Crispy Baked Eggplant

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.

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.

Crispy Baked Eggplant
Perfect all by themselves or dipped in your favorite tomato sauce, these tasty mouthfuls often vanish straight from the baking sheet in our house.   Small or baby eggplants are ideal for this recipe. They don’t have the bitter, watery characteristic of larger eggplants, and the thinner diameter allows for bite-size rounds that make perfect poppers whether served as an appetizer or side dish. 

Yields 4-6 servings.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds small to medium-size eggplant (about 6 depending on exact size)
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  4. 3/4 cup plain panko breadcrumbs (use Rice Chex crumbs for a gluten-free option)
  5. 1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
  6. 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  7. Olive oil, for baking sheets
  8. Optional: marinara sauce for dipping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Thoroughly coat a baking sheet with oil. Set aside. (You may need to use two sheets.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. Remove from the oven, and serve as is or with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.
Notes
  1. 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.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

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Comments

  1. Mary Lou Keller

    Oh yummy! I adore fried or baked eggplant. It was a specialty at a restaurant that used to be in our area, served with cocktail sauce, or lacking that catsup mixed with horseradish.

    I will have to give this a try Ann and great idea about rice Chex!

    Reply
  2. Pat

    I just made this recipe for dinner, and it was delicious. I like the way the smaller eggplants taste after baking them. The recipe is easy to make and I will try it again. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  3. Alison

    I love this recipie! Rice Chex rock for this purpose.
    Have you ever tried freezing them?
    Also, I bet they’d make a super gluten free lasagne! (Which could be frozen).
    My garden is exploding with eggplant now, & I don’t have much experience cooking it.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Alison,
      Thanks for the great comment! I haven’t frozen these. I have used them in a “deconstructed” eggplant Parmesan (recipe linked above). Your idea for lasagna sounds wonderful!

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Sweet and Sour Crispy Baked Eggplant | Omnivore's Cookbook

  5. Robert

    Just finished dinner with the eggplant as a side/veggie. Yummy! I used two large (1 lb each) eggplants and they were fine without the salt treatment. I’ve got some zucchini and yellow squash in the fridge also. That’s going to be my next experiment. Have you tried other veggies?

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these, Robert. I’ve made a similar recipe with zucchini and they work beautifully. Would love to hear how your next experiment goes!

      Reply
  6. Pingback: Weekly Gluten-Free Menu Plan -- Eggplant

  7. Janet Butler

    This looks so easy to do. I am 74, love eggplant and need to reduce acidic food. Also, am slowly turning into a vegetarian.. I am going to do these this morning and prepare a roasted red pepper sauce with some low fat mozzarella on the top.

    These will be perfect for having several little meals during the day.

    Will also have a small romaine salad with it. Will probably make a Mayo/ketchup dressing like we did in the old days….. it is not acidic…
    Thanks for being there for me this morning. I have the inspiration I need to get up and get on the ball this morning. Cooking is great therapy for me.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      All sounds delightful, Janet! I bet your red pepper sauce is delicious–I would love to try your whole meal. Thanks for your wonderful comment. I’d love to hear how you make out!

      Reply
  8. Sara jane

    I made these tonight, I used a big egg plant as that is all I had, just only 2/3 cup egg of bread crumbs and parm cheese. I baked them for 15 mins flipped them over and baked for another 10 mins and then added half a slice of spicy cheese to each one, put a dollop of tomoto sauce on top and enjoyed! A little salty but very good!

    Reply
  9. Jim

    I tried this tonight and it was great! Used Asiago & Parm with Italian bread crumbs, Garlic powder, Himalayan Salt, fresh black pepper, while cooking thinly sliced 7 cloves of garlic and 1 large onion, after flipping after 17 mins put in oven 4 mins, pulled out topped with onion round on each, topped with garlic slices and then thin slices of Habanero cheese, back in the oven 5 more mins till melted and GBD! And it was awesome. For the sauce I used Sriracha sauce and many dabs of Habanero sauce.
    Thank you!! First time the eggplant wasn’t all soggy! Did 3/4″ Rounds. Perfect.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Terrific feedback, Jim. Thanks for taking the time to share it…and after reading every last scrumptious detail, I am officially hungry these!

      Reply
  10. Nona Richs

    This was absolutely delicious! My 6 non veggie eating kids fought over the last few pieces. Thanks!

    Reply
  11. Jane Yasenchak

    This is my absolute favorite way to eat eggplant now! I made it last week and then lost your recipe… Happily I found it today when I was ready to make it again! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  12. Eric

    I hate eggplant and Parmesan cheese, but my wife and mother love them. I’m making this tonight for them because I can’t grill due to the rain. I love cooking (even foods I don’t like), because of the smiles I get from the people I cook for. I’ll let you know what the smile factor is soon. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
  13. Angie

    I made these tonight minus the cheese. (I just don’t like any type of cheese). When anyone wants cheese I add it after they are cooked but still hot. I just grate the parmigiana onto the eggplant. These taste wonderful. My family liked them without anything else on them. They do taste like they have been fried. I did cook my a little longer but just watched them. Thanks so much for this fabulous receipe!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks for your great feedback, Angie, and for your mention of adding the cheese for just those who want it. Super idea!

