Roasted Eggplant Sandwich is tender eggplant with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers and pesto sauce.  It’s the ultimate vegetarian sandwich!

Eggplant sandwich cut in half on parchment paper

A sandwich is one of those things that rarely tastes as great at home as it does when you eat one out.  When you go out, the bread is always better, and it’s loaded with fixin’s and condiments that you don’t always have at home.  

I rarely make a sandwich that I’m excited to eat, because I don’t want to jump through hoops to eat my lunch.  That’s probably why I eat peanut butter and banana on a whole wheat English muffin almost every day?  

I’d rather have this Roasted Eggplant Sandwich any day!

When I order a sandwich out, it’s almost always a veggie sandwich.  I love a fresh Vegetarian Sandwich, or I love the layers of flavor, like roasted veggies, hummus, pesto, balsamic glaze or cheese.  

This eggplant sandwich was inspired by an appetizer that I made at cooking school during our improvisational exam prep. I called it an eggplant napoleon, which was layers of roasted eggplant, bell peppers, olive tapenade, whipped goat cheese and balsamic in a beautiful stack.

I loved the flavors, but it was so hard to eat with a fork.  The light bulb went on, and I thought it should be sandwich.  

And that’s how this delicious eggplant sandwich recipe was born. 🙂

Overhead shot of roasted eggplant sandwich with pesto sauce

How to make this Eggplant Sandwich

There are a few components to this vegetarian sandwich, which is what makes it so good.  There are layers upon layers of flavor, and each component may be prepped in advance to have on hand during the week. 

  • Prepare the pesto.  This may be done 1-2 days in advance and even frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Prepare the olive tapenade.  (1) Cut the bell peppers and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet.  Broil until blackened, then place in a bowl and cover with foil.  Once cooled, remove the charred skin, coarsely chop and place in a medium bowl.  (2) Add the chopped olives, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste to the peppers and stir until combined.  Process the tapenade in a food processor if you’d like a smoother spread

Bell peppers before and after roasting

 

Roast the eggplant.  Toss the eggplant with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and roast on a rimmed baking sheet for 20-30 minutes or until tender.  

Eggplant on baking sheet

  • Assemble the eggplant sandwich.  Spread the bottom slice of bread with the tapenade, followed by the roasted eggplant, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic glaze.  Spread pesto sauce on the top slice of bread and place on top of the sandwich. 

Eggplant sandwich with fresh mozzarella and balsamic glaze

Recipe notes:

  • Your favorite type of bread will work well for this eggplant sandwich.
  • The pesto, tapenade, roasted peppers and eggplant may all be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator in separate air tight containers until you’re ready to use.
  • Use you’re favorite store bought pesto sauce or tapenade if you’re pressed for time.
  • I used Trader Joe’s balsamic glaze.
  • Omit the mozzarella to make this sandwich dairy free and vegan.

Eggplant vegetarian sandwich on parchment with chips

Additional sandwich recipes you’ll love:

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Roasted Eggplant Sandwich

horizontal shot of roasted eggplant sandwich on parchment with chips

Roasted Eggplant Sandwich is tender eggplant with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers and pesto sauce.  It's the ultimate vegetarian sandwich!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Pesto sauce
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • (4) ciabatta rolls or your favorite bread

For the eggplant:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the Tapenade:

  • (1) medium red bell pepper, sides cut off around stem
  • (1) medium yellow bell pepper, sides cut off around stem
  • 6 jumbo kalamata olives, halved, and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Prepare the eggplant:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the eggplant in 1/4" slices and brush both sides generously with olive oil. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the tapenade:

  1. Place the bell peppers cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Place under the broiler and broil until the skin has blackened, about 10 minutes. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with foil to steam. When cool enough to handle, remove the charred flesh and coarsely chop, and place in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the chopped olives, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste to the peppers and mix well.

Prepare the pesto sauce.

1. Use my Spinach Pesto, Basil Pesto or store bought.

Assemble the sandwiches:

  1. Spread about 1 tablespoon of pesto on the top slice of bread. Spread the tapenade on the bottom slice, followed by 2 slices of eggplant, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic glaze. Place the top slice over the sandwich and enjoy!

Notes

  • Your favorite type of bread will work well for this eggplant sandwich.
  • The pesto, tapenade, roasted peppers and eggplant may all be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator in separate air tight containers until you're ready to use.
  • Use you're favorite store bought pesto sauce or tapenade if you're pressed for time.
  • I used Trader Joe's balsamic glaze.
  • Omit the mozzarella to make this sandwich dairy free and vegan.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1 sandwich

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 438mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

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