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Roasted Eggplant with Za’atar and Tahini Sauce

    Eggplant is roasted until tender and caramelized then drizzled with a creamy garlic tahini sauce. This vegan veggie side dish recipe is perfect with chicken, pork, seafood or lamb.

    Roasted eggplant with zaatar and tahini sauce

    Eggplant tends to be a controversial dish, but I for one love it! Creamy and delicious when cooked, and an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins, this intimidating veggie deserves it’s chance to shine. And this recipe for Roasted Eggplant with Za’atar and Tahini sauce, is the perfect side dish to do just that.

    Ingredients

    • Eggplant: When eaten raw, eggplant has a somewhat bitter taste, but once cooked, the taste becomes more mild and rich, with almost a creamy texture.
    • Olive Oil: My go to oil for cooking, it’s great for heart health, as well as having a lovely flavor.
    • Za’atar: A traditional, middle eastern spice mix. It’s delicious, a bit tart, earthy, and nutty in flavor.

    For the Sauce:

    • Tahini: Another great middle eastern ingredient, made from toasted sesame seeds, it’s gluten free and is a major ingredient in hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva.
    • Lemon Juice: The lovely citrus flavor adds some acidity to the sauce, as well as freshness.
    • Garlic: Rich in antioxidants, the raw garlic adds a pungent nutty, spicy flavor.
    • Salt: Just a pinch, to balance out the flavors.
    • Cayenne Pepper: Optional, but if you’re a fan of spicy food, it adds a great kick to the sauce.

    How to Make Roasted Eggplant with Tahini Sauce

    Liz cutting an eggplant.

    You’ll start out by cutting your eggplant into cubes. I find it easiest to cut the edges off first, so that it’s kept flat against your cutting board.

    Drizzling oil onto eggplant

    Lay your cubed eggplant in a single layer onto a prepared sheet pan. I line mine with tin foil and spray it with cooking spray. If your eggplant doesn’t lay flat in a single layer, make sure you use more than one baking sheet. Next, drizzle it with the olive oil.

    Liz seasoning eggplant

    Season with some salt and pepper to taste.

    Eggplant with za'atar ready for roasting.

    And sprinkle with your za’atar. Gently toss to make sure that it is all evenly coated, then pop it into the oven at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the eggplant is caramelized and browned. About halfway through, check it and give it a stir.

    Pouring tahini in a bowl

    While your eggplant is roasting, get started on your tahini sauce. Begin by adding the tahini into a small to medium sized bowl.

    Grating garlic into sauce

    Grate your garlic next, I always use my microplane.

    Liz squeezing lemon juice

    Next, some freshly squeezed lemon juice and just a pinch of salt. If you want an extra kick, you’ll also add the cayenne pepper. Stir it all together.

    Liz finishing tahini sauce.

    If the sauce is too thick, slowly stir in the warm water to get it to the consistency of your liking.

    Stabbing roasted eggplant with za'atar and tahini sauce.

    Once the eggplant is done, take it out from the oven, and drizzle it with your tahini sauce. Serve, and enjoy!

    Other Ways to Use Roasted Eggplant

    Curious as to what else roasted eggplant is good for?

    Roasted eggplant is great as a side dish, but the possibilities are endless. Many Mediterranean dishes use eggplant, and roasted eggplant is also great in wraps, salads, or tossed with pasta!

    If you love eggplant like I do, here are some other recipes to try:

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    How do I store the leftovers?

    In an airtight container or resealable bag, keep them in the fridge for 3-5 days.

    What else can I use the tahini sauce with?

    Tahini sauce is great with protein as well as veggies. These Lebanese Kafta Kebabs are great with tahini sauce, as well as these Little Hasselback Potatoes.

    Do you have other recipes that call for tahini?

    Yes, of course! To try tahini with something different, I have this Roasted Garlic Hummus recipe and this Baba Ghanoush.

    Roasted eggplant with za'atar and tahini sauce.

    Complimentary Dishes

    Liz enjoying roasted eggplant with za'atar and tahini sauce.

    Whether you’ve tried eggplant before or not, and whether or not you liked it, this Roasted Eggplant with Za’atar and Tahini sauce is worth trying.

    Your fork is waiting.

    Roasted eggplant with zaatar and tahini sauce

    Roasted Eggplant with Za’atar and Tahini Sauce

    5 stars average
    Eggplant is roasted until tender and caramelized then drizzled with a creamy garlic tahini sauce. This vegan veggie side dish recipe is perfect with chicken, pork, seafood or lamb.
    PREP: 10 mins
    COOK: 25 mins
    TOTAL: 35 mins
    Save
    Servings: 4

    Ingredients
     

    Tahini Garlic Sauce

    • ¼ cup tahini
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 clove garlic (grated)
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 pinch cayenne (optional)
    • warm water (to thin)

    Instructions
     

    • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Scatter eggplant cubes a single layer on baking sheet then drizzle with olive oil, za'atar, salt and pepper. Using hands, toss well to evenly coat eggplant in oil and spices.
    • Roast eggplant until golden brown and caramelized, about 20-25 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
    • While eggplant is roasting, whisk together the tahini garlic sauce in a small bowl. Continue whisking in warm water, one tablespoon at a time, until you've reached desired consistency. Serve roasted eggplant with tahini sauce drizzled on top or on the side for dipping.

    Notes

    The secret to creating a brown, caramelized crust is to keep the eggplant in a single layer on the baking dish. If you have a very large eggplant or want to double the recipe, use two baking sheets so that you keep eggplant in a single layer.
    Nutrition facts include 2 tablespoons of the tahini dipping sauce.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1cupCalories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 300mgPotassium: 359mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 123IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 3mg
    SHOW AND TELL ON INSTAGRAM!Show me your creation and rate it below! Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!
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    Liz DellaCroce

    Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:

    3 Comments

    1. Oops I posted my comment on the eggplant recipe, and I meant to post it on the chickpea and eggplant stew recipe. Sorry! I did make this recipe at the same time, and it was FANTASTIC! (I had a big eggplant :)

    2. Oh my goodness! I was going to make your baked eggplant with beef recipe, which we adore, but it is 105° in Texas today. I looked at your other recipes and used the ingredients to make hummus with ground beef and roasted eggplant with za’atar instead. I cooked the eggplant in my air fryer in 10 minutes. It was incredible!!! Thank you for the delicious recipes that didn’t require me to overheat my house during the Texas summer!

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