This roasted pepper, aubergine and feta bake recipe layers roasted aubergine and roasted pepper with a spicy harissa tomato sauce, creamy feta cheese and crunchy panko breadcrumbs! It’s a great vegetarian dinner that is packed with flavour thanks to ingredients like harissa and feta. This pepper and aubergine bake is a great weeknight dinner recipe, but also works well for something a little more special like a dinner party!
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- Why You Should Make Roasted Bell Pepper, Aubergine and Feta Bake with Harissa
- Ingredients and Substitutions
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to store pepper, aubergine and feta bake?
- How to freeze pepper, aubergine and feta bake?
- How to reheat pepper, aubergine and feta bake?
- What to serve with pepper, aubergine and feta bake?
- Can you make pepper, aubergine and feta bake vegan?
- What is harissa paste?
- Watch the Video
- Recipes You May Also Like…
- How to Make Roasted Bell Pepper, Aubergine and Feta Bake with Harissa
Summer? Is that you?
Nearly, but not quite ☹️ It’s still super grey and rainy where I am, a complete contrast to the scorching hot April and May we had. But on the bright side more and more Summer produce is coming into supermarkets and my little home cook heart is living for it. So even if Summer is a distant dream, my kitchen is saying otherwise 😎
Cue this roasted bell pepper, aubergine and feta bake! It uses some of my favourite Summer veggies like aubergine, peppers, and tomatoes, and combines them with spicy harissa and creamy feta cheese. Not to mention those breadcrumbs on top that go all crispy and crunchy when baked (I mean, LOOK AT THEM).
The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it looks and tastes a lot fancier than it is!? We’re combining a handful of fresh ingredients with all your favourite store cupboard staples. All you need to do is roast the veggies, make that harissa tomato sauce and layer it all up with the feta and panko breadcrumbs. Give it 30 minutes in the oven and you’re gifted with a saucy, spicy vegetarian bake with that killer feta and breadcrumb top.
While this pepper and aubergine bake does take a little while to cook (90 mins there and thereabouts) a lot of that time is either waiting for your veggies to roast or waiting for the feta and breadcrumbs on top to get golden brown and crisp. So you’re definitely not hands of for a full 90 minutes. Phew!
And even then, I promise the result is so, SO worth it. That harissa tomato sauce is jam-packed with flavour. There’s a little bit of heat and lots of fragrant flavours thanks to the garlic, cumin and caraway in the paste. Combined with the layers of roasted aubergine, roasted pepper and the feta and breadcrumb top, this recipe is an absolute showstopper and you should probably make it ASAP.
Why You Should Make Roasted Bell Pepper, Aubergine and Feta Bake with Harissa
- Vegetarian goodness! We love a meatless Monday offering and this one is reaallllyyy good. I promise.
- It’s packed with veggies which bump up the fibre and nutrient content. Win!
- The top layer of golden feta cheese and crunchy panko breadcrumbs has to mean something to you surely!?
- You can serve this as a main dish or a side dish to something like chicken or fish.
- That harissa tomato sauce is versatile af. You could mix it through pasta, serve it with meat or fish, use it to make shakshuka. The list goes on. And on. And on some more.
Feta is a sheep’s milk cheese that is very nutritious. In this recipe in particular, feta provides us with protein and is a good source of riboflavin. Protein is needed for muscle growth and development as well as many different processes in the body. Riboflavin is involved in releasing energy from the food we eat and the keeping nervous system, skin and eyes healthy.
Bell peppers are one of the richest dietary sources of vitamin C, a nutrient that is involved with many different bodily processes including making collagen, wound healing and protecting the cells from free radical damage. Peppers also contain vitamin B6 which is needed to make haemoglobin and break down food to use as energy in the body.
This recipe also centres around aubergine (aka eggplant) which is a great source of fibre and thiamine. Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet as it feeds the good bacteria in our gut and keeps our digestive system healthy, while thiamine is needed for breaking down and releasing energy from the food we eat and keeping the nervous system healthy.
To make the harissa tomato sauce we’ve used tinned tomatoes, which are a good source of vitamin C. Cooked tomatoes in particular, in comparison to uncooked, are a fantastic source of lycopene – a nutrient with antioxidant properties that protects the body from free radicals. This is because the heat from cooking breaks down the tomato cells and makes lycopene more available for absorption in the digestive system.
We’ve also flavoured this aubergine and bell pepper bake with a big handful of fresh parsley. Not only does parsley add a fresh flavour, but it’s also a great source of vitamin K. Vitamin K is an important nutrient required for normal blood clotting and wound healing.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Red peppers – For this pepper, aubergine and feta bake I’ve used red peppers as they’re the sweetest type of pepper and that flavour develops more when they’re roasted. If you need to substitute red peppers, go for yellow or orange as they still provide some sweetness. You could use green peppers but they have a more bitter flavour which isn’t always to everyone’s taste.
Aubergine – This recipe uses three medium-sized aubergines, roasted and layered with the peppers. It has almost a meaty texture when roasted and really bulks up this recipe. To substitute you could use slices of roasted courgette instead of the aubergine.
Tinned tomatoes – When it comes to tinned tomatoes you can usually find chopped or plum varieties in UK supermarkets. I’ve gone for chopped in this recipe but you could use plum, just make sure to break the whole tomatoes down to make the sauce. Passata would also work and if you really needed to, you could cook down fresh tomatoes until you have a sauce-like consistency!
Red onion – I’ve used red onion in this recipe for colour and a little added sweetness. White onion or shallots would work equally well and if those options aren’t available to you, use onion powder instead for some of that oniony flavour.
