Roasted Eggplant Spread

Every late summer and fall, I’m always so impressed/jealous of all my friends who are plucking the fruits (and vegetables) of their summer-long labors and harvesting the stuff from their gardens. So this year, I decided I would also grow a garden. I would be among my domestic and wholesome friends, picking, eating, and preserving tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, and herbs. That was in April.

In late May/June, I was gone for 18 days.

When I got back to Louisiana, I remembered why I don’t go outside to do things like, say, water my plants.

Right now, the herbs are still alive. I have decided that next year, I will be an avid herb gardener (preferably herbs that don’t care if they get watered or not).

The good news is that I know a lot of people who grow gardens (including my friend Jeni who special-ordered “homosexual” zucchini because she didn’t have any bees to pollinate her traditional zucchini blossoms) and they are always more than happy to share their bounties with me. This is how I came home the other day with a bag full of eggplant.

If not done right, the texture of eggplant can get a little…gross. Also, I am a sucker for roasted vegetables. Also, I am a sucker for dips and spreads. Good news for me? It’s pretty much impossible to mess up roasted eggplant (especially when you puree it after you roast it).

You’ll need a medium eggplant, 2 red bell peppers, 1 red onion, a few cloves of garlic, some tomato paste or oven-roasted tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Seriously, this spread is really and truly super healthy (which will make you feel less bad about it when you can’t stop eating it).

Preheat your oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Chop the eggplant, onion, and red peppers into 1″ cubes and place them in a large bowl. Smash the garlic and add it to the eggplant mixture. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss the mixture with your hands until all the vegetables are well-coated. Spread the mixture onto the foil-lined baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the vegetables for 20 minutes. Stir/flip the veggies with a spatula and then roast for another 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and browning.

Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes and then transfer the vegetables to a blender or a food processor. Add the tomato paste (or roasted tomatoes, which is what I used) and pulse until the desired consistency is reached. Serve the dip warm with slices of baguette, sourdough bread, Flatbread, Rosemary Focaccia, Naan, pitas, pita chips, your finger, a spoon, whatever. This would also be an amazing, flavorful vegetarian sauce to toss hot pasta in for a light summer meal straight from your garden (because goodness knows it’s not coming from my garden).



  1. Loving your blog. I made an entire week’s worth of recipes from your blog and they were a huge hit with my family (especially the husband–he thanks you too!). Now onto a new week of recipes that I am fully confident will NOT disappoint! Oh, and by the way, one of them included WW points and that was the BOMB! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. So far the only way I’ve really liked eggplant is breaded & baked, but I could eat an entire tray worth of that!! Too bad it doesn’t re-heat very well or else I would have some very healthy lunches. I’ll have to give this one a try!

  3. Thanks so much for this recipe! I really don’t like eggplant but this has so many other flavors in it that I like so when I do come home with an eggplant from my bountiful basket I am so doing this!

  4. I have an eggplant in my fridge that needs to be used. I was just thinking this morning that I needed to find a way to cook it. Thanks.

  5. This sounds delicious. We have another eggplant recipe that is unbreaded which I love. I think it would be delicious also with zucchini and yellow squash – yummmy – now to buy an eggplant at the Farmer’s Market tomorow!

  6. Right there with ya on the garden thing, except I do it every year. Slow learner, very slow, I’ve lived in LA my whole life and I will probably do it again next year too. I can’t even grow herbs. Oh well that’s what the grocery is for ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I have been searching for a good dip or spread to use up the eggplants that I get in my Bountiful Basket. This looks so delicious. Thank you!

  8. We have been getting eggplants for the past 3 weeks in our Bountiful baskets and I have had no idea what in the world to do with them but this looks super yummy and fabulous! Plus it’s healthy which is what I am going for right now ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

  9. I can’t believe no one else has said anything. “Homosexual zucchini?” I tried to Google this and nothing. How on earth is this even possible? It’s like Jurassic Park in the vegetable patch. I’m seriously ROTF trying not type all the funny things in my head just in case people don’t get my sense of humor. Lucy, you got some ‘plaining to do!

  10. As far as the homosexual plants go, maybe “homosexual zucchini” is a bit of an overstatement, but they’re just zucchini plants that only produce female blossoms and don’t require the male blossoms.

