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Vegetarian Eggplant Quesadilla Recipe

Author:

Zach has been an online writer for over seven years. His writing focuses on gardening, cooking, and aquariums.

Quesadillas.

Quesadillas.

Taking a glance through my collection of recipes, you'll quickly discover that I am no vegetarian. There's simply no way around it: I enjoy meat. While there's no future plans to convert to a meatless diet, I still provide great care and attention to my veggies. I feel that we, as omnivores, should uphold the same integrity when cooking vegetables as we do meat. Sadly, in meat-loving societies, this principle is lost, and veggies meet their unpalatable fate as steamed mush.

The blank canvas of endless possibility is overlooked, but things are changing! Today's eggplant quesadilla highlights the functionality and versatility of veggies, while making eggplant the featured ingredient. It's an instant favorite among vegetarians and a pleasant change of pace for meat-eaters! Eggplant in quesadillas is a hit!

About the Flavors and Taste

While I realize that quesadillas are typically considered a part of Mexican cuisine, I can't help but wander off and incorporate some other regional flair. You'll find that these quesadillas are a half-and-half combination of Mediterranean and Mexican flavors.

Also, eggplant is just one of those veggies that starts off looking great, and the more you cook it, the more it loses eye appeal. This is really where the "don't judge a book by it's cover" comes into play. Just because it doesn't look exquisite doesn't mean that it won't taste fantastic!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

40 min

1 hour 10 min

4 quesadillas

Ingredients

  • 2 purple eggplants
  • 1 cup fresh dill
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 flour tortillas

Instructions

Step 1: Make the Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. using a sharp knife, score the eggplant in a diamond pattern. Score to a depth of a quarter inch.
  3. Poke basil into one half of the eggplant and dill into the other. Season thoroughly with sea salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and then fold the two halves back together. Wrap with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  5. When ready, unwrap and begin to scoop out the flesh. Working with a hot eggplant is much easier than letting it cool.
  6. Chop the eggplant and herb mixture well.
  7. In a small pan set to medium-high heat, add one teaspoon olive oil and let it get hot.
  8. Add chopped eggplant to the pan and stir. Let cook for no more than a minute. This process releases any excess moisture still carried by the eggplant.
  9. Remove from heat and let cool. In the meantime, grate/finely cube your Parmesan cheese and thinly slice your onion.
  10. Add Parmesan to the eggplant mixture once it has cooled off.

Step 2: Assemble and Cook the Quesadillas

  1. Preheat a skillet on the stove. Medium heat will be fine.
  2. Butter the outside of two tortillas.
  3. Place one down in the skillet. Add onions and top with the eggplant/cheese mixture. Finish with the top tortilla.
  4. Press down to get a good seal. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, or until a golden brown color has developed.
  5. Let it cool for a couple of minutes before cutting into wedges.

Photo Guide

Poke the basil and dill into the scored eggplant.

Poke the basil and dill into the scored eggplant.

Bake for 40 minutes. Scoop out the eggplant, ideally while it's still hot.

Bake for 40 minutes. Scoop out the eggplant, ideally while it's still hot.

Chop up the eggplant, herbs, and Parmesan.

Chop up the eggplant, herbs, and Parmesan.

Fill and cook the quesadillas.

Fill and cook the quesadillas.

Need Dipping Sauce?

No quesadilla is quite complete until there's a dipping sauce to seal the deal. For my sauce, I decided to keep it simple and light. It's something you'll enjoy for sure!

A basil-dill dipping sauce.

A basil-dill dipping sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • handful of fresh basil
  • handful of fresh dill
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • zest of half a lemon
  • squeeze of lemon juice

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. This can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. The longer it sits, the better the flavor!

A stack of eggplant quesadillas.

A stack of eggplant quesadillas.

Enjoy Your Eggplant!

These eggplant quesadillas are a touch drab in appearance but bursting with flavor! The bits of eggplant are perfectly seasoned and very tender. The double use of both dill and basil in the eggplant and dip works to freshen the dish and excite the palate. Synchronously, the saltiness of the Parmesan rounds out the sweetness of the wilted onion. What more can I really say? It's one of those "thinking outside the box" style recipes that's worth giving a go. Thank you for reading. Comments and suggestions are always appreciated!

On a final note, my sympathy goes out to those vegetarians who do not eat dairy or cheese. I'm not quite sure the recipe would be the same without. On a more positive note, the eggplant is still wonderful by itself. Enjoy!

Comments

Jeremy n Michelle from Texas on August 16, 2014:

Yes, yes, yes! Yum!

vegetarianceleste from San Fransisco on April 12, 2012:

Delicious - I'll be preparing this on the weekend - thank you!

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on March 13, 2012:

Bookmarked because I want to try it out... thank you for sharing as I am looking for breakfast recipes...I am including this in my menu. hehe :)

tebo on March 09, 2012:

This recipe sounds great. I shall try it out. I have cooked eggplant often, but this recipe does sound very tasty, so thanks for that.

TENKAY from Philippines on March 08, 2012:

No wonder you got Hub of the Day. You write well, your directions are simple and clear. I don't know how to cook but I like to eat veggies. I could ask somebody to cook this for me. It looks delicious and a healthy food to boot.

