grilled and baked aubergine ‘pizza’

aubergine pizza

I have felt so inspired to make slightly less conventional dishes on my new Big Green Egg, after all it is so much more than just a braai / barbecue, its an outdoor cooking system.

I fired it up and thought to do a combo of grilling thick aubergine slices, topping them with typical pizza items, and then converting the egg to ‘oven’ mode to finish them off. Its clever like that.

Make as many as you need as a side dish or as a main event. Add whatever you think will work well. I used ingredients from a Melanzane Parmigiana, so this is sort of a deconstructed – re constructed version of that, and a wonderful low carb option if you are so inclined.

You will need:

  • medium to large aubergines – cut about 2 cm thick
  • jarred tomato sauce or passata (you could also make your own)
  • fior di latte  mozzarella or bocconcini
  • sliced rosa / baby tomatoes
  • slices of salami or prosciutto of you choice
  • grated Parmesan
  • fresh basil leaves
  • salt, pepper, olive oil and salad to serve it with

First you need to brush each side of the aubergines with olive oil and then grill them over a medium heat until they have just started to char but are still firm. You don’t want to over cook them at this stage. You can also do this on a griddle pan in your kitchen.

Once they are grilled set them aside on a baking tray and start adding the layers of topping, starting with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then add the cheeses and the other toppings. Bake for about 8 – 10 minutes at 180C and until the cheese starts bubbling.

Adjust the Big Green Egg to oven mode and set the temperature to 180 C. Place the aubergine slices on a round pizza baking pan and bake for around 10 – 15 minutes until the cheese and sauces is bubbling and turning brown.

Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and serve with a simple mixed green salad or salad leaves and or fresh basil leaves scattered over the top.

Check out my last recipe in my Big Green egg for the most delectable sticky chipotle pork ribs

*My Big Green Egg has been sponsored


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63 Responses to grilled and baked aubergine ‘pizza’

  1. Anita January 17, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    This is brilliant, I will definately try it. Thank you Sam.

  2. Sam January 17, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Awesome Anita, its a fabulous vegetarian meal if yo leave out the meat.

  3. Sam Taylor January 17, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Looks heavenly, will definitely try this…tomorrow, yes tomorrow!

  4. Suzanne Perazzini January 18, 2013 at 12:57 am #

    This would be a great grain-free alternative pizza for me. This is a wonderful idea. Just a question – is it not necessary to do the usual salting them to drain the bitter liquids? Do you find that with cooking them like this that it is not necessary? I would love that shortcut.

  5. Sam January 18, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    HI Suzanne, I never do the salt thing and did an experiment ages ago to just prove once and for all that it is not necessary. You can see my results here: Apparently today’s aubergine cultivars are not bitter anymore. This aspect has been “grown’ out of them. Also so much easier. This one is just for you 🙂

  6. Rachel (teacher-chef) January 19, 2013 at 12:26 am #

    YUM – this looks delicious, so warm and filling yet so good for you too 🙂

  7. Roz February 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Love this recipe. My daughter-in-law is vegetarian so I think this will make great bites for the Super Bowl by slicing a smaller eggplant in circles. A must do!

  8. Carolie de Koster February 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi Sam

    Your work is of the best I have ever come across! Congratulations – you are excellent and really world class!
    I lived in South Africa previously but now in NZ – wrote many recipe books, had a cookery school for 35 years and were constantly involved in food styilng for companies, magazines etc…. so my opinion is based on experience! I will start a blog soon in NZ – is there a way that we can advertise your work on my blog? I did 4 recipes and photos yesterday for our local Nourish Magazine – and just love getting into local food activities
    and will soon start teaching in my nw house in Tauranga Nw Zealnd!

    Keep up the good work! If I ever return for a visit to SA I will visit and is you ever intend to visit New Zealand we can organise something really special for you here!

    Kind regards

    Carolie de Koster

  9. Sam February 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    Hi Carolie, what a delight receiving this lovely comment on my blog. I am a big fan of your work and have featured a recipe from your book “Home Bakes” (Golden Cloud) – which I frequently refer to in my baking recipe development :-). I love the mango cake too. I will email you so we can make contact directly.

    Thanks for the inspiration and keep in touch.

