Grilled Eggplant & Pesto Sandwiches

Grilled Eggplant and Arugula-Pesto Sandwiches /

You probably don’t need a recipe to make a sandwich but I couldn’t help but share this big juicy stack of late-summer grilled veggies. I rarely make sandwiches these days, (mostly because I live in the town of tacos)… but these simply grilled eggplant slices were just begging to be put between bread and slathered with arugula-walnut pesto. I piled on some roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella. Sub avocado for the cheese if you’re vegan. Then get out the napkins because things are gonna get messy!

Grilled Eggplant and Arugula-Pesto Sandwiches / Grilled Eggplant and Arugula-Pesto Sandwiches /

You can assemble your sandwich like I did, or put the ingredients on a platter so everyone can make whatever combo they like. There are no wrong answers here…

Grilled Eggplant and Arugula-Pesto Sandwiches /

For further instruction, I made this animated gif for you. And now I’m starving… is it lunchtime yet?

Grilled Eggplant and Arugula-Pesto Sandwiches /

grilled eggplant & pesto sandwiches

Serves: serves 4
for the sandwiches:
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • drizzle of olive oil, for grilling the eggplant
  • 4 ciabatta rolls, toasted if you like
  • a few roasted peppers (optional)
  • ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced (skip if vegan)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
arugula walnut pesto:
  • ⅓ cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • big handful of arugula (plus reserve a few sprigs for the sandwiches)
  • big handful of basil (also reserve a few)
  • juice of ½ a small lemon
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup olive oil
  1. Slice your eggplant and arrange the slices in one layer on a plate. Sprinkle generously with salt and let it sit while you prep everything else. In a few minutes, it'll become watery, dab off the water with a clean towel before you grill the eggplant.
  2. Make your pesto by pulsing together the walnuts and garlic. Then add arugula, basil, lemon, salt & pepper. Pulse again, then add the olive oil and pulse one last time. I made my pesto chunky, add more olive oil if you prefer a smoother pesto. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  3. Preheat a grill or grill pan. Once it's hot, drizzle your eggplant with olive oil and place on a hot grill. Let each side cook for 2-3 minutes or until nice grill marks form.
  4. Assemble sandwiches with pesto, arugula, mozzarella and/or avocado, grilled eggplant, roasted peppers, and a sprig of basil.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Andrea

    This was SO GOOD! I also saved this specific pesto recipe and make it all the time. Even the veggie-averse love it! So versatile, flavorful and healthy

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you loved the sandwiches, and great to hear that the pesto was a hit!

  2. Christine

    I just got a bunch of eggplants from my CSA and WILL be making this. Thanks!

    I did make the pesto and liked it.

    • Christine

      And I have that plate- love it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.