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Welcome to the delicious world of Zacuscă! A traditional Romanian eggplant and red pepper spread that is incredibly flavorful and a crowd favorite. This easy-to-make recipe has been handed down from generation to generation in many different cultures, making it an all-time classic. Whether you’re looking for something quick to make for your next family gathering or want a tasty condiment for vegetables, sandwiches, or toast – this Zacuscă spread is sure to please everyone! Its robust flavor will have you coming back for more every time. Join us now as we take you to through the simple preparation process of making this delicious Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă)!


Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă): A wholesome, delicious, and great dish that’s perfect for sharing!


Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă) is a scrumptious Vegan eggplant and red pepper spread widely enjoyed in Romania and Transylvania. This simmering Mediterranean-style spread is made with roasted eggplant, red bell pepper, onions, tomato paste, and bay leaves.


This Vegan twist on the Romanian classic can be served as a meal on its own or enjoyed with fresh crusty bread. Serve the warm spread during family gatherings or weekend get-togethers for an easy-to-make, crowd-pleasing side dish. Not only is Zacuscă Vegan, but it also provides all sorts of nutrients including Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, and plenty of dietary fiber. Try it today to experience the Vegan joy that comes from savoring this traditional Romanian delight!


Vegan Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă)

Vegan Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă)


Health Benefits:



Eggplant is a nutrient-dense vegetable that offers a variety of health benefits. It provides important vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and folate which aid in energy production, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. Eggplant also contains polyphenols like chlorogenic acid which help to regulate glucose metabolism, preventing diabetes or other metabolic disorders. Furthermore, eggplant is packed with dietary fiber; just one cup provides 4 grams which improves digestion and satisfies hunger.


Red Peppers

Bell peppers are an often-overlooked vegetable when it comes to health and nutrition, but they offer a variety of positive health benefits. Rich in vitamins A and C, bell peppers contain antioxidant properties that can help protect our bodies from the impact of free radicals. Their high vitamin C content also helps support our immune systems, increasing the production of white blood cells for better immune responses. Bell peppers are great sources of dietary fiber, promoting regularity and digestion throughout the gut; and we can trust their nutrient stability due to the fact that bell peppers don’t lose many vitamins during cooking like other veggies.


Traditional way of roasting red peppers

The traditional way of roasting red peppers


How do I preserve it?


Sterilize the jars. You can easily sterilize the jars and lids by placing them into a very large pan of water (enough so it covers the jars), bringing the water to a boil, and then simmering for 10 mins or so.

Transfer the zacuscă. Once the zacuscă is cooked, carefully ladle it into sterilized jars, a couple of inches from the top. Screw the lids on tightly.
Can the zacuscă. Place the jars of zacuscă into a large pan, and fill with water up the level of the spread. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and gently simmer for around 30 mins. Carefully remove the jars from the pan, and allow them to cool at room temperature.

Unopened, the zacuscă will keep in the pantry for at least a year. Once opened, store zacuscă in the fridge, and use it within a couple of weeks.

A rustic jar of Zacuscă

A rustic jar of Zacuscă


Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă)


If you want to try this Vegan Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă) Recipe, share your photo and experience with us. In addition, let us know what you think in the comments below by using #veganglobetrotter, #eggplantredpepperspread, and #zacusca

Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread (Zacuscă)

Are you looking for a delectable and unique spread to tantalize your taste buds? Then try out this traditional Bulgarian recipe of eggplant and red pepper spread, known as Zacuscă! This smoky delicious dish is served either cold or hot, allowing you to choose the method that best suits your palate. With its combination of rich flavors, it's sure to become an instant favorite in any household.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dip Sauces
Cuisine Romanian
Servings 4 jars
Calories 362 kcal


Let's gather the ingredients!

  • pounds eggplants cut in half, lengthwise
  • 1 pound red bell peppers
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ pound onions thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp black pepper ground
  • ½ tbsp granulated sugar


Let's Begin!

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the bell peppers and eggplants (cut side down) on the baking sheet. Roast them in the oven for 20 minutes until the eggplant is soft and the bell peppers are blackened.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, Saute the onions with 2 tbsp of oil in a large heavy pan over medium heat until lightly caramelized. Add the remaining oil and season with salt.
  • Once the eggplants and peppers are cooked, remove them from the oven, and set aside for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Scoop out the eggplant flesh, and add it to the pan with the onions.
  • Cut the peppers in half, remove the skins and innards, and place into a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds, just enough to break up the flesh.
  • Add the peppers, tomato sauce, bay leaves, sugar, and ground black pepper. Mix well, and taste. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Increase the heat, and bring the zacuscă to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat, and simmer for about 35 minutes while stirring every 5 minutes to prevent burning on the bottom.
  • Serve warm or cold, and enjoy with family and friends!
Keyword Eggplant, Red Peppers, Romanian, Spread


For More Vegan Recipes


I’ve provided a list of vegan dishes that are all made completely of ingredients from plants. Additionally, they make a wonderful addition to any vegan dish. These are tasty even for meat eaters. And for more vegan recipes, subscribe to our newsletter!


1.  Air-Fryer Potato Chips

2. Caramelized Banana Oatmeal

3. Apple Pie Overnight Oats

4. Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

5. Vegan Greek Spinach Pie (Spanakopita)




Overall, Zacuscă is a delicious and nutritious dish with complex flavor combinations. It is an ideal appetizer for any occasion, as it can be eaten hot or cold and is customizable with any other vegetables you may have on hand. Furthermore, zacuscă is very easy to make so you don’t have to worry about spending hours prepping an elaborate recipe. Just let the eggplant and red pepper stew together in the pot and voila! You’ve got a delectable dip that will have your guests asking for seconds. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try adding some different kinds of peppers or topping it off with feta cheese for extra flavor? There’s really no wrong way to enjoy this traditional Romanian spread so get creative in the kitchen and whip up your own version of this vibrant dish.


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