Cheesy, Yummy, Eggplant & Pesto Panini

Cheesy, Yummy, Eggplant & Pesto Panini

I first had a sandwich similar to this at a diner in Maryland when I was vending at a science fiction convention and went to dinner with some friends/fellow vendors. The original had roasted red peppers instead of pickles (which is also awesome), but I like the vinegar kick from the pickles.

What you’ll need:

1 medium eggplant

1 loaf sourdough bread

jarred pesto sauce


2 eggs

Italian-Seasoned bread crumbs

Sliced Provolone cheese

1 jar of sandwich-sliced dill pickles

Cooking spray

Cut the rounded sides off of your eggplant, and slice the rest into roughly 1/2″ slices, lengthwise. Beat your eggs and dip the eggplant slices into eggs, then into the bread crumbs. Place on a greased cookie sheet, spray tops with cooking spray, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Spray one side of a slice of bread and place face down on your electric griddle, or in your frying pan. Place 1-2 slices of cheese on the bread, top with a piece of the cooked eggplant, then two slices of pickle, and one or two more slices of cheese.

On the other piece of bread, spread mayonnaise and pesto, then place on the sandwich and spray the top with cooking spray.

Let the sandwich grill for 3-5 minutes, checking after 3 minutes to make sure it’s not browning too much.

grilled eggplant sandwich

When toasted, flip the sandwich and grill another 3-5 minutes. When the bottom piece of bread is nicely toasted and the cheese is melted, remove from the heat, cut in half, and devour.

As with most of my recipes, you can tweak the fillings to your taste. Don’t like mayo? Leave it out. Don’t like pesto? Try red or green curry paste, mustard, roasted red pepper paste, ketchup–whatever you like.

Don’t like Provolone, or don’t have any on hand? Use Mozzarella, or Pepper Jack, or Swiss. Don’t like pickles? Use roasted red peppers, pepperoncini, or olive tapenade. It’s your food–make it the way you want it!

Try this for your next Meatless Monday, and let me know how you liked it!

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Eggplant & Pesto Panini

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  • Author: Retrogirl
  • Total Time: 55-60 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This layered, grilled sandwich looks complicated, but is super easy and super delicious!



1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise, in 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices

1 loaf sliced sourdough bread

Jarred pesto sauce


2 eggs

Italian-Seasoned Breadcrumbs

Sliced Provolone Cheese

1 jar sandwich-sliced dill pickles

Cooking Spray


Spread the breadcrumbs into a pie pan. Break the eggs into a second pie pan, and scramble them.

Dip the eggplant slices into the eggs, then into the breadcrumbs. Place in a single layer on a large greased baking sheet.

Spray the tops with cooking spray, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

If you have a nonstick electric griddle, heat it up to the sandwich setting. If not, heat up a frying pan to medium heat. 

Spray one side of a slice of bread with cooking spray and lay it on your griddle or in your frying pan. 

Layer the bread with two slices of cheese, then one slice of eggplant, two pickle slices, and two more slices of cheese. Spread the top piece of bread with mayonnaise, then a layer of pesto. Place on the top of the sandwich, and spray the top with cooking spray. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients to form your remaining sandwiches.

Grill your sandwiches for three minutes, check to make sure it’s not browning too much, and grill another 2 minutes, until golden brown.

Carefully flip the sandwiches and grill the other side for 3-5 minutes.

Cut in half, and devour!


Be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand, because these sandwiches are messy, but so, so good!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
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