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Loaded Grilled Eggplant Creamy Herb Sauce Vegetarian | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

This Loaded Grilled Eggplant with Creamy Herb Sauce is the perfect vegetarian dish to serve all season long! The perfectly grilled eggplant is topped with a nut based vegetarian filling, a creamy sauce and finished with tons of fresh herbs. It’s unique and is so delicious. It’s also gluten-free and Paleo and Whole30 compliant.

Loaded Grilled Eggplant on a plateLoaded Grilled Eggplant Recipe with Creamy Herb Sauce

If you are looking for a hearty vegetarian Summer dish perfect for a Summer BBQ this is it! This grilled eggplant topped with a meatless umami flavored nut mixture and a creamy sauce will be the hit of any part it’s served at. This interesting dish will be loved by meat eaters and non-eaters alike.

The inspiration for this recipe came from Yotom Ottolenghi’s cookbook, “Jerusalem”. He has an eggplant dish where he covers the eggplant in za’tar, baked it and then tops it with a buttermilk sauce! Ever since seeing it, I had to try to make my own dairy-free version with all sorts of fresh summer herbs!

Preparing eggplant for grilled eggplant recipe

If you have ever cooked with baby eggplant before you know that they are not just adorable, but also have a slightly sweet flavor. The combination of the grilled baby eggplant with the savory creamy sauce is perfection. We now want to use this sauce on everything!

Steps to Make This Grilled Eggplant Recipe:

  1. Make the dressing
  2. Toast the meatless nut mixture
  3. Grill the eggplant
  4. Assemble the eggplants!

How to make Grilled EggplantHow to Grill Eggplant

  1. Preheat grill
  2. Slice the eggplant or cut in half, as desired. Score the eggplant if cutting in half.
  3. Salt the eggplants for about 30 minutes to let the excess moisture drain out
  4. Pat the eggplant dry
  5. Brush with olive oil and pepper
  6. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and soft to touch.

Meatless filling made from nuts for grilled eggplant

Watch the video:

Loaded Grilled Eggplant

If you like this meatless dish, check out these others:

If you like this eggplant dish, check out these others:

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Loaded Grilled Eggplant Creamy Herb Sauce {Vegetarian, dairy-free, BBQ, Summer, gluten-free, paleo-friendly} | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Loaded Grilled Eggplant with Creamy Herb Sauce

4.25 from 4 votes
This Loaded Grilled Eggplant with Creamy Herb Sauce is the perfect vegetarian dish to serve all season long! The perfectly grilled eggplant is topped with a nut based vegetarian filling, a creamy sauce and finished with tons of fresh herbs
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


Nut Crumble:

  • 2 cups raw pecans or walnuts chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 th teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper more to taste
  • Pinch Red pepper flakes

Grilled Eggplant:

  • 4 Baby or Italian eggplants sliced in half with the stems kept.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley roughly chopped


  • Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Place dressing in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • In a small saucepan, add the ingredients for the nut crumble over low heat. Mix until well combined and toast the nuts until fragrant. About 5-10 minutes. Set mixture aside until ready to serve.
  • Slice eggplant in half and score the flesh. Brush with olive oil and spices. Be generous with the olive oil and spices in this step. Heat and grease grill or grill-pan. Once hot, place eggplant on the grill, flesh side down. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and soft to touch.
  • Place Grilled eggplant on desired serving dish. Smear a generous amount of dressing onto each eggplant. Top with nut crumble and herbs. Serve warm!


You can use regular eggplants here, but we find that this tastes best when you use Italian or baby eggplant!


Calories: 697kcalCarbohydrates: 34.4gProtein: 17.3gFat: 59.8gSaturated Fat: 5.5gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 690mgFiber: 9.4gSugar: 10g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Gluten-free, vegetarian
Author: Lexi

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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    Great recipe slightly ruined by the addition of mayonnaise. As mentioned by Monique, replace the mayonnaise with natural yoghurt, some lemon juice and pepper and it’s so much better. Not to mention healthier.

  2. 4 stars
    So I made it last night for me and my sons girlfriend, we both thought it was amazing. The crumble is so good and adds alot of flavor to the dish. I did change the topping sauce because we dont like mayo I used a yogurt and added a little lemon juice . Great recipes will be mak6it again

  3. I can’t wait to try this. I recently started eating eggplant. Before I wouldn’t touch it with a 2 foot pole or even a straw lol. but now I’m always searching for eggplant recipes. Open to more ideas.

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is sooooo good! I have made it a few times now and I just love it. We use the components for other things, too. We seem to always have the dressing in the fridge (it’s great on burgers) and the nut crumble is fantastic on potatoes as well.

  5. This looks and sounds incredibly delicious! I’m nut-free, and am wondering if there’s anything I could sub for the nuts in the nut crumble to give it the same texture but not add strong flavors. Roasted lentils?

  6. Made this tonight. Lots of flavor going on. A bit on the salty side., and I cut the recipe in half since I only used one eggplant. I also used garlic aioli sauce instead of the mayo dressing. Other than that it was good. Loved the texture of the nut crumble. I’ll try this again next time cutting back on the salt and making the mayo dressing for comparison. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I’ve been dying to find an eggplant recipe my husband will actually eat! I think you might have solved it! Delicious Lexi!

  8. Oh that nut crumble sounds amazing! I bet it would be great with so many summer veggies! Can’t wait to try this!