Try these delicious pesto eggplant sandwiches made with roasted eggplant and bell pepper, spinach and creamy, herbed goat cheese.
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!
Eggplant tips: Eggplant is best prepared right before service. Do not slice eggplant too early in advance; it will brown. Do not slice too thin or it will burn while roasting - it's better to err on the side of too thick! Avoid eggplant sitting for too long with oil because it is very absorbent.
Clean-up tips: Line your baking sheets with foil for easier clean-up.
Extra options: Can add a layer of grilled chicken to this sandwich for an extra protein boost! Also delicious with a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar in the middle. And feel free to use your imagination on seasoning. Delicious with just salt and pepper but have also used an Italian herb blend or Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel seasoning!
Pesto Eggplant Sandwiches Recipe | Vegetarian was first posted on May 19, 2020 at 3:02 pm.
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