      Reply
      1. Ann Post author

        They were two of the most prolific plants ever, Sonali! Thanks so much for checking in with your lovely comment! xo

        Reply
  14. Dolly

    I love eggplant and I always fried it but this recipe tops my old way of preparing it and takes half the time and tastes a lot better and healthy for you also. Thank you for the great recipe. Delightful!!!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      You’re very welcome, Dottie. I’m glad this is faster, healthier, and tastier than your old way of preparing. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      Reply
  15. Sarah

    Hi! Just a note to say thanks for this awesome recipe! My husband loves Eggplant Parmesan, but I really wanted to bake the eggplant component when making it for dinner tonight. Your recipe for this dish fit the bill PERFECTLY! The eggplant was tasty and crispy on the outside (and simple to put together).

    I am so glad to have stumbled on to your site. Many thanks again from a fellow Pennsylvanian (now residing in Texas)!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      What a wonderful comment…thank you! I’m delighted you enjoyed this recipe and thrilled you can now make virtual visits to PA!

      Reply
  16. Leslie Levy

    This baked eggplant was a brilliant base for eggplant Parmesan. Thank you! BTW I used parchment paper on the cookie sheet. Placed the slices on the paper and sprinkled with a bit of evoo. Just perfect, no sticking and instant clean up.

    Reply
  17. Henry

    Tried this for first time today and it’s amazing! ‘Till now I’ve been deep frying my eggplant and it takes so long cuz I have a small fryer. This recipe saved much time and is very flavorful. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes and know how.

    Reply
  18. Teressa Cummins

    Wow….. We just made your eggplant and have never had ANY better!!! So crispy and delicious I’ve made other recipes and they were soggy yuck! We followed your direction to a T and fixed a fantastic dish :). Thank you thank you !!!!!!

    Reply
  19. Mary Hansen

    I dipped or used a small rubber scraper and used mayonnaise thinned with a little water and blended that well. I applied to the sides and then one side and put in panko mixture and applied dressing to remaining side. Will definitely make again. We both like eggplant but I didn’t like making in a fry pan with all the oil. This has such a good taste and not all that oil!

    Reply
  20. Lisa

    Trying to get more veggies in my diet. My breading consisted of cornflakes, Italian bread crumbs, & wheat flour. Topped w/ taco flavored shredded cheese (last 10mins). Serve w/ fresh salsa. Sounds a bit weird; making it work with what i have. Was going to have it as a healthy snack, it ended up beening lunch. I truly have a new appreciation for eggplant.

    Reply
  21. Natalya

    I made these the other day instead of frying the eggplant. I loved how this didn’t have any oil or butter so it was that much healthier! Also, after baking and letting them cool, I put a little bit of mayo on the top and then a slice of tomato. On top of the tomato I put a mixture of garlic, shredded cheese, and mayonnaise. It was absolutely divine!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I think these would get mushy if frozen. If you have leftovers, I would refrigerate and lightly reheat in the oven.

      Reply
  22. Tamara

    Very good and healthy way to eat eggplant. I hope that many more people that normally do not eat eggplant will try this recipe.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I haven’t frozen these, Julie, but they would likely become a little mushy. If you try though, please report back!

      Reply
  23. Kimberly

    My 7 year old daughter wanted to try eggplant. She doesn’t remember trying it before (and not liking it), so I’m going to try this recipe tomorrow. She’s always wanting to try new foods, so how could I say “No”?!?

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      That’s awesome, Kimberly. I hope she likes it. Either way, it sounds like you’re helping her to become an adventurous eater!

      Reply
  24. Christine Sakariasen

    Not a lover of eggplant but trying to add some new things to my diet. (Evidenced by my Google search of how to make eggplant taste good!) I am hoping to make it this week.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I love that you’re embracing something that hasn’t been a favorite, Christine. Hoping this recipe makes it taste better than expected!

      Reply
  25. Genevieve T

    Wow! These turned out amazing and I’ve made them several times. The best endorsement comes from my 6-year-old son, who said this was the best eggplant he’d ever tasted! And then he gave it a thumbs up. =)

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks so much for the great comment, Genevieve, and for passing along your son’s awesome feedback!

      Reply
  26. Pam

    Ann,

    Thank you for the simple, clear instructions and I appreciate that you’ve responded to your comments for years on this recipe.

    I eat Keto (low carb, high fat) and made this using a breading of crushed pork rinds mixed with Parmesan cheese and a little almond flour, greasing the pan with coconut oil. They turned out beautifully.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks for your thoughtful message, Pam, and for mentioning your Keto adaptations for others who may like to try. I’m so happy they were a success!

      Reply
  27. Laura JW

    Thank you so much for sharing! Preparation gets a little wacky in my kitchen sometimes, as I was born without the ability to follow a recipe as it is written, but I took closely to heart the part about UNDER COOKING the rounds, and I am so glad I did. What a wonderful treat you inspired at dinner tonight!

    Here’s roughly where things went off course:
    2/3 C bread crumbs/crackers
    1/3 C parmesan cheese
    subbed egg white for egg
    realize egg white is not holding the breading in place like a real egg should. don’t panic. bake ten minutes. pull from oven and re-dredge for second thin coating. bake ten-ish more minutes.

    Ann, I know you posted this recipe 3.5 years ago, but what are we having tomorrow night?! I can’t wait!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I love your comment, Laura…thank you! Sounds like you dealt perfectly with what you had on hand. As for the next meal, I’ve thought as far as roasting the broccoli I have in my fridge. I did have a request for chicken fried rice though, and the recipe is on the blog. 🙂

      Reply
  28. Lisa

    Well, what temperature for the eggplant? I was reading only today how beneficial to our health eggplant is! I want to include eggplant into my daily diet! Good for bones as well!! Wow!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      The recipe indicates 375 degrees F, and that’s the temperature I still use for these. Nice to know how good eggplant is for us, too. I hope you enjoy!

      Reply