This Roasted Eggplant marinated with olive oil and za'atar, and drizzled with a delicious homemade tahini sauce, is one of our favorite Middle Eastern recipes. You can prepare this dish in 10 minutes, and leave the oven to do the rest of the work!
Why you will love our Roasted Eggplant with Tahini
- Easy to prepare. Our Roasted Eggplant with Tahini Sauce takes 10 minutes to prepare. All you have to do is cut the eggplant and brush it with an olive oil marinade. While the eggplant is cooking, you can prepare the tahini sauce, which takes 5 minutes!
- Healthy. This recipe is a healthy way to enjoy eggplants. According to Healthline, eggplant has many health benefits such as promoting blood sugar control, reducing the risk of heart disease, and even helping with weight loss. Roasting them is a great way to cook this vegetable, as we use less oil, than when frying or pan-frying them.
- Delicious. You can't go wrong with creamy tahini, za'atar, toasted pine nuts, lemon, and fresh mint. Seriously, these ingredients combine beautifully and when paired with roasted eggplants, you get a fantastic meal.
- It can be served as a side or main. This dish is versatile and can be enjoyed as a side dish with your favorite Middle Eastern recipes, or as a main, served with some pita bread, or couscous.
- If you like Baba Ganoush, chances are you'll love this recipe. Similar tastes, different textures.
Our Tahini Eggplant recipe is:
- Middle Easter-style recipe
- A light main, or a side
- Quick to make
- An easy recipe
How to make Roasted Eggplant with Tahini
Eggplants (aubergine). Choose medium to large eggplants. Make sure the vegetables are firm and have no soft spots when buying them. To ensure that the eggplants are fresh, check for a green calyx (top part). You can also make this recipe using Japanese eggplants. Adjust the cooking times as they are smaller and will cook faster.
Tahini. Tahini paste is available in most grocery stores or health food shops.. We buy our tahini from a local Middle Eastern supermarket, as they have a good quality one.
Za'atar. Za'atar is a flavorful spice blend used in many Middle Eastern recipes. You can buy it already prepared or make your own blend. Have a look at this Feasting At Home recipe for making your own Za'atar. If you don't have za'atar available you can combine some ground thyme, oregano, marjoram, cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds.
Olive oil. We use olive oil to make a marinade for the eggplants. You can use another type of vegetable oil, but we recommend using olive oil for this dish, to enhance the flavor of the marinade.
Lemon. Lemon juice, water, and salt are the rest of the ingredients to make the tahini sauce that will be served with the roasted eggplants.
Fresh mint and pine nuts for garnish. This dish is simple and quick to make. Choosing the right garnish will transform it into a beautiful and incredibly delicious main. Eggplant pairs beautifully with fresh mint and pine nuts, but feel free to use other fresh herbs and nuts to your taste.
- Prepare the tahini sauce. Combine tahini paste, fresh lemon juice, and salt using a small mixing bowl. Using a whisk or a fork, combine all the ingredients and pour water slowly while you keep whisking. Keep adding a splash of water at the time until you reach the desired consistency. You want to get a creamy texture for the perfect sauce consistency. If you like garlic, you can add some garlic powder, or fresh garlic to the tahini sauce.
- Prepare the marinade. Using a small bowl, add the olive oil, za'atar, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until well combined.
- Cut the eggplants. Cut the eggplants in halves lengthwise. Score the inside of the vegetable in squares making diagonal cuts or a criss-cross pattern using a sharp knife. The cuts need to be deep but keep the skin untouched.
- Marinate the aubergines. Using a brush or a spoon, coat the top of the eggplant with olive oil and za'atar marinade. Make sure you are using enough marinade to coat the top of the eggplants.
- Lay the marinated eggplant halves (facing up) in a single layer, and bake for around 30-40 minutes at 200C (400F). You can use parchment paper or a baking sheet, but we normally don't when roasting eggplants. The roasted eggplants will be ready when the eggplant flesh has softened and is easy to scoop out, and the outside skin is golden brown.
- Garnish the cooked eggplants with toasted pine nuts, and fresh chopped mint, and drizzle with tahini sauce. Season with black pepper and kosher salt to taste.
Variations to our Eggplant with Tahini Recipe
- Cook the eggplants using the Air Fryer. You can cook the eggplants using the Air Fryer. It will take around 20-30 minutes for the eggplants to fully cook.
