Eggplant salad is a healthy and delicious Mediterranean-inspired recipe with juicy tomatoes, pan-fried or grilled eggplant, arugula, quinoa, fresh herbs - and plenty of flavor! Omit the quinoa and make it low carb and keto.
Why You'll This Grilled Eggplant Salad
"Eggplant is such a versatile vegetable, and it just doesn't get enough attention. It has wonderful flavor especially when grilled, pan-fried, or roasted. I think you'll love it in this salad."
The Mediterranean diet typically includes mostly vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, mainly olive oil. This recipe is made up primarily of fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, olive oil, and seasoning, making it the perfect dish to enjoy.
Fire up the grill and prepare your eggplant. Don't feel like grilling? No worries! You can easily do this in a saute pan indoors as well. Mix up the salad and dressing in a bowl, top off your eggplant "filet, " and enjoy it guilt-free!
This eggplant salad is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and Whole30! Omit the quinoa, and it is a great keto, low-carb meal as well. It's also perfect if you're following a Mediterranean diet.
Grilled Eggplant Salad Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you will need to make tomato and eggplant salad:
- Large Eggplant - eggplant is a mild flavor comparable to zucchini or summer squash. It is spongey in texture when raw, but it is best enjoyed when cooked.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - you can substitute your preferred oil.
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Arugula - this green is loved for its slightly peppery flavor.
- Roma or Cherry Tomatoes - I use either one I have on hand. You could also cut a larger tomato into one inch bites.
- Cooked Quinoa - This healthy grain is an excellent substitute for rice! High in fiber and protein, plus it's gluten-free. If following a low carb or keto diet, do not use.
- Parmesan Cheese - grate your own or purchase already grated cheese.
- Fresh Parsley - fresh parsley is best for the color and flavor.
- Fresh Dill - fresh dill is best for the flavor of this fresh salad.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - you can substitute your preferred oil.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - vinegar is great for a salad dressing for its bright, tangy flavor. Apple cider vinegar adds a little sweetness to it, also!
- Lemon Juice - fresh lemon juice always has the best flavor.
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
How To Make Eggplant Salad
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making this tomato and eggplant salad:
Grill or Pan Fry the Eggplant
Generously brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Preheat a grill pan, grill, or skillet to medium-high heat.
Place eggplant slices on the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Work in batches if needed.
Set eggplant aside to cool slightly.
Mix the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
Assemble The Salad
Place quinoa (if adding), arugula, tomatoes, and eggplant on a salad plate or bowl and top with parsley, dill, and parmesan cheese.
Drizzle and Serve
Drizzle with salad dressing and serve immediately. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.
How To Serve Eggplant and Tomato Salad
Here are a few ways to serve this tomato and eggplant salad:
This salad is served best right away to prevent the eggplant and arugula from getting soggy.
Adjust the amount of dressing to your liking; if you aren't adding quinoa start by making half the amount of dressing.
Add any additional ingredients you may like, such as toasted walnuts or pine nuts, dried cranberries (not keto), or crumbled feta or goat cheese. Olives are nice as well as
Add grilled chicken, pork, or beef and make this a full meal.
What To Serve with Eggplant Salad
Eggplant salad pairs really well with roasted or grilled proteins such as chicken, pork, beef, and fish. Here are some ideas:
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Here are a few ways you can vary or make substitutions to this recipe:
- Make it low carb and keto by omitting the quinoa. Start by using only half of the dressing and add more to taste. Adjust salt and pepper until you have the perfect combination.
- Make this a Mediterranean eggplant salad by substituting feta cheese for parmesan cheese. You could also add some olives or diced lamb.
- Substitute eggplant with zucchini! It's a great replacement.
- Spice it up by adding your favorite hot sauce to your salad dressing, or use this Chipotle Seasoning on your eggplant before grilling to add some extra flavor and spice!
💭 Top Tips
- Feel free to prepare the ingredients ahead of time, but store them separately until you're ready to throw your salad together. Eggplant, however, will turn brown if sliced too soon.
- This is a cold eggplant salad, so fully cool the quinoa and eggplant before adding them.
- Do not overcook the eggplant, as it will become mushy and fall apart. Remove when it just starts to become tender, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
This cold eggplant salad should be served immediately. It is best to make only what you will eat.
With quinoa added, this salad has approximately 19 grams of carbs. Remove the quinoa and it drops to 9 carbs.
✔️ More Salad Recipes
Here are more delicious salads for you to try!
- Grilled Eggplant Caprese Salad
- Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
- Red Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts
- Zesty Italian Pasta Salad (with Pasta or Cauliflower)
- Seafood Pasta Salad (Use Pasta or Cauliflower)
- Grilled Peach Salad with Burrata
- Roasted Pumpkin Salad
- Roasted Beet Salad with Feta and Citrus Vinaigrette
- Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad with Pomegranate and Pecans
Mediterranean Eggplant Salad Recipe
- 1 large eggplant (cut into ½" thick slices; wide eggplant slices should be cut in half)
- extra virgin olive oil or olive oil spray
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup arugula
- 2 cups roma cherry tomatoes (halve cherry tomatoes or slice romas)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup fresh parsley (chopped)
- ¼ cup fresh dill (chopped)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Spray or brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Preheat a grill pan, grill, or skillet to medium-high. Place eggplant slices on the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Work in batches if needed.
- Remove eggplant from the pan and set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl mix olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar.
- Place arugula, tomatoes, and eggplant on a salad plate or bowl, and top with parsley, dill, and parmesan cheese.
- Drizzle with salad dressing and serve immediately.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- TOP TIPS: Be careful not to overcook the eggplant it gets soft quickly and then mushy. Cook it until just tender, remove from pan and cool.
- VARIATIONS: Make this a Mediterranean eggplant salad by using feta cheese instead of parmesan and even some olives, diced lamb, or chicken.
- MAKE IT LOW CARB AND KETO: Make it low carb and keto by omitting the quinoa. Start by using only half of the dressing and add more to taste. Adjust salt and pepper until you have the perfect combination.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Adjust salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately
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