  11. “but theyโ€™re just zucchini plants that only produce female blossoms and donโ€™t require the male blossoms.”

    Feminist zucchini!

  12. I’m with Thomas. I’m a little curious about the homosexual zucchini. I can’t decide what to think about it and I’m more confused the more I try to think of something.
    As for the rest of the post, this recipe looks wonderful! Like so many others, I also have an eggplant in my fridge from a Bountiful Basket and I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. In my whole life, I’ve never had eggplant. I imagine this will be a good way to lead into the flavor a bit. Thanks so much!

  13. Oh, woops. I didn’t refresh the page {which had been open for a while} before posting my original comment. I understand now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. The proper term is parthenocarpic. And while I understand the homosexual reference, the term actually means virgin. In other words, the fruit is produced without any fertilization. I’m not a botanist so I don’t understand more than that but it is a brilliant solution and produces arguably better fruit. It’s a lifesaver for those of us who live in bee unfriendly concrete jungles!! Love the blog!

  15. Thank you! What a great, healthy recipe. Now I have something to do with the abundance of all these eggplants in Japan:)

  16. I went right home and made this last night and it’s DELICIOUS! I, of course, ate a little more than I should have last night, but I loved it. I brought some to share with co-workers today, but I don’t know how much I’ll actually let them try ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I’ve been reading and loving your website for a year now, so I’m sorry to have to send a negative comment. Kate, I think your “homosexual” zucchinni remark is too flippant and inappropriate for a mormon. With your book and blog’s influence on women everywhere, you need to be more careful. Otherwise, I love reading your fun stories and delicious recipes.

  18. Thanks so much for this recipe! I am trying to eat healthier and this is a great go-to for me! I made it yesterday and enjoyed it immensely!

    I love your blog! I am so glad my daughter got me hooked on it!

  19. I am so going to make this with my eggplant…..I already have alot on the menu this week so do you think I could possibly make and freeze this? Love the blog and cookbook! Keep up the good work ladies!

  20. Hi Kate! I stopped by to visit your blog. What a find! You offer quite a range of great info, ideas and recipes. You are like a full service stop on the freeways of food! I like your eggplant recipe. Very delicious.
    I write a blog about food and relationships. My musings. Please stop by. Visit. Maybe follow.

  21. Last month at a church activity a woman brought mango quinoa salad and yesterday at this month’s activity she brought eggplant spread. Everyone LOVED both. When I noticed this spread was posted so recently I got suspicious- so congratulations, your food is all the rave at a random relief society in Maryland!

  22. OMG!!! I literally had some tomatoes and an eggplant sitting on my counter for a week. My in-laws always bring veggies from their garden, and I didn’t know how to cook eggplant! This was heavenly! It was actually our dinner tonight because we couldn’t stop eating it-my husband loved it! I didn’t have red onions, but I used 1 Anaheim chile to add some mild heat. The only thing I did different was set the oven to Broil. I broiled for 5 minutes and turned the veggies once and broiled for another 3 minutes. You really have to watch it. The veggies are done in no time, and you get that nice charred skin which adds so much flavor! Will make again and again!

  23. I was glad for this recipe becuase I TOO had an eggplant in my Bountiful Basket that I had no idea what to do with. My husband and I enjoyed this on slices of asiago cheese bread. (Mine looked JUST like the picture. I was relieved it turned out, I don’t usually make this sort of thing.) Today I am going to toss the leftover with pasta! I hope it is just as good the day after!

  24. So good I ate the whole thing at 3:00 this morning! Which brings up the only problem with this recipe. I thought it would make a nice big bowl full. So, how can it be that these ingredients… eggplant, onions, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, etc. puree to less than a cup?? Sob!

  25. I printed off this recipe a week ago, and now just made it. It is so delicious. I can eat it just by the spoonfuls..I’m making pasta right now and my husband and I will enjoy it in a few minutes. I added triple the garlic…because there is never enough garlic.

  26. I found out about your blog through a friend and love it. Thanks for sharing so many great recipes! I made this Sunday night and it was awesome, it was great cold too the next day!

  27. This was totally good — I have never tried roasting veggies before and the veggie chunks that I sneaked were also delicious! Thanks for this one!!

