This easy baba ganoush without tahini uses 5-ingredients: eggplant, yogurt, parsley, garlic and lemon for a flavorful, yet allergen-friendly take on the beloved Middle Eastern dip.
If you prefer a more traditional Lebanese baba ganoush recipe, head on over!
- This easy baba ganoush without tahini uses 5-ingredients: eggplant, yogurt, parsley, garlic and lemon for a flavorful, yet allergen-friendly take on the beloved Middle Eastern dip.
- In search of Israeli Baba Ganoush
- Discovering eggplant yogurt dip
- What is Baba Ganoush?
- Eggplant dip, without tahini
- Why you should try this roasted eggplant dip without tahini?
- How To Make Baba Ganoush with yogurt
- Top Tips
- What to eat with baba ganoush:
- Pin for Later!
In search of Israeli Baba Ganoush
As you make your way through an Israeli supermarket, your eyes are assaulted by colourful sales signs, gigantic tubs of pickles by-the-weight, and racks of fresh, fragrant spices. The colour scheme is akin to that of IKEA - a lot of white and yellow, with splashes of strategically-placed green, red and blue.
Whether due to smart government legislation, or mere chance, produce is laid out in the front of the store, though the wares are often pricier and far less fresh than those at the souk.
In further display of the country's supposed commitment to healthy eating, sodas are at the back of the store, overstocked and overpriced. Between them lie the ubiquitous aisles of coffee, pasta and other dry goods, a no-man's-land of pantry items that one must wander through in complete confusion if they hope to get to the staples of an Israeli diet: milk, yogurt, hummus.
And this is where you must head to find Israeli baba ganoush, the inspiration for this baba ganoush recipe without tahini.
Discovering eggplant yogurt dip
It is in this corner, in the back of the store, behind the chips and by the soda racks, that Israelis usually shell out most of their grocery money. Like most denizens of the Middle East, Israelis also have an inordinate appreciation for hummus, tahini, and similar cold condiments.
Slathered on chicken schnitzel, eaten alongside grilled meats, or shoved into a pita with falafel or shawarma, salads and condiments have a recurring guest role in most Israeli meals, whether eaten at home or on the go.
These neatly labeled and artfully branded packages are nothing to scoff at; in fact, they are often the only binding agent between the world of adults and kids, when at least everyone can agree on the necessity of hummus.
What brand of baba ganoush to buy remains another issue altogether.
What is Baba Ganoush?
Baba ghanoush, baba ganouj, baba ghanouj or baba ganoush - they are all the same dish!
But what is baba ganoush, you ask? Like zaalouk, baba ganoush is a Middle Eastern dip of smoked eggplant. It usually relies on tahini to soften the eggplant's strong flavors.
But what if you have a sesame allergy? Or you just don't like tahini?
That's how my family discovered this yogurt-based, easy baba ganoush recipe without tahini.
Eggplant dip, without tahini
As recent newcomers, it took my family time to come around to the presence of pre-packaged pails of hummus, matbucha (a kind of Middle Eastern spicy salsa) and liver-flavoured zucchini, which continued to baffle me for more years than I'd care to admit.
Ever suspicious of anything that wasn't made at home, under strictly controlled conditions and with no chance of diphtheria, my parents had a strict embargo against store-bought salads during our first few years.
Red cabbage in mayonnaise became our entry drug, the closest condiment to the mayo-laden salads of the Russian dinner table. Then followed hummus and Turkish pepper salad. Tahini remained banned.
But one of the last salads to break the Eastern front of the Prints family was Lebanese baba ganoush. There was just something odd about this salad's sponginess, the smokiness, and the presence of a creamy substance that wasn't actually cream.
My tongue hurt each time I had too much of it, a stern reminder not to indulge in foods beyond the creamy, mayonnaise-y, inoffensive realm of bland Russian food.
But then, I grew up. I tried baba ghanoush in pitas with singed veggie dogs, burning-hot right off the grill; I slathered it on frumpy boiled potatoes, and discovered the sharp tang of this salad was just what the tuber needed; I liked it on sourdough bread with a bit of hummus and pickles, making each bite a zesty, smoky, creamy feast.
But the real revelation came when I learned to make it myself, from good, fresh eggplants, and with full control over the amount of garlic (loads), lemon juice (tons), and yogurt in place of tahini (just a bit) that I put in.
And so, this baba ganoush recipe without tahini was born.
Why you should try this roasted eggplant dip without tahini?
If you have been a baba ghanoush hater for most of your life, try my take on it. This simple baba ganoush (no tahini!) recipe is:
- Authentic - it was inspired by Israeli baba ganoush recipes
- Fast and easy to make
- 5 ingredients only
- Adaptable to your taste
- Keto - just use full fat Greek yogurt
- Can be made vegan (just use vegan yogurt - more on this later)
You May Also Like These Eggplant Recipes:
You need the following ingredients to make my baba ganoush recipe without tahini:
- Eggplant - as the main ingredient in this smoked eggplant dip, this is important. Choose firm, glossy eggplant with a green fresh top and without any blemishes.
- Yogurt - you can use any unsweetened yogurt you like - Greek, low fat, or vegan yogurt of any kind.
- Lemon juice - fresh is best, but bottled lemon juice is also fine
- Garlic - crucial to giving this tahini-free baba ghanoush its flavor
- Parsley - another important building block. You can also use cilantro
- Baking sheet
- Chef's knife
- Big mixing bowl
How To Make Baba Ganoush with yogurt
Preheat oven to 400F on the grill setting. Prick each eggplant a few times with a fork, and wrap in tinfoil (each eggplant in its own tinfoil wrap).
