Barbeque Eggplant Sandwiches


A while back I browsed through sandwiches on, which is odd for me as they are not something I think about. Nothing against sandwiches, but I have only one sandwich post on this blog, out of 500 posts! So that says something…

However, I was planning food for a get-together where I needed a make-ahead, picnic-type, easy-to-eat food. I thought that a sandwich, perhaps in the barbecue category, wrapped in foil and kept warm, would be the easiest for me; the sides could be made the day ahead.

And there it was, while I was browsing – a barbecue eggplant sandwich. I had to click on it – the name was so intriguing.

Plus, I have Japanese Ichiban eggplants growing in my garden.

What a unique way to use eggplant, besides eggplant parmesan, ratatouille, and baba ganoush.

Barbecue Eggplant Sandwich
Adapted from Epicurious

Eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds total), trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick planks
1/2 cup BBQ sauce*, divided
1 teaspoon garlic pepper, or favorite seasoning
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 small red onion, halved and sliced into thin wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 slices provolone cheese
4 soft rolls
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Pepperoncini peppers

Position oven rack six inches from the heat source and preheat broiler.

Brush eggplant slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce and season with 1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper. Arrange slices on a sheet pan.

Broil eggplant until browned and soft, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss mushrooms and red onion with oil, remaining garlic pepper and reserve.

Remove broiler pan from oven, flip eggplant slices, and brush with 2 more tablespoons BBQ sauce.

Scatter mushroom mixture around the eggplant on the pan and broil until browned and soft, about 3 minutes more.

To assemble the sandwiches, first toast the rolls using a little butter and a hot skillet.

Then brush the top toasted half of each roll with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise.

Lay the cheese on the rolls. Because provolone are circular, I cut them into narrow slices.

Layer an eggplant slice and some mushroom mixture on the bottom of each roll.

Close the sandwiches and serve immediately. You can drizzle a little more barbeque sauce in the sandwiches if desired.

The original recipe suggests using some thinly sliced pepperoncini inside the sandwiches, but I prefer them on the side.

Once I bit into this sandwich I knew I’d be making it again. Especially with a vegetarian in the family.

An added slice of bacon would please anyone insisting on a non-vegetarian sandwich.

But seriously, with the meaty eggplant and mushrooms, meat will most likely not be missed.

* Typically I make my own barbecue sauce, but there is one jarred product which I sincerely love, and that is Head Country, made right here in Oklahoma. The original is wonderful – not vinegary, not sweet – and now there are other varieties as well. The hot and spicy is incredible. Just use the barbecue sauce that’s your fave!

Also, if you ever need to keep sandwiches warm in an oven or warming drawer, try these foil wrappers. I used them when I was catering large, casual events, and they are a perfect size for a sandwich like this!

44 thoughts on “Barbeque Eggplant Sandwiches

  1. My stomach kept rumbling while I was reading this post – I’m hungry now :-) . When I saw the word BBQ, though, I started to get disappointed because I don’t have a BBQ – but I’m happy now to see it’s an oven version!
    My parents have an abundance of eggplants in their garden, so I’ll give this a go.
    Did I interprete this correctly that the hot aubergine and mushrooms will melt the cheese? It doesn’t have to go under the broiler again?

    • Oh yeah, it’s just about the BBQ sauce, not actual grilling! I melted the cheese just a bit in the microwave before adding the vegetables, plus drizzled on a bit more BBQ sauce. I’ll check to see if it makes sense.

  2. What beautiful eggplant you have in your garden! I’m making grilled eggplant sandwiches for dinner tonight- if you can believe it…. We make them at least once a summer. The eggplant is covered with minced garlic, and then layered with tomatoes, red onion, basil and slices of feta. Yum! I love your version too. :)

  3. Shall copy!! I actually eat a ‘sandwich’ for breakfast 90% of my days . . . but it is N European, on ‘sturdy’, oft black, bread and ‘open’ to the top. Usually fishy like pickled herring, smoked eel, raw salmon, sardines . . . . but this easy-to-make vegetarian taste delight will be ‘wedged’ into the menu for sure . . .

  4. I must admit that I am a bit of a ‘sandwich snob.’ I have always thought that sandwiches are too simple to be worthy of a post. But that is WRONG! You have inspired me to re-discover sandwiches again! I have made my own barbeque sauce before but I can never get it to taste as good as the store-bought variety!

    • A vegetarian would definitely be happy with this sandwich! But unless a non-vegetarian must have meat at every meal, this would also be satisfying. Or, that person could add a slice of bacon!

  5. This looks so tasty and nutritrious. I can practically taste it. My vegan daughter will love it if I watch the mayonnaise.

    • And the cheese, but there are such great substitutes. I have a pescatarian daughter, and she gets “pulled pork” sandwiches made from jack fruit!

  6. I would never have thought to put BBQ sauce on eggplant but it sounds amazing. Gotta’ love some Head Country, too!

  7. I have enjoyed many an eggplant sandwich, but never barbecued! Love all the ingredients and will be making my own sauce, of course. Does Head Country have garlic? Just curious… if it didn’t, I would go online and get some!

  8. They look delicious Mimi, the idea of the BBQ sauce on the eggplant is great. I often do a miso glaze on eggplant which has a similar savouriness to it. I am having a fasting day today and this has made me even hungrier than I am already!! 😂

  9. Oh Mimi! First of all those eggplants are just gorgeous! And the sandwiches do look so intriguing. This is a perfect example of a recipe I might have just passed by (and probably did at some point, if it was on Epicurious, lol) and yet here it is, a master piece. With the cheese and the mushrooms…it just all looks so good.

  10. Terrific idea! We’re coming into peak eggplant season, and this is such a neat dish — not something I’ve ever had before. But it sounds really good. Winner! Thanks so much.

    • I’ve never had this before either! And I certainly wouldn’t have ever thought to smother eggplant with BBQ sauce, either ! My pescatarian daughter told me about a place in NYC where she gets BBQ jack fruit, which she says tastes just like BBQ pork!

  11. That Japanese eggplant looks like something from another planet! How interesting. I have to admit that I was a bit slow on the uptake with this one. But when I saw those beautiful mushrooms, and then read that you actually use BBQ sauce on the eggplant – that is really interesting indeed.

    • Ha! They are definitely odd looking! I’m glad you read on, because the combination of everything on the bun, with the BBQ sauce, was really incredible. You could always add bacon!

  12. Mimi – I know I would love these sandwiches. I want to come and eat in your kitchen! Just the photographs alone made my mouth water and my tummy rumble. Such great flavours here – the grilled eggplants, the mushrooms, the red onion and peppers and melted cheese. Perfect.
    You’ve inspired me to add eggplants to my garden next year. But I’ll make the sandwiches long before that. Adding to my chalkboard menu. Thank you!!

  13. Why is it that whenever I eat fried eggplant I make an involuntary “mmmm” sound? No other food does that to me. This sandwich would be no exception. GREG

    • Eggplant is pretty wonderful, but I never fry it. (Not because it’s not mmmmm…) Roasting it, slathered with BBQ sauce, worked so well, and tasted so good!

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