Our Favorite Way To Eat Eggplant

Our Favorite Way To Eat Eggplant

Sneak Peek: Roasted Eggplant and Potatoes, in addition to zucchini, onions, and mushrooms, are seasoned with a spritz of olive oil and a ranch dressing dry-mix packet, then roasted in the oven. It’s our favorite way to eat eggplant.

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Do you like eggplant but have trouble getting your family excited about it? This is one of our favorite eggplant recipes because it’s not a goopy casserole or full of grease.

Roasting brings out the flavors of each vegetable: eggplant, diced potatoes, zucchini, and mushrooms without adding a lot of oil. Picky eaters can easily select the individual veggies they prefer, but all ingredients contribute to the whole–as in a whole lot of flavor and textural interest.

Thanks to my daughter-in-law Amanda who put me on to this recipe from Art Smith’s Kitchen Life Cookbook.  When I first tasted it, I didn’t recognize the eggplant. Nor did I realize the seasonings are a dried salad dressing straight out of the packet. Great taste doesn’t get any easier than that!

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • EGGPLANT: (AKA aubergine) I don’t peel the eggplant for this recipe, although you can if you like. I also don’t soak the eggplant ahead of time. Instead, I always try to purchase small eggplants that are fresh and firm.
  • POTATOES: Yukon Gold potatoes are my first choice. No need to peel these either. Red-skinned waxy potatoes are also appropriate. However, you can use russets, too.
  • RANCH DRESSING MIX: This makes seasoning your vegetables so easy. If you prefer to make it yourself, check out this recipe for homemade ranch dressing mix (not the dressing).
  • ZUCCHINI: No reason to peel zucchini. Make sure they are fresh and firm and not too big. I don’t suggest substituting yellow squash for the zucchini, as they are not as sturdy and might fall apart. Nobody will notice if you leave them out.
  • ONION: Use a white or yellow onion.
  • MUSHROOMS: Fresh button mushrooms are the most readily available. I like to quarter them as opposed to slicing. They’re prettier when roasted. Use canned mushrooms only when desperate.
  • RED PEPPER: Red, orange, or yellow peppers contribute color and flavor to this dish. Green peppers are fine but they will change the flavor profile.

roasted eggplant and potatoes
Old picture when originally published.

How to make this easy eggplant recipe:

spraying cut potatoes before baking
Cut scrubbed potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Spray with oil. This sprayer only sprays ¼ teaspoon with each squirt so it’s hard to overdo it.
sprinkling with dried salad dressing mix
Sprinkle half a package of dried salad dressing (we like ranch) over the potatoes and stir.
distributing potatoes on a prepared baking sheet
Distribute evenly on a baking sheet covered with foil or a silicone mat. Bake in a 450˚F (230˚C) oven for 10 minutes.
mixing oil into the remaining vegetables.
Meanwhile, cut up the eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, yellow onions, and red peppers. Place in a large mixing bowl and spray with oil. Stir well.
sprinkling the other half of the packet over the vegetables
Sprinkle the remaining dry salad dressing over the vegetables and stir to coat.
roasting all vegetables on the baking sheet in the oven.
Add to the tray of potatoes, arrange in a single layer, and continue baking until browned and fork tender. Stir occasionally to help everything brown evenly. Season with a few grinds of freshly ground pepper, if desired.
Ready to serve eggplant and potatoes
Serve immediately.

FAQ about the Eggplant and Potato Recipe:

Is aubergine the same as eggplant?

Yes. Aubergine is the more common name in Great Britain. The term “aubergine” can also describe the color of eggplant.

Is it OK to eat the skin of an eggplant?

Yes. Eggplant skin is full of nutrients. According to the NY Times, the skin of purple eggplants contains its most valuable nutrient, a powerful antioxidant called nasunin, one of a type of flavonoid called anthocyanins present in many fruits and vegetables with red, blue, and purple hues (berries, beets, and red cabbage, to name a few).

Should I remove the seeds?

Only if they are big and brown. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds out.

Do I have to soak eggplant slices?

I don’t. Buy smaller eggplants with a mild flavor and use them quickly. No need to soak.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

It’s best cooked at the last minute and served immediately.

What can I serve with this?

If you use this recipe as a main dish, all you need is a salad. If you serve it as a side dish, we like it with oven-baked sausage. Try heating the sausage on one end of the cooking tray that holds the veggies.

We like spicy food. How can I turn up the heat on this recipe?

Try adding some garlic cloves along with the onions. Add more seasonings such as dried or fresh oregano, fresh basil, or fresh rosemary. Sprinkle with a few drops of rooster sauce or Tabasco. Toss fresh Parmesan, shredded mozzarella, or chopped scallions over the top before serving. Make it yours. That’s the beauty of simple recipes.

Parting thoughts: I hope the people you feed enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Don’t forget to set the ketchup, ranch dressing or Mayochup on the table to use as a dip.

If you have true eggplant fans at your table, be sure to check out this Spicy Eggplant Dressing with Green Chiles and Cheese or this Satisfying Ratatouille Soup with Mini-Meatballs (+Video)

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

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roasted eggplant and potatoes on a serving dish

Roasted Eggplant and Potatoes Recipe

Roasted eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, and sliced mushrooms are seasoned with Ranch dressing dry-mix packet and oil, then roasted in a hot oven.

Prep Time 35 mins

Cook Time 45 mins

Total Time 1 hr 20 mins

Course Vegetables and Side Dishes

  • 3 medium potatoesscrubbed but unpeeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Olive oil spray
  • One 0.7-ounce envelope salad dressing mixI like ranch
  • 1 small eggplantcut into 1-inch cubes (peeling is optional)
  • 2 medium zucchini don’t peel and slice into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ yellow onion cut into thin wedges
  • 5 ounces mushroomsquartered
  • 1 tablespoon red bell peppersfinely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper(optional)

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Preheat your oven to 425˚ F.

  • Use a silicone baking mat or cover a baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with olive oil (may substitute vegetable oil spray, but I prefer the extra flavor of olive oil).

  • Put the potatoes into a large bowl and spray with oil. Toss to coat all pieces lightly. Sprinkle half of the salad dressing mix over the potatoes and toss again. Spread on a prepared baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.

  • Place the eggplant, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and red pepper into a large bowl, spray with oil, and toss with the remaining dry salad dressing. Add to potatoes on a baking pan and stir carefully. Continue roasting vegetables until tender, about 30-40 minutes.

  • Serve immediately. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley or basil, if desired.

I don’t add extra salt because it’s already in the salad dressing mix. Suit yourself.

Nutrition Facts

Roasted Eggplant and Potatoes Recipe

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Vegetables and Side Dishes

Cuisine: American

Keywords: baked eggplant, baked zucchini recipes, eggplant recipes, roasted eggplant, roasted vegetables