We planted purple eggplant in our garden this year. It was our first time, as a matter of fact. A friend of mine blessed me with 4 eggplant starts and I figured, “why not?”.
The eggplants took over. Seriously.
There was no room left to run or hide. I had made all the eggplant recipes I could find on the internet and stir fried the rest until I could not gag anymore down. The question rang through my head, “What do do with too much eggplant??”
I had to learn how to preserve the rest for later. Did you know there are at least over a dozen ways to preserve eggplant? Really!
Table of Contents
Can an eggplant be frozen for future use? ABSOLUTELY, and with no loss of flavor! It’s perfect for eggplant parmigiana, moussaka (get the recipe here) and even breading and frying later!
- Slice the eggplant into 1/4″ slices.
- Lightly salt to remove bitterness.
- Blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes, then chill in an ice bath. (freezing eggplant without blanching is not recommended, as it can get tough.)
- Lay slices on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
- Flash freeze for 4-6 hours, and then place in ziploc bags.
For freezing breaded eggplant:
- follow above directions for slicing and blanching
- in a small bowl, beat 3 eggs
- in a separate bowl add breadcrumbs and seasonings
- dip the sliced eggplant in the egg, then breadcrumb mixture to coat
- lay on cookie sheet in a single layer
- Flash freeze for 4-6 hours, then place in ziploc bags.
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
Will keep for 3-6 months. Check out our article on freezing eggplant.
To dehydrate eggplant:
- Peel and cut into 1 inch cubes.
- Lay in a single layer on a dehydrator sheet set at 200° for 12-24 hours. They can also be oven dehydrated at 200°.
- Store in an airtight jar, indefinitely.
Use in soups or chili in place of meat or beans. Adds a great texture to meals when re-hydrated.
Check out our full recipe for dehydrated eggplant here.
If you’re tired of eating the same old pickled veggies, why not try pickled eggplant? The recipe is pretty simple, just keep in mind you need to store the jars for at least a week before consuming them.
Besides eggplant, the rest of the ingredients are pretty basic: bay leaves, dill heads, garlic, salt, vinegar and, of curse, water.
Check out the recipe instructions for pickled eggplant here.
Canning Pickled Eggplant
Can you can eggplant? SURE! This uses the recipe from above to pickle and can the eggplant for pantry storage.
The texture will be a bit mushier with this method, but the flavor is still great. It is perfect for salads, eating out of the jar as a snack, or on a relish tray.
- Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a stockpot or large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil.
- Wash seven pint canning jars.
- Add one garlic clove, one dill head, and a bay leaf to each jar.
- Fill the remainder of the jar with sliced eggplant.
- Ladle the pickling solution into each jar, bringing the juice level to within 1/4 inch of the top.
- Place a lid on each jar, and secure with a canning ring.
- Bring the water to a full rolling boil in a water bath canner.
- Lower the filled jars into the canner using canning tongs.
- Allow the canner to return to a full rolling boil, and process the pickles for 15 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the canner using the tongs and set them on a counter or tabletop to cool.
Check out our full article on canning pickled eggplant with instructions.
Flash Freezing Eggplant
- 6 medium eggplants
- Start by laying the slices on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
- Flash freeze them for six hours, and then store them in your desired containers. This will make it harder for them to stick together.
- You can blanch the eggplant ahead of time, or you can skip this step – it’s up to you.
Roasting and Pureeing Eggplant
If you plan to use your frozen eggplant for making sauces, dips, and other types of fillings, you can easily puree it and then freeze it, too.
- 3 eggplants, medium-sized
- 1 crushed garlic clove or 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- Start by cutting an eggplant in half. Lay the halves on a cookie sheet and roast them at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes (or until the insides have softened).
- Let the eggplant cool and then scoop out the insides. Put them in a food processor or blender and mix them until smooth and creamy.
- Then, put the puree in freezer-safe containers. Make sure you label them. When you’re ready to use your puree, simply thaw it in the refrigerator and add it to your favorite recipes!
Like to eat eggplant plain, as a side dish? Or perhaps you want to add it to stir-fries and soups. If so, roasting full cubes of eggplant is a great way to freeze it.
- 6 eggplants, medium-sized
- 2 crushed garlic cloves or 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Start by peeling and cubing your eggplant, as I mentioned above.
- Then, put your eggplant on a clean cookie sheet and toss it with the oil of your choice (I prefer olive oil). Add a bit of minced garlic, salt, pepper, or any other spices you like on your roasted vegetables. Roast the eggplant in the oven at 375 degrees for roughly 40-50 minutes (or until it’s browned and creamy).
- Allow the eggplant to cool, then transfer it to freezer bags. Store it in the freezer until you need it. Then, you can drop the frozen pieces directly into a soup or stew, or just heat it briefly on the stovetop.
