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Grilled Eggplant with Garlic Yogurt Sauce, Walnuts & Pomegranate

Grilled eggplant is a simple dish to make and healthy for you, too! Topping it with garlic yogurt sauce, chopped walnuts, pomegranate arils, and a little chopped cilantro makes it a perfect side dish or light dinner.

grilled eggplant topped with garlic yogurt sauce, walnuts and pomegranate

Grilled eggplant is a simple dish to make and healthy for you, too! Topping it with garlic yogurt sauce, chopped walnuts, pomegranate arils, and a little chopped cilantro makes it a perfect side dish or light dinner.

For many years, I assumed I wasn’t a lover of eggplant. Which, for someone who loves and has at least tried many different and somewhat obscure foods (pigeons, I’m looking at you), this seems so strange to me now.

It wasn’t that I didn’t care for eggplant, it just wasn’t something we ate growing up. Even after I moved to Southern CA and was exposed to many foods that were new to me, eggplant just never showed up to the party.

Then one day about 10 years ago, I decided to roast some eggplant and it changed the eggplant game for me. Oh man, is it amazing. I peeled a couple of large eggplants, cut them into cubes, and roasted them at high heat.

It was absolutely incredible.

grilled eggplant topped with garlic yogurt sauce, walnuts, pomegranate, and chopped cilantro

After that experience, I decided that grilled eggplant was up next, which is now my favorite way to prepare it. It’s so simple and tasty! Topping it with a garlic yogurt sauce and adding chopped walnuts and pomegranate arils is absolute heaven!

Do you peel eggplant before grilling?

You don’t have to peel eggplant before grilling it. The skin of an eggplant is entirely edible. Larger eggplants can be on the tougher side though, so sometimes I’ll peel it entirely or just peel long strips down the side to give it “stripes”. This grilled eggplant recipe uses smaller eggplants, so there’s no need to peel them unless you want to.

How do you cook eggplant without it getting soggy?

No matter what method you use to cook eggplant, it’s important to cut it into cubes or slices first, then salt the exposed surface of the eggplant to draw out as much moisture as possible. After salting, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then wipe any moisture away with a paper towel.

a closeup of grilled eggplant topped with garlic yogurt sauce, walnuts and pomegranate

Is grilled eggplant healthy?

Eggplant is a good choice for a healthy diet, yes! It’s high in fiber and low in calories, plus it has many other nutrients. Where eggplant ventures into unhealthy territory is when it’s breaded then fried. You can still enjoy it prepared that way, just do so in moderation. I prefer grilled eggplant since it’s healthy and grilling it really brings out its flavor. And the roasted garlic yogurt sauce is so good you’ll want to drink it!

Is eggplant good for the Keto diet?

Eggplant is low in carbs so it’s a good choice for the Keto diet. Grilled eggplant needs to be brushed with oil to prevent sticking and encourage browning, which adds more healthy fats. I recommend using avocado oil instead of olive oil for the keto diet, although either will work. The garlic yogurt sauce and pomegranate in this recipe isn’t a good keto choice though, so you’ll have to skip that part.

grilled eggplant topped with garlic yogurt sauce, walnuts and pomegranate with a small dish of pomegranate arils and a spoon next to it

If you make this Grilled Eggplant recipe and share it on social media, be sure to tag me @thewickednoodle so I don’t miss it! Don’t forget to snap a pic, I’d love to see your creation!

a closeup of grilled eggplant topped with garlic yogurt sauce, walnuts and pomegranate

Grilled Eggplant with Garlic Yogurt Sauce, Walnuts & Pomegranate

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Eggplant

  • 3 Japanese eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Yogurt Sauce

  • 3/4 cup full-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 large head of roasted garlic, cloves popped out and gently mashed into a paste
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Toppings

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Place the sliced eggplant in a colander and sprinkle the salt onto the surface area of each layer, keeping as much of the surface exposed as possible (you can also lay them out on paper towels). Allow the eggplant to sit for 15-20 minutes, then gently wipe away an liquid with a paper towel.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, roasted garlic, lemon zest and juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Taste and add more salt or pepper, if necessary. Set the mixture aside while you cook the eggplant.
  3. Preheat a grill (or grill pan) to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the eggplant with the oil, as well as the grill grates or the grill pan. Grill the eggplant for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until the eggplant has nice char marks and is cooked through.
  4. Place the eggplant slices on a serving platter. Top with the yogurt sauce, chopped, walnuts, pomegranate arils, and chopped cilantro.

Notes

1 large eggplant can be used in place of the 3 Japanese eggplant.

Go here for how to roast garlic, which will also list many different ways to use it in case you want to roast extra. You can also make Instant Pot Roasted Garlic. Either method will work for this recipe.

The yogurt sauce can be made the day before and refrigerated. Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving.

The yogurt sauce can be thinned to your desired consistency by adding a little milk or cream.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 593mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Looking for even more eggplant recipes? Here you go!

Kristy Bernardo
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