Try these delicious pesto eggplant sandwiches made with roasted eggplant and bell pepper, spinach and creamy, herbed goat cheese. Pin it for later here.
You know those recipes you used to love, and then completely forgot about? THIS IS ONE OF THEM! My friend posted some yummy eggplant sandwiches on her IG story the other day and I said “YUMM!!” And she said, “You taught me how to make these!” WHOOPS. True. I used to make them alllll the time in college! The time has come to put these back in rotation!
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Pesto Eggplant Sandwiches
These pesto eggplant sandwiches use roasted eggplant and bell pepper, along with pesto, spinach and herbed goat cheese to make a delectable combo! They are creamy, flavorful, and you will want to make them again and again.
In this variation, I’ve made these pesto eggplant sandwiches using a long French loaf of bread because it reduces the prep time of putting individual sandwiches together, makes it a great appetizer, simple for feeding a family or saving for meal prep lunches throughout the week. That said, a French loaf obviously is not quite as nutrient-rich as individual whole grain bread slices. Feel free to swap and make on whole grain bread! I don’t usually find whole grain breads in a loaf style, but sliced whole grain bread works fine!
How to Make these Pesto Eggplant Sandwiches
You’ll start by tossing both the eggplant and bell pepper (separately) in olive oil, salt and pepper. Then roast the eggplant, add the bell pepper halfway through roasting the eggplant, and then begin assembling your sandwiches! Keep some tongs handy (like these*) for quick flipping and veggie arranging!
You can remove the skins from the bell pepper after roasting if you want, but from plentiful trial and error, I think it’s a waste of time! The sandwiches turn out fantastic with the skin in tact, it saves your sanity and honestly the peels of fruits and veggies generally offer a lot of nutrition I’d recommend hanging onto!
Feel free to take liberties and add whatever veggie fillings you’d like to these eggplant sandwiches!
Nutrition Behind Eggplant, Bell Pepper and Spinach
I often get asked, “I know ______ [insert any plant] is supposed to be healthy… but why?!” So here’s the nutrition quick and dirty on eggplant, bell pepper and spinach.
Eggplant is a non-starchy vegetable. One serving of eggplant is about 1/5th of an eggplant. It’s low in carbohydrates (5 g per serving) and a good source of fiber (3 g per serving) (1,2). It has about 8% of the DRI for folate, 6% for niacin, and 5% of the DRI for potassium (2). Eggplant is also a source of anthocyanins, a group of powerful antioxidants usually found in blue and purple plants.
Bell pepper is another non-starchy veggie. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, meeting over 250% of the DRI in 1 c chopped bell pepper, an excellent source of vitamin A at 33% of the DRI and rich in beta-carotene (3). Again, it’s a good source of fiber, as are most fruits, vegetables and whole grains (3). On a personal note, my favorite bell peppers are orange, red, or yellow because they tend to be sweeter than green bell peppers! (You might want to try this turkey stuffed bell pepper recipe here!)
Spinach, another non-starchy veggie, is most popular for its folate content, meeting 12% of folate needs in 1 c loosely packed spinach (4). It is a good source of vitamin C, also high in vitamins A and C, iron and a good source of magnesium.
What to Serve with Eggplant Sandwiches
If I’m serving these in my house for a meal, I usually bring in an additional protein (either grilled chicken on the side or grilled or shredded chicken added to the sandwich) because it’s a little lower in protein for the hubs!
If I’m serving these as an appetizer for a gathering, they pair great with a nice salad and fruit!
Pesto Eggplant Sandwiches Recipe
Let’s move right onto the recipe here! Be sure to check the recipe notes for additional tips on making these perfectly!
Pin it for later here.
Pesto Eggplant Sandwiches
- 1 eggplant, cut in 1/4 to 1/2" slices
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 oz herbed goat cheese
- 4 Tbsp pesto
- 1 loaf French bread
- 2 c loosely-packed spinach
- 1 bell pepper, julienned (red, orange or yellow)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Pull the goat cheese out of the fridge to soften.
- While oven is preheating, slice eggplant into 1/4 to 1/2" slices (too thin and they will burn!) and julienne bell pepper. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. (Optional: can add favorite herb seasoning!). Transfer eggplant to a baking sheet without the slices touching one another. Repeat seasoning process with bell pepper and set aside.
- Place eggplant in the oven (middle rack) for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip the bell pepper and add bell pepper to the oven to roast. Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes.
- Prepare the French bread. Slice lengthwise in half. Layer bottom half with pesto. Add goat cheese to the top half.
- When eggplant is finished cooking, add eggplant on top of the pesto side. Then layer with spinach and top with bell pepper. Place the top of the French bread on top of the bottom and place back in oven for 5 more minutes.
- Slice and enjoy.