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Vegan Roasted Eggplant Salad

This Vegan Roasted Eggplant Salad is made with fresh ingredients and a homemade tahini salad dressing for a Mediterranean-inspired dish full of flavor. Serve it as a side dish or light meal you’ll love! 

vegan roasted eggplant salad in a white bowl with tahini dressing and quinoa and a chopstick sticking out

Why We Love this Roasted Eggplant Salad

Eggplants are a staple ingredient in many Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes with Yogurt Dip and Baba Ganoush, and we’re huge fans! Personally, we feel that eggplants signify warmer weather and fresh flavors. So, it only made sense for us to combine it with fresh ingredients to create this Vegan Roasted Eggplant Salad. That said, whether you consume eggplant regularly or you’re brand new to the vegetable, we know you’re going to love this recipe, too! For example, it’s:  

  • Super Simple. All of the ingredients are fresh and can be found in your favorite grocery store or local farmer’s market. As a result, they require very little preparation.
  • Perfect for Meal Prep. Ready in less than 30 minutes, you can make this tahini salad once and enjoy it all week long!
  • Healthy! Made with fresh vegetables, healthy fats, legumes, and grains, this eggplant salad is a well-rounded recipe full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and plant-based protein that will keep you feeling full for hours. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

overhead image of quinoa, chickpeas, roasted eggplant, cucumber, and tomatoes in a bowl ready to be combined for roasted eggplant salad

For this recipe, we kept the ingredient list fairly simple. However, feel free to make your own twists by adding in protein sources, vegetables, and any other flavor additions you’d like! 

For the Roasted Eggplant Salad

  • Eggplant
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Quinoa
  • Tomatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Cucumber Arugula
  • Salt & Pepper

For the Tahini Salad Dressing

  • Tahini
  • Garlic
  • Lime Juice
  • Ground Cumin
  • White Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Water

cubes of eggplant on a baking sheet

What Is Eggplant? 

Eggplants are a type of vegetable that are part of the nightshade family. This also includes tomatoes, okra, and zucchini.  As a result, they thrive in warm climates and grow in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. However, the most common versions found in America are Globe and Italian eggplants which can be identified by their teardrop shape, purple-black color, glossy-looking skin, and thick stems

How Does It Taste? 

The taste of eggplant is often described as being fairly mild and sweet with a slight bitterness common to vegetables. Similar to zucchini, it easily takes on the flavor of whatever it is paired with. As a result, it’s perfect for roasting! 

What Is Tahini?

If you’re unfamiliar, tahini, or tahina, is a sort of paste made out of ground sesame seeds. Similar to eggplant, it’s a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine and is included in recipes such as hummus and baba ganoush.

Is There a Trick to Pick the Perfect Eggplant? 

If you’ve never been shopping for an eggplant making the right choice can be confusing. Luckily, there are a few characteristics to look for! 

  1. Smooth Skin. You want to choose an eggplant that has a smooth, shiny exterior with little to no marks, wrinkles, or soft spots.
  2. Slightly Firm. You want your eggplant to be firm but not hard. It should give a little when squeezed but should not be mushy.
  3. Green Stem. Of course, the stem should not have any mold or be mushy at all. In addition, the best eggplants will have a vibrant green stem as well!
  4. Small Size. Contrary to popular belief, bigger isn’t always better! Smaller eggplants will have fewer seeds and a sweeter taste, resulting in a tastier eggplant salad. 

roasted eggplant on a baking sheet for a roasted eggplant salad

Step-By-Step Instructions to Make Eggplant Salad

To make this salad, you’ll work in three steps. First, you’ll start by roasting the eggplant. Next, you’ll move on to the tahini dressing. Then, you’ll finish up by putting it all together. Don’t worry, though, it only takes a few minutes! 

How to Roast Eggplant

  1. Preheat. Heat your oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut It Into Cubes. Start by slicing your eggplant into small chunks or cubes.
  3. Season. Add salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil, coating the cubes completely.
  4. Bake. Arrange the eggplant on a baking sheet in a single layer, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until it is tender. 

How to Make Tahini Salad Dressing 

  1. Combine. Add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor, and pulse until they are well-combined and smooth.
  2. Adjust. If your tahini dressing is too thick, add another tablespoon or two to the mixture and pulse again until your desired consistency is reached. It should be thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon but thin enough to easily coat the veggies. 

close up image of vegan roasted eggplant salad that has been tossed with a homemade tahini dressing

Putting It All Together

  1. Toss. To finish your tahini salad, add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, and toss them with the tahini dressing.
  2. Season. Add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy! 

Tahini Salad Serving Suggestions

As mentioned, this tahini salad recipe is super filling and very tasty as it is. However, if you want to get a little adventurous there are several ways to serve it!

 

As a Side Dish. Divide it into small portions for a side salad with your favorite meal.

 

In a Pita. Stuff the ingredients into pita bread for an easy packed lunch.

 

As a Main Course. Serve a large bowl as is, or add your favorite protein source such as tempeh, chicken, or shrimp for a super high-protein meal. 

two gold chopsticks holding a bite of vegan roasted eggplant salad coated with tahini dressing

Common Questions

Should I rinse canned chickpeas? 

Technically, you don’t have to rinse canned chickpeas. Yet, we highly recommend it. You see, rinsing chickpeas removes the water and extra starch from the can and reduces the amount of sodium included in this salad. As a result, your salad will taste better and have a lighter, more refreshing flavor.

Can it be made ahead of time? 

Absolutely! For the best results, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

Can I eat the skin of the eggplant? 

Yes, the skin is completely edible. However, if you have a large eggplant it might be a bit tough to chew. If this is the case, feel free to remove it before roasting.

Can I use something other than quinoa? 

Lentils are a good substitute for quinoa. Similarly, they’re gluten-free, too!

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overhead image of quinoa, chickpeas, roasted eggplant, cucumber, and tomatoes in a bowl ready to be combined for roasted eggplant salad

Vegan Roasted Eggplant Salad

This Vegan Roasted Eggplant Salad is made with fresh vegetables, quinoa, chickpeas, and a homemade tahini dressing for a plant-based meal that's full of flavor and super easy to make!
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Total Time 22 mins
Course Appetizer, dinner, Salad, Side
Cuisine American, middle eastern
Servings 4 servings
Calories 383 kcal
Ingredients
  

For the Eggplant Salad:

  • 1 large eggplant (cubed)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 large cucumber (chopped)
  • 3 cups arugula
  • cup tahini

For the Tahini Dressing

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ lime (juiced)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
 

For the Eggplant Salad

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Add the sliced eggplant to a baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and spread in an even layer.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tender.

For the Tahini Dressing

  • Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor, and pulse until smooth. (See notes.)
  • Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Toss with the tahini dressing.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

If your tahini dressing is too thick, add another tablespoon or two of water, and blend it again. It should be thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon. 
Nutrition
Serving: 4g | Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 599mg | Potassium: 495mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 696IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg
Keyword eggplant, salad, vegan, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

We hope you love this Vegan Roasted Eggplant Salad! If you do, please let us know in the comments below. 

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