Easy grilled marinated eggplants

Easy grilled marinated eggplants recipe with garlic and parsley

This is what I consider a perfect and easy recipe for grilled and marinated eggplants (aubergines). Sadly, unless you know me already, no one is ever going to find it. There’s millions of hits for “grilled eggplants” on Google. With a multitude of people out there who can grill eggplants this post is probably going to be “slightly” redundant.

However, the reality is that the world is full of badly grilled eggplants. Dry and bitter? chewy and soggy? undercooked and spongy? Are you among those who swear you’ll never make them again?

After lots of experiments I found an easy and reliable way to grill tender, delicious eggplant soaked in the classic Mediterranean flavors imparted by garlic, parsley and lemon. As an added bonus, this recipe is light because of the modest amount of oil and smoke-free which is especially useful if you are grilling indoor.


  • 1 eggplant / aubergine
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley

First of all, please make sure to use plump, fresh eggplants and test a few varieties to find the ones which are best for grilling.

As for cooking, you will obviously obtain best results with a charcoal/wood BBQ, but a stove-top cast iron grill pan is a valid alternative especially if you are short of time or it’s bad weather.

how to peel eggplants aubergines before grilling perfect recipe

Zebra peel the eggplants and cut them crosswise into 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) thick slices. The eggplant skin is often bitter and/or tough so it’s always a good idea to remove at least part of it .

To make the marinade, place the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and parsley in shallow bowl. Transfer the eggplants slices in a plate arranging them in one or two layers. Par-cook in the microwave for 2-3 min until the slices become slightly moist and tender. Take care to avoid overcooking as the aubergines will fall apart on the grill.

Heat up the BBQ or a cast iron griddle and grill the slices on both sides. There is no need to oil them. Cover and cook until slightly charred and soft but not falling apart, 5-10 min per side. If you use a pan, grill slices over medium heat. Please be patient, some varieties of eggplants take long to cook properly. If the heat is too high, they will burn outside and remain chewy inside. Transfer the slices in the marinade and cover again to infuse and steam.

If possible, prepare the eggplants a couple of hours in advance and serve at room temperature as the marinade greatly improves their flavor. Season with a sprinkle of salt just before serving if you like.
Serves 2-3 as a side dish.

PS. In contrast to common – but seemingly unfounded – lore abut nightshades, “eggplant is a healthy vegetable” says Helen Nichols in “27 science-based healt benefits of eggplant“.


  1. Hello, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. Thank you for the tip of microwaving the eggplant before putting on the grill. That solves the problem of it getting dry before it is cooked through.

  2. “In the microwave”? OK, I shall try that but it’ll have to be our secret, OK? Myself I never fry eggplant in oil, painting them with olive oil and throwing them under the broiler seems to work fine and to my sensibilities is “traditional” ever since seeing a cousin do as such in Sicily…. I shall try your recipe this week well knowing that the marriage twixt eggplant and lemon will be more than stellar, thanks so much for the share…
    Talking about short cuts, Years ago dear Aunt Rosy used to make “easy” eggplant parmigiana when she’d boil (drown) slices of eggplant in oil, place the layers in a baking dish along with ketchup, canned Parmisano and slices of American cheese then bake away… Though her kitchen hit an all time culinary low all of us would eat everything presented, not because the food passed our approval but because she had one element she added to her recipes that can’t be bought, that being a real love of feeding us, God bless her.

    • ahhh GB what a good story this one of Aunt Rosy! I must reassure you with the fact that my shortcut has hardly a measurable effect on the final flavor which is actually completely authentic. In fact you could quickly blanch the eggplants in boiling water to obtain the same effect. The idea is to slightly soften the slices so they will be cooked inside by the time they are caramelized outside. It’s a time saver but a flavor “preserver” šŸ™‚

  3. Brilliant — as always, Letizia. I don’t own a BBQ, so this recipe is perfect for someone like me!

  4. Can’t wait to try this on my cast iron grill pan. I totally trust you and Giselle for good food preparation advice. Can’t wait to finally meet you in November!
    Lynn Guardino

  5. That looks delicious! I love grilled eggplants! Thanks for sharing! Iā€™m new to blogging here and I just love how supportive and creative everyone is! If you have time, could you please check out my blog? http://shecooksandheeats.wordpress.com/ If you have any, I would love some advice šŸ™‚

  6. Made these tonight, unpeeled! Everyone, including me, of course, LOVED them! I sliced up one large aubergine and it made 3 griddle-pans worth – all gone!
    I have more aubs – I think I’ll do the melanzane rolls you did for me the other week next!

  7. We’ve made this twice now and it’s been great both times. Thank you, Letizia, and good luck with your renovations!

  8. I don’t know you and I found this recipe! Simple and surprisingly good, thanks very much. Just back from a brief visit to Rome and needed to revisit that taste!

  9. Thankyou!!!! Found your link on Foodpress(no other grilled eggplant on the page šŸ˜‰ ). Super simple and looks great!! Thanks!!! (Can I re-blog your recipe please? I’ll put in a link for this page and credit you and everything.)

    • Hi Anna
      I’d love for you to reblog the recipe in your own words and with your own photos and then wit a link to my recipes. I always love it when others try my recipes. Reblogging other peopel’s content is never a good idea for Google purposes. šŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting!

  10. I just wanted to know that I found this recipe even though I don’t know you! It actually came up as one of the first choices for marinated eggplant. I’m making it now. Thank you!

  11. Hi I’ve just found this recipe after subscribing today and as an aubergine obsessive cant wait to try it! Thing is in the UK its hard to find good plump aubergines, and i dont have a microwave, do you have any tips on alternative prepping? Thanks a lot!

    • Hi and thank you for your visit! It’s not strictly nevessary to microwave the aubergine slices before grilling, it will only take longer, but the end product will be as delicious. Enjoy!

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