  10. biennebebz February 20, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    what i’ve tried to cook before is only spaghetti with aubergine, etc,,,,it’s a new recipe that i can try again,,,,thanks,,,,keep up the good work….:-)

  11. Sam February 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    Thanks 🙂 – and glad you like it.

  12. Sarah March 8, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Hi – gotta ask: is an Aubergine what we call Eggplant in the US?

  13. Sam March 8, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Hi Sarah, yes an aubergine is an eggplant:-)

  14. S April 17, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    This was ah-ma-zing!! Our stomachs are much rounder (overeating) but our hearts are happy.Thanks so much for the recipe.

  15. Sam April 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Its a pleasure S – glad you enjoyed 🙂

  16. Caroline July 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    This is my first time here and I’m just in love with your blog! These aubergine pizzas are so beautiful and creative. I’m really looking forward to making these this coming weekend. In the meantime…I’m going to just drool over these gorgeous photos of yours! So happy to have found you!!!

  17. Sam July 20, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Thanks Caroline, lovely to have you and thanks for the note. Hope to see you soon. Sam 🙂

  18. Nancy August 18, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    Thanks for the recipe. My D-I-L has celiac disease and this would be a great treat for her since she cannot have any gluten. It looks delish and something that she could enjoy. Thanks again.

  19. Sam August 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    Thanks Nancy, im glad you enjoyed it.

  20. Linda October 12, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    Just made this and have put into oven to cook … looks so delicious! yum! Can’t wait to eat it – thank you 😉 (I used bacon instead of sausage, but am sure will still turn out well.
    thanks you

  21. Sam October 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi Libda, I’m sure bacon would be even better.

  22. Sam October 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    I mean Linda – sorry!

  23. Lauren March 2, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    Hi Sam,

    If you’re one of those losers who don’t own a bbq or a griddle pan, can you fry it in a normal frying pan first or is it possible to skip that step?

    Thanks! This looks sooooo delicious, I want to make it tonight!

  24. Sam March 3, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Hi Lauren you are not a loser for not having a griddle pan, although its a great investment I must say. I use mine all the time. You can definitely sear the vegetables in a normal frying pan, or even lay them out flat and under a broiler / grill. It needs this brief pre-cooking to take the raw edge off as the oven time is quite short and will not cook them slices all the way through. In the case of a griddle or BBQ, it also gives the aubergine a lovely smoky taste.


  25. naomi September 9, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Thanks for this recipe! my daughter asks me to buy aubergines every time we go to the supermarket as she’s never tried them before. I’ve been looking for an aubergine recipe for ages that I think she might like and came across this. She loved it!

  26. Sam September 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

    Thats excellent Naomi, thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  27. Sylvie December 28, 2014 at 1:28 am #

    Of you prefer less fat,Cook first the aubergines in a “micro ondes”without oil.

  28. Sam December 31, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Hi Sylvie – I have never microwaved an aubergine but sounds good. I find grilling them on a BBQ works well and uses less oil than frying.

  29. Jenn January 30, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

    I am very picky about eggplant, and I know I really like it to be soft and almost creamy – when you grill it this way, is it left at all spongy?

  30. Sam January 31, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    HI Jen – it is soft yes, Egglapnt only gets crisp if fried really.

  31. Hsin February 2, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

    This was amazing. So easy and tasty. Love your recipes and ideas. My husband was super impressed and loved doing his own toppings. Will be repeating again and again – might try it with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs with Parmesan and parsley?

  32. Sam February 4, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi Hsin – sounds yummy with crumbs (nice texture) – thanks for letting me know.

  33. Kasie February 6, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    Any suggestions/success on roasting the eggplant slices in the oven instead of grilling them?

  34. Sam February 8, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

    hi Kasie I think grilling is better otherwise they will go too soft. You want to get a little skin on them because you are going to roast them in the oven once you have all the toppings on.

  35. Joyce Leinart May 25, 2015 at 12:43 am #

    I made this tonight and it is delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  36. Sam May 25, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    Thanks Joyce, glad you enjoyed and its a pleasure.

  37. Sweet and Savoury Pursuits July 10, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    Love the idea of using eggplant as the base for pizza toppings, will be making this soon!

  38. kathy smith October 5, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

    Tried this with mushroom and onion… beautiful.

  39. Sam October 9, 2015 at 9:00 am #

    Thanks Kathy – Im so glad you enjoyed – Love the mushroom and onion


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