Mama Ghannouj Recipe (Baba Ghannouj made with zucchini!) (2024)

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We used to live a few minutes away from the most amazing Middle Eastern fast food restaurant. The food was cheap, delicious, and plentiful, which worked well for us since we were on a tight budget. And whenever we went there, we'd always order what we called The Trifecta: Hummus, Baba Ghannouj, and Mama Ghannouj. With enough pita bread, you could make a meal out of those alone, and we often did. Because, you know, the whole tight budget thing.

After we moved away, that restaurant was one of the things we missed most. And even now, 7 years later, we still talk about it once in a while. Because no one else sells mama ghannouj! I'm sure it exists outside of that restaurant, but I haven't seen it. Which is a sad thing, because it's delicious.

Mama ghannouj is baba ghannouj made with zucchini. That was pretty much all I had to go on when working on this recipe. (Well, that, and a very hazy memory of what it tasted like.) So I used the same ingredients in baba ghannouj for this recipe, minus the eggplant. I tried oven-roasting the zucchini, but you really need to grill it--the smoky flavor of slightly charred squash is an important component of this dish. To cut back on calories, I used a little less olive oil than you'd typically use in baba ghannouj--I think the resulting dip is still creamy and smooth without it, but if you're an olive oil fan, feel free to add as much as you like.

We're coming upon that time of year when everyone has an abundance of zucchini (well, everyone except me--thanks, vine borers!), so this recipe is perfect for when you can't even look at another loaf of zucchini bread. Throw some zucchini on the grill and make some mama ghannouj!


Mama Ghannouj Recipe (Baba Ghannouj made with zucchini!) (3)

Mama Ghannouj

Mama ghannouj is baba ghannouj made with zucchini instead of eggplant. It's a great way to use up a surplus of summertime zucchini!

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Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes minutes

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish

Cuisine: American

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Keyword: baba ganoush, baba ghannouj, Mama Ghannouj, roasted Eggplant Dip

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 100kcal

Author: Oh My Veggies


  • 1 ½ lbs. zucchini grilled whole until softened and lightly charred on the outside
  • ¼ c. tahini
  • Juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves 2 if you want your mama ghannouj to be extra garlicky
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil plus extra for drizzling on top

US Customary - Metric


  • Cut the top and the bottom off of each zucchini and allow them to cool. Once cooled, cut them into large chunks.

  • Combine zucchini, tahini, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and olive oil in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle additional olive oil over the top, if desired. (I also like sprinkling mine with a little smoked paprika. It's not traditional, but it's delicious!) Serve with fresh veggies, pita bread or chips, or crackers.


To grill the zucchini, lightly oil the outside and place them directly on the grates of your grill. The cook time depends on the type of grill you have and how hot it is, so it's hard to be precise. Just keep an eye on the zucchini and turn them every so often. You don't want them to burn, but they should have nice grill marks on them.


Calories: 100kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 13mgPotassium: 343mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 233IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg

Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, including our new Vegan Thanksgiving and Vegan Christmas cookbooks!


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Reader Interactions


  1. Shirley says

    I've never heard of mama ghannouj -- love the name! It's weird, I love eggplant but I find baba ghannouj bland. I want to try this version, and it looks gorgeous with the paprika on top. Must make.


  2. Heidi @ Food Doodles says

    Zucchini?!?! You are my hero! I always have way too much zucchini. We always plant 2 plants, but I can't just plant one, because what if the other dies? But one never dies so we always have 2, which is way too much. I am so trying this later in the summer! I wonder if I can broil it since I don't have a grill.... I guess I'll try it and find out since zucchini will not be scarce this year, haha 🙂


    • Kiersten says

      Ahhh, send me some! My plant just died and I had to start another. And I'm sure that one will die after the vine borers get it. 🙁 But at least it's cheap and plentiful at the farmers market! Oh, and yes, you can broil the zucchini!


  3. jayne says

    this looks yummy, but is there anything i can use as a substitution for tahini?
    thank you!


    • Kiersten says

      Tahini has a very distinct flavor, so while there are things you can substitute for it, it's not going to give you the same results. But I know some people use yogurt instead of tahini in baba ghannouj, so you could try that. Almond or cashew butter might work too.


