Grilled Eggplant with Pecan Pesto

By: Kara Lydon, Foodie Dietitian

Serving Size: 8

Cook Time: 65 mins Prep
10-30 mins Cooking

Rich, nutty pecans provide added depth to the exceptionally flavorful pesto sauce drizzled atop grilled eggplant slices. A flavorful, vegetarian-friendly dish perfect for grilling season.



1/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted

4 small to medium eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon olive oil or pecan oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Microgreens for garnish (optional)

Pecan Pesto:

1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted

2 cups packed basil

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic

1/2 tablespoon lemon zest (approx. from one lemon)

1/2 cup olive oil or pecan oil

Salt and pepper, to taste


Make the Eggplant:

    1. Generously salt the eggplant and place eggplant into a colander over a bowl or over the sink. Let sit and drain for one hour. Rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.
    2. Brush both sides of eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
    3. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Place eggplant slices on the grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until browned.

Make the Pecan Pesto:

    1. Toast the pecans: preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until aromatic.
    2. Add the basil, pecans, cheese, garlic and lemon zest to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly add olive oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Spread pesto on top of Eggplant and top with chopped pecans and optional microgreen garnish.

Nutritional Facts:




24 g

Saturated Fat

3.5 g


840 g


18 g


9 g


5 g