Congratulations and thank you.

Dr Kavita Shaikh from MUSCAT on March 08, 2012:

Congrats on winning HOTD. BTW I do not particluarly like eggplants, whereas my hubby is an incurable fan. This recipe makes me want to try it as a surprise dish for my hubby's upcoming birthday. Thanks for the recipe.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on March 08, 2012:

Yum Yum!

Jamie Brock from Texas on March 08, 2012:

oh, gosh.. this looks so good!

keetee2012 on March 08, 2012:

I'm already hungry! Wanna try this one out. Happy eating :)

Anamika S Jain from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on March 08, 2012:

That looks yummy! I love eggplant and the pictures on your hub makes me want to try making this dish.

teacherloves2cook from Chicago, IL on March 08, 2012:

The quesadillas look fabulous!!!!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on March 08, 2012:

Wow--Congratulations on Hub of the Day!

This sounds awesomely delicious! I am a vegetarian by desire, and eat as little meat as possible. I just don't care for it, but living with a meat eater means making compromises.

Bookmarking to add to my collection of veggie recipes to test and love.

Voted up, awesome, beautiful, useful, interesting and shared!

thacker on March 08, 2012:

I have to admit at first glance the food pics looked horrible but then after staring at them for about 20 seconds I thought they looked very appetizing. It's amazing how you can never go wrong with ... more cheese...more cheese...more cheese!

Audrey Howitt from California on March 08, 2012:

Yummmmmmm!!

Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on March 08, 2012:

Great Vegetarian Eggplant Quesadilla Recipe!

Congrats on getting hub of the day award! Voted up and useful.

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on March 08, 2012:

Looks like a good recipe. By the way, I just wanted to suggest there are some great vegan cheeses out there, which taste pretty darn similar to the real thing.

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on March 08, 2012:

The benefits of a vegetable meal can never be exaggerated. This is an interesting recipe, and the quesadilla looks tasty.

Opting for more fish and cutting down on red meats could help meateaters who want to eat healthier.

bluebird on March 08, 2012:

What a great recipe - I can't wait to make it! And the dip sounds like a great addition. Thanks for sharing.

And congrats on hub of the day! Good job!

cardelean from Michigan on March 08, 2012:

Mouth watering...another great recipe hub from Joe Macho! This is a MUST try and I think it just will be on our Lent menu for tomorrow night. Congrats on the hub of the day and I will be sharing this one too!

Zach (author) from Colorado on March 08, 2012:

A BIG thanks goes out to all you kind hubbers. I can't even begin to tell you all how much I appreciate your feedback!

Laurel - Just wanted to address your question real quick. I haven't tried it yet, but I would imagine that any of the summer squashes (pattypan, zucchini, yellow crooked neck) would work fantastic as a subsitute for the eggplant. As they are a bit smaller, it might take slightly less time to cook them though!

Laurel Brunvoll on March 08, 2012:

Congrats on your hub of the day! I love quesadillas and so does my family. I just wish I liked eggplant. It is literally the only veggie I don't like. Can you suggest any other vegetable option? Thanks so much!

Milli from USA on March 08, 2012:

New invention. I have never thought to make eggplant quesadillas. Looks so delicious. I am vegetarian and going to make it. Voted up.

Congratulation on winning Hub of the day award!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 08, 2012:

What a unique recipe! Vegetarian or not, this is something many people will enjoy. I love the dipping sauce to go with it, too. Congrats on getting Hub of the Day. :)

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on March 08, 2012:

Great hub! I've had eggplant sandwiches before, but not in quesadilla. Will have to try it sometime...

Ruchira from United States on March 08, 2012:

This is a scrumptious recipe. I might just try to make it :) Thanks for such a detailed recipe.

Congrats on winning Hub of the Day!

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on March 08, 2012:

This looks absolutely delicious! I am a vegetarian and am always looking for new recipes to try. Thanks for this up and congrats on winning Hub of the Day!

ziyena from the United States on March 08, 2012:

Looking good! Scrumptious!!!

Cynthia on March 08, 2012:

Looks great. Gonna try it.

Naima Manal from NY on March 08, 2012:

This is a delightful recipe to try. Thanks for sharing, and the quesadillas do not look too drab, in my opinion!

Christin Sander from Midwest on March 08, 2012:

oh yummy! I was just eyeballing the eggplant at the market too as I haven't had any in such a long time. This I believe will be a great recipe to try! Congrats on hub of the day it looks fabulous!

jpifer from New Hampshire on March 08, 2012:

Sounds great, I will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

Amber White from New Glarus, WI on March 08, 2012:

I can't wait for my eggplant later this summer! I will definitely try your recipe next time I get some.

Moon Daisy from London on March 08, 2012:

That looks amazing. Congratulations on hub of the day! The picture really drew me in, but it's a great hub too! Thanks.

kelleyward on March 08, 2012:

I love eggplant! Thanks for this great hub. Voted up and beautiful. Congrats on Hub of the Day!

Emma Kisby from Berkshire, UK on March 08, 2012:

Looks gorgeous. I have never eaten this dish before but I am starving just from looking at the photo's!