  28. Okay, this DOES work with zucchini. Actually, I think it works with any vegetables. We bought into a CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture) this year and each week we get a basket of produce. I never know what until I pick it up and some of the things I have never tried. So, I made this with zucchini, patty pan squash, green pepper, tomatoes, garlic, and onion. And followed your instructions. It’s great! Thanks.

  29. I have made this 3x in the last couple weeks. I love it in a piece of red leaf lettuce like a lettuce wrap. It is so good. I have all my family making it now. My kids think it is meat. Yummy!

  30. Umm, this is awesome. And I am now addicted to oven roasted tomatoes. So, thanks for that! I’ve also learned that as a Mormon you’re not allowed to say “homosexual”, but you are allowed to judge someone for it. But only if a lot of other people can read it. Learning lots, thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Huh? That’s funny because I’m a Mormon and I say it quite often. My brother is a homosexual. Gasp. I said it. Besides, what in the heck does that have to do with Roasted Eggplant Spread.

  31. this stuff is so.darn.good. i’ve made it four times now and every time i make it, i marvel how delicious and versatile it is. it can be a spread, it can be a dip, and my favorite? served over whole wheat pasta to unsuspecting children and husband who don’t know they are eating EGGPLANT ๐Ÿ™‚

    thank you!!

  32. Yay, thank you for this recipe! I tried eggplant for the first time a couple months ago and really had a hard time with the texture. I think I could handle it pureed. I got one in my Bountiful Basket and was kind of sad. I hate wasting, so this will be perfect even if I have to eat it all myself!

  33. Haha, my son just saw your logo and called his brother in to see “the heart maked out of 2 oranges.” Apparently he thinks it’s pretty sweet!

  34. Do you think this could be frozen? I am wondering about making a double batch, then just dividing it out into individual servings and freezing it. Then I can pull out one serving at a time for my husband to take to work or for me to grab for a quick snack. TIA

  35. This is amazing. Seriously, I want to drink it from the blender pitcher! I made it to use as a veggie dip, but I’ve decided to use it as a pasta sauce instead. Can’t wait for dinner!! Yum!!

  36. Wow – this was delicious and easy, and pretty healthy, too. I went a little crazy shopping and this gave me something to do with my eggplant (besides eggplant parmigiana or veg fajitas, which are all I’ve ever done) before it went bad. Thanks! And I’m very intrigued by the idea of roasting some hot peppers with it. Wouldn’t it be a nice variation to have a little heat??

  37. I have commented before on how awesome this is but thought I would add two new things that I like dip it with….Chicken Nuggets and Jicama sticks. Yummy. Thanks again for this awesome recipe.

  38. A favorite adaptation we use is to throw the halved eggplant on the grill until soft (10-15 min). Roast the red peppers and tomatoes (they need less time). Place both in a shopping bag to steam. Scrape eggplant, peel peppers, tomatoes and chop. Stir in chopped red onion, garlic, lemon or lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste). Serve chunky on fresh pita or french bread toast. Good with cilantro or parsley added.

    We had a lot of eggplant this summer and froze the roasted eggplant mush to make this winter. The eggplant can be mixed with olive oil, tahini paste, and minced garlic or onion to make baba ganush.

  39. this was good! i made it as written and threw the entire batch with about 8 oz of pasta and some steamed cauliflower with some of the pasta water and some shredded mozzerella. my 3 yr old and 20month old even ate it and they are very picky…thanks for the recipe

  40. I made this for a healthy option at my book club last week and it was a big hit! I loved munching the leftovers so much that I made it again today, only I soupified it by adding 8oz tomato sauce and 2c chicken broth to the blender (YEAY, Blendtec!)–and afterward I also added two cans of drained black beans to add some protein.

    OH. MY. YUM!

    So, just so y’know…this recipe can totally be modified into a SUUUUUPER yummy, delicious soup!

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  42. How fun! This looks like a condiment I had in Croatia called ajvar (pronounced eye-var) made from roasted red pepper and eggplant. We ate it on bread and fried dough. It was sooooo good, and I haven’t been able to find anything like it in the States. Homemade it is! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  43. I love this recipe. I especially like using it instead of mayonnaise on roast chicken sandwiches. My favorite tweak on the recipe is to use Cajun Seasoning instead of just salt and pepper on the veggies when I roast then. Heaven! Thanks gals. <3

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