This baba ganoush is made without tahini and is so simple and easy to prepare! It features roasted eggplant, tons of garlic, zesty lemon juice, spices and vegan yogurt. Perfect healthy and flavorful dip to serve as an appetizer with pita wedges or to spread in sandwiches.
I have shared a few eggplant recipes recently, such as my recent vegan eggplant rollatini, but one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant is actually super simple: roasted eggplant dip which is also called baba ganoush.
Making a dip with aubergines is SO easy: all you have to do is to roast the veggies, then purée/mash with some spices (I used some cumin and paprika), lemon juice and garlic. Roasting eggplants turns them into a creamy and soft consistency while trading their bitter raw flesh for a mildly sweet, smoky and deep in flavor vegetable once cooked.
The classic eggplant dip recipe often includes tahini paste, but there are a lot of variations possible and I made this baba ganoush without tahini and using vegan yogurt instead. The result is a super creamy, rich and tangy Lebanese dip that's lower in fat and milder in flavor too.
I like to keep my baba ganoush on the chunkier side, since I love the extra texture, but I'll also show you how to make this dip super creamy simply with a quick blend, if that's what you are looking for.
It really is such an effortless Mediterranean dip you can make ahead of time once the eggplants are in season and bursting in the summer or fall markets, but we actually make it all year around too. It is super healthy and you can simply serve it as a dip with pita bread or my favorite, spread in sandwiches for a tasty veggie boost!
Hope you give it a try! ❤️
What's baba ganoush
Baba ganoush is a Lebanese vegetable dip made with roasted eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, spices and tahini or olive oil. There are tons of variations to the classic recipe and you will find many ways to make it with some of them being smooth vs chunky, made oil-free or even without including spices at all.
Baba ganoush is typically served as a starter, a side dip aside a main dish or part of a mezze platter among bread, vegetables, condiments and other dips. It is a popular recipe in the Middle Eastern countries with each country having their own way to prepare it.
Highlights of this recipe
- You can make it chunky or creamy
- Perfect dip for crackers or pita bread, but also amazing to use in sandwiches, just the same as hummus!
- Simple 5-ingredient recipe
- Versatile dip recipe as you can adjust spices to your taste
- Healthy and low-in-fat dip that's filled with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and minerals. Such a great way to eat more vegetables!
- Fully vegan, dairy-free, plant-based and also naturally gluten-free
- Made without tahini and completely oil-free
Ingredients you'll need
- Eggplants: I used 2 large eggplants to make this dip. Smaller eggplants are sweeter with fewer seeds, so use 3 small eggplants if you can find them.
- Vegan yogurt: I used the vegan cashew yogurt from the brand Forager. It adds amazing creaminess to the tahini-free dip.
- Garlic: the fresh garlic flavor is amazing in this dip and so essential. You could swap for garlic powder, but I don't think the flavor will be as good. I used 2 large cloves of garlic, but feel free to include as much garlic as you can handle!
- Lemon juice: freshly squeezed lemon juice is better than store-bought and don't omit, it really brings the whole dish together and brightens up the flavor.
- Spices: I like to include a tab of cumin powder and smoked paprika, but there is a lot of room for variation depending of what you like. Lots of recipes will not include paprika in the dip mixture but only on top, so feel free to do this as well.
How to make baba ganoush without tahini
Pre-heat the oven to 400º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roast the eggplant
Slice the eggplant in half and place them face down on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 40-50 min or until the flesh is super soft and juicy.
Let the vegetable cool down for a few minutes just so it is easier to handle.
Place a fine mesh colander over a medium bowl. Once the eggplant is done roasting, then use a large spoon to scoop out the soft flesh from the eggplant and place in the colander. Leave the skin behind.
Let the eggplant sit in the colander for about 10 minutes to allow the extra moisture to drip down in the bowl. You can also use the back of a spoon to gently press some of the water out, but be gentle as you don't want to press hard enough to push the flesh out in the bowl.
Mash or process
Then, you have 2 options: you can make a chunky or smooth dip.
For a chunky dip: transfer the eggplant in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients (yogurt, lemon juice, spices, salt and garlic). Use a fork to mash the dip to a desired consistency. For a chunky but finer dip, you could also finely chop the roasted eggplant on a wooden board with a knife before adding the other ingredients. I'll also use kitchen scissors to cut the larger strings of eggplant straight in the bowl (see video).
For a smooth dip: transfer the eggplant to a food processor and add all the ingredients as well (yogurt, lemon juice, spices and fresh garlic). Then, process until smooth or until desired consistency is reached.
Taste the dip and adjust flavoring to your liking.
Transfer the dip in the fridge and let it chill for 1-2 hours before serving.
Watch how to make it
- To boost the smoky flavor of this dip, feel free to roast the eggplant on an opened fire (on the stove or the BBQ) until the skin is nicely charred and the flesh soft inside (flip them often). I cannot easily do this at home, so I like to roast the vegetable in the oven and then add some smoky paprika to my baba ganoush to help boost the smokiness of my dip.