Italian Pickled Eggplant
- 6 small eggplants
- Salt to taste
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 ½ cups water
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Fresh parsley (minced)
- 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- ¼ green bell peper
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Dried mint leaves (minced)
- Wash and slice your eggplant into long strips – about ¼ inch thick.
- Layer the strips in a colander and toss with salt. Put something heavy on top of the colander to help strain excess water. After an hour, squeeze the eggplant one more time before transferring it to a large pot.
- In the pot, cover the eggplant with 1 ¼ cups vinegar and 2 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil. After boiling, remove the eggplant from the heat and let it cool in the water.
- In another bowl, combine your spices. Squeeze water from the eggplant once again, then add the eggplant, oil, and rest of vinegar to the bowl.
- Transfer the eggplant and vinegar/water/spice mixtures to one quart jar or two pint jars. If you plan on canning your pickled eggplant, make sure you have sterilized the jars first!
- Press down on the eggplant to remove any air. Leave about 1 inch of headspace and add more olive oil if the eggplant is not submerged.
- Apply your lids and bands and store the jars in the refrigerator. The eggplant should be ready to eat in 24 hours.
Pickled Eggplant Aubergines
- 3 long eggplants
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup red wine vinegar and 1/3 cup water, combined
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp oregano
- Dash of olive oil
- Slice your eggplant into thin slices. Place them in a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. Continue layering with slices and salt.
- Place a small plate and weight on the plate. Drain the excess liquid from your eggplant for about an hour.
- Add your water and vinegar to a small pot and boil before adding your eggplant. Cook for two minutes, then drain.
- Add your pickled eggplant to a bowl and add your spices. Mix well.
- Put the eggplant into jars, packing tightly and adding more oil if there is any air gap.
- Put your pickled eggplant in the refrigerator and allow them to stay for at least 24 hours. They taste great on sandwiches!
Pickled Grilled Eggplant
- 2 eggplants
- 2 tbsp salt
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tsp chili paste
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp mint
- Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
- Start by cutting each eggplant in half, slicing into half-inch moon slices. Combine the eggplant with the salt and let it stand for about fifteen minutes. Rinse and dry, then add the pepper and olive oil.
- Grill over high heat in a pan. When the pan is hot, cook the eggplant slices until they are marked on both sides.
- While your eggplant is grilling, combine your sugar, garlic, chili paste, and remaining olive oil. Add your herbs.
- Put your eggplant slices in a baking pan and add the marinade. Let it marinate for at least two hours, then place in jars or serve immediately.
Moroccan Eggplant Pickles
- 1 ½ lbs eggplant
- 2 ½ cups of water
- 1 ½ Tbsp salt
- 2 ½ tbsp sugar
- 1 ¼ cups white vinegar
- 2 tbsp coriander
- 5 tbsp minced garlic
- Cilantro, parsley, olive oil to taste
- Combine the salt, sugar, vinegar, water, coriander, and garlic in a pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer.
- Cut each eggplant lengthwise. Place it in the simmering liquid and simmer for about ten minutes (or until tender).
- Use tongs to place your eggplant in jars, stems up, and pour the liquid on top. Refrigerate for 12 hours.
Mediterranean Eggplant Chips
Eggplant chips taste fantastic with a dip – or even on their own. Since these are dehydrated, they will last for quite some time.
Plus, they aren’t loaded with all the preservatives and other junk you’d find in store-bought veggie chips! Here’s the recipe:
- 6 medium eggplants
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic
- ½ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place your eggplant slices in a bowl. Toss them with the spices and olive oil
- Place the slices on your dehydrator trays and dehydrate for four to five hours. Check once per hour.
- Let the slices cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Dehydrated Eggplant Bacon
Bacon – eggplant – what more is there to want out of a food? Eggplant bacon is a great vegan substitution for the real stuff, and it’s super easy to make in a dehydrator. Here’s what you need to do:
• 6 medium sized eggplant
• 7 tsp paprika
• 4 tsp garlic powder
• 4 tsp onion powder
- After slicing your eggplant, place them in a bowl and toss them with the spices. Make sure the spices are evenly distributed.
- Place the slices in your dehydrator and let them dehydrate for four to six hours at 140-145 degrees. You’ll know they are done when they get nice and crispy!
- Store in an airtight container.
- 3 small eggplants
- ½ cup teriyaki sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- Slice your eggplant to about 1/8 inch thick. Then, marinate your eggplant in the other ingredients in a baking dish. Make sure the eggplant slices are fully coated. Let them marinate for two hours, flipping them halfway through.
- Use your oven to dehydrate at 115 degrees (no dehydrator needed!). Make 12 rounds out of aluminum foils (roughly the size of a golf ball), and place the eggplant slices onto two or three cooling racks. Make sure the slices do not touch, and use the aluminum foil rounds to separate the corners between the racks.
- Dry your eggplant until chewy – or for about five hours.
What are some of your favorite ways to preserve eggplant from your garden? Have you tried any of these methods? Be sure to pin this for later!
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.