Grilled Eggplant with Pecan Pesto

Submitted by:

American Pecan Council | Kara Lydon, Foodie Dietitian

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.


  • Eggplant:
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, 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 pecans, 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.

Nutrition facts




24 g

Sat Fat

3.5 g


840 g


18 g


9 g


5 g

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