  4. Courtney @ The Fig Tree says

    Love this! 🙂 I'm not a huge fan of eggplant for some reason. But I LOVE zucchini. Cannot wait to try this. Sounds delicious!


  5. dishing up the dirt says

    we are starting to harvest zucchini for the first time this season. This recipe just moved to the top of my list! yum!


    • Kiersten says

      Yay for zucchini! I can't wait to see what you'll make with it!


  6. Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving says

    Baba Ghannouj is the only recipe that will get my husband to get eggplant and we love the smokey flavor of it. I think I'm going to use this as a hummus since we don't eat beans. Delicious!


  7. Genevieve says

    I've never heard of mama ghannouj, but it sounds like a good idea for people who hate eggplant (not that baba ghanouj has a very strong eggplant flavour anyway). I can't believe how creamy that dip is, even though its just made of grilled zucchini, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil!


  8. Laura @ Kneadwhine says

    Oooh - this looks really nice. I am a huge fan of chickpeas and houmous but trying to cut down on the calorie intake -- this might be a reasonable compromise. I over-ordered courgette this week so I might even do it at the weekend. Can't wait to try!


    • Kiersten says

      Yes, without the chickpeas, it's less calories! I count calories too, which is why I don't use much olive oil in the recipe either. 🙂


      • Laura @ Kneadwhine says

        I'm planning to make it over the weekend. My son won't eat chunks of courgette but will eat courgette soup. He's a big fan of 'dippy-dip' as he calls it, so I think this could be a winner.


  9. Brenda Williams says

    This looks good and I love eggplant and zucchini, so I would be good with either.


  10. Bonnie says

    We love Middle Eastern food. There's a place close to us now that's our go-to, but they don't serve this. I'm going to have to try making this one. Thanks!


  11. Carlton says

    omg I've been looking for this forever lol. I was starting to think I made it up too


    • Kiersten says

      Oh good, someone else has heard of it!


  12. Kelly @ says

    This sounds interesting! I just pinned it and will try it out soon 🙂


  13. Sarah says

    My best friend's mum, who is Syrian, has been making this 'mama gannoush' for ages. It's better than baba ganoush in my eyes. We enjoy it during Ramadhan and in light summery days when zucchini is plentiful and fresh!


    • Kiersten says

      Oh, I'm glad to hear that someone else makes it too! 🙂


      • Sarah says

        And I'm making it again tonight, except with yellow squash and pan frying it instead of grilling it (I hope it works?) I shall post back with results! 😀


        • Kiersten says

          I've never tried pan-frying, but I've roasted the zucchini in the oven. It's not quite the same without the nice charring from the grill, but it does work! 🙂


  14. Laura says

    Is the zucchini peeled at any time?


    • Kiersten Frase says

      Nope, you can leave the skin on! 🙂


  15. Emily says

    I tried making this however it turned out kind of runny. Any suggestions to thicken it up and make it more creamy, as shown?!


    • Kiersten Frase says

      I'm sorry to hear that! It could be that your zucchini released more liquid into the mama ghannouj than mine did. If you cut into the zucchini and it seems wet/mushy, you can let it sit in a colander for a few minutes to drain off some of that liquid. I haven't had that happen with mama ghannouj before, but I've done that with eggplant when making baba ghannouj and it works pretty well.


  16. Shannon says

    I made this the other day and it was phenomenal. I didn't have any problem with it being runny. When I peeled and chopped the zucchini some juices escaped, which I discarded.


  17. Devinn Smythe says

    Try splitting the zucchini in two before grilling.
    This will draw out the excess moisture and add more grill marks to the actual flesh of the Zucchini not just the skin.
    Depending on the size of the zucchini you may talso scrape out the seeds with a spoon. That pulp and seeds contributes water as well.


  18. Ann says

    I make this with an equal amount of eggplant and zucchini. Adding in some crimini or shiitake mushrooms really boosts the flavor (umami). For heat, harissa added in or served on the side is wonderful. I've actually taken this and tossed it with greens, pasta, or poatatos after adding olive oil for nice summertime salads. Great for outdoor get-to-gethers and picnics! Thanks for this!


