Roasted Eggplant with Zaatar, served over rice or grains with lemony tahini sauce, plain yogurt or tzatzki sauce. Vegan, Gluten-free! With a  video.

Zataar Roasted Eggplant served over rice or grains with lemony tahini sauce, plain yogurt or tzatzki sauce. Vegan, Gluten-free! | If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished? ~ Rumi~

This Zaatar Roasted Eggplant is one of my favorite meals. Earthy, tangy, Middle Eastern flavors compliment luscious roasted eggplant and with only 15 minutes of prep, the oven does the rest of the work. A simple, healthy weeknight dinner that will satisfy. Serve over rice or whole grains with seasonal veggies like tomatoes, cucumber or radishes, and your choice of lemony tahini sauce, plain yogurt or even the cucumber dill tzatziki from last week.

I love this technique of crosshatching the eggplant and you can use this same technique with other seasonings or marinades – think miso glaze, balsamic glaze, or even just olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Zaatar if unfamiliar, is a blend of Middle Eastern spices that can be made at home or that can be purchased.

Zaatar Roasted Eggplant | Video

How to make Zaatar Eggplant

Crosshatched Zataar Roasted Eggplant served over rice or grains with lemony tahini sauce, plain yogurt or tzatzki sauce. Vegan, Gluten-free! |

Step 1

Globe eggplant is “crosshatched”.  Feel free to use smaller eggplant or Japanese eggplant which will cook faster and perhaps not need such dramatic crosshatching.

zaatar Spice

Step 2

Make a paste with Zaatar and olive oil and brush it on the eggplant. (You can make homemade Zaatar or try this Seattle brand– by Villa Jerada our favorite!)

In this recipe, I skip the step of salting and draining the liquid- which saves time, but feel free to do if so inclined.

Crosshatched Zataar Roasted Eggplant served over rice or grains with lemony tahini sauce, plain yogurt or tzatzki sauce. Vegan, Gluten-free! |

Step 3

Bake the eggplant  in the oven for 1 hour, checking after 40 minutes, remembering smaller eggplant will take less time, bigger ones, more.

Crosshatched Zataar Roasted Eggplant served over rice or grains with lemony tahini sauce, plain yogurt or tzatzki sauce. Vegan, Gluten-free! |

Step 4

Cook your choice of grain- rice, bulgar, freekeh, farro, quinoa, or even cous cous.

Crosshatched Zataar Roasted Eggplant served over rice or grains with lemony tahini sauce, plain yogurt or tzatzki sauce. Vegan, Gluten-free! |

Step 5

Prep any veggies you like- tomatoes, radishes, cucumber and whisk together a tahini sauce, tzatziki, (or feel free to use store-bought), or use plain yogurt. Alternatively, you could simply dress the rice and raw veggies with salt, olive oil and lemon for a lighter touch.

Step 6

When the eggplant is very tender, plate it over the rice with the veggies, optional olives and sauces.

Crosshatched Zataar Roasted Eggplant served over rice or grains with lemony tahini sauce, plain yogurt or tzatzki sauce. Vegan, Gluten-free! |

Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Add Aleppo chili flakes if you like.

Crosshatched Zataar Roasted Eggplant served over rice or grains with lemony tahini sauce, plain yogurt or tzatzki sauce. Vegan, Gluten-free! |

Add plain yogurt for extra richness, or tahini sauce, or tzatziki.

The eggplant will have a creamy custard-like consistency – luscious and delicious!

Hope you enjoy!



More eggplant recipes you might like:

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Zataar Roasted Eggplant with fresh tomatoes, tahini or yogurt sauce and cooked grain. A healthy vegan gluten-free meal.

Zaatar Roasted Eggplant

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Main - Vegan and Gluten free
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern


Roasted Eggplant with Zaatar- a blend of middle eastern spices – served over rice or whole grains, with fresh veggies and yogurt, tahini sauce and/or tzatziki and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.


