Spicy Grilled Eggplant (Video)
This Spicy Grilled Eggplant with red pepper sauce, parsley, and mint is a perfect summer side dish for anything that’s cooked on the grill! And if you think you don’t like eggplant, I’m urging you to give grilled eggplant a chance.
I first made this Spicy Grilled Eggplant when I had a garden that was overflowing with eggplant, and I made it every summer for a while when I was growing eggplant. My brother Rand must have been visiting Utah regularly in those days, because this got to be his favorite way to cook eggplant, and he’d tell me he was making it it over and over!
Now fast forward a few years, and I’ve even had an eggplant recipe that became one of the most popular recipes on my blog. But sadly I don’t have a garden with eggplant any more and I had to buy eggplant at the store to make this favorite grilled eggplant again. But I do still absolutely love this recipe, and this week I’m choosing it as my Friday Favorites pick to encourage you to give grilled eggplant a chance!
Of course spicy grilled eggplant is perfect for a meatless dinner, but this eggplant recipe is also a fabulous side dish for anything cooked on the grill! I know eggplant is a tough sell for some people, but I promise that this spicy eggplant is really delicious.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- globe eggplant
- salt, to remove water from eggplant
- olive oil
- chopped parsley
- chopped fresh mint
- red wine vinegar
- fresh lemon juice, I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice
- Minced Garlic (affiliate link) from a jar or minced fresh fresh garlic
- Aleppo Pepper (affiliate link) (or less, to taste; see notes)
- Spike Seasoning (affiliate link) or other all-purpose seasoning blend
What is Aleppo Pepper?
Aleppo Pepper is a type of mild red dried chile pepper that comes from Aleppo, Syria. It’s used all over the middle east as a flavor-enhancing addition to many dishes. I really love the flavor of Aleppo Pepper, but you can also use regular red pepper flakes, or use a smaller amount of Cayenne Pepper (affiliate link).
How spicy is this spicy eggplant?
You’ll want to adjust the amount of spicy red pepper to your personal preference, and the one teaspoon of Aleppo pepper I used in the original recipe is pretty spicy for me now. Maybe it’s because I had fresh Aleppo Pepper that I bought in Istanbul!
Want more ideas for vegetables on the grill?
How to make Spicy Grilled Eggplant:
(Scroll down for complete printable recipe with nutritional information.)
- Cut the eggplant into slices about 3/4 inches thick; lay the slices out on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and let water drain out for about 20 minutes.
- Then turn the eggplant over, salt the other side, and let more water drain out.
- Then press down on the eggplant pieces with paper towel to absorb the liquid.
- While the eggplant drains, chop the mint and parsley, and mix the spicy sauce.
- Preheat the grill to medium high, and brush both sides of the eggplant slices with a little olive oil.
- Grill eggplant pieces about 4-5 minutes per side, rotating them after a few minutes if you want to get those criss-cross grill marks.
- When the eggplant is done, put in a glass baking dish and spoon a little sauce over each piece. Let the eggplant sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb the sauce.
- Serve warm or room temperature, sprinkled with the chopped mint and parsley.
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
Grilled eggplant would be great with Effie’s Cottage Cheese Salad with Za’atar for a low-carb meatless meal. Or you could serve the eggplant as a side dish with Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar, Marinated Beef Kabobs, Very Greek Grilled Chicken, Grilled Sausage and Peppers, or Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs.
More Delicious Recipes for Eggplant:
- 1 large globe eggplant (see notes)
- 2 tsp. salt, to remove water from eggplant
- 2 T olive oil, to brush eggplant for grilling
- 2 T chopped parsley (see notes)
- 2 T chopped fresh mint (see notes)
Spicy Sauce Ingredients
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. garlic puree (from a jar) or finely minced fresh garlic
- 1 tsp. Aleppo Pepper (or less, to taste; see notes)
- 1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional, but highly recommended)
- Remove stem end and wash eggplant, but do not peel.
- Cut eggplant into slices about 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick, being careful to make all slices the same thickness.
- Arrange eggplant in single layer on double-thick paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
- Let liquid ooze out for 20 minutes, then turn over and sprinkle other side with salt and let drain 20 minutes more.
- While eggplant drains, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic puree, Aleppo Pepper (affiliate link), and Spike Seasoning (affiliate link). Chop mint and parsley.
- Preheat gas or charcoal barbecue grill to medium high. (You can only hold your hand there for 3-4 seconds at that heat.)
- After the second 20 minutes has finished, cover the eggplant pieces with another layer of paper towels and press down with your hands to squeeze out water.
- Wipe eggplant dry. Lay them out on a baking sheet (or paper towels) and brush both sides with olive oil.
- Place eggplant on grill and cook 4-5 minutes per side, rotating after a few minutes on each side if you want to get nice grill marks. Watch them carefully because they go from nicely browned to overly dark quite quickly.
- When eggplant is done, remove from grill and place in a single layer in a baking dish (or use the same baking sheet you used to oil them.)
- Spoon some of the spicy sauce over each piece of eggplant, and let sit 10-15 minutes so eggplant can absorb sauce flavors.
- To serve, assemble eggplant on serving plate and sprinkle with mint and parsley.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
You can also use or 2 small eggplants or 2-3 long Asian eggplants. Asian eggplants don't need to be salted. Cut Asian eggplant on the diagonal to get bigger slices. You can use all mint or parsley if you don’t have both, and you can use more herbs if you prefer. Use whatever kind of red pepper flakes you have. I would start with a small amount and taste before you add all the red pepper.
Adapted from a recipe in Williams-Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook.
Serving Size:1/4 of recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 11.5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1140mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 4.7gSugar: 5.61.7g
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Spicy Grilled Eggplant is a good side dish for any low-carb or Keto diet, including any phase of the original South Beach Diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Eggplant Recipes or Side Dishes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2007 when I had lots of eggplant in my garden. I’ve been making it ever since and the recipe was last updated with more information and featured for Friday Favorites in 2022.