I must try this out. It uses ingredients I don't normally cook with, but I love to experiment. Well done :)

mse from texas on March 08, 2012:

The picture stopped me in my tracks. This looks so delicious.

RTalloni on March 08, 2012:

Congrats on Hub of the Day! This could easily be adapted for those of us who are allergic to cheese. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

SJmorningsun25 on March 08, 2012:

Wow, this is quite a gourmet recipe! Congrats on a well-deserved Hub of the Day. Your photos are fantastic!

Anna from New York, NY on March 08, 2012:

Mmmm these eggplant quesadillas look delicious! Thanks for the recipe, I'll be using it soon.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on March 08, 2012:

Congratulations. Stunning mouthwatering photos and great recipe for a vegetarian meal makes this hub worthy of being Hub of the Day.

I love Quesadillas but have never attempted to make them at home. This recipe makes it look easy enough to try so I'm bookmarking it.

Voted up across the board except for funny.

Silver Fish from Edinburgh Scotland on March 08, 2012:

I am drooling whilst reading this hub. I will make these this weekend. Thanks for sharing.

Donna Fairley Huebsch from Clearwater, Florida on March 08, 2012:

This looks so fabulous - I must share it with my twitter and Facebook friends!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on March 08, 2012:

Wow! This makes the cheese quesadilla we had for supper last night look pretty boring! I love eggplant and can't wait to try this recipe! I think that the combination of fresh dill and basil will be delicious with the eggplant. Oh, and your pictures are terrific! Voted up and useful!

KatrineDalMonte on March 08, 2012:

Wow, this is a great article, a wonderful recipe, the pictures make me really hungry! Thanks for sharing! :-)

YvetteParker from AUGUSTA, GA on March 08, 2012:

Those look mouth-watering scrumptious!!!Imagine opening your page first thing in the morning and seeing golden, flaky quesadillas looking back at you!!! O, they look so very good!! Congratulations on HOTD!

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on March 08, 2012:

This is amazing Joe, I am really hungry now. Quesadillas are not popular here but I am sure we could try our own using our own ingredients. That sauce looks great!

C L Grant from United Kingdom on March 08, 2012:

Great looking photo's...my mouth is watering already!

I'm a meat eater also but love veggie dishes and will often select these on a menu if I'm eating out.

Although I love aubergines...or eggplant...I struggle to cook it successfully. Will give these quesadillas a try to see how I get on!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 08, 2012:

This sounds yummy. I am a huge fan of eggplant and my family really likes quesadilla..so this sounds like a hit....thank you for sharing ...and I will checking out your pages for more recipes....congratulations on hub of the day, too.

Jen Smith from UK on March 08, 2012:

Looks great! I have made something similar with black beans... looking forward to trying. :)

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 08, 2012:

These quesadillas look delicious and the eggplant is a unique addition. Congratulations on HOTD!

chamilj from Sri Lanka on March 08, 2012:

Thanks for the great vegetarian recipe. Voted up!

axaflaxar on March 08, 2012:

Ohh My!

Amanda Zahorik from Philadelphia, PA on March 08, 2012:

There needs to be a 'looks tasty' rating. I'll have to try these - every summer I plant a couple of eggplant, and some summers, well, let's say that I need all the eggplant recipes I can get. :D

1spiritualexhort on March 08, 2012:

Thanks Simone, this idea for quesadllias seems really great! I'll have to try it. Eggplant is a healthy vegetable choice for your body and this is another great way to enjoy it.

Yvonne Spence from UK on March 08, 2012:

Congratulations on your hub of the day!

I am vegetarian and so are my kids and this looks like a great recipe and one I shall definitely try. We love eggplant (though we Brits call it aubergine) and I feel sure my kids with love this with all those lovely herbs.

And your photos are great too!

Jakebrap from Liverpool, UK on March 08, 2012:

Hi there, great hub and looks delicious. Will have to experiment with one of these myself as I'm vegetarian.

Nare Gevorgyan on March 08, 2012:

Cool hub! So delicious!!!

Mary Wickison from Brazil on March 08, 2012:

Every time I go to the store, I see eggplant and thought I should buy it. All I was lacking was a recipe to use it. I would have never thought of putting it inside a quesadilla.

My husband is a carnivore, so I may have to tell him it is chicken, though. LOL

Can't wait to try it, thanks for the recipe.

Zach (author) from Colorado on December 30, 2011:

Wow Simone, you've really been keeping yourself in the dark! Time to get with the program and give these a try. If eggplant is your thing, these are bound to please.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on December 30, 2011:

Goodness gracious, I cannot remember the last time I had a proper quesadilla... and I've never had anything aside from plain cheese inside. This looks amazing!!! I really want to give it a try.

Zach (author) from Colorado on December 29, 2011:

Senoritaa - Your welcome and thanks for stopping by to read my recipe. It's good for any meat eater to sit back and enjoy a veggie meal. I hope you enjoy!

Rinita Sen on December 29, 2011:

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. You are right in saying that we meat lovers often overcook the numerous possibilities of vegetarian cooking. This looks and sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.