Dips and spreads are the perfect complements to so many items – toasted baguettes, pita chips, sandwiches and wraps, crudites and so much more.
Hummus is one of the more popular Middle Eastern creations, but baba ganoush should not be forgotten. It’s creamy, rich, and full of flavor. Its also remarkably easy to whip up for surprise visitors in need of a snack.
If you’ve made or purchased a bit more baba ganoush than you’re prepared to eat immediately, you will want to find a way to increase its lifespan. But is there an easy way to do that?
Can you freeze baba ganoush? Yes, you can freeze baba ganoush. Although there is some potential of ice crystal formation or separation, baba ganoush will be almost identical to its original state if prepared and frozen correctly. It can be kept frozen for up to three months.
There are a few tricks to getting the best results from your frozen baba ganoush, which we detail carefully in the following article. You’ll also learn just what baba ganoush is, how to use it, and why you should add it to your list of new favorite foods.
What is Baba Ganoush?
Baba ganoush is a very popular dip or spread in the Middle East and Mediterranean countries. Its place of origin is Lebanon, though it has spread across the world to be nearly as popular as it’s cousin, hummus.
A great baba ganoush is velvety smooth and full of rich, savory flavors. The tahini and cumin give it an almost smoky flavor, and the lemon, fresh parsley, and olive oil brighten it up creating a flood of subtle flavor combinations.
What is in Baba Ganoush?
Traditional Lebanese baba ganoush will likely include the following ingredients:
- Eggplant, cooked and mashed
- Freshly squeezed lemon
- Fresh parsley
- Olive oil, and
The eggplant is usually roasted to caramelize some of the sugars and add a smoky, sweet quality to the dip. The rest of the ingredients are simply pureed into the eggplant until it’s smooth, thick, and surprisingly creamy.
How to Freeze Baba Ganoush
To reduce the potential for separation caused by ice crystals forming in your dip, here are a few steps you’ll want to take to ensure success freezing your baba ganoush:
- Make sure your baba ganoush is cooled to room temperature after cooking.
- Strain your dip through a cheesecloth as you transfer it to your freezer-safe Ziploc bag or Tupperware container. This will reduce the water content and protect the dip from getting too watery when it thaws.
- Remove as much air from your bag or container as possible. If you’re storing in a glass jar, make sure you leave at least 1” of space at the top of the container to allow for some expansion. If you want to better protect the surface you can spread a layer of plastic wrap on the top of your dip before sealing the container.
- Let your baba ganoush chill in the fridge overnight before transferring to your freezer. The less temperature shock, the better your dip will preserve color and texture.
- Date your container or bag and use your dip within 3 months of freezing.
What to Expect from Previously Frozen Baba Ganoush
Raw eggplant has a high water content that breaks down the structural integrity of the vegetable when it’s frozen. If you freeze just the purple squash on its own, it’ll defrost a lot softer than it went into the freezer.
When you’ve cooked your eggplant and combined it with other ingredients to develop a velvety smooth, rich, and creamy dip, the water content will be cooked out and it will freeze a lot more consistently.
The lemon juice will even help prevent discoloration. In general, you should expect your baba ganoush to be almost identical to its original state after freezing.
How To Thaw Frozen Baba Ganoush
To thaw your baba ganoush, simply remove it from the freezer and leave it at room temperature until it’s defrosted enough to vigorously run a whisk through it. You’ll need to recombine all the ingredients well.
If you find it’s too watery for your liking, you can strain it through cheesecloth again to remove some of the liquid. Then give it another good stir or even blend it for a few seconds in your food processor to restore the luxurious smooth quality.
How to Eat Baba Ganoush
Baba ganoush is made with cooked eggplant, so when you first make it, it’ll probably be warm. It’s much more commonly served cold from the fridge, but it’s uniquely creamy and satisfying when eaten warm, so give that a try as well.
You can even take your baba ganoush and bake it in the oven to enhance the delicate smokiness from the cumin. If you want even more smoky flavor, add in some nutritional yeast or smoked paprika.
