Crispy Baked Eggplant Cutlets

crispy eggplant

Throughout the years I’ve pretty much made eggplant every way you can think of. It’s one of my top favorite vegetables and my whole family loves it too.

Eggplant is so versatile, you can do so much with it. One delicious way to eat it is in the form of a cutlet, which is a slice of eggplant dipped in egg and breadcrumbs, usually fried, and yes I have fried them many times throughout the years.

Eggplant can soak up oil like a sponge when frying, not to mention your stove will get totaled, plus it’s a long process of standing there while they’re frying, a labor of love especially if your making a bunch.

prepped eggplant

You can get the same crispy effect when baking them where the eggplant flavor really shines threw, they won’t soak up the oil like a sponge, they’re easier to make and much, much healthier.

I have to warn you though, you need to make a generous amount, because once they come out of the oven they can disappear quickly right off the baking sheet. I will confess, I’ am so guilty of that!

crispy baked eggplant

You can serve these crispy gems as a side dish, an appetizer, for lunch or just a snack you can grab out of the fridge, you can eat them hot or cold. If you like to dip, warm up some marinara or make a lemon aioli. It’s all good and you can’t go wrong any which way.

plated eggplant

You can also use them as your base for making eggplant Parmesan. The other day I made some simple spaghetti with marinara and plopped a few of these cutlets right on top, so delicious!

crispy and baked

I hope you try my crispy, baked version next time you’re thinking about cooking up some eggplant.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Crispy Baked Eggplant Cutlets
 
Eliminate the oil and mess on your stove and make these delicious crispy baked eggplant cutlets!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 slender eggplants, the fatter ones have too many seeds ,peel the eggplants in a zebra pattern, basically alternating about one inch sections that are peeled and not peeled, then slice into half inch rounds
  • 5 eggs, whisked
  • I don't have exact amount of breadcrumbs, you be the judge, you may need to add more or less depending on the size of your eggplant slices
  • olive oil
  • grated pecorino romano cheese
  • granulated garlic, parsley, salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. No need to salt the eggplant and let it sweat, I don't see the need to do that anymore.
  2. You can use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs or plain, but for both I like to dress it up and add a cup of grated pecorino romano, some granulated garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 425. Line your baking sheets with parchment, this is important, then drizzle with olive oil and brush it all over.
  4. Dip your eggplant slice into the egg then into the breadcrumb mixture then place on the baking sheet.
  5. When the pan is filled do a quick drizzle of olive oil on each slice.
  6. Place into the oven, after 5 or so, maybe 10 minutes check them and flip to the other side only if they’re golden brown, if not let them cook a little more then flip.
  7. You want each side to be nice and golden brown.
  8. Place them on a clean tray and sprinkle with salt.
  9. Enjoy!

 

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Baked Eggplant Parmigiana

baked eggplant parmigiana

Baked eggplant parmigiana is a much lighter take on the classic breaded and fried version. Don’t get me wrong, I love eggplant and have breaded and fried my own fair share of eggplant over the years many, many times.

Normally it would be a three step process, flour, egg, bread crumbs  or more often I would make it like my mother-in-law did, she whipped up a batter of flour, eggs, water to thin it, lots of romano cheese and parsley, oh it’s so good!

Then I would dip the eggplant slices into the batter and start frying, always adding more oil because eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge and there never seemed to be enough.

Most times I would have to start over and clean the pan out in between frying because the crumbs left in the pan would start to burn, so it was a long and messy process and the clean up on my stove would take a while, to say the least!

baked eggplant

Years later I’ve really come to love the baked version better, it’s lighter, healthier but even more than that I think the flavor of the eggplant really shines through. My version isn’t buried in sauce or cheese either, to me less is more, with the added bonus of a clean stove!

baked eggplant

You need a hot oven to prep your eggplant slices, and by cutting them to almost an inch thick this ensures a crispy bottom with a nice tender bite of eggplant meat in between, because they do shrink down.

baked eggplant

I also like to take my veggie peeler and and peel off strips of skin to create a zebra like pattern of skin and no-skin, I think it looks nice and gives structure to the dish, and when cooked it melts in your mouth anyway.

Years ago I would salt them down and place something heavy on top to take the bitterness out, I don’t do that anymore I think the varieties today are perfectly fine and not bitter.

baked eggplant parmigiana

Quality ingredients are always a must, fresh mozzarella,(not the dry shredded kind), good pecorino, fresh basil and homemade marinara, simple and light flavored with garlic and basil.

baked eggplant parmigiana

This takes no time at all to make, you can even roast the eggplant ahead of time and assemble it the next day, it’s easy enough to make mid week and delicious for a special dinner party.

I’ve even made it on a rimmed sheet pan for a large group, you can fit quite a few pieces of eggplant on a half size sheet pan, perfect for a party!

baked eggplant parmigiana

I promise you won’t sacrifice any flavor on this lightened up, baked version of the classic eggplant parmigiana, it’s just as delicious and you’ll feel good about eating it!

Follow me ion Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Baked Eggplant Parmigiana
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 medium sized eggplants peeled in a zebra effect with some skin on and some skin off, sliced ¾ inch thick
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, padded dry
  • pecorino romano
  • 3-4 cups of homemade marinara flavored with garlic and basil or a good quality store bought brand
  • fresh torn basil
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. PREPPING THE EGGPLANT
  2. Heat oven to 425F.
  3. Drizzle the bottom of a sheet pan with olive oil.
  4. Place sliced eggplant on top and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  5. When you see a light golden bottom, flip them over and let the other side get golden as well, if you need a little more drizzle of olive oil, go ahead, time will vary according to oven heat, just watch it.
  6. When finished set aside. If prepping for a party or a larger amount, let it cool down and refrigerate to assemble the next day.
  7. ASSEMBLING
  8. In a 13x9 casserole quick drizzle bottom with olive oil, then spread marinara all over the bottom covering the surface.
  9. Add slices of eggplant to cover, spoon about a tablespoon of sauce on each slice, rip off some fresh mozzarella and add pieces to each slice then sprinkle with romano cheese and torn basil.
  10. Repeat.
  11. Bake in the hot oven until cheese melts down and it's all heated through.
  12. Top with more fresh basil, a sprinkle of cheese and a quick drizzle of olive oil.

 

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