These roasted eggplant and pepper pita sandwiches are loaded with flavor! A quick homemade tzatziki sauce rounds out the flavor of the roasted eggplant and sautéed peppers.
Not an eggplant fan? I am hoping these roasted eggplant and pepper pita sandwiches can win you over. 🙂 Honestly, eggplants have never been my favorite vegetable either… until now! These days I can’t seem to get enough of them and find myself daydreaming about new ways to use them in recipes. (Hence the recent post for this tomato and eggplant bake recipe.) Isn’t it funny how giving foods you dislike a second chance sometimes leads you to find a new favorite food?!
I tested the recipe for these sandwiches again over the weekend and knew I needed to get them up on the blog. They are sooo good! I know the recipe looks a little complicated, but I promise it all comes together easily. While the eggplant bakes, you’ll cook the peppers and onions on the stovetop and stir together the tzatziki sauce. By the time the eggplant is done, you’ll be all ready to assemble your sandwiches!
Tips for Cooking with Eggplant
When purchasing your eggplants, look for ones that have just a slight give when squeezed and have smooth and shiny skin. Avoid eggplants with wrinkly skin. I usually choose eggplants on the smaller side since the smaller ones tend to be less bitter with fewer seeds. For this recipe, you’ll use the globe/Italian variety of eggplant which has a bulbous shape vs the Japanese and Chinese varieties which are long and skinny like a cucumber. Try to use your eggplant soon after bringing it home since they only last a few days. Store eggplants on the counter until cooked. Cooked eggplant can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
What to Serve with these Sandwiches
Although the eggplant has a great meaty texture, these pita sandwiches don’t have a lot of protein on their own. Boost the protein content by spreading some hummus on the inside of the pita bread. You could also tuck a few vegan deli slices into the sandwich too. Personally, I just get my protein in by enjoying these for lunch with high-protein sides like a yogurt and some nuts. I like to add something spicy to these, so I drizzle some sriracha on before serving. However, harissa would be the more traditional option, but since I had sriracha I just went with it. Honestly, I think it worked really well for these sandwiches!
What is Tzatziki?
Although it sounds fancy, tzatziki is actually super simple to make and is a must for these roasted eggplant and pepper pita sandwiches. It is a sauce made from cucumber, yogurt, lemon, garlic, and salt mixed with an herb like dill, parsley, or mint. Tzatziki is typically served with grilled meats or used as a dip.
This recipe will make 4 filling pita halves. I suggest serving these immediately after making them as the pitas get soggy when you store these in the fridge for later. If you do want to try and make these ahead, I would prep all the ingredients and store them in the fridge and then assemble the sandwiches when you are ready to eat them.
Looking for more eggplant recipes? Try these!
- Tomato and Eggplant Bake
- Simple Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan
- Eggplant Lasagna Rolls
- Grilled Baba Ganoush
Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Pita Sandwich
For the Eggplant:
For the Peppers:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 red bell peppers sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt and ground black pepper
For the Tzatziki:
For the Sandwiches:
- Whole wheat pitas kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley, sriracha, spinach, feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Slice eggplants into 1/3" thick slices, place in colander, and generously salt. Set aside for 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix up olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl.
- Wipe down eggplant slices with a paper towel to remove moisture and salt. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on baking sheets.
- Brush marinade over both sides of each eggplant slice. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until eggplant is fork tender. Flip slices over after 20 minutes of baking and brush with additional olive oil if needed.
- While eggplant is baking, add olive oil to a large skillet or enamel cast iron oven. Add peppers and onions and sauté over medium-high heat until tender. Stir in garlic, salt and pepper and cook until completely softened and moisture has cooked off, about 25-30 minutes.
- To make the tzatziki sauce, grate cucumber onto a cutting board and then transfer to a strainer and gently squeeze some of the moisture out of it. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients then stir to combine.
- Assemble sandwiches by adding 2-3 eggplant slices, 1/4 peppers, 2-3 tablespoons tzatziki, and other toppings as desired.