This roasted eggplant dip is made with roasted vegetables, feta cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice blended together to make a variation of a classic Mediterranean dip. Great served with pita chips and sliced veggies or used as a spread in wraps and sandwiches.
There is nothing quite like homemade baba ganoush made from eggplant, tahini, and fresh Mediterranean flavors.
Tahini is simply sesame seed paste, and it’s fantastic, but it has a short shelf-life, so I hardly ever have it on hand. However, when I’m craving an eggplant dip like baba ganoush, this tahini-free version, aka Melitzanosalata, is just as satisfying.
This variation of Melitzanosalata isn’t quite traditional as it contains feta cheese and extra vegetables, but it is delicious nonetheless.
And the best part is that making this roasted eggplant dip is as simple as roasting eggplant, bell pepper, onion, tomato, and garlic and then blending it all together with lemon juice, olive oil, and feta.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s healthy. This delicious dip is made from a variety of nutrient-dense veggies and fresh ingredients.
- It makes a perfect appetizer. This elegant dip is great for parties and gatherings.
- This healthy appetizer is quick and easy to make. All you have to do is roast the vegetables and blend!
- It’s also a delicious condiment to use on sandwiches, in wraps, and even served alongside grilled meats and seafood.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: You will need olive oil for roasting the vegetables and adding to the dip.
- Eggplant: Select a large eggplant with shiny skin. The eggplant should be about 2.5 to 3 pounds. If the eggplant is smaller in size, you can use two.
- Red Bell Pepper & Tomato: When roasted, bell peppers and tomato add a sweet and smokey flavor.
- Onion & Garlic: Roasted onion and garlic deepen the savory flavor of the dish.
- Feta Cheese: Crumbled feta gives this dip a subtle tang and creamy consistency.
- Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice brightens and balances all of the flavors.
- Salt & Pepper: Add to taste to highlight the natural flavors of the fresh ingredients.
How To Make Roasted Eggplant Dip
- Prep the eggplant: With a sharp knife, cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Place the halves on a cutting board, cut side up, and sprinkle the surface with salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Roast the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rinse away the salt from the eggplant, pat the eggplant dry with a paper towel and rub each half with olive oil. Then, place the eggplant cut side down on a baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven to roast for 15 minutes.
- Prep and roast the remaining veggies: Meanwhile, cut the red bell pepper and the onion into quarters and peel the garlic cloves. Rub the cut vegetables, tomato, and garlic with olive oil. After 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Place the olive oil-coated vegetables next to the eggplant. Transfer the baking sheet back to the oven and continue roasting for another 45 minutes (or until all vegetables are soft and tender).
- Peel the roasted veggies: Once the roasted veggies are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and any seeds from the pepper, eggplant, and tomato -leaving just the flesh of each.
- Blend the ingredients: Place the roasted vegetable flesh, onions, garlic, feta cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the dip reaches a consistency to your liking.
- Season and serve: Add salt and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, and/or chopped fresh parsley, and serve.
Salting the eggplant before roasting eliminates the slightly bitter taste eggplants sometimes have. You don’t have to do this if you don’t mind the bitter taste.
Be sure to let the eggplant roast all the way through for the best flavor and texture. For a more smoky flavor, place eggplant under the broiler for a few minutes.
For a dairy-free and vegan version, simply omit the feta cheese.
If you are using the feta, be sure to taste the dip before adding additional salt, as feta is usually quite salty.
How to Serve Mediterranean Eggplant Dip
Here are a few ideas on how to serve this flavorful dip:
- You can serve it as a dip with sliced vegetables, pita wedges, crackers, chips, or slices of crusty bread.
- It tastes great as an eggplant spread on sandwiches and in wraps.
- You can serve it alongside chicken kebabs and grilled meats.
- It makes a delicious topping for fresh grilled fish or roasted salmon.
Storing & Freezing
- Storing: Keep leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.
- Freezing: Eggplant dip can technically be frozen, but the consistency may change, so it’s best to make it fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make eggplant dip with grilled eggplant?
Absolutely. Simply grill the eggplant halves cut sides down until the skin is soft and lightly charred and the flesh is soft and tender.
Is roasted eggplant dip served hot or cold?
Eggplant dips like baba ganoush and Melitzanosalata are traditionally served chilled, but they are also delicious served warm.
What is the difference between traditional baba ganoush and Melitzanosalata?
Both are made with eggplant, oil, lemon, and garlic. However, baba ganoush recipes include tahini (sesame seed paste), while Melitzanosalata does not.
More Healthy Mediterranean-Inspired Appetizers:
- Mediterranean Beets with garlic and Olive Oil
- Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant Salad
- Creamy Baba Ganoush
- Mediterranean Tomato Salad
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 eggplant, (about 2.5 to 3 pounds)
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 4 large pieces
- 1/2 medium onion, cut into 4 wedges
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tomato
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Place it on a cutting board sliced side up, sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes. The eggplant will release some moisture which helps to get rid of the slightly bitter taste typical for larger eggplant varieties. (You don't have to do this if you don't mind the bitter taste).
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Rinse the eggplant slices, pat them dry with a paper towel and generously rub with olive oil. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.
- Rub the red pepper, garlic, and onion with olive oil and place on the baking sheet beside the eggplant. Place the tomato on the baking sheet as well and roast the vegetables for another 45 minutes or until tender.
- Let the veggies cool a bit. Once cold enough to handle, place the onion and garlic into a food processor or blender.
- Remove the skin from the red pepper. Scrape the eggplant flesh and remove the skin and seeds from the tomato and place everything into the food processor. Add the feta cheese, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pulse a few times until the desired consistency.
- Taste the dip and add salt and pepper if needed. (If you use feta, you might not need any salt as feta is usually quite salty).
- Sprinkle with some fresh herbs before serving.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1/3 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 148Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3.8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6.7gCholesterol 16.7mgSodium 224.8mgCarbohydrates 9.8gFiber 3.7gSugar 5.9gProtein 4.2g
Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.