Canning Eggplant

By Charlotte King

Eggplants are tender, delicious, and incredibly versatile for almost any dish. However, even when fresh, they spoil quickly. Canning eggplant is an excellent way to preserve it for many months, and you can even add more flavor by pickling.

Prepare the eggplants by washing, peeling, and cutting them into ¼ inch thick slices. Leave the eggplants in salt for an hour before rinsing them with water. Next, boil the pickling liquid and let the eggplants soak for 2-3 minutes. Fill the canning jars with eggplants and pickling liquid, then top it off with olive oil. Finally, process the jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes, adding time depending on your altitude, then let the jars cool to room temperature.

Eggplants are tender, delicious, and incredibly versatile for almost any dish. However, even when fresh, they spoil quickly. Canning eggplant is an excellent way to preserve it for many months, and you can even add more flavor by pickling.
eggplant

Preparing to Make Canned Eggplant

knife slicing eggplant

How to Pick Fresh Eggplant

Before canning, you need fresh eggplants to preserve the best flavor. Follow these quick tips to pick the freshest eggplants:

Tip #1: Select firm, but not hard, eggplants. They should have a little give, but not so much that the skin indents.

Tip #2: Avoid eggplants with moldy or mushy stems. The stem should be dark green.

Tip #3: Choose small to medium-sized eggplants, as large eggplants are bitter and have more seeds.

Supplies You Need

Eggplant

To prepare the eggplants for canning, wash them with water and air dry them. Next, cut off their stems and peel their skin. Eggplants oxidize and brown quickly when peeled, so give them some lemon juice to slow down the browning. Finally, cut the eggplants to a ¼ to ½ inch thickness.

Pickling and Canning Liquid

You can make your pickling and canning liquid, but simple recipes work best. For pickling liquid, use vinegar, water, and sugar. As for the canning liquid, use olive oil and pickling liquid.

Canning Jars

Before storing eggplant in pint-sized or quart-sized canning jars, you must sterilize them to avoid quick spoilage. Water bath canning will conveniently sterilize them in boiling water, but you still need to soak the jars in hot water before use.

Water Bath Canner

A water bath canner uses boiling water to easily can eggplants. If you lack a water bath canner, you can use a large saucepot with a lid and rack. Processing times vary with altitude, so follow the table provided in this guide.

How to Can Eggplant

1. Salt the Eggplants

Generously salt the eggplants in a colander. Let them sit in the salt for an hour to remove any bitterness. Next, rinse the eggplants with water, then gently squeeze out all the water from each piece.

2. Soak the Eggplants in Pickling Liquid

Prepare the pickling liquid by mixing 1 quart of vinegar, 1 pint of water, and ¼ cup of sugar. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and let it come to a boil. After the sugar dissolves, add the eggplants and let them soak for 2-3 minutes.

3. Fill the Canning Jars

Use a slotted spoon and a jar funnel to transfer the eggplants and pickling liquid to your canning jars. Leave about an inch of headspace in each jar. Add any spices for more flavor, such as a teaspoon of crushed red pepper and a teaspoon of dried basil.

Next, top off the jars with enough olive oil to cover the eggplants while maintaining one inch of headspace. Finally, wipe off the jar rims, use a magnetic lid lifter to place the lids, and screw the jar rings until “fingertip” tight.

4. Preserve with Water Bath Canning

Fill your water bath canner with a few inches of water and let it come to a boil. At the same time, heat more water in a kettle. Carefully place your jars into the canner and ensure the jars do not touch each other. Top off the canner with more heated water to immerse the jars 2 inches underwater.

After the water comes to a boil, let the jars process for about 10 minutes or adjust the time based on your altitude. Next, let the water settle and use jar tongs to remove your jars from the canner.

Jar SizeCanning Time at 1001-3000 ftCanning Time at 3001-6000 ftCanning Time at 6001-8000 ftCanning Time at 8001-10000 ft
Pints or QuartsAdd 5 minutesAdd 10 minutesAdd 15 minutesAdd 20 minutes
Table 1. Recommended process time for eggplants in a boiling-water canner.