Units Scale
  • 1 globe eggplant ( about 11 1/8 lb)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon zataar spice mix- or see notes (or use store-bought zaatar!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 fat garlic clove

Served with:

  • 2 cups cooked rice or grains ( freekeh, farro, quinoa)
  • 12 cups fresh chopped veggies- tomato, cucumber, radish, grated carrot or beets
  • your choice of tahini sauce, plain yogurt, or tzatziki
  • other options- Italian parsley, kalamata olives, aleppo chili flakes, feta or goat cheese crumbles


Preheat oven to 400F

Slice Eggplant in half, then slice deeply at a diagonal at one-inch intervals -“crosshatching”( see photos above) careful not to cut through skin.

Season each side with ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, sprinkling it into the slices if possible.

Mix oil, spices, garlic together in a bowl to make a paste. Brush or spoon the entire contents over the eggplant and place on a sheet pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour rotating halfway through. After an hour, pierce with a fork and if they are very tender and juicy, they are done. Bigger eggplants may take longer.

In the meantime, cook the grain and chop or prep any other veggies.

When the eggplant is done, assemble the plates, topping the warm rice or grain with the roasted eggplant, then surround with fresh veggies and drizzle with tahini sauce, yogurt or tzatziki- or you could simply season the fresh veggies and rice with salt, lemon and olive oil. Add olives or cheese if you wish. Sprinkle with fresh Italian parsley. Enjoy!


Notes- If you don’t have Zaatar-  use a substitution of:  ½  teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon coriander,  1 teaspoon sumac  (and if you don’t have sumac, sub 1 teaspoon lemon zest -or finely chopped preserved lemon),  ½ teaspoon dried oregano or thyme , ½ teaspoon sesame seeds and a pinch salt.

If using smaller eggplant, cross-hatching may not be necessary, and roasting time will shorten significantly – check after 30 minutes, and cook until very fork-tender. If using extra large globe eggplant, cooking time may increase.

This brand of store-bought Zaatar is my favorite.


  • Serving Size: Includes: ½ eggplant w/ 1 cup cooked rice, 1 cup tomatoes and 1 tablespoon plain whole fat yogurt
  • Calories: 344
  • Sugar: 11.8 g
  • Sodium: 375.7 mg
  • Fat: 16.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 41 g
  • Fiber: 2.4 g
  • Protein: 9.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 22.1 mg

Keywords: Zaatar roasted Eggplant, Roasted Eggplant with Zaatar, Roasted Eggplant, Vegan Eggplant Recipes, eggplant recipes vegan

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  1. Love recipe, eggplant skin got a bit crispy and eggplant well cooked. Zataar is a favorite. Sprinkled a bit of reduced fat feta had on hand–and a dap of roasted red pepper hummus–but it actually was good without any topping at all too. Will make again while eggplants are so nice. Thank you.

  2. first time making eggplant. this was wonderful! so flavorful and easy. cant wait to make something w eggplant again.

  3. As usual, your recipe was fantastic! This is now my favorite way to make eggplant.

    I served the eggplant over a combination of brown rice and quinoa. I smothered it in tahini sauce (using your recipe) with bits of Caselvetrano olive and dollops of goat cheese.

    What a feast!

  4. So good. The eggplant is soft and mild under the delicious tahini dressing. We served it over cous cous mixed with sautéed mushrooms and spinach and a side of halved heirloom cherry tomatoes drizzled with lemon. Great meatless meal!

  5. The eggplant in this recipe turns out so buttery and flavorful. Zaatar is one of my go to spices and with the eggplant, it is delicious.

  6. Fabulous!! Terrific technique to tenderize the eggplant. Watch your roast though – ours was done in as little as 40 minutes. Loved it with the sautéed greens recipe & quinoa.

  7. Love, love, love this recipe! Thank you so much for giving us a good excuse to forego meat for a night! This was delicious and full of flavor! I followed the recipe except that I chipped up four cloves of garlic and added them to the oil/spice rub – fantastic! If you are a big fan of garlic I highly recommend! The eggplant ended up only needing 45 min but it was easy to tell. I have never in my life had creamier, more flavorful eggplant and my fiancé and I will be adding this to our regular rotation!

