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Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce

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I love eggplant – it’s a mysterious vegetable and tastes fantastic when prepared correctly. And purple happens to be my favorite color. I first tried this dish at a church potluck and had a “ratatouille moment.” I love eggplant but it’s kinda difficult to find a great recipe for it.

I learned to make this from my friend Dina and her mom, Maria (who expertly orchestrates our wonderful church feasts). This recipe works best with smaller eggplants (the larger ones may have skins that are too tough to be palatable). I’ve been enjoying this for the past 3 days as a snack paired with a slice of good bread.

Ingredients for Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce:

2 large or 4 small eggplants at room temperature
3 red bell peppers
1 jalapeno or any hot pepper
5-6 garlic cloves
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil+ more for frying
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling over eggplant.
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce

How to prepare and cook eggplant:

1. Slice eggplant into 1/3″ thick rounds and sprinkle salt on both sides. Let them sit on the counter for 45 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.  The longer you “sweat” the eggplant, the less oil it soaks up while cooking which is important because this dish is a bit on the oily side. While the eggplant is “sweating” on the counter, start your sauce (see below)

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-2 Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-7

2. Heat a deep, heavy bottomed skillet or a dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, arrange eggplant on the skillet and fry about 2 minutes per side. Caution: wear and apron and your cooking mitts and make sure babies have cleared the area (this is a time of substantial oil fireworks).

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-8

3. Remove cooked eggplant to a pyrex dish (you may place it on paper towels to soak up excess oil). Add more oil to the skillet between batches as needed.

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-9

How to Make Red Pepper Sauce:

1. Grate 3 red bell peppers and 1 jalapeno (use a food processor with a grater attachment if you have one).

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-10 Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-11

3. In a medium sauce pan mix grated bell peppers, jalapeño, 5 pressed cloves of garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup olive oil, and 1/2 cup water . Simmer sauce uncovered for 40 minutes (stirring occasionally). Add more sugar and water to taste in the end.

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-12

Assembly and Finishing Touches:

1.Add 1/2 eggplant slices to 9×13 or 9×12 casserole dish then top with 1/2 red pepper sauce. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and pepper sauce.

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-13

2. Sprinkle the top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and place the dish in the oven on broil for 3 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve it with some fresh crusty bread. Enjoy!

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-14 Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-3

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com

Ingredients

  • 2 large or 4 small eggplants at room temperature
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 1 jalapeno or any hot pepper
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil+ more for frying
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt plus more for sprinkling over eggplant.
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese optional

Instructions

How To Prepare and Cook Eggplant

  1. Slice eggplants into 1/3″ thick rounds and sprinkle salt on both sides. Let them sit on the counter for 45 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels. The longer you "sweat" the eggplant, the less oil it soaks up while cooking which is important because this dish is a bit on the oily side. While the eggplant is "sweating" on the counter, start your sauce (see below)
  2. Heat a deep, heavy bottomed skillet or a dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, arrange eggplant on the skillet and fry about 2 minutes per side. Caution: wear and apron and your cooking mitts and make sure babies have cleared the area (this is a time of substantial oil fireworks).
  3. Remove cooked eggplant to a pyrex dish (you may place it on paper towels to soak up excess oil). Add more oil to the skillet between batches as needed.

How to make Red Pepper Sauce

  1. Grate 3 red bell peppers and 1 jalapeno (use a food processor with a grater attachment if you have one).
  2. In a medium sauce pan mix grated bell peppers, jalapeño, 5 pressed cloves of garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup olive oil, and 1/2 cup water . Simmer sauce uncovered for 40 minutes (stirring occasionally). Add more sugar and water to taste in the end.

Assembly and Finishing Touches:

  1. Add 1/2 eggplant slices to 9×13 or 9×12 casserole dish then top with 1/2 red pepper sauce. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and pepper sauce.
  2. Sprinkle the top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and place the dish in the oven on broil for 3 minutes to melt the cheese.

 

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Amna
    October 17, 2018

    Hi Natasha, my oven doesn’t have the broil feature. If I am to bake this what would be the temperature

    Thanks Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 17, 2018

      Hi Anna. The broiling is mainly to melt the cheese. You can always torch that with a kitchen torch or turn up your oven heat for a quick melt. Watch it closely however. You don’t want to over bake it. Reply

  • Eva
    November 30, 2017

    This dish turned out sooo tasty! I was looking for something vegetarian and this is great😊 I love your recipes Natasha! Keep up the good work 😊☺ I lost one of your recipies; it was keks with dried apricots and cranberries. Could you direct me please? Thank you so much😊 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 30, 2017

      Hi Eva, I’m so glad you loved it! Here is the recipe for Christmas Keks. In the future, if you type “keks” into the search, it shows at the top 🙂 Reply

  • Larisa
    July 12, 2016

    Oh my… This turned out amazing! Sauce tastes a lot like adjika. I used another commenter’s suggestion and toasted eggplant slices in the oven (350, 5-10 mins, or until eggplant tastes done) instead of frying. The end product didn’t feel like it missed the extra oil at all. Love, love, love. Thanks Natasha! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 12, 2016

      I do love the idea of baking them and ending up with less oil :). I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Reply

  • Inna
    April 15, 2014

    I love eggplant!!! Post more recipes with eggplant:) thank you for this one, kind of sounds extremely similar to how my grandmother makes it, which is my absolute favorite. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 15, 2014

      I love eggplant too! I have a Jewish recipe that I’m working on developing. I’ve been working on it for the past couple years. I’ll see what I can come up with for more eggplant recipes 🙂 Reply

