8 Ways Eggplant Is the Ultimate Meat Alternative

8 Ways Eggplant Is the Ultimate Meat Alternative

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Meghan Splawn
Jul 15, 2016

Let's play a round of "anything you can do I can do better." This time it's eggplant versus meat. Eggplant can be grilled, turned into steaks, and plays the part of both burger and bacon pretty well. Sure, a steak can be grilled and roasted too, but when is the last time you saw steak bacon? Here are eight times eggplant beat meat at its own games.

When eggplant is plentiful, it is also a less expensive and equally tasty and filling alternative to grilled steaks and burgers. In the off season, eggplant broils, bakes, and braises beautifully to becomes a hearty meat-free main.

Get to Know Eggplant: Everything You Need to Know About Eggplant

1. Eggplant Kebabs

Since it's easy to skewer and grills well, eggplant is ideal kabab fodder. Give it a quick marinade before grilling.

(Image credit: Maria Midoes)

2. Eggplant Steaks

Roasting eggplant is a simple way to turn this aubergine from vegetal to meaty. Eat these steaks straight up or turned into an eggplant steak sandwich.

(Image credit: Maria Midoes)

3. Eggplant Bolognese

In this vegan riff on a hearty ragu, eggplant partners with mushrooms, tomatoes, and red wine to make a classically flavored sauce to serve over pasta.

(Image credit: Maria Midoes)

4. Faux-Bacon

This is maybe my favorite eggplant trick of all. Soft, absorbent eggplant can be transformed into crispy, smokey eggplant bacon with just a little bit of seasoning and a cast iron pan. Put that on a BLT.

5. Grilled Eggplant Burgers

Hearty eggplant slices are a surprising alternative to a veggie burger. Partner them with grilled halloumi cheese for a satisfying protein punch.

6. Eggplant Sloppy Joes

Think of caponata as eggplant's riff on the classic sloppy joe. It's sweet-meets-savory on a bun.

7. Vegan Stir-Fried Garlic Tofu and Eggplant

Its always a bonus when a vegetable can be quickly stir-fried and served over rice for a convenient weeknight meal. This recipe pairs eggplant with tofu and garlic for an unbeatable flavor combination.

(Image credit: Maria Midoes)

8. Oven-Dried Eggplant Jerky

Equal parts preservation and tasty snack technique, this oven-dried eggplant jerky turns out chewy-meaty results with less than five steps.

What's your favorite way to use eggplant as a meat replacer?

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