    I ended up pairing this with orzo, carrots & peppers sautéed with Zataar and oil, and a cucumber tomato & mint salad. We topped everything with lemon juice and a dash of olive oil. So delicious!!

  8. Oh my goodness, this recipe is HEAVEN! I followed it to the letter and my eggplant came out perfectly. It was actually crispy on top and melting beneath. The flavours and textures were wonderful. I make my own zaatar, I love it with an extra dose of oregano. I served it with quinoa, cucumber and tomatoes with fresh goat’s cheese crumbled over, and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Can’t wait to make this again! Thank you for such wonderful recipes.

  9. What a wonderful recipe, Sylvia. Thank you! The eggplant was so creamy and delicious!! I served it over quinoa mixed with lightly sauteed spinach and mushrooms; and radishes and hard-boiled egg on the side. I chose the veggies by what was in the fridge that needed to be used, and it was a winner 🙂

  10. Fantastic recipe. I may try a little garlic next time for an extra kick. Zataar is my new favorite spice blend.

  11. Wow, delicious! Turned out so well, my eggplant cooked for about 45 mins, so cook time definitely depends on the size.

  12. The eggplant was terrific. I served it with green tahini sauce, but I think next time I’ll just opt for zhoug mixed with hummus. Lucky for me, no one else in my family will touch eggplant so it’s all mine!

    I also made your za’atar roasted cauliflower tonight. That I had to share….

    Thank you for sharing these recipes.

  13. OMG this was Devine. Got it in the oven in no time flat. My eggplant was medium size and seemed done at 45 mins. I forgot to get tzaki sauce but sprinkled on crumbled feta and put it back in the oven for a few minutes. Wonderful creamy texture. YUM!

  14. Followed the recipe exactly as written with three baby eggplant. Roasted for about an hour and fifteen minutes and these were AMAZING!!! Thanks so much for sharing this keeper-recipe.

  15. This was the best eggplant stand-on-it’s-own recipe I’ve tried. Your website by the way has been a lifesaver for me with my dietary issues. Let me just say, I don’t think I can go back to lemon juice in a bottle ever! All of your recipes are phenomenal.

  16. Definitely a new staple meal for me. I ditched the grain and went for a salad instead and used coconut yoghurt and it’s so freaking delicious.

  17. Thanks for the recipe! I made this last night, except I substituted zucchini halves for the eggplant. Everything else in the directions I followed, and my grain of choice was couscous. The result was a solidly good meal, but not a next level great one. I think it might be better with the eggplant, as that vegetable tends to soak up flavors a bit more. I will try it with the eggplant and see if it elevates the meal. I also wonder if tzatiki with some tabouli added on top of the eggplant post baking would do the trick. I used the lemon tahini dressing this round (also good!). Oh, and don’t skip on the olives, I found them to be key!

  18. This looks lovely. I’ve been looking for more recipes for my middle eastern spices, and I have an eggplant in the fridge. Thanks!

  19. The pictures look amazing and love the texture of the final dish. Looks more like chocolate fudge than roasted eggplant. 🙂 I usually grill my eggplant as it saves time, but will roast it your way for a change. This side will complement a variety of cooked grains from bulgur to quinoa. Zaatar does add a punch to many dishes Although, the quality of zaatar mixes vary a lot. Most in the market contain fillings like wheat, or even citric acid in place of sumac, and importantly low quality and less amount of the zaatar herb. If buying online, search for Za’atar with no fillings, pure za’atar, or zaatar no salt. If allowed in the comment, I’d suggest my favorite online store for buying zaatar —

  20. Brilliant marriage of flavors! I eat with fresh, garlicky cherry tomatoes and bulgur, freekeh or quinoa side 🙂 thank you!

    1. Hi Ellen, I updated the nutritional description- thanks! Yes, it includes a cup of rice, tomatoes and a tablespoon of whole milk yogurt.

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