This Moroccan Zaalouk recipe makes a great appetiser, side or snack! With a rich, tangy and smokey flavour, I also love serving it with plain vegetables or rice to add a lot of flavour as well as extra nutrients and antioxidants! 

Moroccan Zaalouk Recipe (Aubergine Salad)

Zaalouk is a traditional Moroccan dish made primarily from eggplant and tomatoes, flavoured with garlic, olive oil, and various spices such as cumin, paprika, and chili pepper. It’s typically served as a side dish or salad and is often enjoyed with bread. Zaalouk can vary slightly in preparation and ingredients depending on the region or personal preferences, but it’s generally known for its rich and savoury flavours. It’s a popular vegetarian dish in Moroccan cuisine.

I love food, all food! There are only a few things I genuinely dislike and choose not to eat. Otherwise I’m one of the easiest dinner guests ever because I literally LOVE food. I also love trying new foods, flavours and cuisines. It still fascinates me to think of how many different dishes there are around the world. The human culinary imagination still astounds me. 

One of the greatest joys of cooking is the opportunity to explore different cuisines and indulge in new and exciting flavours. I must admit I don’t have much experience cooking Moroccan dishes, but I recently came across Zaalouk and since the first time I made it, I knew it would make a regular appearance in my kitchen!

Moroccan cuisine is known for its vibrant colours, bold spices, and exotic ingredients that tantalise the senses. The combination of roasted aubergines, rich saucy tomatoes, fragrant spices, and aromatic herbs in Zaalouk creates a symphony of flavours that will transport you to the bustling souks and aromatic spice markets of Morocco.

Moroccan Zaalouk Recipe (Aubergine Salad)

What makes this Moroccan Zaalouk recipe so great?

Every bite of this mouthwatering salad is a burst of joy, as you savour the smoky and earthy taste of the roasted aubergines, balanced perfectly with the tangy tomato, warmth of cumin, paprika, and a hint of tanginess from the lemon juice. 

The recipe is categorised as a salad, but to me it seems more of a dip. Almost like baba ganoush/mutabal’s fancy cousin. It’s served with bread, but I also like mixing leftover Zaalouk with some steamed/boiled vegetables when I need a speedy side of vegetables, but can’t be bothered doing anything fancy with them. Zaalouk is a great way to add so much flavour to your vegetables while itself being a great source of veg, nutrients and antioxidants.

Why I love making this Moroccan Zaalouk recipe:

As well as tasting absolutely delicious, this Moroccan Zaalouk recipe is also really easy to make. You only need a handful of simple ingredients that are readily available. 

If I had to choose only one vegetable to eat for the rest of my life, aubergine would win, hands down. It’s such a versatile vegetable and I love how it absorbs all the flavours of the dish it’s cooked in. I particularly think aubergine pairs best with tomatoes. Aubergine has a mild, slightly earthy flavour, while tomatoes are juicy, sweet, and tangy. When cooked together, the sweetness and sourness from the tomatoes breaks the bitter taste of the aubergine. Together they work to create the most delicious.

I love that Zaalouk is packed with plant-goodness in the form of the aubergines, tomatoes, but also the garlic (amazing prebiotic) tomato puree (excellent source of lycopene) and spices. This one humble dishes is packed with 8 different plants. Not bad for a humble salad. 

Moroccan Zaalouk Recipe (Aubergine Salad)

What you need to make this Moroccan Zaalouk recipe:

Aubergine – these will be the star of the show, imparting a smoky and rich flavour to your Zaalouk. You can either roast them in the oven, or I’m using my air fryer for ease. I’ve seen different variations of Zaalouk online. Some recipes grill the aubergine on the hob, so it has more of a smokey taste. Others chop up the aubergine before cooking and adding it with the tomatoes instead of roasting first. 

Tomatoes – on the vine are best as they have a stronger taste, but you can use any tomatoes you have available.

Garlic – to add more flavour and depth to the salad. 

Tomato puree – adds to the richness of the tomato flavour and is packed with lycopene! 

Spices – traditionally cumin, paprika and chilli used, so that’s what I’m using too.

Salt & pepper – to help enhance all the flavours.

Garnish – fresh parsley, olive oil, chilli flakes and a squeeze of lemon add more flavour, but also make it the final dish look so much more appetising! 

Moroccan Zaalouk Recipe (Aubergine Salad)

How to serve your Moroccan Zaalouk recipe:

Zaalouk is best served with warm bread. I’m serving mine with a simple 3 ingredient speedy pitta breads (recipe coming soon!), but really you can enjoy it with any bread you have available. 

I’ve also used leftover Zaalouk to flavour boiled or steamed vegetables. It’s also absolutely delicious with rice! I prefer it served warm, but you can eat it cold if you want a speedy snack from the fridge. A great way to get some extra vegetables in between meals! 

This Moroccan Zaalouk recipe is:

  • Naturally vegan
  • Dairy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Nut-free
  • Healthy
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Packed with antioxidants
  • A great source of fibre
  • Packed with 8 different types of plants
  • Really easy to make

Moroccan Zaalouk Recipe (Aubergine Salad)

Moroccan Zaalouk Recipe (Aubergine Salad)

This Moroccan Zaalouk recipe makes a great appetiser, side or snack! With a rich, tangy and smokey flavour, I also love serving it with plain vegetables or rice to add a lot of flavour as well as extra nutrients and antioxidants! 
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Moroccan
Servings 4
Calories 131 kcal


  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

To garnish

  • Olive oil a drizzle
  • Fresh parsley
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Chilli flakes optional


  • Start off by roasting the aubergine - poke a few holes throughout each aubergine with a sharp knife and brush with olive oil.
  • You can either roast in a preheated 220C/200C fan/400C oven for 50-60 minutes, or I roasted them in the air fryer at 200C for 25 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle.
  • While the aubergine is roasting, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan, then add in the tomatoes and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, tomato puree, spices and season to taste with salt & pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until you have a rich tomato sauce consistency.
  • Cut the top of the aubergine and peel off the skin. It should be easy to peel - some bits of the skin may be a bit stubborn, but don't worry about leaving it on as you won't be able to see/taste it.
  • Roughly chop the aubergine and add to the pan. continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes over a low-medium heat until the mixture thickens.
  • Transfer onto a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and garnish with fresh parsley and chilli flakes.
  • Best served with warm bread.


Calories: 131kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 4gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 117mgPotassium: 994mgFiber: 9gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 1920IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you enjoyed this Moroccan Zaalouk recipe, you may also like:

Moroccan Zaalouk Recipe (Aubergine Salad)