In Turkish mezze cuisine, few dishes pull at my heartstrings like Soslu Patlican. I mean, I am an eggplant freak. And this recipe is famous for the harmony of creamy roasted eggplant, perfectly cooked tomatoes, and just the right spices and seasonings to be perfect for almost anyone, eggplant lover or not.
The name “Soslu Patlıcan” itself, when translated, simply means “saucy eggplant.” And with many similarities to Şakşuka (Turkey’s famous style of shakshuka), what’s different, is that this is quite a bit healthier, being baked instead of fried. Now, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a generous helping of olive oil. In fact, you could almost call this dish a Zeytinyağlı, like Kereviz Yemeği (Turkish-style celery root), or Zeytinyağlı Taze Fasulye (Turkish olive oil braised runner beans). Zeytinyağlı is a cooking method where the main ingredient is brazed in a healthy dose of Turkish olive oil. Here, the eggplant is roasted in tons of juicy golden green extra-virgin olive oil!
Imagine succulent chunks of eggplant, roasted to a golden perfection, soaking up the goodness of extra virgin olive oil. They mingle with a fragrant sauté of red onion, garlic, and Aleppo pepper flakes, infusing every bite with the sweet embrace of tomatoes.
Let’s grab some eggplant and release the magic of Soslu Patlıcan together!
🥰Why you are going to adore the ever-loving heck outta this recipe
✊ Vegan AF: Like all of the recipes on my blog, this eggplant is prepared without any animal products. This means no cholesterol, avoiding harm to animals, and less impact on the environment!
🌶️ Ingredient Harmony: The Aleppo pepper flakes add a unique, smoky dimension to the dish, elevating its flavor profile to something truly exceptional.
🙅♀️🌾 No Gluten Here: This eggplant hates gluten with all its heart, just like you do perhaps? Anyway, it is right at home with my massive library of gluten-free vegan recipes I have been adding to.
✅ Tested and Approved Worldwide: Like all of my Turkish recipes, this Soslu Patlıcan recipe has been meticulously tested and fine-tuned across diverse kitchens worldwide. It’s a fail-safe choice that guarantees success no matter wherever you live, using various ingredient brands and equipment. You can trust that it will deliver outstanding results every time.
🍆Notable ingredients and substitutions
Aubergine is the heart of Soslu Patlıcan, contributing a delightful, creamy texture and earthy flavor. You can make it with almost any kind of eggplant, though I would opt not to use smaller varieties like Thai eggplant or Japanese eggplant. These are better to make dishes like Ensaladang Talong and Sayur Lodeh. They have too high of a ratio of skin to flesh to be suitable for this recipe.
Aleppo Pepper Flakes
Aleppo pepper flakes are a star spice in this dish, originating from the city of Aleppo in Syria. The flakes offer a mild, smoky heat with fruity undertones, which is why I love using it in my Ezme recipe too. If you can’t find Aleppo pepper flakes, consider using Turkish Pul Biber, or a mix of paprika and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for a similar smoky, slightly spicy touch.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The rich, fruity notes of extra virgin olive oil are the backbone of this recipe. Opt for a first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, and always store it at moderate temperatures, out of direct sunlight where it might oxidize and go rancid. Not into great olive oil for some reason I will never understand? You can substitute it with other high-quality oils like avocado or sunflower oil.
Minced Raw Red Onion
Minced raw red onion adds a refreshing crunch and a hint of sharp pungency to the dish. It’s a staple in Turkish cuisine, offering a burst of flavor and color. You can also use finely minced shallots (like what you would use for making Sambal Dabu Dabu and Sambal Matah) or spring onions.
*See the recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact quantities, nutritional info, and detailed cooking directions.
🤯Zucchini or Gourd Variation
For a twist on the classic Soslu Patlıcan, you can swap out the eggplant for zucchini. Slice the zucchini into rounds and proceed with the same cooking process. The result is a lighter, equally delicious mezze with a unique texture. Other gourds can be used here, too, such as bottle gourd (used for making Lauki ki sabji) or ridge gourd (aka turai and peerkangai).
📖 How to make perfect soslu patlican
Nail this Turkish-style eggplant dish on your first shot by following these step-by-step instructions with important tips. Or you can follow along with the easy-to-print recipe card towards the bottom of this page.
Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F (205°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Toss the diced eggplant in a mixing bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Spread the seasoned eggplant evenly on the prepared baking sheets. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the eggplant pieces are perfectly cooked through and golden on the outside. No one likes undercooked eggplant, so be patient!
Prepare the Sauce:
While the eggplant is roasting, in a large, sturdy pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. After about 90 seconds, when the oil is hot, add the diced onion, garlic, Aleppo pepper flakes, and bell pepper. Cook for 7-8 minutes until they become tender without browning, stirring regularly.
