Eggplant (a.k.a. aubergine) is low in calories, fat, and carbs. Meanwhile, it is high in fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamins C, K, and B6, thiamin, iron, calcium, and niacin. It is popular for Paleo, Keto, low-carb and low-cal diets. Vegetarians and Vegans appreciate eggplant for its meaty texture, high levels of copper and iron, and rich, smoky flavor.
Spiralizing veggies such as butternut squash and carrots has become a common way to avoid pasta in all of the above diets as well as those simply looking to make more nutrient-dense meals. Avoiding the dense carb calories from pasta while adding another flavor component – win/win right?
Yes, you CAN spiralize eggplant — but you probably don’t want to.
The texture of eggplant is fairly unique. It is light, springy and spongy. Full of water, it also requires some special cooking techniques to get the best texture in your finished dish really. Neither of these characteristics lends themselves to spiralizing.
If you try to spiralize eggplant, you will find that it will give you some noodles, but they will break easily and create a good deal of unusable tiny pieces that will just turn into waste. It is just not the best way to go.
You don’t have to spiralize eggplant to make eggplant pasta!
You can still make delicious eggplant noodles without using a spiralizer. We will show you two great ways to do this. First, we need to cover an essential piece of equipment you will need: a mandolin.
We love this Adjustable Mandolin Slicer for several reasons:
- It comes with five blades — including both a regular slicer and Julienne slicer for making eggplant pasta.
- Easily adjust between 3 thickness settings — we recommend 3mm for this application.
- Custom collection bin — convenient and safe to use for the novice.
- Ergonomic design features and super easy to clean.
- Inexpensive – you won’t find a spiralizer any cheaper than this.
- Multiple uses – once you have a mandolin, you will wonder how you did without it.
Eggplant Noodles Two Ways
Using your mandolin set to the 3mm thickness setting, you can use the slicer or Julienne blade. You can keep the skin on, or peel first, depending on your own tastes. Trim the ends first then slice your eggplant in half lengthwise so you will start slicing on a fresh flat surface for best results.
If you slice the eggplant, you can then stack your slices and cut them to the width that you like. This will create a wide flat noodle surface perfect for hearty toppings such as meaty Italian, thick and cheesy, or rich and creamy style sauces. And, unlike trying to spiralize eggplant, you won’t have any waste!
If you plan on tossing your eggplant noodles into a light sauce such as marinara, a light alfredo, or a wine and seafood sauce, then go for the more elegant and delicate Julienne slice. If you are looking for the thinner noodle that would have been created from spiralizing your eggplant, this is the closest approximation.
Prepping your eggplant noodles:
The final step in making the most of your eggplant noodles is to give them a quick toss in some kosher salt, followed by a rest over a colander to drain. This pulls the excess moisture out of the interior of the eggplant, resulting in a firmer texture once cooked.
After 15-30 minutes of draining, give them a quick rinse in cold water then pat dry with a paper towel before using in your favorite recipe.
If you already have a sauce you love, just start your eggplant pasta by sautéing in some hot olive oil for a few minutes to add a little color and get the cooking started before adding your sauce and heating until completely warmed through.
Can you spiralize eggplant? Sure. But why bother when there are more efficient and effective ways to get the same effect without the waste and frustration?