Garlic – Garlic is an essential ingredient to any tomato sauce in my book, so it had to be in this aubergine and bell pepper bake recipe! There are only two cloves in there so it’s not too overpowering. You can use less if you want to and if you need to substitute, a little garlic powder works just as well!
Harissa paste – Harissa combines chillis, garlic, salt and spices to make a fragrant, somewhat spicy paste that is used to flavour all sorts of dishes including soups and stews. In this recipe, it is used to make the harissa tomato sauce which is layered in between the roasted aubergine and peppers. As well as adding a little bit of spice, the different spices found in the harissa paste make the whole recipe fragrant and delicious!
If you need a substitute for harissa you can add in fresh chilli along with a pinch of ground coriander and caraway. You could also use another chilli paste but be mindful of the other flavourings in it as they will change the flavour. One friend who made this recipe used chipotle paste and recommends it!
Red wine vinegar – The red wine vinegar adds a little tartness to the sauce but can be substituted for other types of vinegar like white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar or even a little bit of balsamic.
Parsley – The parsley adds freshness to the final recipe. If you can’t get any parsley, chervil has a similar flavour. You could also substitute in oregano. It will add a more floral flavour but it will complement the other recipe ingredients well!
Feta cheese – Feta adds both creaminess and saltiness to this recipe, and gets golden brown and slightly crisp when it’s baked in the oven (SO GOOD). Should you need to substitute the feta you could use mozzarella for a milder flavour but extra melty goodness. Cheddar would also work plus you can go for a mild or mature cheese depending on your preferences.
Panko breadcrumbs – Panko breadcrumbs are the final layer to this pepper, aubergine and feta bake and they finish the whole thing off beautifully! They add a golden crunchy layer that combines with the feta to take on some of that tangy, briney flavour. You can substitute panko breadcrumbs for any kind of breadcrumb you have. You could even blitz up a fresh slice of bread and toast the crumbs in a pan for a few minutes to dry them out.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to store pepper, aubergine and feta bake?
Once the bake is cooked, allow it to cool to room temperature for no more than 2 hours. Divide the aubergine bake into portions and transfer to Tupperware containers. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
How to freeze pepper, aubergine and feta bake?
This aubergine bake is best served fresh, but it can be frozen. Follow the instructions for storing above, then transfer into the freezer for up to 3 months.
To thaw, remove the containers from the freezer and transfer them to the fridge to thaw over 24 hours. Alternatively, you can use the defrost setting on your microwave to thaw the aubergine bake.
How to reheat pepper, aubergine and feta bake?
In the oven: Transfer the aubergine bake into a small baking dish and cover with tin foil. Cook in the oven (180 degrees centigrade) for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and cook for a further five minutes until the breadcrumbs have crisped up. Ensure it is piping all the way through before eating.
In the microwave: transfer the aubergine and pepper bake into a microwave-safe container. Microwave on high heat for 3-4 minutes until it is piping hot all the way through. Cooking time will vary between microwaves.
What to serve with pepper, aubergine and feta bake?
A simple green salad goes really well with this aubergine and bell pepper bake! I also like soft bread to mop up any juices. You could also serve it alongside any steamed green vegetables you enjoy.
Can you make pepper, aubergine and feta bake vegan?
Yes! Simply omit the feta cheese and add extra breadcrumbs for a really crunchy topping. Alternatively, you could swap the feta cheese for vegan cheese instead.
What is harissa paste?
Harissa paste is a North-African chilli paste. Different regions have their own varieties of this paste, but generally, harissa is made from chilli peppers, garlic, salt, olive oil and spices like coriander and caraway. Harissa has a fragrant flavour and the level of spice is mild to moderate depending on the variety. It can be bought from most supermarkets or you can make your own at home!
Watch the Video
Recipes You May Also Like…
- Slow Roast Pepper and Tomato Pasta
- Vegetarian Stuffed Mushroom Caps
- Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables with Mixed Grains and Feta
- Herb and Lemon Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes
- Healthy Aubergine Parmigiana from Olive Magazine
How to Make Roasted Bell Pepper, Aubergine and Feta Bake with Harissa
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Roasted pepper and roasted aubergine are layered with a spicy harissa tomato sauce and then topped with feta cheese and crunchy breadcrumbs, for a super simple vegetarian dinner that is oh, so tasty!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 large red peppers, seeds and stem removed then sliced into wedges
- 3 aubergine, stem removed then cut into 1cm rounds
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tins of tinned tomatoes
- 2–3 tablespoons harissa paste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Handful chopped parsley
- 150 grams feta, crumbled
- 4 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- Green salad
- Steamed greens
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Roast the aubergine and pepper: Toss the aubergine and pepper slices with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Layer the aubergine and pepper in a single layer onto a baking tray (you may need more than one tray) then roast them in the oven for 35-40 minutes, turning halfway, until tender and have taken on some colour.
- To make the harissa tomato sauce: begin by heating the remaining tablespoon of oil in a saucepan on a medium heat. Saute the onion for 5-7 minutes until it has softened, then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, harissa paste, red wine vinegar and sugar to the saucepan and stir everything to combine. Simmer the sauce for approximately 20 minutes, until it has thickened up.
- Remove the roasted pepper and roasted aubergine from the oven and gather the sauce, feta and breadcrumbs together to begin layering it all up!
- Layer it up: In a 12-inch baking dish layer half the aubergine in the bottom of the tray, then layer half the roasted pepper on top of that. Spread half the tomato sauce on the pepper before repeating the aubergine, pepper and sauce layer.
- Top the bake with the crumbled feta cheese and sprinkle on the breadcrumbs.
- Bake it: Cook the pepper, aubergine and feta bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and crunchy. Serve and enjoy!
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