Stir in the diced tomatoes, water, sugar, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 8-9 minutes until the tomatoes release their juices and slightly reduce in volume, giving the sauce a rich texture. Remember to stir occasionally.
Combine Eggplant and Sauce:
Gently fold the roasted eggplant into the tomato sauce. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors of the sauce to infuse into the eggplant. Be cautious not to over-stir to maintain the eggplant’s integrity.
Serve and Garnish:
Serve the dish either hot or at room temperature. Drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, Aleppo pepper flakes, and finely minced red onion if desired. It’s great with barbunya pilaki and some crusty grilled sour dough bread!
Soslu Patlıcan is a versatile dish that pairs beautifully with various Turkish mezze items. For a hearty and balanced meal, consider serving it alongside vegan labneh. The creamy fermented plant-based yogurt makes a wonderful canvas for the rich smokey eggplant. Add a dollop of Ezme, a zesty and refreshing tomato and pepper salad, to brighten your plate.
It also goes great with Middle Eastern dishes like baharat roasted vegetarian shawarma or Seitan Kofta nestled on freshly grilled pita bread, drizzled with tahini and fiery shatta sauce. Tabouli or bulgur pilavi on the side? Absolutely!
- Patience with Roasting: This is critical - long, hot roasting of the eggplant is key. Ensure the eggplant pieces are completely soft and tender before proceeding. Don’t rush this stage; undercooked eggplant sucks, and perfectly roasted eggplant is what heaven tastes like!
- Gentle Eggplant Folding: When combining the roasted eggplant with the sauce, be gentle. Over-stirring can turn the eggplant into a mash, impacting the dish’s texture.
- Balancing Flavors: Adjust the salt, pepper, and sugar to achieve the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Remember, seasoning is crucial for a well-rounded taste.
- Pairing: Just because this dish originates in Turkey, doesn’t mean it’s not amazeballs with dishes from other cultures. Scoop it up with Keralan parotta, or Amritsari Kulcha. Serve it with Korean marinated cucumbers or Urap Sayur salad from Bali. It’s quite the chameleon that goes great with lots of cuisines!
Soslu Patlıcan is pronounced as “soh-sloo pat-luh-jahn” with an emphasis on the first syllable of each word.
Absolutely, you can substitute Aleppo pepper flakes with pul biber, or a mix of paprika and a pinch of red pepper flakes for a similar smoky kick.
To store Soslu Patlıcan, transfer it into an airtight container. Place the container in the refrigerator. It can be stored for up to four days, allowing you to enjoy leftovers at your convenience.
🔥 Stovetop Reheating:
Place your desired portion of Soslu Patlıcan in a saucepan.
Heat it over low to medium-low heat.
Add a splash of water to prevent sticking and help regain the desired consistency.
Stir occasionally and simmer gently until the dish is heated through, typically taking about 10-15 minutes.
🌟 Microwave Reheating:
Transfer a portion of Soslu Patlıcan to a microwave-safe dish.
Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plate.
Reheat in the microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes.
Pause and stir halfway through the reheating process.
Continue to microwave in short intervals until the dish reaches the desired temperature.
I mean, I am not sitting in a rocking chair, guarding your freezer door with a shot gun, but…
Please do not freeze Soslu Patlıcan, as freezing will negatively affect its texture and overall quality. Enjoy it fresh or refrigerated within a few days for the best taste and texture.
✌️My faves to serve with this dish:
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Soslu patlican (Turkish eggplant and tomato mezze)
- 2.2 lb. Eggplant (1 kg.) peeled and 2 cm. diced
- ⅔ cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons red onion finely minced
- Preheat your oven to 400° F. (205° C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. You can get away with just one baking sheet, but the eggplant cooks better when there is more room for hot air to circulate around the pieces.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the diced eggplant with 150 ml of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread it evenly on the prepared baking sheets. Roast for 35-40 minutes until the eggplant pieces are completely soft.
- While the eggplant is roasting, heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed pan or pot over medium heat. After 90 seconds, when the oil is hot, add the diced onion, garlic, Aleppo pepper flakes, and bell pepper. Cook until they soften but don’t brown, stirring regularly. This should take about 7-8 minutes.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes, water, sugar, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 8-9 minutes until the tomatoes release their juices and cook down slightly, stirring occasionally.
- Fold the roasted eggplant into the sauce. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors of the sauce to absorb into the eggplant. Avoid over-stirring to prevent the eggplant from breaking into a mash.
- Serve the dish hot or at room temperature, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and garnished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, Aleppo pepper flakes, and very finely minced red onion if desired.