5. Store in the Pantry

Set the jars on a mat and let them cool to room temperature for 24 hours. As they cool, you will hear the characteristic “pop” of them safely sealing shut. After the jars cool, remove their rings and wipe the jars with a damp cloth. Finally, label and store them in the pantry.

How to Use Canned Eggplant

pickled eggplant on bread

Appetizer Platter

Pickled eggplants pair well with fresh, rustic bread as an appetizer. The bread soaks the pickling juice, making it incredibly flavorful. You can even make it a platter by adding cheeses, cold cuts, and more pickled vegetables.

Flavorful Topping

Adding pickled eggplants are a convenient way to give starchy, everyday meals a tangy taste. Sandwiches, pasta, and potatoes taste exceptional with pickled eggplant toppings!

Frequently Asked Questions

whole eggplant and eggplant slices in basket

What is the Best Way to Preserve Eggplant?

The best way to preserve eggplant is by freezing, extending its shelf life by a year. To freeze eggplants, cut peeled eggplants into ¼ inch thick slices. Next, blanch them for four minutes and cool them in an ice bath. After they dry, spread them in a baking tray lined with parchment paper and flash-freeze them for a few hours. Finally, store the eggplants in freezer bags for long-term storage.

How Long Does Canned Eggplant Last?

Canned eggplants last up to 6 months when stored in an airtight container. Once the container seal opens, they will last 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

How Do You Store Eggplant Long Term?

Eggplants have a short shelf life, and they will spoil in 1-2 days without refrigeration. Storing eggplants in the fridge keeps them fresh for 2-3 weeks, but they need to be frozen or canned to last a year.

Conclusion

group of fresh eggplants

Canning eggplants is convenient for adding flavor to everyday meals, such as pasta and sandwiches. They will last for many months when stored properly, saving time throughout the year. All you need to do is prepare, salt, and pickle the eggplants; then, they are ready for water bath canning!

If you enjoyed canning eggplants, you could learn how to can squash – a common eggplant substitute!

eggplant

Canned Eggplant

Eggplants are tender, delicious, and incredibly versatile for almost any dish. However, even when fresh, they spoil quickly. Canning eggplant is an excellent way to preserve it for many months, and you can even add more flavor by pickling.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Preparation
Calories 822 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 eggplants
  • 1 quart vinegar
  • 1 pint water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper crushed
  • 1 tsp basil dried

Instructions
 

  • Gently wash the eggplants with running water.
  • Peel the eggplants and cut them into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • Generously salt the eggplants in a colander and let them sit for an hour.
  • Rinse the eggplants with water and gently squeeze out the water from each piece.
  • Mix the vinegar, water, and sugar in a saucepan and let it come to a boil. When the sugar dissolves, add the eggplants and let them soak for 2-3 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon and jar funnel to transfer the eggplants and pickling liquid into canning jars. Leave one inch of headspace in each jar.
  • Add crushed red pepper, dried basil, and any other spices to the canning jars.
  • Top off the jars with enough olive oil to cover the eggplants while leaving one inch of headspace in each jar.
  • Wipe off the rims on the canning jars with a damp paper towel and use a magnetic lid lifter to place the lids on. Screw on the jar rings until “fingertip” tight.
  • Fill the water bath canner with a few inches of water and let it come to a boil. Heat more water in a kettle.
  • Carefully place the jars into the canner, ensuring they do not touch each other. Top off the canner with additional hot water to immerse all jars at least 2 inches underwater.
  • Boil the water bath canner for 10 minutes and add additional time depending on your altitude.
  • Let the water bath canner settle before using jar tongs to remove the canning jars. Wait for 24 hours to allow the jars to cool to room temperature. You will eventually hear a "pop" sound, indicating the jars are safely sealed.
  • Label and store the canning jars in the pantry.

Nutrition

Sodium: 80mgCalcium: 237mgVitamin C: 47mgVitamin A: 581IUSugar: 115gFiber: 55gPotassium: 4226mgCalories: 822kcalMonounsaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gFat: 3gProtein: 18gCarbohydrates: 158gIron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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