Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Tapas > Got Eggplant? Make this INCREDIBLE Dish | Spanish Garlic Eggplant
All Recipes, Tapas / March 23, 2022

Got Eggplant? Make this INCREDIBLE Dish | Spanish Garlic Eggplant

This Spanish Garlic Eggplant, known in Spain as Berenjenas al Ajillo, is possibly the best eggplant dish ever. It´s packed with so many great flavors, easy to make and made with minimal ingredients. Serve it as a tapas appetizer or even as a side dish, next to some grilled fish and roasted potatoes.

Spanish Garlic Eggplant
The beauty of this dish is the texture of the eggplant. With the technique we´re going to prep and cook it in, it´s going to have a firm texture with no mush, yet be fully cooked through. Truly showcasing how incredible eggplant really is.

Spanish Garlic Eggplant
I topped off the eggplant with some sweet smoked Spanish paprika, just to add in a bigger depth of flavors. But you can also add in a dash of chili powder if you want some heat. Just make sure to add in a little bit, as the star of the dish is the eggplant and garlic.

Spanish Garlic Eggplant

TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: You want to cook the slices of eggplant for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side on a medium-high heat. This is enough time for the eggplant to fully cook through. This dish is typically served at room temperature, but you can serve it hot if you like.

Spanish Garlic Eggplant

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make this Spanish Garlic Eggplant

Spanish Garlic Eggplant

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 130 kcal
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 45 ml
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley 16 grams
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika 1.15 grams
  • pinch sea salt
  • dash black pepper


  1. Wash and pat dry the eggplant, then cut into rounds that are between 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick (1 cm)

  2. Place all the slices in a single layer and sprinkle with sea salt on both sides, transfer into a colander and let them sit for 30 minutes

  3. Meanwhile, roughly chop 6 cloves garlic and add into a mortar, along with 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley and a pinch of sea salt, using a pestle, pound down until you form a paste like texture

  4. After 30 minutes, transfer the slices of eggplant over some paper towels, all in a single layer, pat completely dry and season with black pepper just on one side

  5. Heat a large nonstick grill pan or fry with a medium-high heat

  6. After 4 minutes and the pan is hot, drizzle in 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive and add the slices of eggplant, in a single layer, so cook in batches, cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side, then transfer into a serving dish, do this until all the eggplant is done

  7. Using the same pan, lower to a low heat, add in 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil and the garlic mixture, mix continuously for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat

  8. Spread the garlic mixture over the slices of eggplant, then sprinkle with a kiss of sweet smoked Spanish paprika, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Sweet Smoked Spanish Paprika I used in this Recipe

Nutrition Facts
Spanish Garlic Eggplant
Amount Per Serving
Calories 130 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Sodium 6mg0%
Potassium 307mg9%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 466IU9%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Jim

    5 stars
    We served this as an appetizer, then the potaje de vigilia for the main course. Wow! Our dinner guest loves eggplant, so I was glad to be able to provide a dish that she raved about. Thank you, Albert! I’ll recommend the eggplant dish to my brother who often grills eggplant but finds the texture kind of unappealing.

    06 . May . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      Happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      07 . May . 2023
  2. Mary Rose

    5 stars
    I just made this for lunch with fresh eggplant and garlic from the Farmer’s Market! It was a super hit with both my Mom and me. I like how your dishes are simple but good ingredients. Thank you-this is a keeper!

    11 . Aug . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      12 . Aug . 2022
  3. Ramya

    Cant wait to make this soon for me after work next week i love eggplant sooooooooooooooooo much i never had spanish garlic eggplant before cant wait to try this in my air fryer Thanks for this easy recipe perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

    23 . Mar . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      Much love Ramya 🙂

      23 . Mar . 2022

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