This Mediterranean roasted eggplant recipe is unique and delicious! A Mediterranean spice blend seasons caramelized roasted eggplant pieces, which are then topped with a creamy tahini sauce and chopped dates.
It's so simple to make and this easy recipe works for all eaters!
Roasting large eggplant pieces in a hot oven creates a beautiful, caramelized outer layer and brings out the natural sweetness of this healthy ingredient.
It's my very favorite way to prepare eggplant, not only because of the end result but also because it couldn't be easier. There's no need to salt the eggplant ahead of time and the oven does most of the work.
The simple Mediterranean seasonings, creamy tahini sauce and fresh parsley add additional layers of flavor and texture.
For even more goodness, toss in a few chopped dates (optional, but really recommended!).
This delicious medley of Middle Eastern flavors makes the perfect dish, whether you're looking for a tasty side dish or filling main course.
why this Mediterranean roasted eggplant recipe works
You know what I love about Mediterranean flavors? Everything.
And that was the inspiration for this Mediterranean roasted eggplant recipe.
A combination of Mediterranean herbs and spices season the eggplant as it roasts in the oven.
Tahini adds a nutty creaminess while the chopped dates add a touch of sweetness.
Overall, this dish has amazing flavor and compliments (but doesn't overpower) the roasted eggplant.
Mediterranean roasted eggplant is:
- simple to make
- gluten-free, plant-based and low-carb (even keto-friendly if you omit the dates)
- a unique and exciting dish with bold flavor
For this Mediterranean roasted eggplant recipe, you will need:
- Globe eggplant. Cut into large cubes, this gives the eggplant more surface area to roast in the oven.
- Extra virgin olive oil. Helps the eggplant roast and the seasonings adhere.
- Salt. For flavor!
- Black pepper. It gives the eggplant the perfect amount of pepperiness that balances well with the rest of the bold spices.
- Ground cumin. With a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, cumin adds a savory note to the eggplant.
- Coriander. Oh, I love this underutilized spice! Coriander has a light citrus flavor and subtly sweetness that is surprisingly good in savory dishes.
- Cinnamon. This one might be a surprise, but cinnamon adds the perfect touch of warmth the the seasoning blend.
- Dried basil. Adds a bit of a minty flavor to the dish.
- Dried oregano. Earthy and pungent, dried oregano is a great herb for savory dishes!
- Garlic powder. Another must-have. Garlic adds so much in terms of flavor.
- Tahini. I love the creamy, nuttiness that tahini adds to the eggplant. If you ask me, this dish just isn't the same without it!
- Warm water. A little bit of warm water helps thin out the tahini and turns it into a sauce.
- Lemon juice. For a bit of brightness and acidity in the tahini sauce.
- Fresh parsley, chopped. For garnish!
- Dates (optional). Chopped dates as a finishing touch adds an element of sweetness which goes so well with the nutty tahini and savory eggplant. If you're keto, you can easily omit them.
how to choose large eggplants
When picking out an eggplant at the grocery store, be sure to choose one that isn't too soft.
The eggplant flesh should feel slightly firm and the outside of the eggplant should have a shiny skin without soft spots.
Mediterranean roasted eggplant recipe
To make this Mediterranean-inspired roasted eggplant, you'll need a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a silpat mat). This is crucial because the eggplant pieces may stick to the sheet pan.
Roasting it at a high heat, plus the olive oil coating should prevent it from sticking but the parchment paper is one extra step for good measure (a roasting method I learned from Recipe Tin Eats).
Here's the simple process for this Mediterranean roasted eggplant recipe!
As always, make sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to view the full recipe card and ingredient amounts.
Cut the top and bottom off of the eggplant and then slice it into large cubes. Mix the seasonings in a small dish.
Place the eggplant in a large bowl and toss it in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer it to a baking tray.
Season it generously with the spice blend, using your hands to coat all sides of the eggplant.
Transfer to the oven and bake until caramelized.
While it's roasting, make the tahini sauce by combining the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Drizzle the sauce on the roasted eggplant and then sprinkle the chopped dates and parsley on top.
If you like a little heat, you can also garnish it with red pepper flakes.
tips for the best results
- Cut the eggplant into large cubes, about 1-½ inches. Cubes will give you more caramelized surface area than eggplant slices.
- One large eggplant should easily fit onto one sheet pan. Make sure the cubes are in a single layer and not too close together, otherwise they will steam each other instead of roasting. This can result in soggy eggplant.
- If you expect to have leftovers, do not pour the tahini sauce on the entire dish of roasted eggplant. Instead, serve it on the side and drizzle it on individual servings. Store any leftover eggplant and tahini sauce in their own airtight container to enjoy the next day.
- Since we're not frying the eggplant, there's no need to salt the pieces and pat dry the excess moisture with a paper towel. While it's important to do when cooking eggplant in a frying pan with hot oil, it's an extra, unnecessary step for baked eggplant.
- The dates will add a few grams of extra sugar and carbs to this dish. You can easily omit the dates and still enjoy this delicious Mediterranean roasted eggplant. If you do not have dates and would like to add a touch of sweetness, you can substitute the dates with a tiny drizzle of honey, date syrup or a few pomegranate seeds if they're in season.
This is a wonderful recipe that is veggie-forward and delightful!
It results in beautifully caramelized eggplant with a tender texture and a combination of flavors you'll love.
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- 1 large globe eggplant, cut into 1-½-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom (optional)
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- 2-3 tablespoons warm water
- juice of half lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped small
- 3 dates, pitted and chopped small (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Trim the stem and base off of the eggplant. Slice it horizontally into 1-½-inch thick rounds, then cut the rounds into large cubes.
- Transfer the eggplant to a large bowl. Drizzle it with the olive oil and mix
- In a small dish, mix together the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, dried basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder.
- Transfer the eggplant to the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out in a single layer. Sprinkle the seasoning blend generously over the eggplant pieces (you'll likely use all or almost all of the seasoning). Use your hands to make sure all sides are coated well.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, then flip the eggplant (I use a thin metal spatula to gently stir the pieces and turn them). Return to the oven to roast for another 5-10 minutes or until they're tender and browned on all sides (but not shriveled).
- While the eggplant roasts, make the tahini sauce. In a blender or food processor (or in a bowl with a whisk), combine the tahini with 2 tablespoons of warm water, lemon juice and salt to taste. Add more water if the mixture is too thick.
- Transfer the roasted eggplant to a serving dish. Drizzle it with the tahini sauce (or serve it on the side if you expect to have any leftovers). Top with fresh parsley and the chopped dates (optional).
- One large eggplant cut into large cubes should fit onto one large baking sheet. Make sure the cubes are in a single layer and not too close together, otherwise they will steam.
- If you expect to have leftovers, do not pour the tahini sauce on the entire dish of roasted eggplant. Instead, serve it on the side and drizzle it on individual servings.
- The dates are optional and will add a few grams of extra sugar and carbs to this dish. For a keto-friendly version, omit the dates.
- If you do not have dates and would like to add a touch of sweetness to the dish, a small drizzle of honey, date syrup or a few pomegranate seeds are great substitutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 13gNet Carbohydrates: 7gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 3g
This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.