- Change the garnish ingredients. We use toasted pine nuts and fresh mint but feel free to use other nuts and fresh herbs. Some great choices are walnuts, hazelnuts, or peanuts, and for fresh herbs, thyme, rosemary, dill, or fresh parsley. Add color and freshness with some fresh pomegranate seeds or lemon zest.
- Use another sauce to drizzle over the roasted eggplants. Tahini and Eggplants are such a great combination, but you may want to change the sauce for dietary restrictions or preferences. Another great sauce we love pairing with these roasted eggplants is this delicious Bravas Sauce. We've tried it before, and it was fantastic. You can even use both sauces, the tahini, and Bravas sauce, to serve this eggplant dish.
- Make it spicy. You can make this dish mildly spicy by adding some chili oil, chili flakes, red pepper flakes, or chili sauce before serving.
- Make it vegetarian. Add crumbled feta, goat cheese, or ricotta cheese over the eggplant before roasting for more flavor. The cheese will melt beautifully over the eggplant and give it an amazing flavor.
This delicious Roasted Eggplant served with nutty Tahini sauce can be enjoyed as a main dish or as a side.
As a main dish: Serve the roasted eggplant over delicious Lebanese rice or quinoa with a side salad for a hearty plant-based meal. The eggplant pairs nicely with grains and helps make them more filling. Don't forget to serve this meal with some pita bread.
As a side dish: Serve the roasted eggplant with your favorite proteins. The smoky eggplant is a nice complement to grilled food such as halloumi, vegan kebabs, plant-based burgers, or other vegetarian mains.
Mezze Platter: Our Roasted Tahini Eggplant makes for a great appetizer served as the centerpiece of Mezze Platter, with other dips such as hummus or Baba Ganoush.
The possibilities are endless! Roasted eggplant pairs well with so many flavors, from Mediterranean spices to Middle Eastern tahini sauce. It can be served as is or incorporated into all kinds of dishes.
Store and Reheat
Leftover roasted eggplant and tahini sauce keeps well refrigerated for 3-4 days. To store leftovers cool completely and transfer to an airtight container.
If you have any tahini sauce left, keep it in a separate container.
To reheat the eggplant, you can use the microwave. If needed, add some water to the tahini sauce to get a smooth consistency before serving.
FAQ and Tips
Where can I find tahini paste?
Tahini paste is readily available in most grocery stores or health food shops. For higher quality, consider purchasing it from a local Middle Eastern supermarket.
What is Za'atar, and can I make my own blend?
Za'atar is a flavorful Middle Eastern spice blend. You can buy it pre-made or make your own by following a recipe, such as the one provided by Feasting At Home. Alternatively, you can create a blend using ground thyme, oregano, marjoram, cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds.
Can I prepare the eggplants in advance?
Yes, you can marinate the eggplants in advance and roast them when ready to serve. The tahini sauce can also be prepared ahead and refrigerated. If you want to leave the dish ready for another day, keep the roasted eggplants and tahini sauce in separate airtight containers.
Can you freeze roasted eggplant?
Yes. Once the eggplant is fully cooked you can freeze it for later use. We recommend to not marinate the eggplant if you intend to freeze it. You can add the marinade when reheating the eggplant.
Roasted Eggplant with Tahini Sauce
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- A pinch of salt
- ½ cup water
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Za'atar
- A pinch of salt
- 4 eggplants
- Fresh mint
- Toasted pine nuts
- Combine the tahini, fresh lemon juice, and salt in a mixing bowl. Using a whisk or a fork, combine all the ingredients and pour water slowly while you keep whisking. Keep adding water until you reach the desired consistency. Set aside.
- Using a small bowl, add the olive oil, za'atar, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until well combined.
- Cut the eggplants in halves lengthwise. Score the inside of the vegetable in squares making diagonal cuts or a criss-cross pattern using a sharp knife. The cuts need to be deep but keep the skin untouched.
- Using a baking brush or a spoon, coat the top of the eggplant with olive oil and za'atar marinade.
- Lay the marinated eggplant halves (facing up), and bake for around 30-40 minutes at 200C (400F). The roasted eggplants will be ready when the aubergine flesh has softened and is easy to scoop out.
- Garnish the eggplants with toasted pine nuts, and fresh chopped mint, and drizzle with tahini sauce.