Cook for 40 minutes, turning the eggplant over once after 20 minutes. Check for doneness - if a fork gets through the tinfoil and breaks the eggplant's skin easily, they're done. Remove from oven, and let cool.
Meanwhile, chop garlic and parsley finely.
Split the eggplant in half and begin to scoop its flesh out into a big bowl, taking care not to get any skin (if any skin gets in, just remove it). Now, this step is important, and this is what will keep your baba ghanoush from being bitter and smoky - remove the big bunches of eggplant seeds from your bowl. Toss and separate eggplant flesh with a fork, ensuring all the big strands are separated.
When eggplant flesh is ready, squeeze out the juice of half a lemon, add garlic, parsley, and salt. Reserve yogurt or tahini until later. Taste and adjust flavours; your dip should be zesty and garlicky, but not too salty. When you're happy with the flavour, add the yogurt or tahini; both will mellow out the flavour a bit, but yogurt will give it a nice tang. Taste again, and adjust flavours - I usually find I have to add a bit more salt.
Serve as a topping for boiled or baked potatoes, with veggie burgers, meat (if that's your thing), vegan shawarma, or just plain ol' pitas.
How to make baba ghanoush on the grill?
You can grill your eggplant on an open gas flame, or better yet, a charcoal BBQ for the best results.
Pro Tip: Fire up the charcoal BBQ and roast a bunch of eggplants in one batch. Remove the skin, and freeze their flesh. Then you make traditional Lebanese baba ghanoush, this tahini-free baba ganoush and zaalouk all year round!
Freshly made, this baba ganoush with yogurt recipe will keep in the fridge for 1 week.
It can also be frozen for up to 6 months.
This recipe is for a gluten free baba ganoush. It is also keto.
How to make vegan baba ganoush without tahini?
I recommend using 1 tablespoon of cashew nuts in place of the yogurt. Soak the nuts in water for at least an hour, and then blend.
If you follow the cashew vegan route, make sure to use nice, plump and firm eggplants with green tops. You will get a mildly smoky, but tangy salad.
But if you follow my advice and try it with your favorite unsweetened vegan yogurt, what you will produce is a silky smooth, sharp and filling salad, with just the aftertaste of smoke.
Here are some changes you can make to this tahini-free baba ganoush recipe:
- Smokey baba ganoush - if you have access to a gas stovetop or a charcoal BBQ, roast the eggplants over an open flame. Or you can also add ½ a teaspoon of liquid smoked to the mix.
- Garlic-free baba ganoush - if watching the low fodmap baba ganoush, omit the garlic.
- Lebanese recipe baba ganoush - for the more traditional take on baba ganoush, try this tahini baba ganoush recipe.
- Pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and olive oil topping - take a page from my modern baba ganoush recipe and top your baba ganoush without tahini with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and olive oil.
- Don't skimp on the lemon juice! It's crucial to the tanginess of this baba ganoush recipe without tahini.
- Make sure you remove any seeds that are in your eggplant after roasting.
- Let your baba ganoush rest in the fridge for an hour before digging in.
- Play around with the seasoning - you may like more or less lemon juice, parsley, garlic or even yogurt.
- tahini-free Baba ganoush can be served room temp, or from the fridge.
- Do not use Japanese or baby eggplants for this recipe.
- If you like tahini, try my Lebanese baba ganoush.
What to eat with baba ganoush:
You can serve tahini-free baba ganoush with pita bread, gluten-free lavosh crackers, or raw vegetables like carrots and cucumbers.
It will also make a perfect pairing for veggie burgers, scrambled eggs, hot dogs (if you're not keeping kosher), or just regular old potatoes.
You can also serve it as part of a mezze platter.
For more Middle Eastern dip recipes:
Tried and loved this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! Your reviews mean a lot to me, so if you've got any questions, please let me know in a comment.
Pin for Later!
Tangy and creamy baba ghanoush without tahini
- 2 eggplants medium sized
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- juice of ½ - 1 lemon start with half, and add up to a whole lemon, to taste
- a handful of chopped parsley about 1-2 Tbs
- ½ - 1 Tb salt start with half, and add up to taste
- 1 Tb lactose-free yogurt regular yogurt, vegan neutral yogurt, or tahini
- Preheat oven to 400F on the grill setting. If you're oven doesn't go high on the grill setting, set to 400F at bake. Prick each eggplant a few times with a fork, and wrap in tinfoil (each eggplant in its own tinfoil wrap).
- Cook for 40 minutes, turning the eggplant over once after 20 minutes. Check for doneness - if a fork gets through the tinfoil and breaks the eggplant's skin easily, they're done. Remove from oven, and let cool a bit in tinfoil.
- Meanwhile, chop garlic and parsley finely.
- Remove tinfoil. Split the eggplant in half and begin to scoop its flesh out into a big bowl, taking care not to get any skin (if any skin gets in, just remove it). Now, this step is important, and this is what will keep your baba ghanoush from being bitter and smoky - remove the big bunches of eggplant seeds from your bowl. Toss and separate eggplant flesh with a fork, ensuring all the big strands are separated.
- When eggplant flesh is ready, squeeze out the juice of half a lemon, add garlic, parsley, and salt. Reserve yogurt or tahini until later. Taste and adjust flavours; your dip should be zesty and garlicky, but not too salty. When you're happy with the flavour, add the yogurt or tahini; both will mellow out the flavour a bit, but yogurt will give it a nice tang. Taste again, and adjust flavours - I usually find I have to add a bit more salt.
- Serve as a topping for boiled or baked potatoes, with veggie burgers, meat (if that's your thing), or just plain ol' pitas.