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An easy, colorful and incredibly tasty roasted vegetable dinner salad packed full of Mediterranean vegetables tossed with basil pesto sauce, chickpeas and greens.
This Mediterranean-inspired warm salad is full of vibrantly colored vegetables. Like a classic salad from the South of France, eating this salad will make you feel like it’s always summer, no matter what time of year it is.
A colorful mess of vegetables tumbled together onto a sheet pan makes the best — and simplest — roasted vegetable salad you could ask for! Hint: The roasted veggies are amazing layered into vegetable lasagna!
Fortunately, all the vegetables you need to make this dinner salad recipe are readily available year-round. That means you can make this dish ANYTIME, even after your summer farmer’s market or weekly CSA box is long gone.
I am obsessed with cooking and eating Mediterranean food — it feeds my soul. If you feel same, don’t miss this collection of my best healthful Mediterranean diet recipes.
Vegetables for roasted veggie salad
- Eggplant: In summertime I scoop up baby eggplants or marbled purple-and-white eggplants whenever I see them. They have a mild creamy flesh I LOVE. The rest of the time, choosing firm medium-sized eggplants is a good bet.
- Tomatoes: Multi-colored cherry tomatoes are reliably sweet and juicy, and markets have them year round.
- Bell pepper: I like to use red, orange or yellow bell peppers for an extra colorful salad. Any combo or color you can get is great.
- Red onion: One of my favorite onions to eat raw, pickled or roasted because it’s sweet and not too sharp.
- Other vegetables to roast: Feel free to switch up the combination of vegetables here to fill your sheet pan. Zucchini, tender yellow squash, leeks and cauliflower florets are great too!
Roasted vegetable steps
- Once you have your veggies cut into about equal-size pieces, the next step is simply to toss them together on a large rimmed baking sheet with plenty of good olive oil, salt and crushed red chili pepper.
- I use this brand of kosher salt for cooking. For me, the perfect amount of salt is 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons for this amount of vegetables. Taste and season to your taste.
- Be sure to grab a large enough pan that’s about 18″ x 13″ (also known as a half-sheet pan). To ensure they roast evenly, the veggies should fit snugly, but not piled on top of each other.
- I recommend roasting vegetables at a moderately high temperature of 425 degrees. That way they’ll soften and caramelize in less than 30 minutes.
- Give them a stir halfway through roasting so they cook evenly.
As soon as they’re ready, dress the vegetables with your favorite pesto sauce (I’m a fan of this perfectly-textured homemade basil pesto). Stir in the chickpeas and baby greens until the leaves wilt.
Serving tips and options
- Serve the salad as is or with cooked grains like couscous, orzo pasta, quinoa or farro to make it more hearty.
- Add about 1/2 cup of your favorite soft cheese to the salad just before serving. Feta, goat cheese, burrata or ricotta are all delicious choices.
- The vegetables are FANTASTIC over cheesy Parmesan Polenta!
- Instead of pesto, drizzle the salad with my favorite zesty Essential Green Sauce, tangy Lemon Tahini Dressing or Chimichurri Sauce.
- Any soft textured baby greens like kale, spinach, or arugula are perfect to use in the salad.
- Top the salad with grilled meat, seafood or chicken.
- The roasted vegetables taste delicious for days. Keep refrigerated and warm to room temperature or briefly heat in a microwave to serve.
- You can also freeze the roasted vegetables for up to one month. Cool completely and omit the greens before packing into freezer containers. Add the greens when you reheat the salad and enjoy!
Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Salad
- 1 pound eggplant, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 bell peppers (red and/or yellow), seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved if larger than 2-inches in diameter
- ½ cup sliced red onion
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper, or to taste
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup basil pesto sauce , or green sauce
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
- 2 big handfuls baby greens, such as arugula, spinach or kale
- Preheat the oven to 425 (220 C) degrees.
- Put the eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and onion on a large (18"x13") rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle the oil over and season with the chili pepper and salt to taste (I usually use 1-2 teaspoons Diamond kosher).
- Bake 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned on the edges.
- Add the pesto, vinegar and chickpeas to the hot vegetables and stir around with a spatula. Sprinkle the greens over and stir again until the leaves wilt slightly.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- Roasted vegetables keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and can be frozen up to 1 month.
- Serve the salad with cooked grains such as couscous, quinoa, farro or bulgur for a heartier dish.
- Top with soft creamy cheese like feta, burrata, ricotta or goat cheese