Pasta with Eggplant, Feta, and Mint

DinnerVegetarianEggplantPasta and Noodles

Sautéed cubed eggplant with onions, garlic, spinach, mint, tossed with spaghetti pasta and feta

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Usually if an eggplant and pasta are in the same room together, there’s tomato sauce involved.

Here’s a recipe that bucks this convention and features eggplant without the sauce, but with red onions, garlic, baby spinach, and mint, all sautéed in extra virgin olive oil and tossed with spaghetti pasta and crumbled feta cheese.

Our Favorite Videos

It is amazingly good! Surprisingly good. Like you just want to keep eating it good.

Pasta with Eggplant, Feta, & Mint

You need to use a firm globe eggplant, not a tender Japanese eggplant for a recipe like this. The cubed globe eggplant will hold its shape in the time it takes to brown on all sides.

The taste of mint is understated, it’s used like one would use oregano or thyme, just an herb to add a note to the dish.

The recipe comes by way of my friend Kathi who cooked for many years at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco and who regularly inspires the dishes here on Simply Recipes. Thank you Kathi!

Pasta with Eggplant, Feta, and Mint Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4

Use a firm, large globe eggplant for this dish. More delicate eggplant varieties will fall apart in the cooking.


  • 1/2 pound (225 g) of spaghetti or any other long thin Italian pasta (linguini or fettuccini)
  • Salt
  • 3/4 pound (340 g) globe eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cup of cubed eggplant)
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach (3 ounces, 85 g), roughly chopped
  • 5 to 6 mint leaves (spearmint), minced
  • 2 ounces (57 g) feta cheese, crumbled
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1 Heat salted water for pasta: Put a large pot of salted water (1 Tbsp of salt for every 2 quarts of water) on to boil. While the pasta water is heating, start cooking the eggplant.

2 Sauté cubed eggplant: Heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet (preferably non-stick that can handle high temperatures) on high heat.

When the oil is shimmering hot, add the cubed eggplant. (Add one cube first to make sure the pan is hot enough. If the eggplant sizzles, it is.) Toss to coat with the hot oil. Brown on all sides.

While cooking, sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Browning the eggplant should take 8 to 10 minutes. When the eggplant is browned on all sides, remove it from the pan to a bowl, set aside.

3 Start cooking sliced red onion: Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Heat oil on high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced red onion, toss to coat with the olive oil. Reduce heat to medium.

4 Cook pasta: Put the pasta in the boiling pasta water. Return to a boil, boil uncovered at rolling boil until al dente, cooked through but still a little firm to the bite, about 10 minutes, depending on your package of dry pasta. While the pasta is cooking, continue with the onions.

5 Add garlic to red onion, then spinach, then eggplant, and mint: Cook the red onion until softened but not browned. Add the minced garlic, cook a minute more.

Add the spinach leaves and cook until just wilted. Return the cooked eggplant to the pan and add the mint. Toss to combine. Remove from heat.

6 Toss pasta with eggplant mixture: When the pasta is ready, scoop out a cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Then drain the pasta and add the drained cooked pasta to the sauté pan with the eggplant, onions, and spinach.

Add about 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pan with everything. Toss to combine. If you need a little more pasta water, add a little more.

7 Add most of the crumbled feta cheese to the pasta and eggplant and toss everything to combine.

Serve garnished with the remaining crumbled feta cheese and sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

Pasta with Eggplant, Feta, & Mint

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

15 Comments / Reviews

No ImagePasta with Eggplant, Feta, and Mint

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Deanne

    I made this recipe tonight. It came together easily and was delicious. When I make it again I’ll add more spinach.


  2. Jaclyn

    Just made this. Yums! I subbed spinach with some chye sim.

  3. Lauri

    Made this just as written and oh my, so delicious!


  4. Bruce

    I made this yesterday and it came out great! I had to make a few tweets though. For one I didn’t have any spinach available so instead I used fresh parsley and added some chopped baby bellas. I felt it needed a little tang so I added a hit if white wine vinegar. And lastly, my pregnant wife can’t eat feta at the moment so I substituted grated parmesan. Super delicious!

  5. Azkyroth

    Curious; what are some typical cultivars considered “globe?” Or is “globe” itself a cultivar? Do we simply mean “not long/fingery?” (I have Rosa Bianca and one of the white cultivars growing in pots on my porch…)

View More
Pasta with Eggplant, Feta, & MintPasta with Eggplant, Feta, and Mint