These light and fresh grilled eggplant slices are soft, tender, and are a perfect healthy side for a summer cookout. They’re even more delicious topped simply with feta cheese, fresh herbs, and lemon juice!

Plate of grilled eggplant slices with feta cheese and herbs with a gold serving fork

As a Registered Dietitian, I look forward to all the fresh produce in abundance in the summer. I love to grill all sorts of vegetables for cookouts, like zucchini, peppers, asparagus, and eggplant slices. They’re delicious grilled simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper, but also SO good with some feta cheese and fresh herbs.

These grilled eggplant slices are soft and tender, and can be done on a grill or a grill pan indoors, if you don’t have access to a grill. This healthy summer side dish is vegetarian, gluten free, and nut free. You can easily make it vegan and dairy free!

Ingredients for this grilled eggplant side dish

You’ll need just a few simple ingredients to make this recipe:

  • Eggplant: Look for firm, shiny, and evenly shaped eggplant when shopping. Even better if you can find fresh local eggplant at a farmers market!
  • Feta cheese: I like to use block feta cheese and crumble it up by hand. It’s creamier and richer than pre-crumbled feta.
  • Fresh herbs: I used a combination of parsley and dill. This would also be delicious with other herbs such as basil, mint, or cilantro.
  • Olive oil to coat the eggplant for grilling and drizzling.
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Ingredient and dietary restriction substitution ideas

  • Experiment with different types of eggplant. There are so many varieties of eggplant you can find! This recipe can be made with just about any kind, including globe eggplant (as I used), Italian eggplant, graffiti eggplant, white eggplant, or Japanese eggplant. For thinner eggplant varieties, you may have to cut them in another shape instead of rounds.
  • Use a different cheese. This recipe would taste great with crumbled goat cheese, freshly grated parmesan, or ricotta salata.
  • Swap grilled zucchini for grilled eggplant. Not the biggest eggplant fan? Make this recipe as is, but use grilled zucchini instead! The flavors will taste good with either vegetable.
  • Make it dairy free/vegan. Try using a vegan feta cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast instead of feta. Or just double up on the fresh herbs! Still simple and delicious.
Ingredients for grilled eggplant with feta and herbs on a grey background, some ingredients in small bowls

To salt or not to salt eggplant slices?

Many eggplant recipes instruct you to salt sliced eggplant before cooking it to draw out bitterness. From my experience and research, this step is largely unnecessary, and salting an eggplant won’t significantly affect the flavor of your recipe.

Salting eggplant DOES help draw out excess water, though, which can be helpful in recipes like eggplant parmesan. But for this grilled eggplant recipe, go ahead and skip the salting!

How to make grilled eggplant with feta and herbs

Prep your grill or grill pan by heating it up on medium – high heat. While the grill is heating, slice eggplant into 1/8th – 1/4th inch thick slices.

Toss the eggplant slices in plenty of olive oil and salt and pepper. Eggplant acts like a sponge with oil, so it’s important to use enough to prevent it from sticking to the grill.

Spray a little bit of oil on the grill grates or grill pan, then put your eggplant slices down on the grill. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, until eggplant is tender and easily pierced with a fork.

Chop up your fresh herbs and sprinkle them over the eggplant slices. Crumble feta cheese with your hands over the eggplant. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Season with more salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Preparation tips and storage

This recipe is best eaten right when it’s prepared, once it is fully assembled. If you plan to make this ahead of time, you can grill the eggplant slices and store them alone in an airtight container.

When ready to serve, just reheat the eggplant slices in a low-heat oven or right on the grill. Then add the feta cheese, fresh herbs, lemon and olive oil when ready to serve!

Grilled eggplant slices on a plate

Eggplant nutrition benefits

Eggplant is a nutritious food to include in your diet. Thanks to its unique texture and savory flavor, it makes an excellent meat substitution for vegetarian and vegan diets. One cup of raw eggplant provides the following nutrients:

  • 3 grams of dietary fiber
  • 10 percent of your daily manganese needs
  • 5 percent of your daily folate and potassium needs

Eggplant is also extremely high in antioxidants. These compounds give eggplant it’s vibrant purple hue, and are mostly found in the skin. Antioxidants protect our cells from free radical damage, and may help prevent certain chronic diseases like heart disease.

Eggplant nutrition tip: Consume the eggplant skin for the most nutrition bang for your buck! It contains antioxidants and fiber.

Plate of grilled eggplant slices with feta cheese and herbs with a gold serving fork

Serving suggestions

  • As a side with salmon burgers, veggie burgers, or your favorite grilled protein
  • Stuffed in a pita wrap with hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion
  • With a Mediterranean inspired dip or dressing, like tzatziki or tahini sauce

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

Print

Grilled Eggplant with Feta Cheese and Herbs

These light and fresh grilled eggplant slices are soft, tender, and are a perfect healthy side for a summer cookout. They’re even more delicious topped simply with feta cheese, fresh herbs, and lemon juice!

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: grill
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large globe or Italian eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill and parsley, chopped
  • 23 oz feta cheese
  • Juice of half a lemon

Instructions

  1. Heat grill or grill pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add eggplant slices to a large mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Spray some oil on the grill grates or grill pan, then add eggplant slices to the grill. Be mindful not to crowd the pan or grill, and cook in batches if necessary.
  4. Grill eggplant slices for about 3 minutes per side, until fork tender and soft.
  5. Plate in a thin layer and top with chopped fresh herbs, crumbed feta cheese, lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Notes

Ingredient and dietary restriction substitution ideas

  • Experiment with different types of eggplant. There are so many varieties of eggplant you can find! This recipe can be made with just about any kind, including globe eggplant (as I used), Italian eggplant, graffiti eggplant, white eggplant, or Japanese eggplant. For thinner eggplant varieties, you may have to cut them in another shape instead of rounds.
  • Use a different cheese. This recipe would taste great with crumbled goat cheese, freshly grated parmesan, or ricotta salata.
  • Swap grilled zucchini for grilled eggplant. Not the biggest eggplant fan? Make this recipe as is, but use grilled zucchini instead! The flavors will taste good with either vegetable.
  • Make it dairy free/vegan. Try using a vegan feta cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast instead of feta. Or just double up on the fresh herbs! Still simple and delicious.

Preparation tips and storage

This recipe is best eaten right when it’s prepared, once it is fully assembled. If you plan to make this ahead of time, you can grill the eggplant slices and store them alone in an airtight container.

When ready to serve, just reheat the eggplant slices in a low-heat oven or right on the grill. Then add the feta cheese, fresh herbs, lemon and olive oil when ready to serve.

Keywords: grilled eggplant, feta cheese

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Plate of grilled eggplant slices with feta cheese and herbs with a gold serving fork