A true taste of Italy, this Grilled Eggplant Caprese with home balsamic reduction is the perfect summer recipe. This dish is so delicious and satisfying, it’s great served as side dish, a hearty appetizer or as main course for meatless Monday.
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❤️ Why You’ll Love This Grilled Eggplant Recipe
- Tasty summer grilling appetizer
- Fresh Italian flavors
- Simple healthy ingredients
- Super easy preparation
When it comes to a classic Italian caprese recipe, I usually keep things simple with fresh basil, juicy tomatoes and soft and creamy mozzarella. But for this recipe, I decided to kick things up a notch by starting it off with grilled eggplant and it turned out spectacular!
If you’ve tried sliced grilled eggplant, you are missing out! They are soft and tender in the middle with perfectly charred edges that give them so much flavor. Eggplant is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with and it is absolutely AH-mazing in the caprese dish.
This recipe comes with a warning! Once you take the firsts bite of this eggplant caprese, you may start craving ALL things eggplant. This Eggplant Parmesan and these Eggplant Fries are two of my other fantastic go-to recipes when those cravings hit!
What’s in Grilled Eggplant Caprese
*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
How to Grill Eggplant
Wash, dry and slice the eggplant (with the skin on) into thick slices and lay out on paper towels. Sprinkle salt over the tops, then add layers of paper towels and repeat with the remaining eggplant.
Allow to sit for 15 minutes while you heat up the grill.
Dry off the eggplant with paper towels, then brush oil on both sides and add ground black pepper.
Grill the eggplant for a few minutes on both sides until cooked through.
Remove the eggplant and top with the chopped tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
Drizzle some of the balsamic reduction over the tops and garnish with the chopped basil.
Serve while still warm.
Is Eggplant Keto Friendly?
If you are on Keto or just watching your overall carb intake, it can be confusing to figure out which vegetables are best on Keto and eggplant is often overlooked. I wrote an article, Best Vegetables on Keto, that will help you when making those decisions. Just like I discussed in the article, eggplant is super high in fiber and protein, and it boasts a large array of vitamins and minerals that are discussed in the article on Healthline.
But if the carb count is your main focus, you’ll love to know that for an entire one-cup serving of cooked eggplant, there are 8 total carbs with 2.5 grams of fiber. That brings the net carbs to just under 6 grams! One fun fact that you may not know, an eggplant is actually considered a fruit, not a vegetable! Who knew, right?
How to Make Baked Eggplant?
Craving this recipe when the weather isn't cooperating with grilling out? No worries, just follow these simple steps to bake it in the oven:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Rinse the eggplants under cold water removing any dirt or debris.
- Using paper towels dry off each eggplant thoroughly then cut off the stem.
- Slice the eggplant length wise into the desired thickness depending on the recipes. For this recipe, you want slightly thicker slices than you would for recipes like Eggplant Involtini. Using a kitchen mandolin makes this an easier job.
- Brush the slices with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some salt on each side.
- Roast in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes on each side or until the edges look roasted and the center looks nice and tender.
Do You Have to Soak Eggplant Before Grilling?
There are different thoughts on this question. Some recipes will call for you to soak eggplant in milk before grilling it. Eggplants are like sponges and will soak up anything you soak them in. So, some say soaking it in milk takes away the bitterness.
Personally, I cannot say I have ever tasted an eggplant that was so bitter that it needed soaking prior to grilling. If you choose to do so, be sure you dry the slices off well with paper towels before adding them to the grill.
Do You Salt Eggplant Before Grilling?
Salting eggplant sliced helps to draw out the moisture and prevents it from becoming soggy. It only takes a few extra minutes, and the results are well worth it!
Variations to Consider:
Fried eggplant slices: Instead of grilling, you can slice the eggplant just a little thinner and fry them using the same method used in these Keto Eggplant Fries.
Tomatoes: You can use any type of tomatoes you prefer. If you can find fresh heirloom tomatoes, they would work great in this recipe.
Other Veggies: You can add really thin slivers of red onion to this dish. Or for a really fun and different spin, slice up some of these Marinated Mushrooms to the top of the eggplant.
More Keto Appetizers
- Dill Pickled Devilled Eggs
- Garlic Butter Steak Bites
- Keto Crab Cakes
- Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings
- Keto Coconut Shrimp
- Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
FREE 20 EASY KETO RECIPES EBOOK
Grilled Eggplant Caprese
- Wash, dry and slice the eggplant (with the skin on) into thick slices and lay out on paper towels. Sprinkle salt over the tops, then add layers of paper towels and repeat with the remaining eggplant.
- Allow to sit for 15 minutes while you heat up the grill.
- Dry off the eggplant with paper towels, then brush oil on both sides and add ground black pepper.
- Grill the eggplant for a few minutes on both sides until cooked through.
- Remove the eggplant and top with the chopped tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
- Drizzle some of the balsamic reduction over the tops and garnish with the chopped basil.
- Serve while still warm.
*Make sure to scroll up and read the post for substitutions, additions and helpful tips for making this recipe.
*Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and is accurate to the best of my knowledge. You can verify it using the nutrition calculator of your choice. All data is based on net carbs, without sugar alcohol: Swerve, Erythritol, Monk Fruit or Allulose.
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