This roasted eggplant salad is full of serious flavor: it’s full of cucumber, crunchy veggies, spiced eggplant, peanuts and cilantro!
A Couple Cooks was an accident, really. When we started this it, we had no idea that we’d still be doing it years later — that it would become part of our identity, a creative outlet, and a way to explore sustainable living. Beyond that, it’s become a way for us to connect to people, to support our community, and push ourselves to constantly evolve, change, and self-reflect. And while never in our wildest dreams would we be writing about roasted eggplant salad…here we are, doing it and loving it! This healthy salad recipe is is full of flavor, featuring lots of spices, cucumber and bell pepper, cilantro and peanuts, and roasted eggplant. Ready to get started?
How to make roasted eggplant salad
This roasted eggplant salad is full of contrasts: roast-y eggplant versus crunchy cucumber and bell pepper. Warm spices like cumin and turmeric versus tangy rice vinegar and sweet honey. Soft chickpeas versus crunchy peanuts. It’s got a lot going on: but it’s also very simple to make!
The longest lead time item is roasting the eggplant. Eggplant takes just 20 minutes to roast, so you’ll get that started and then prepare all the fresh vegetables and the dressing. You’ll roast the eggplant by cutting it (more on that below), and then mixing it with olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder and turmeric. Then you’ll throw that in the oven while you complete the rest of the salad.
You’ll use the same spice blend to season the chickpeas, and then chop the veggies: cucumber, red pepper, red onion and cilantro. More detailed instructions on how to cut all these veggies are linked in the recipe below! Then you’ll mix up the dressing: rice vinegar and honey, and stir it all together. Add in some crunchy peanuts and it’s an incredible taste treat. Serve this salad with bread, muffins, or pita for a complete meal.
What are Asian eggplant or Japanese eggplant?
Asian or Japanese eggplant is a variety of eggplant that is long and thin, instead of globe shaped as you might be used to. The skin is thin and it has a lightly sweet flavor. We found Japanese eggplant at our local farmers market, and it’s part of what inspired us to make this roasted eggplant salad.
Can you use globe eggplant instead of Asian eggplant or Japanese eggplant? Absolutely. You can use a standard eggplant in this recipe: just chop it into 2-inch pieces.
Video: How to cut eggplant
If you do use a globe eggplant for this roasted eggplant salad recipe, want to know the best way to dice it? Here’s our step by step guide for how to cut eggplant, including a video of me cutting eggplant in our kitchen.
Looking for eggplant recipes?
Here are a few of our favorite ways to use eggplant:
- Grilled Eggplant with Herbed Quinoa
- Eggplant Sandwich with Tomato & Pesto
- Baba Ganoush
- Mediterranean Grilled Eggplant Salad
- Skillet Eggplant Marinara
- Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
- Eggplant Involtini with Spanish Mojo Sauce
This roasted eggplant salad recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free.Print
This roasted eggplant salad is full of serious flavor: cucumber, crunchy veggies, spiced eggplant, peanuts and cilantro!
- 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 Asian eggplants (or substitute ½ globe eggplant)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 red onion
- 1 red pepper
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons honey
- ⅓ cup peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon kosher salt, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and turmeric.
- Wash and thinly slice the eggplant (if using globe eggplant, dice the eggplant into pieces about 2 inches wide). In a large bowl, add half of the spice mix and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the eggplant. Roast for about 20 minutes or until cooked through, then allow to cool.
- Rinse the chickpeas and dry them with paper towels. In a medium bowl, stir to combine the other half of the spice mix and ½ teaspoon olive oil.
- Peel the cucumbers and dice them. Mince the onion. Dice the pepper. Chop the cilantro. Place all vegetables in a bowl (without the chickpeas).
- In a small bowl, stir together the rice vinegar, honey, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Sprinkle the dressing into the cucumber mix; save out additional dressing if desired.
- To serve, on each plate or bowl, place the cucumber mix, then top with chickpeas and roasted eggplant. Garnish with chopped cilantro and peanuts. Serve with bread, muffins or pita for a complete meal.
Adapted from Oh She Glows *This recipe makes enough for 4 modest servings; if desired, double the amount of eggplant and chickpeas to make for a more filling salad.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keywords: Roasted eggplant salad, Eggplant salad
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.