the eggplant so the eggplant flesh is distributed into the nooks and crannies.

Grilled Eggplant Sliced in Half on a Cutting Board
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang

Garnish and serve:

Lightly drizzle the eggplant with extra virgin olive oil and squeeze a lemon half over the top. Season with flakey sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Garnish with parsley.

Taste and adjust with additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice if needed. 

The eggplant skin will get pretty charred, so we recommend just eating the eggplant flesh. 

Store leftovers in an airtight container or zip top bag and it will last in the fridge for 2 days.

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