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Kate’s Best Easy Grilled Moroccan Eggplant Recipe

Easy grilled Moroccan Eggplant! Thick slices of eggplant marinated in the bold flavors of olive oil, cumin, coriander, ginger, a touch of cinnamon, and lots of garlic. Cooked low and slow on the grill until meltingly tender. It’s so easy, and a great way to enjoy summer eggplant.

A large plate of eggplant on blue tile next to a can of dolmas.

Eggplant is a very divisive topic in our house. My kids are pretty good eaters but my daughter despises eggplant with a passion. My husband and I, on the other hand, love it and can’t get enough when summer rolls around and the Farmer’s markets are overflowing with all the different varieties.

The beauty of eggplant is its sponge-like texture soaks up whatever flavors you want to dress it up with. Meaning there are as many eggplant dishes as there are days in the summer.

This week I decided to face the wrath of my little eggplant hater and buy a couple to throw on the grill. When done right (see my tips below) grilling is my favorite cooking method when it comes to eggplant. The open fire gets the outside nicely charred and smoky and the inside stays luscious and soft.

This grilled eggplant is drenched in Moroccan spices like cumin, coriander, ground ginger, a touch of cinnamon, and red pepper flakes. It is an abbreviated version of Ras el hanout which is a popular spice blend in Moroccan cuisine and used in a ton of Moroccan recipes. That being said, if you have ras el hanout in your spice drawer, feel free to swap that instead.

Serve this silky grilled eggplant as a side dish or as an appetizer in a Middle Eastern/North African mezze platter with store-bought tzatziki, dolmas, hummus, olives, and grilled pita bread. It also makes a delicious sandwich tucked in a soft roll with goat cheese, arugula, and a spicy mayo made from equal parts harissa and mayonnaise.

The Problem With Grilled Eggplant

A large plate with a layer of tzatziki, grilled eggplant.

I’ve made a lot of lackluster grilled eggplant, mainly because of three problems:

  1. Their spongy texture comes out dry, hard and chewy.
  2. It’s grilled over high heat and burns on the outside but is still hard in the middle.
  3. Some varieties of eggplant have a slightly bitter flavor, which the grill can intensify.

So how can we grill eggplant so it is flavorful, soft, and lightly charred

4 Secrets To Perfectly Grilled Eggplant

If this is your first time grilling eggplant, learn from my mistakes and follow this advice:

  1. Use a lot of oil to create that perfect creamy texture.
  2. Grill the eggplant over medium to medium-low heat.
  3. Salt the eggplant (in this case we are marinating it) to remove any bitterness and excess water.
  4. Grill the eggplant until they are easily pierced with a fork to make sure they are cooked all the way through.


All the ingredients to make Moroccan grilled eggplant.

See recipe card for exact amounts and step-by-step instructions.

  • Fresh eggplant. Tender eggplant is usually on the smaller side, look for a medium eggplant or use several small eggplant instead of one giant one.
  • Olive oil. Nothing too fancy but something that tastes good. I use California Ranch extra virgin olive oil.
  • Fresh garlic. You will need 2 cloves garlic, minced. Feel free to use more if you love garlic.
  • Spices. If you don’t have all the spices, don’t feel like you need to make a special trip you can also use nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, white pepper or cloves.
  • Lemons. This is for squeezing over the top after grilling, just like we do with our skirt steak.

How To Make Grilled Moroccan Eggplant

step one

Slice the eggplant. Remove the stem and cut the eggplant into 1-inch slices.

An eggplant sliced into thick slices.

step two

Make the marinade. I like to combine the marinade ingredients right in the dish I’m going to marinate the eggplant in, like a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Whisk everything together until smooth then dip the eggplant slices in the marinade to coat both sides.

Rub any extra marinade all over the eggplant slices so they are evenly coated. Return to the dish, cover and stick in the fridge until you are ready to grill. Eggplant can be marinated anywhere from 4-24 hours in advance. I think they need at least an hour minimum.

A 9x13-inch baking dish filled with marinade.

step three

Grill. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Clean the grill grates and rub with oil. Grill until the slices are a rich golden brown, turning once or twice as they cook to prevent burning. This should take about 4-5 minutes per side.

grilled eggplant grilling on the grill

step four

Serve. The eggplant is good hot or room temperature. Squeeze lemon juice over the eggplant and a drizzle of olive oil after you take it off the grill.

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Rewarm in the microwave or oven until warmed through.

Serving Suggestions

A plate with tzatziki topped with grilled eggplant and a lemon slice.

There are so many different ways you can spin this one simple recipe. Here are a few suggestions:

Turn into a vegetarian main dish like in the images by spooning Greek yogurt or store-bought (or homemade) tzatziki on the bottom of each plate. Top with a few slices of grilled eggplant, sprinkle with chopped cilantro, crumbled feta, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve with crusty bread or homemade focaccia. I also like to serve store-bought dolmas on the side.

Chop the grilled eggplant and turn into a Moroccan eggplant salad. Use this tomato salad recipe as a guide and swap the eggplant for the avocado.

Chop the grilled eggplant and make a version of Moroccan Zaalouk, one of the most delicious Moroccan salads that has tomatoes, fresh herbs like fresh cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, onion, and vinegar.

Puree the grilled eggplant with garlic, tahini paste, lemon juice, and salt to make Baba Ghanoush.

💜 Looking for more eggplant recipes? Try my vegan bolognese tomato sauce or this delicious pan-fried cod with ratatouille. 💜

More Summer Favorites To Try

The Next Time You See Some Beautiful Eggplant At The Market

Snatch it up and make this super delicious, super light and healthy grilled Moroccan eggplant. When you try it, let me know how it went! Share a photo and tag me on Instagram using @katesbestrecipes so that I can see (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating)! Also, sign up for my weekly recipe newsletter so you never miss a thing.

A plate with tzatziki topped with grilled eggplant and a lemon slice.

Grilled Moroccan Eggplant Recipe

Author: Kate
Easy grilled Moroccan Eggplant! Thick slices of eggplant marinated in the bold flavors of olive oil, cumin, coriander, ginger, a touch of cinnamon, and lots of garlic. Cooked low and slow on the grill until meltingly tender. It’s so easy, and a great way to enjoy summer eggplant.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings



  • Remove stem from eggplant and slice into 1-inch thick slices.
  • In a dish large enough to hold the eggplant (like a 9 x 13 baking dish), combine remaining ingredients, and whisk until smooth. add eggplant and rub each slice in the marinade until well coated. Marinate at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. I think 4 hours of marinating time is ideal.
  • Heat grill to medium heat. Clean grill grates and rub with oil. Grill eggplant until lightly charred on both sides and tender, about 4 minutes per side.
  • Remove from the grill, drizzle with olive oil, and squeeze lemon over the top.


  1. Make-ahead instructions: The eggplant can be marinated up to 24 hours in advance. 
  2. Special tools (affiliate links): Chef Knife, Cutting Board, Liquid Measuring Cup, Grill, 9×13-inch Baking Dish, Measuring Spoons
  3. Grilling Tips: Grill over medium heat to prevent the outside from burning before the inside is cooked through. 
  4. Ras el Hanout: This is a spice mix popular in Morocco. If you have it in your spice cabinet, feel free to substitute 4 1/2 teaspoons of it for the spices listed. Don’t omit the salt. 


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