      • Inna
        April 16, 2014

        Sounds perfect! Can’t wait! Thank you:) Reply

  • k
    December 24, 2012

    I wasnt sure how long you cook the eggplant dish once you put everything together in the oven? 50 min? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 24, 2012

      It’s only the sauce that you cook for awhile (40 min). Once everything is combined and you sprinkle cheese over the top, you just broil 3 minutes (or until cheese melts). Reply

  • Jasmine
    September 29, 2012

    Thank you so much for this eggplant recipe. Tastes so good, I baked eggplant in the oven instead of frying until ready and turned out very tasty. Can’t wait for more recipes with eggplant. Thank you all the posts! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 30, 2012

      You are welcome Jasmine. I will try your method next time by putting the eggplant in the oven instead of frying 🙂 Reply

  • Dina
    September 21, 2012

    Another way to make eggplant is to make a spread. Bake the whole eggplant in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 40-50 min until soft, remove the skin and put it in a strainer to get all the juice out, I usually leave it in the fridge overnight. Then with a salad knife or a ceramic knife smash the eggplant, add some salt, pepper, mayo, and some minced garlic. That’s it! Reply

  • Dina
    September 21, 2012

    You are welcome! If you’ll like them, maybe one day you will post them on your blog 🙂 Reply

  • Dina
    September 21, 2012

    My husband and I love eggplants. I will def. try to make this recipe. I make eggplant sandwiches which are very tasty. Fry the eggplant slices like you did, and then toast the slices of bread. Spread the toasted slices of bread with a mixture made out of mayo an garlic, place a slice of eggplant on top and sprinkle some finely grated mozzarella cheese on top. Make sure the bread and the eggplant is cooled before assembling. These sandwiches are amazing for parties. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 21, 2012

      Those sandwiches sound very tempting and easy to make. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I will add them to my list or recipes to make 🙂 Reply

  • Alla
    July 20, 2012

    This was so good that it was gone in two days lol 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 20, 2012

      Thank you Alla 🙂 Reply

  • Ana
    July 5, 2012

    Amazing recipe Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 5, 2012

      Thank you Ana 🙂 Reply

  • Lidiya
    June 30, 2012

    I didnt have any hot pepper so I took hot chili sauce, added yellow pepper, ketchup and onion it turned out sooo delicious!!! Thank You Natasha for great recipe. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 30, 2012

      Mmm, sounds like a whole different, yet delicious recipe. Thank you for sharing your variation! Reply

  • Vikulya
    April 6, 2012

    OK, got it. Thanks for the idea 🙂 Reply

  • Vikulya
    April 6, 2012

    Natasha, you said it reheats well. Can i prepare it a few days prior?
    Thank you, dear. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 6, 2012

      It’s prettiest when it’s fresh but I wouldn’t make it more than 2 days prior. You can arrange it on a heat proof platter and stick it in the oven with fresh cheese and warm it up that way. Reply

  • March 7, 2012

    I just put my dish in the oven to broil, can’t wait to see what happens. It smells good too! Reply

  • Luda
    January 14, 2012

    Do u think it will work with green pepper? because i currently have way to much of it in my fridge and don’t know what to do with it. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 14, 2012

      I don’t think so. It wouldn’t be sweet enough. sorry 🙁 Try the chicken and veggie skewers I posted today. Green peppers would work there. Reply

      • Agness
        March 14, 2019

        hi Natasha i just joined your website and i love your recipes all the way from zambia, i must say eggplants with green paper is also ok, i love it, instead of jalapenos i used green paper Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          March 14, 2019

          I’m so happy you are enjoying our blog, Agness! Thank you for sharing that with me! Reply

  • Lena
    October 12, 2011

    Natasha, I love your recipes! thank you soo much for doing what you are doing. Reply

  • Liliya Zhushma Zotta
    October 4, 2011

    Natasha, the hot pepper you have in the picture is called a long hot. They are delicious sauteed in oil and garlic with some garlic toast or stuffed! Reply

    • Natasha
      October 6, 2011

      Thank you!! I’ll let my mom know what those surprise peppers were too 🙂 Reply

  • Lana
    September 27, 2011

    mmmm… so good!!! i make a dish every day from your website!!! ive started to literally love cooking! _God Bless you abundantly!!! Reply

  • Marina
    September 19, 2011

    Hi Natasha would you be able to post some breakfast food?:) thx Reply

  • September 15, 2011

    I love the addition of peppers and jalapenos to this dish. Anything with a little extra kick gets two thumbs up from me. Now if I can only make my husband eat eggplant… Reply

  • Julie
    September 14, 2011

    Thanks for postings! Cant wait to see your next post! Anxious! Your recipes are such an inspiration to my family! Reply

  • Lina
    September 9, 2011

    Im so exicted to see more postings! I check your website everyday lol thanks for all your recipes Natasha! Reply

    • Natasha
      September 11, 2011

      🙂 Thanks Lina. Wish I could do more. My son and classes keep me busy. Reply

  • Anastasiya
    September 8, 2011

    Can this dish be served both hot and cold? Reply

  • Charlie
    September 6, 2011

    Sounds like egg plant parmesan. Reply

    • Natasha
      September 6, 2011

      Thanks Charlie, I just found another good recipe for eggplant 🙂 Reply

      • Masha
        January 19, 2012

        You mentioned that you found another good recipe for eggplant.. is somewhere on your website? Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          January 19, 2012

          No, never got around to trying it, but I do love eggplant and will try to post more eggplant recipes in the future (probably when they are more in-season) Reply

          • Masha
            January 20, 2012

            okay thank you so much.

  • Lesia Iwasyk
    September 6, 2011

    awesome to have you posting again…thank you!!! Reply

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