Here’s a delicious Mini Eggplant Recipe side dish that’s quick & easy and wonderful with Greek yogurt and toasted pine nuts…
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Don’t you love those baby eggplants that are at the grocery store and the farmer’s market? I never really knew what to do with them until I decided to just go for it and cook them in a skillet. It was really delicious, and now I make it any time I want a good veggie side dish.
Here’s a few good reasons to make it:
- Quick & easy, these tiny eggplants are simply pan-fried in a little olive oil
- Goes with chicken, steak, pasta or fish
- Also great as a main dish with Greek yogurt, tomato sauce or tossed with hot pasta
- Eggplant has wonderful flavor if you’ve never had it, so don’t be shy!
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full recipe and list of instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card below
- Eggplants: Get any mini eggplants you can find, or regular eggplant
- Red Onion: So good in this recipe
- Anaheim Chili: Not spicy, but gives off a lot of great flavor
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is best
- Greek Yogurt: For serving if you’d like
- Pinenuts: Lightly toasted to sprinkle over the top
- Thyme & Italian Parsley: Fresh herbs make this side dish special
- Lemon: A quick squeeze of fresh lemon juice right at the end makes a huge difference!
Step-By Step Instructions
- See above for what mini eggplants look like. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, yet their flavor is basically the same.
- Look for firm eggplants without bruising at well-stocked grocery stores or farmer’s markets
4. Here’s a prime example of red Anaheim chili’s (above), which are very mild in flavor and are wonderful in sauces, soups and salsa’s too.
5. Wash and dry the eggplant with a clean towel, then make half-inch eggplant slices and place in a large bowl.
6. Next add in the onion slices, fresh herbs, seasonings, olive oil and sliced chili. Let this sit for about ten minutes.
7. Heat a large non-stick skillet with a little more olive oil, then add some of the eggplant chili mixture in batches, turning once or twice while cooking until golden brown.
8. Here’s how they look after cooking….all golden and wonderful. This is perfectly delicious to eat right here, right now, but add a squeeze of fresh lemon, some chopped Italian parsley and toasted pine nuts to make it extra delicious!
Tips and Possible Variations
- Be sure to let the eggplants sit undisturbed in the skillet on medium-high heat for several minutes until you get that light brown char
- It’s super important to make sure the vegetables are flat in the pan and not crowded, otherwise they’ll steam and not caramelize, so cook this in several batches if needed
- This side dish is just as good at room temperature as it is hot from the skillet!
- This is fabulous next time you need a side dish to serve with Pan Seared Chicken Thighs, this Tin Foil Chicken or this amazing Costco Stuffed Salmon Recipe.
- Serve a few other side dishes too, like Marinated Grilled Asparagus and this fabulous Kale Salad.
- This cheesy stuffed garlic bread would be a perfect side dish.
- Dessert is always on the menu, and here’s a nice list of some of my favorites, or go for something fruity like warm Rhubarb Crisp or a fabulous Blackberry Galette.
Frequently Asked Questions
Use regular! There’s no difference in the flavor or texture.
Yes! Go spicy if you want, or use green, yellow or orange bell peppers or all three!
Yes! Tried some torn fresh basil for variation.
More Recipes to Try
- Mini Blueberry Pies: Delightful and easy too!
- Jam Pies: Really Cute and fun to eat!
- Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies: Great for kids and parties!
- Skillet Taco Bake: An easy, delicious dinner!
- Chicken Sausage and Vegetable Skillet: A one dish wonder!
- Tin Foil Baked Chicken and Vegetables: A wonderful easy dinner!
- Low Carb Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe: Wonderful and easy!
- Teriyaki Chicken Skewers Recipe: Easy & so delicious!
If you’ve tried Mini Eggplant Recipes, or any other recipe on Studio Delicious, please rate the recipe 5 stars and tell me how you liked it in comments below!
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Mini Eggplant Recipe
- 6-8 Japanese Eggplant, sliced 1/2" thick about 6 cups total
- 2 Red Anaheim Chili's, seeds removed, sliced thin
- ⅓ cup Red Onion sliced thin
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Salt, flaky sea salt preferrably like Maldon
- ½ teaspoon Lemon Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil for the skillet
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt, plain
- 3 tablespoon Pine Nuts, toasted see recipe notes
- 3 sprigs Thyme, fresh plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoon Italian (flat leaf) Parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, fresh squeezed, for serving
- Add eggplant, chili and onion to a medium sized bowlAdd the 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 sprigs of thyme, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss to coat the ingredients. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Add the eggplant mixture, in two or three batches if necessary, to place in an even layer without crowding. Add a bit more olive oil to the pan with each batch. Cook the eggplant, peppers and onion undisturbed for 3-4 minutes or when the edges are nicely brown and caramelized. Turn with tongs and continue to cook the other side for another 4 minutes or so.
- Put the batches together in a bowl and add the fresh parsley and thyme. Add the lemon juice and toss very lightly to coat combine
- To serve, smear a generous tablespoon of plain greek yogurt on the plate, and place some of the eggplant mixture on top. Add some flaky sea salt, another drizzle of olive oil and some toasted pine nuts.
- Toast pine nuts by putting them in a dry skillet on medium high heat. Shake the pan occasionally, and watch closely to take the skillet off the heat as soon as you see the pine nuts start to turn color. Keep shaking the pan, as they will continue to cook off the heat (and very quickly!)
- You can serve this eggplant dish on a large platter too, and offer the yogurt on the side.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible