10 Eggplant Substitutes That Taste Just as Good (or Better!)

There comes a time in every eggplant lover’s life when they have to face the facts: eggplants are not always in season.

What are we supposed to do when we get that craving for some eggplant Parmesan, or eggplant dip, and eggplants are nowhere to be found?

Worry not, eggplant lovers! We’ve got you covered with this list of 10 substitutes that taste just as good (or better) than eggplant.

Substitutes for Eggplants:

  1. Okra
  2. Portobello mushrooms
  3. Zucchini
  4. Shiitake mushrooms
  5. Summer squash
  6. Green tomatoes
  7. Rutabagas
  8. Turnips
  9. Tofu
  10. Other eggplant varieties


Okra is a common vegetable in many parts of the world, and it can be used as a substitute for eggplant in some dishes. It has a mild taste with a slightly grassy flavor; however, the sliminess disappears when okra is cooked.

Okra also has a similar flavor to eggplant, making it a good substitution in dishes such as ratatouille or eggplant parmesan. It can also be used in stews, soups, stir-fries, and curries. It can also be roasted, grilled, or sautéed.

In addition, it is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a healthy choice for those watching their weight.

Portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms have a similar umami taste and a savory flavor, and their juicy texture makes them a good stand-in for eggplant in many recipes.

You can use them as a replacement for eggplant in dishes like pasta, moussaka, and pizza. They are also a good source of nutrients like copper, potassium, and vitamin B6.

Portobellos have numerous health benefits, including improve blood sugar control, lower cholesterol levels, and boost immunity.


Zucchini, also known as a courgette, is a type of summer squash that can be used as a substitute for eggplant in some recipes.

While it has a similar mild flavor, it is less mushy than eggplant and has higher water content. As a result, it is best to cook this vegetable for a shorter period of time than eggplant. It is also a healthy choice, as it is low in calories and fat and high in vitamins and minerals.

When using zucchini as a substitute for eggplant, it is important to remember that it will not have the same meaty texture. However, its mild flavor and firm texture make it an excellent choice for dishes such as ratatouille, lasagna, and moussaka.

Shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are big, hearty mushrooms with an umami flavor that works well in stews, soups, and stir-fries.

They’re also a good substitute for eggplant. They have a similar texture to eggplant, so they absorb flavors well and can stand up to robust sauces. Plus, they’re packed with nutrients like fiber and antioxidants.

If you’re looking for a healthy, flavorful way to add more vegetables to your diet, shiitake mushrooms are a great option.

Summer squash

Summer squash can be a great substitute for eggplant in many recipes. While eggplant has a fairly mild flavor, it can sometimes be a little bland. Summer squash, on the other hand, has a nice, fresh flavor that can really liven up a dish.

In addition, it has a great texture that holds up well in stir-fries and other cooking methods.

Yellow squash and pattypan squash are two of the most popular varieties of summer squash, but there are many others to choose from as well.

Green tomatoes

Green tomatoes are an excellent substitute for eggplant in many dishes. For example, they can be used in ratatouille in place of eggplants.

Green tomatoes are also easily available and can be found in most grocery stores year-round. Additionally, they are quite versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes.

While they do have a distinct taste, this can be appealing in certain dishes.


Rutabagas are a lovely root vegetable that can often be substituted for eggplant in recipes. Also known as “swedes” or “neeps,” they have a milder flavor than turnips and are larger in size.

Rutabagas typically have an earthy undertone and are slightly sweet. When cooked, they become soft and tender. They can be used in stews, soup, casseroles, and other dishes where eggplant would normally be used.

Plus, they are a good source of fiber, vitamins C and B6, potassium, and magnesium. They can be roasted, mashed, or pureed and make a wonderful addition to any dish.


Like eggplant, turnips are a root vegetable with a mild taste and white flesh that is similar in texture to eggplant.

Turnips can be cooked in the same way as eggplant, making them a versatile ingredient for stews and other dishes. They can also be roasted, mashed, or grilled, just like eggplant.


Tofu can be a great substitute for eggplant in many recipes. Like eggplants, it has a subtle taste that allows it to absorb the flavors of the other ingredients, and it can be firm or extra firm, depending on your preference.

Tofu also has a similar consistency to eggplant, making it a good choice for dishes like stir-fries or ratatouille.

Other eggplant varieties

Many people are familiar with the more traditional, dark purple eggplant that is often used in Italian cooking. However, there are actually many different varieties of eggplant, each with its own distinctive flavor and texture.

For instance, fairy tale eggplants have a delicate, almost sweet flavor that pairs well with other lightly-flavored ingredients.

White eggplants, on the other hand, have a more mild flavor that takes on the taste of whatever it is cooked with.

Graffiti eggplants are another option; they are small and round, with brightly-colored skin that adds both visual interest and a slight bitterness to dishes.

Ultimately, the best substitute for eggplant is one that matches the desired flavor profile of the dish.

Luckily, there are many delicious varieties of eggplant to choose from, so finding the perfect match should be a breeze.


How do I cook eggplant substitutes?

Cooking eggplant substitutes is easy – just follow the same instructions as you would for eggplant. They can be roasted, grilled, boiled, or fried, so there are plenty of options to choose from.

Just be sure to pay attention to the cooking time and method, as each eggplant substitute may cook a little differently.

What dishes can I make with eggplant substitutes?

Eggplant substitutes can be used in a variety of dishes, including stews, soups, stir-fries, ratatouille, casseroles, and more. They can also be used in eggplant dishes such as eggplant parmesan or baba ghanoush.

Just be sure to choose a substitute that will complement the other flavors in the dish.

Are there any health benefits to eating eggplant substitutes?

Yes, eggplant substitutes are a good source of fiber, vitamins C and B6, potassium, and magnesium. They can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and are low in calories.


Eggplant substitutes offer a variety of flavors and textures that can be used in many different dishes where you would traditionally use eggplants like eggplant parmesan or baba ghanoush.

They are a good source of fiber, vitamins C and B6, potassium, and magnesium. Plus, they are low in calories.

So, whether you’re looking for a familiar eggplant flavor or something new to try, eggplant substitutes are a great option. And since there are many to choose from, we’re sure you can find the perfect replacement for the dish you’re making!