- This dip is even better when made ahead as the flavors really intensify and I find the dip better when chilled. Perfect prep-ahead dip!
- Don't skip on draining the vegetable as the dip might end up too watery.
Other substitutes for tahini
A typical baba ganoush is made using tahini paste. It adds lots of nutty flavor from the sesame seeds, but also is responsible for the creaminess of the dip. So, if are not trying to avoid it, then use ¼ cup of tahini instead of the ⅓ cup of vegan yogurt.
I found that vegan yogurt was perfect to replace the tahini, but also, you could use vegan mayo or vegan sour cream if that's what you have. You might need to adjust the flavoring ingredients accordingly.
There are many ways to customize this recipe depending on your taste or what you already have. This recipe is so simple, so feel free to experiment a bit!
I love mine with a little cumin and smoked paprika, but omit or use sweet paprika if you want a dip smoother in flavor.
Also, you can include other roasted vegetables, especially roasted red pepper (roast them with the eggplant or use store bought), red onion, or zucchini.
If you love garlic but cannot handle the raw garlic flavor, then you can also roast the whole cloves of garlic (with their peel on) with the eggplant until soft, about 30 minutes. Once roasted, their flavor is much milder and sweeter too. If you do roast the garlic, then add more!
Serve this dip in a bowl with a side of pita bread sliced in wedges. I like to use a wide shallow bowl so there is more surface to garnish the dip. It is nice to have layers of texture and extra flavoring on top to scoop with the bread. You can really go crazy and generously garnish the dip if you like! Here are a few toppings ideas to try:
- An extra swirl of vegan yogurt. Add flavor but also a fun contrast of color.
- Fresh parsley
- More spices such as paprika and cumin
- Chopped olives
- Diced tomatoes or sweet onion
- A drizzle of olive oil
- Fresh pomegranate seeds
This Lebanese dip is often served part of a mezze platter alongside pita bread, sliced cucumber, marinated artichokes, halved cherry tomatoes, hummus or other Mediterranean dips such as tzatziki sauce, kalamata olives, tabbouleh salad, vegan feta cheese, colorful small peppers, figs, grapes, etc. This is a great idea to serve to a crowd during a gathering: everyone can grab what they like!
This dip will hold well in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Mix well before serving as there is some separation that may happen. The flavor will intensify over time and the dip is great eaten cold.
I don't recommend freezing this recipe as this will alter the texture.
More eggplant recipes you might like
- Baked miso glazed eggplant
- Vegan eggplant rollatini
- Eggplant miso ramen soup
- Eggplant cauliflower curry
More Mediterranean recipes to try
- Vegan falafel buddha bowl
- Tofu tikka masala
- Vegan gyros
- Hummus pasta with balsamic roasted vegetables
- Vegan Mediterranean Tray Bake
- Curried carrot and ginger soup
- Mushroom couscous
- Vegan tzatziki
- Creamy dill chickpea salad
- Butter bean hummus
I hope you like this no tahini baba ganoush recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Baba Ganoush without Tahini
- 2 medium eggplants (aubergines)
- ⅓ cup vegan plain yogurt - plus more for garnishing
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic - crushed
- ⅛-¼ tsp cumin powder
- ⅛-¼ tsp paprika (sweet or smoked) - plus more to garnish
- ½ tsp salt - or to taste
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 400º.
- Slice the eggplant in half and transfer on the prepared baking sheet faces down. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the vegetable are super soft.
- When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, then scoop the flesh out and transfer in a fine mesh colander that's placed over a bowl. Let the eggplant stand in the colander for at least 10 minutes and also use a spoon to gently press to remove as much moisture as you can (but be gentle enough not to allow the flesh to fall into the bowl).
- Transfer the drained eggplant in a bowl and add the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, and salt. Then, mash/stir to combine and to reach desired consistency. I also like to use kitchen scissors to cut the larger fiber right into the bowl (see video). If you prefer a smoother dip, then process all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust flavoring to your liking. If possible, let the dip chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
- Transfer the baba ganoush in a serving bowl and garnish with more vegan yogurt, fresh parsley and paprika. Serve with wedges of pita bread.
- This baba ganoush is best when made ahead to allow the flavor to deepen and to let the dip chill before serving.
- Keep the dip in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- There are many ways to make a baba ganoush, so feel free to adjust flavoring to your liking. You can swap the vegan yogurt for vegan mayo or vegan sour cream or tahini (use ¼ cup). Also, for a milder in flavor dip, simply omit the cumin and paprika altogether.
- This baba ganoush is great simply served with pita wedges, but also works great in sandwiches just like hummus. Amazing served part of a mezze platter as well alongside kalamata olives, grapes, figs, tzatziki sauce, pita, crackers, sliced cucumber, mini peppers, etc.