Chilling your baba ganoush and serving or using it like a dip or spread is more conventional, and there are plenty of other creative ways to enjoy it.
Best Baba Ganoush Recipes
We’ve already shared the ingredients used to make baba ganoush, but in this section, we wanted to give you a few more specific ways to use your dip, whether it’s fresh or previously frozen.
Here are some of our favorite things to do with baba ganoush:
- Serve it as a trio of dips alongside hummus and tzatziki, plus a colorful array of chopped raw veggies.
- Spread a healthy quantity over sandwiches or wraps, particularly with falafel, plenty of crunchy vegetables, and maybe some grilled skewered meat or mushrooms.
- Make some toasted pita wedges or grab some crackers and dip away.
- Mix into cold pasta or potato salads for a delicious alternative to mayo.
- Mix into grain dishes, like tabbouleh or quinoa for rich added flavor.
- Add to bean salads or warm green beans as a side dish.
- Place a dollop on a potato pancake or vegetable fritter or use it as a dip for your tater tots.
- Top stuffed vegetables with baba ganoush for added creamy, smokiness.
- Make a smashed chickpea salad using baba ganoush instead of yogurt or mayo.
If all else fails, don’t be shy in your own home. Pull out a spoon and dig right into the container! You should be prepared to eat the whole container that day, though, as double-dipping can lead to bacteria growth if re-refrigerated.
Is Baba Ganoush Healthy?
The individual ingredients in baba ganoush are each considered to be quite healthy, yes. Of course, if you’re making it yourself at home you can better control what goes into your recipe.
A store-bought version may or may not have added flavors, colors, and preservatives that reduce the health benefits, not to mention more salt than necessary.
As a dip, it’s low in calories in comparison to most alternatives, and the fats are all heart-healthy coming from the tahini and olive oil. It’s even a decent source of protein, having about 4 grams in a ¼ cup serving.
As a snack goes, that’s pretty great macro-nutritional content.
On a micronutrient level, eggplants are a great source of rich antioxidants, which is perhaps obvious by its deep purple coloring.
Lemon, garlic, and fresh parsley are also packed with vitamins and antioxidants that boost your immune system and support overall health. Tahini and olive oil are both rich sources of healthy fats.
Is Baba Ganoush Keto?
Baba ganoush can be a keto-friendly addition to your diet, especially as an alternative to carb-heavy hummus. It’s really going to come down to what you’re serving it with.
Scooping it up with a standard pita or spreading it over a toasted baguette may be delicious, but it will break your keto carb limits.
Instead, try eating it with low-carb crudites like cucumber or carrot sticks. You can also blend in some avocado to enrich your dip with even more healthy fat.
Can you freeze hummus?
Yes, you can freeze hummus (and tahini as well). The most important thing to remember is that everything, not just hummus, expands when it freezes so you’ll want to be sure you leave enough space in your container to allow for this expansion.
It’s also a good idea to freeze in single portion sizes. When you’re ready to thaw and eat, you’ll need to give it a good stir to get the consistency back to normal.
Can you freeze eggplant parmesan?
You can freeze eggplant parmesan, but you’ll have the best results if you freeze it before it’s cooked. Prepare it as normal in a baking dish and cover it carefully with either plastic wrap or a freezer-safe, air-tight lid.
It will store safely in your freezer for up to 3 months without losing any noticeable quality. Let it thaw in your fridge and then bake as normal.
If you’re freezing leftover eggplant parmesan, separate it into single serving sizes and wrap it up carefully. It will be almost as good as fresh, but the freezing and reheating will make it softer and slightly mushier.
Can you freeze eggplant?
If you’re planning on cooking it, you can freeze eggplant. Not many people eat it raw because it has a slightly bitter edge to it, so this probably won’t be a problem.
Freezing eggplant will alter the consistency and it will lose a lot of its structural integrity – in other words, it will be mushy when it defrosts. If you are making baba ganoush or turning it into a sauce, spread, or any type of meal that will disguise the texture, this won’t matter.