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roasted greek eggplant with plant-based feta

by Jackie Newgent  |  November 30, 2023  |  3 Comments

Roasted Greek Eggplant with Plant-Based Feta on white platter

(Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

If you’re ready to elevate your side dish game, you’ll adore this hearty recipe straight from the pages of The Plant-Based Diabetes Cookbook! Yes, that’s my newest cookbook. (Find out more about it HERE!) I hope you’ll check it out soon if you have diabetes or prediabetes—or if you simply want some creative plant-filled dishes! At the heart of all the 100% plant-based recipes is deliciousness. In the meantime, let’s dive into the world of Mediterranean-inspired goodness with this Roasted Greek Eggplant with Plant-Based Feta recipe.

The Plant-Based Diabetes Cookbook Front Cover

Let’s Talk Side Dishes

I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to stomp into a restaurant kitchen and tell them that no matter how delicious my entrée might have been, my side dish was second-rate, at best. (I haven’t yet done this … yet!!!) Sides shouldn’t be thought of as afterthoughts. They deserve as much culinary love and attention as the main dish, including for home cooks. If you’re looking for some wow-worthiness in the form of a side dish, this roasted eggplant recipe is a winner. The finishing touches of fresh herbs, plant-based feta, and lemon zest make this side more like the star of the plate. And don’t worry, it’s so simple to make!

misfit eggplant

Let’s Talk Eggplant

First things first, we’re talking about eggplant–the unsung hero of the vegetable kingdom. Forget the boring stereotypes; we’re roasting these bad boys until they’re golden and gloriously caramelized. The full-on flavors and texture that’ll leave you questioning why you ever doubted the mighty eggplant.

Saucepan of marinara sauce with fresh basil

Let’s Talk Sauce

Now, let’s talk sauce–but not just any sauce. We’re going rogue with a cinnamon-spiced, no-sugar-added marinara. You can start with your own marinara sauce recipe or simply pick your favorite jarred variety (like Rao’s Homemade Tomato Sauce for a speedy version. (Hint: Try my recipe for DIY Simple No-Sugar-Added Marinara Sauce below—that’s what you see in the image above!) The warmth of cinnamon gives it extra oomph and the lemon juice you’ll add to it provides taste balance. Promise, you’ll be licking the spoon!

Tip: Enjoy a saucier side? Simply double up on the mixture of marinara sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and cinnamon in this recipe!

Note: I use plenty of fresh basil to make my DIY Simple No-Sugar-Added Marinara Sauce. But in the actual Roasted Greek Eggplant with Plant-Based Feta recipe, you’ll be using parsley and mint.

closeup of roasted greek eggplant with plant-based feta on white platter

The Result

Picture this: comforting roasted eggplant slices gracefully draped in the embrace of our cinnamon-spiced marinara. The pops of tangy plant-based feta add extra appeal. Think of this Roasted Greek Eggplant with Plant-Based Feta dish as a culinary odyssey through the Mediterranean, no passport required. You’ll be doing a happy dance in your kitchen.

In the world of The Plant-Based Diabetes Cookbook, my goal is to craft cuisine experiences, not just recipes. That’s why this roasted eggplant side dish isn’t just a side dish; it’s a savory journey showcasing that healthy eating is synonymous with delicious eating.

Print
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Roasted Greek Eggplant with Plant-Based Feta on white platter

roasted greek eggplant with plant-based feta


  • Author: Jackie Newgent
  • Total Time: 42 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to stomp into a restaurant kitchen and tell them that no matter how delicious my entrée might have been, my side dish was second-rate, at best. (I haven’t yet done this … yet!!!) Sides shouldn’t be thought of as afterthoughts. They deserve as much culinary love and attention as the main dish, even for home cooks. If you’re looking for a wow-worthy side dish, this roasted eggplant recipe is it. The finishing touches of fresh herbs, plant-based feta, and lemon zest make this side more like the star of the plate.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons no-sugar-added marinara sauce of choice (or try DIY Simple No-Sugar-Added Marinara Sauce below)
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 small lemon (1 tablespoon juice), divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 small (14-ounce) eggplants, each quartered lengthwise, stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped, fresh, flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 tablespoons finely crumbled plant-based feta cheese*

*Note: Ideally, choose vegan cheese products based on tree nuts.


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the marinara sauce, lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, and cinnamon. Arrange the eggplant wedges, skin side down, on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat, or unbleached parchment paper- lined baking sheet. Generously brush the cut surfaces of the eggplant wedges with the marinara mixture.
  2. Roast the eggplant wedges until fully cooked, about 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with the parsley, mint, plant-based feta, and lemon zest, and serve. (Hint: For an extra-luscious appearance, consider spritzing the roasted eggplant with organic olive oil cooking spray before garnishing.)

Notes

Tip: Enjoy a saucier side? Simply double up on the mixture of marinara sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and cinnamon!

Note: I use plenty of fresh basil to make my DIY Simple No-Sugar-Added Marinara Sauce. But in the actual Roasted Greek Eggplant with Plant-Based Feta recipe, you’ll be using parsley and mint.

DIY Simple No-Sugar-Added Marinara Sauce: In a medium saucepan, cook 2 minced garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes and a few pinches of sea salt; bring just to a boil over high, then re- duce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons (or more!) finely chopped fresh basil. That’s it. Enjoy it! (Makes 3 cups.)

Salt, Pepper, and Cinnamon: Stash cinnamon next to your salt and pepper shakers. You can use cinnamon to add flavor and a touch of intriguing sweetness to both savory and sweet dishes instead of adding more salt or sugar. Try it.

Recipes for Roasted Greek Eggplant with Plant-Based Feta and DIY Simple No-Sugar-Added Marinara Sauce are reprinted from The Plant-Based Diabetes Cookbook by Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN (HCI Books, October 2023).

Diabetes Choices/Exchanges: 2 1⁄2 vegetable, 1 fat

(Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Greek

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 wedges
  • Calories: 110
  • Sugar: 6g includes 0g added sugars
  • Sodium: 250mg
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: eggplant, roasted eggplant, greek cuisine, side dish, vegan side dish, plant-based side dish, The Plant-Based Diabetes Cookbook

Looking for other exciting side dishes?

Here you go!

Jackie Newgent holding her new book, The Plant-Based Diabetes Cookbook

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  1. I love your recipe for the eggplant dish.
    Question, are you using parsley or basil with the tomatoes? I thought I saw basil but then the recipe said parsley.
    Thank You

    1. HI Eileen! Thanks! And excellent question. I use plenty of fresh basil to make my DIY Simple No-Sugar-Added Marinara Sauce. But in the actual Roasted Greek Eggplant with Plant-Based Feta recipe, you’ll be using parsley and mint. Hope that helps explain it better. I added a note to the blog post to help clarify this. So, thank you!