Eggplant Sandwich with Tomato & Pesto

This Mediterranean tomato and grilled eggplant sandwich with basil pesto is a seriously flavorful, healthy vegetarian sandwich that’s easy to make!

Tomato & Grilled Eggplant Stacked Sandwich | A Couple Cooks

This post was created in partnership with Village Farms. All opinions are our own.

It’s summer, you’re busy, and it’s hot, right? These times call for simple to prepare summer fare, which is where this Mediterranean sandwich comes in! This tomato and eggplant sandwich is the first recipe that we’re sharing inspired by our summer vacation to the Mediterranean, and it tastes just like our travels. Many times during the day, we’d grab a sandwich from an Italian or Spanish sandwich shop. Especially in Italy, there were lots of tomatoes and eggplant sandwiches.

We created our eggplant sandwich with tomatoes especially for Village Farms and it features their juicy Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes alongside smoky grilled eggplant, creamy fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, and our secret ingredient: olive spread. This sandwich looks impressive without the fuss, which makes it a great option for concerts in the park and beach blanket picnics. Don’t forget the wine (or the frosé…or even herb infused cucumber water)! Keep reading for the recipe.

Related: 10 Vegetarian Sandwiches

Eggplant Sandwiches | A Couple Cooks
Tomato & Eggplant Sandwich | A Couple Cooks

How to make an eggplant sandwich

Even with something as simple as a sandwich, it can become complex the more components you add. Since we wanted these vegetarian sandwiches to be as easy as possible, we chose each component carefully. An eggplant sandwich can’t just look good: it’s got to taste amazing, too! The key is in the ingredient quality: do not skimp on this one. Here are the secrets on how to make our eggplant sandwich with tomatoes and pesto:

  • Ripe tomatoes: We used Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes, hydroponic tomatoes grown in a way that’s gentle on the Earth. This also makes their flavor better than any grocery tomatoes we’ve found. The Campari tomato is cocktail-sized, basically a large cherry tomato.
  • Grilled eggplant: We used a grill to grill up our eggplant, but you can also use a grill pan or even bake it.
  • Basil pesto: What is summer without pesto? For quick prep we used a purchased pesto, or use our Best Basil Pesto, Cashew Pesto, or Walnut Pesto.
  • Olive spread: The “secret” ingredient here is olive spread, also called tapenade. You should be able to find it your local grocery. Or, make our homemade Kalamata Olive Spread.
  • Best quality bread: Here we used an artisan hoagie, but you can use any type of bread. Just make sure it’s high quality!

Related: 15 Best Fresh Tomato Recipes

Change it up!

Looking for low carb options? Try a low carb version of this eggplant sandwich with tomatoes. Omit the bread and use the grilled eggplant as the stacking base. It makes for a beautiful tower of eggplant, tomatoes, and mozzarella, and would be lovely served over greens as well.

Tomato & Eggplant Sandwich | A Couple Cooks

Tips for grilling vegetables

We love grilled dinner ideas, and summer is all about throwing summer vegetables on the grill. Grilled vegetables are tricky because the timing depends on their thickness and each grill’s specific model and temperature. The most important thing is to pay attention!

Cook the vegetables until they are tender but not so soft that they fall apart. We like to use medium to medium high heat, depending on the vegetable. Grilling vegetables can take anywhere from 8 to 25 minutes, depending on the vegetable. Grill pans can be useful for smaller cut vegetables so they don’t fall through the grates.

Related: Summer Dinner Recipes to Eat Al Fresco

Tomato & Eggplant Vegetarian Sandwiches | A Couple Cooks

Looking for more vegetarian sandwich recipes?

Outside of this tomato and eggplant sandwich, are a few other vegan and vegetarian sandwich recipes we love:

Eggplant Sandwiches | A Couple Cooks

Check out Village Farms

Check out our tomato grilled eggplant stacked sandwich over on the Village Farms website:

This eggplant sandwich recipe is…

Vegetarian and refined sugar free. For gluten free, use gluten free bread or omit the bread and serve as a stack. For vegan, omit the mozzarella and use Vegan Pesto.

Tomato & Eggplant Sandwich | A Couple Cooks
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Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Stacked Sandwiches | A Couple Cooks

Eggplant Sandwich with Tomato & Pesto


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x

Description

This Mediterranean tomato and grilled eggplant sandwich with basil pesto is a seriously flavorful, healthy vegetarian sandwich that’s easy to make!


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Start the coals or heat a gas grill for medium direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean. 
  2. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices. Brush each side with olive oil. Sprinkle the tops with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the grill), turning halfway through, until tender and grill marks form. (Alternatively, you can use a grill pan on the stovetop: heat the pan and grill the eggplant slices until they are tender and grill marks form. Or, you can bake it using this method.)
  3. If desired, toast the bread in the remaining minutes on the grill.
  4. Meanwhile, thinly slice the tomatoes. Tear the mozzarella into pieces.
  5. Assemble the sandwiches: Spread pesto on the cut side of one piece of bread, and olive spread on the cut side of the other bread. Place grilled eggplant on the bread, and top with mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and basil, if using. Top with the other bread slice. If desired, wrap in aluminum foil to help contain the mess when eating!
  6. Make ahead: The sandwiches can be made a few hours in advance for picnics. If doing so, you may want to slice the tomatoes and let them sit on a cutting board for several minutes to drain excess liquid.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Stacked Sandwich, Eggplant Recipes, Tomato Recipes, Eggplant, Tomato, Mozzarella Recipes, Pesto, Pesto Recipes, Olive Spread, Tapanade, Mediterranean, Vegetarian Sandwich, Vegetarian, Summer Sandwich, Picnic Sandwich, Healthy, Meal Prep

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

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

Cookbook Author and photographer

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.

8 Comments

  • Reply
    bella
    August 16, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    I absolutely love grilled eggplant on sandwiches! These look SO delicious, I wish I had one in front of me right now!

  • Reply
    Alanna Taylor-Tobin
    August 16, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Finding a good veggie sandwich can be so challenging. Can’t wait to make these (and all the others you listed too!)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 30, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      Agree, they are deceptively challenging!

  • Reply
    Christiann Koepke
    August 17, 2018 at 12:48 am

    This looks soooo good!!! -CK

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 30, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Ginger by Choice I food & lifestyle blog
    August 27, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Your tomato and grilled eggplant stacked sandwich sounds fantastico! I used to make tapenade all the time when I was 16 (we used to travel to Italy a lot ;) but totally forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me!

    Do you think this is a good sandwich to take on the plane? I cannot eat the food they serve in there (my stomach goes crazy over that horrible food) so it’s always good to have an alternative which is savory, delicious and easy to eat.

    Cannot wait to try this, especially the tapenade,
    Eva

    Ginger by Choice I food & lifestyle blog
    http://www.gingerbychoice.de/en/

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 27, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      Haha you are so welcome! You could absolutely take this on a plane! I would probably slice the tomatoes and let them drain for a bit on the cutting board before adding them to the sandwich — they do add extra moisture! I think it would definitely work, especially if you wrap it in foil! Good luck!

  • Reply
    Claudia | The Brick Kitchen
    September 4, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Beautiful layers!!! I was in Florence this summer and had an epic stacked focaccia like this – so beautiful and definitely doable at home. Love the pesto and olives that you used!

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