Sweet and spicy roasted eggplant, peppers and chickpeas with fried halloumi and a tahini drizzle! The combination of charred melt in the mouth veggies and crispy fried cheese will definitely win you over in this vegetarian dish! Easy to make, just 10 ingredients and it can be ready in 30 minutes.
If you love your food on the crispy side, this one is for you, because we have a whole plate of vegetarian crispy deliciousness. Fried halloumi slices, roasted crispy chickpeas, melty roasted peppers and spicy eggplant (aubergine) cubes. And then it’s drizzled with a dreamy lemon tahini sauce. So much flavor and tastiness! You can serve this over rice, sweet potatoes, salad, flatbreads and dips, so many options to make a meal out of it.
The harissa honey glaze on the eggplant is what makes the recipe. It originated in my Eggplant Pasta Recipe and it’s so delicious that I needed to find another use for it, because Mr. Veggie and I don’t particularly enjoy eggplant but somehow we love it like this. If your feelings towards eggplant are complicated, this is a recipe I’d definitely recommend trying.
Ingredients: what you need to know…
Just 10 ingredients (plus olive oil, salt and pepper) are needed for this recipe! Let’s discuss:
- Eggplant / Aubergine. Call it what you will. As you can see, I am using a graffiti eggplant but I tested this with the normal purple eggplant too and it works fine either way. I personally have a preference for the graffiti type because it’s less bitter. Note also that my eggplant is on the smaller side. You can use a larger one if you want – the marinade can easily stretch to accomodate a larger eggplant.
- Sweet pepper. You can use a bell pepper if you need to. I just love how extra melty sweet pepper rings are when they’re roasted.
- Halloumi cheese. Our favorite frying cheese! If you’re based in the US and struggle to find real halloumi, any cheese you can fry, such as “bread cheese”, can work. Just don’t get a cheaper imitation halloumi that melts (more on authentic versus non authentic halloumi here).
- Harissa paste, honey, garlic and olive oil form the sweet spicy glaze that the eggplant roasts in. You could swap maple syrup for honey if you wish, and if your harissa is particularly spicy you can use a little less.
- Tahini, lemon and honey form the sauce. If you don’t want to make the sauce, you could just use a little store bought hummus or some kind of premade tahini based sauce. Either way, I definitely feel the tahini’s sesame vibes are a perfect match here for the spicy sweet veggies and chickpeas, so try to stick with tahini in some form or another.
- A few cilantro (fresh coriander) leaves are the perfect finishing touch! Mint, parsley or even basil will work well too.
- Some other topping ideas, if you have any of this lying around: pomegranate seeds or a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, chili slices or flakes for an extra kick, sliced cherry tomatoes, sliced green (spring) onion.
This is a really versatile recipe which can be a side dish, part of a mezze style dinner, or the center of your meal. Some ideas if you want to transform this into dinner:
- Add rice, cauliflower rice or couscous to make a bowl meal. Because we already juggle a few different pans when preparing this dish, it can be handy to use a microwave pack of rice for this one.
- Add some warm flatbreads (pita or naan).
- Spoon it over baked sweet potatoes.
- Serve over a bed of mixed green leaves to make this into a warm salad. You can also add some cherry tomatoes or other cold fillings if you do this.
More Oven Baked Halloumi Dinner Recipes
Halloumi with Spicy Eggplant (Aubergine)
- 1 small-medium eggplant / aubergine, cut into small cubes
- 1 sweet or bell pepper, sliced into rings or strips
- 400 g (14 oz) can of chickpeas, drained
- 1 handful cilantro (fresh coriander) leaves
- 225 g (8 oz) halloumi cheese, sliced
Harissa Honey Glaze
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp harissa, use less if you don't want it too spicy
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp tahini
- ½ lemon, juiced – save the other half of the lemon for serving
- ½ tsp honey
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the harissa honey glaze ingredients until a smooth sauce is formed.2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp harissa, 1 tbsp honey, 2 cloves garlic
- Add the eggplant cubes and mix to coat each cube with the mixture and then scatter on a large baking tray, making sure to space the cubes out a little. (When you're pouring the eggplant out of the bowl, be mindful to keep any excess marinade in the bowl if you can. It's OK if there isn't any excess, but if there is, we can use it for the rest of the ingredients.)1 small-medium eggplant / aubergine
- In the same bowl, toss the peppers with any remaining glaze. If there's not enough to coat the peppers, just add a little olive oil to the bowl.1 sweet or bell pepper
- Add the peppers to the baking dish with the eggplant. Place on the top shelf of the oven for about 20 minutes, until they've reduced in size and charred at the edges.
- Once you've put that tray in the oven, you'll prepare the chickpeas for roasting. Drain, pat dry, and then add to the same bowl that had the marinade in it. Toss with a little olive oil (just enough to coat the chickpeas) and salt and pepper to taste, then scatter the chickpeas on another baking tray. Add to the lower shelf of the oven. The chickpeas can roast for the remaining cook time of the eggplant and peppers.400 g can of chickpeas
- While everything is roasting, prepare the tahini sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Get your halloumi prepped and ready to fry.4 tbsp tahini, 1/2 tsp honey, 1/2 lemon
- Once the eggplant, peppers and chickpeas look like they are close to being ready, get the halloumi frying. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry for a couple of minutes on each side until golden.225 g halloumi cheese
- Assemble! Mix the eggplant, pepper and chickpeas in a serving dish and top with the fried halloumi slices. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the top.
- Add the cilantro (coriander) leaves and tahini drizzle. Serve immediately.1 handful cilantro (fresh coriander) leaves