Eggplant Jerky? Yep!

Veggies from the garden

End of summer veggies!

End of summer and so many veggies incoming from the garden that you might be tempted to throw in the towel, give them away or just let them age in place on the counter.



But if you’ve got any extra eggplant, I’ve got a WONDERFUL recipe for you – Eggplant Jerky!

Yep, eggplant jerky is yummy! And it is a great way to use up those end of the year eggplant that are bit small or mishapen or “one too many!”

Prospera eggplant

Tasty Prospera Eggplant

Eggplant jerky can be made in a dehydrator or in the oven. It’s soooo easy because the secret to its zingy flavor is in the marinade and in the time you let it soak up the flavor.

Here’s the recipe! I really hope you get a chance to try it.

2 lbs eggplant   
4-6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup amino acids (or soy sauce)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano (or Italian spice mix)
1/8 tsp cayenne

Combine olive oil, vinegar, amino acids, garlic and all seasonings in a bowl.  NOTE: you can “heat” your jerky up by increasing the chili powder, paprika and cayenne but remember, you are dehydrating so the flavors will concentrate.

Whisk together until fully mixed. Set aside.

Peel eggplants. Remove and discard ends and cut in half (into 4 inch sections), then cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices.

Lay eggplant slices flat in a cookie sheet. Pour marinade over the eggplant slices.

Mix gently to evenly distribute the marinade over all the eggplant slices.

Let the eggplant marinate for 2+ hours, flipping the slices and tilting the pan so the marinade is evenly distributed. Eggplant will begin to soften as it soaks in the marinade

Once fully marinated, remove slices from sauce. Bonus tip: pour leftover marinade into a jar to use for your next batch of jerky or for salad dressing or pasta sauce.

Lay slices in single layer on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or on dehydrator trays on dehydrator sheets.

Bake at 200 degrees for 8 to 10 hours checking it so the jerky doesn’t get too dry.  If dehydrating, set your dehydrator to 125 degrees and let it run for 12 -16 hours, again checking it to keep it from getting too dry.  

The eggplant strips should be firm but bendable when finished, similar to the texture of traditional jerky.

I LOVE this dish. In fact, my husband is suing our neice for alienation of affection because I LOVE this dish so much….and she was the one who shared this recipe with me.

I hope you enjoy making and eating it, too.






13 responses to “Eggplant Jerky? Yep!

  1. I love eggplant and hope I get a chance to make this. It sounds mouth-watering good!

  2. That is pretty cool. I do not grow eggplant because it is not very productive here. I tried to find alternative recipes for zucchini because it is too abundant, and I am none too keen on it, but no matter what, it always tastes like zucchini. Pickled zucchini is similar to pickled cucumber . . . but still tastes like zucchini. I just leave it out for neighbors.

    • That’s funny! My neice has been doing the same thing – putting veg on the sidewalk in front of her house in Bellfonte with a “Free” sign on it. Word has spread in this small PA community. One morning, she saw the trash men at their house and yelled to her husband that they must have forgotten to put their cans out. Jake raced outside, pulled the cans to the curb and found out that the guys were there for veggies…trash pick was the next day! Laura laughed but was also glad people were enjoying her garden wealth.

      • When I was a kid in the Santa Clara Valley, I think there was more of an attitude about it. We all wanted to share the most.

      • I think you’re right. I still share with neighbors, daughter and friends. I think I’ve given away 20 jars of my jams – strawberry, peach, blackberry, blueberry and sour cherry. Just wish I’d get the jars back! BTW all those figs that have been sitting on my Chicago Hardy fig are finally starting to ripen! Fig jam here we come!!

      • Rad!
        My fig stock trees (which make only cuttings, but no fruit) burned in the CZU Lightning Complex Fire. They will be back in spring.

      • I’m so sorry that happened. If you want some big stock/sticks, I can ship you some!!

      • Thank you so much, but the last thing I need is more figs. There are 14 there, and they will regenerate from the roots. Because they are stock plants, they would have gotten coppiced over winter if they had not already burned.

    • I read this week that zucchini is the “Tofu of vegetables” – it has no real taste or texture by itself.

      • Never thought of it that way but it’s probably why you can add it to meatloaf as easily as you can add it to gingerbread! Moisture and a bit of “filler” but no flavor….

      • I think I would dislike it less if it had less flavor. It sort of tastes what it looks like. I mean, the flavor actually tastes green, like lawn clippings. I tolerate it.

  3. We don’t have excess eggplants here in Vancouver, but I am going to save this recipe in case some arrive in my organics box….

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