Perfect all by themselves or dipped in your favorite tomato sauce, these tasty bites often vanish straight from the baking sheet in our house!
My family always felt lukewarm towards eggplant…until this recipe. And it’s easy!
Simply dredge slices of egg-dipped eggplant into a flavorful combination of Parmesan, crumbs and seasoning. Then roast the pieces just long enough to crisp the outside before the inside becomes too soft.
In previous recipes, I have mentioned using crushed Rice Chex as a gluten-free option to panko or dry breadcrumbs. I now use the Rice Chex crumbs even when not required by a dietary restriction. Even the gluten eaters claim to prefer the texture they deliver over the old standby. That said, feel free to choose according to preference or what you have on hand.
For those wishing to try the Chex option, three cups of Rice Chex yields approximately one cup of crumbs. Just like breadcrumbs, they may be stored for several months in an airtight container.
Economical, easy, and convenient!
For an easy-to-prepare, rustic tomato sauce that I love to serve with these tasty bites, follow this recipe link for Speedy Cherry Tomato Sauce. Putting both recipes together and piling atop hot-cooked pasta creates a simple twist on the classic eggplant Parmesan.
I especially love this Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan ⇩⇩⇩because the eggplant stays nice and crispy.
Watch out for sticky fingers…these might not make it past the baking sheet! 🙂
- 2 pounds small to medium-size eggplant (about 6 depending on exact size)
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup plain panko breadcrumbs (use Rice Chex crumbs for a gluten-free option)
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Olive oil, for baking sheets
- Optional: marinara sauce for dipping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Thoroughly coat a baking sheet with oil. Set aside. (You may need to use two sheets.)
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1 tablespoons water. In another bowl (a pie plate works well), combine the panko or Rice Chex crumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Cut the eggplants into thick rounds. (I like them to be between 1/2 and 3/4 inches thick so they have time to brown in the oven before they become too soft.) Dip the eggplant slices in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off. Dredge the dipped slices in the Parmesan mixture, pushing down gently to coat well. Transfer the coated slices to the baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown on the bottom, 17-20 minutes. (Peek underneath using a spatula; if they aren’t yet golden, give them a few more minutes and check again.) Flip the slices and continue baking until lightly browned on other side but still slightly firm, about 10 minutes more. All ovens vary, so don’t hesitate to adjust a few minutes either way. You want the first side to be golden brown; then worry more about doneness and texture than getting the second side equally browned. (When pressed for time, I have simply given the tops a quick broil rather than flipping and cooking for the additional 10 minutes.)
Remove from the oven, and serve as is or with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.
- If you’d like to try this recipe with larger eggplants, I recommend placing the slices in a colander and tossing with a half-teaspoon or so of salt. Allow the excess moisture to drain for 20-30 minutes, and then blot dry and proceed as directed.
This is my go-to eggplant recipe — everyone in the family loves it. I love the crispy outside, soft inside thing, and the fact that it’s pretty easy to throw together. Big Winner at our house.
So happy the eggplant was a hit, Gina. Thank you for your terrific feedback!
I made it as directed, but they came out totally dry, not caramelized and soft on the inside at all. I used bigger eggplants and did not sweat. Could that be the reason? I wonder if the lack of oil in the recipe is preventing the eggplant from cooking
Hi Reinke, I mention in the recipe that small or baby eggplants are ideal because they don’t have the bitter and watery characteristic of larger eggplants. Large eggplants are more likely to be too moisture-rich (and would benefit from salting and then patting dry), so the fact that yours were dry make me think that the eggplant could have been old. I’m sorry they didn’t turn out for you, and if I can help with additional troubleshooting, I’d be happy to.
Delicious. I had never cooked egg plant before.
Wonderful, Nanci. I’m glad it was a hit!
I used only the whites of the eggs to make this a bit healthier, and baked the rounds just a little bit slower and longer at 365. Perfectly crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey inside. Yum, thanks!
Fantastic, Bonnie! Thank you for the positive review!
After these are baked can they be frozen for use at a later time?
Hi Susan, I’m afraid the texture wouldn’t hold up well and they would become mushy. To be sure, I would test with a few before you make extra to freeze.
These are yummy, yummy, yummy! So easy to make. They never made it to the planned eggplant parmesan. Hubby and I devoured them as stand-alone snacks!
So happy to read this, Coriander…and the eggplant parm can be reason to make again!
Would this recipe also work with zucchini?
Hi Gina, It should definitely work. For best texture, I’d sweat the cut zucchini by sprinkling it with some salt and letting it drain in a colander for 20-30 minutes (longer is fine). Then pat dry before proceeding. If you do try, I’d love to know what you think!
Gina, I had some summer squash so I made the recipe with them last night, and it turned out well. I would recommend smaller zucchini and squash, as the larger ones can be seedier and end up softer as a result.
I made these after seeing the long list of glowing comments and was not disappointed. Glad to see you now offer the star ratings because this deserves all the stars. Thank you!
It’s a new addition, Candace – and I’m thrilled the crispy eggplant was a hit!
Making this right now ! I’m so disappointed with soggy eggplant ! I’ll let you know how it turns out !
Soggy eggplant is not good! So glad you found this recipe and hope you were pleased with the outcome!
I love eggplants. I’m making this together with baked chicken and a salad. Yummy
This has become one of my all-time favorite recipes. The crispy outside/creamy inside goodness is also a huge hit with the family, so it’s a win-win situation all around. Many thanks for this wonderful recipe!
Hi Gina, I’m thrilled these are a hit with your family and appreciate the glowing feedback!
I LOVED this recipe. I ran out of Panko so I made it with a variety of coatings. I used Panko w/Parmesan and rye bread (that I toasted and threw in the food processor), didn’t have enough of that so I went to toasted quinoa (fabulous!) and finally I tried oat flour again oatmeal through the food processor. It all came out so delicious! Out of bread crumbs? No problem! Thanks for the great recipe!
Lesa, I love your creativity and am so glad these were a hit. Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing all of your tweaks!
I put my baking sheets with the oil in first for 5 minutes. Then place the eggplant in the hot oil. The eggplant will start to sizzle immediately and will prevent them from soaking up too much oil.
Great idea, Toni. Thanks for mentioning!
These eggplant rounds are delicious. Can be used with sauces-tomato,pesto or other, or added to a casserole. I freeze any leftover and reheat in oven. Don’t use oil-just parchment paper on the cookie sheet. Yum!
Thanks so much for your comment, Ruthie! I’m delighted you enjoy these and appreciate the mentions with regard to freezing and using parchment paper.
Very good. And attractive I like very young eggplants. Tasty
Young eggplants are so good…and I’m delighted you enjoyed the recipe.
This was just delicious. My husband is not an eggplant guy, but he loved it even without marinara sauce, but liked it better with. I loved it plain. Yummy!
Thank you for your comment, Vicki. I’m thrilled this recipe was a hit with both of you!
I was reading through the replies and in answer to the “can you freeze’ Absolutely! Lay them out single layer on cookie sheet. Put in freezer for about half an hour then transfer to freezer bags in desired quantity. To reheat just put on cookie sheet under broiler for 3 to four minutes on each side and use them wherever…I usually have mine breaded but I use traditional flour, salt and pepper for dredging. I cook up several eggplant at a time and freeze. That way I only have to get the fryer mess out once a month! We also do zucchini the same way. Yummy
Thank you for taking the time to read through the comments and share your helpful feedback, Jacqueline. It is much appreciated!
these would be so simple in the air-fryer. Trying them today. Thanks for the good tip and recipe!
I think these would be delightful cooked in an air fryer, Sarita!