    • Ann says



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Mama Ghannouj Recipe (Baba Ghannouj made with zucchini!) (2024)


What is the difference between baba ganoush and Baba Ghanouj? ›

Baba ganoush (also known as baba ghanouj or baba ghanoush) is one of the most popular dips in Lebanese cuisine—and at my table! That is because the flavor of this creamy dip is so bright and smokey. It's luscious texture goes with dippers of every sort: crackers, pita chips, pita wedges, fresh veggies, you name it.

What are the main ingredients in baba ganoush? ›

Baba ganoush is a Mediterranean eggplant dip made from roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Like hummus, it's delicious with pita or fresh veggies, but its silky texture and irresistible smoky flavor set it apart. This baba ganoush recipe is a must-try summer dip!

How do you get the bitterness out of baba ganoush? ›

If your Baba Ganoush tastes bitter, add a half teaspoon of baking soda at a time and blend well (tasting in between) to remove bitterness from the dish.

How do you eat Baba ghanoush? ›

Baba Ghanoush is delicious. Made with eggplant that's been fire roasted (either on a hot grill or under a broiler) to the point of shriveling, it can be served as a side dish. Typically, though, it's a cold or room temperature spread, served with pita bread or crostini or crusty French bread… or a spoon.

Which is healthier baba ghanouj or hummus? ›

Both have 0% cholesterol and are high in fiber and protein content. Nonetheless, hummus has higher calorie content than baba ganoush, and baba ganoush contains vitamins B and E, which are nonexistent in hummus.

Is baba ganoush healthy or unhealthy? ›

Baba Ganoush is not only delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits. Eggplants are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while tahini adds a dose of healthy fats and protein. This makes Baba Ganoush a heart-healthy choice that supports overall well-being.

Do you eat baba ganoush hot or cold? ›

Baba ganoush is best served cold and widely enjoyed as a cold side dish or dip. However, it is also acceptable to enjoy it while it is still warm. We do recommend allowing it to cool covered in the fridge for about an hour.

What does baba ganoush mean in English? ›

baba ghanoush

The Arabic term for the dish means “pampered daddy,” the person in question being, legend has it, a sultan spoiled with a concoction invented by a member of his harem.

How long can you keep baba ganoush in the fridge? ›

Homemade baba ganoush can be stored in the fridge in a tight-lid container for about 4 days or so (some say up to a week, but mine never lasts that long).

Why does baba ganoush taste bad? ›

Baba Ghanoush may taste bitter due to factors like the choice of eggplant, insufficient roasting, or the use of too much garlic, lemon juice, or low-quality tahini.

Why does baba ganoush taste like cigarettes? ›

Now don't get me wrong, hummus is just as delicious. But this dip has an insanely scrumptious smoky flavor – all thanks to the method of charring eggplants on a grill.

What pairs well with baba ganoush? ›

What to Eat with Baba Ganoush | 11 Easy Recipe Ideas | Best Side Dishes Ideas
  • Condiments. • 1 Hummus.
  • Baking & Spices. • 1 Peppers, Roasted.
  • Bread & Baked Goods. • 1 Flatbread. • 1 Pita bread.
  • Dairy. • 1 Feta cheese.
  • Frozen. • 1 Falafel. • 1 Kebabs.
  • Deli. • 1 Tabbouleh.
  • Other. • Dolma. • Kibbeh. • Kofta.

Can you eat baba ganoush by itself? ›

It is part of a traditional cold mezze spread and a popular appetizer on many Lebanese and Levantine restaurants' menus. The grilled eggplants combined with garlic, and Tahini Sauce make a perfect and flavorsome dish that can be eaten on its own or as a side to many meat dishes.

Is baba ganoush good for diabetics? ›

Eggplants are a good source of dietary fibre, which can help slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar. Even though Baba Ganoush can be diabetes-friendly, portion control is still key. Monitor the quantity you consume to manage your carbohydrate intake.

What is the difference between Baba Ghanoush and moutabal? ›

In Moutabbal, tahini is mixed with the smoked aubergine to create a paste-like dip served with warmed or crispy bread. In Baba Ghanoush, no tahini is used and the smoked aubergine is mixed with onions, tomatoes and other vegetables.

What is the myth of baba ganoush? ›

baba ghanoush, relish with Middle Eastern origins that is made of eggplant (aubergine) blended with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. The Arabic term for the dish means “pampered daddy,” the person in question being, legend has it, a sultan spoiled with a concoction invented by a member of his harem.


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