Make these Baked Breaded Eggplant Slices for a delicious appetizer, side dish or to use in recipes like Eggplant Parmigiana! You'll love this method for crispy eggplant "fried" without much oil! Romano cheese brings a nice pop of flavor.
We've become somewhat obssessed with these Baked Breaded Eggplant Slices.
They're addictive, fun and a healthier option than fried food.
If you love eggplant as much as we do, you have to try these!
Eggplant: You'll need one large eggplant. Choose a firm, glossy one that's not bruised. The stem should be green, not grown.
Try to get a long, skinnier eggplant. The skinnier ones have fewer seeds than the wider eggplants and will be less bitter.
Bread crumbs: You can purchase plain bread crumbs or make your own. You can use one of the methods described in my Homemade Italian Bread Crumbs post.
Romano cheese: For best results, use freshly grated Romano. Buy a triangle of Pecorino or regular Romano cheese.
You could substitute Parmesan, if needed, but the Romano provides a bolder, saltier flavor. You might need to add a little extra salt if using Parmesan.
Cooking spray: This recipe calls for "frying" the eggplants in the oven with minimal fat. You'll be spraying the surface of the breaded eggplants with oil before baking, to achieve crispiness.
Peeling and slicing
Technically you don't need to peel the eggplant, since the skin is edible. But, I recommend doing so. It will be much easier to eat these without the peel in the way.
Use a vegetable peeler and have at it!
Then, use a chef knife (affiliate link) to slice the eggplants into rounds about ⅓-inch thick. (If desired, you can slice them into planks for "eggplant cutlets.") It helps to use a large cutting board.
For this recipe, there's no need to salt the eggplants before cooking to draw out moisture. With the "oven-fried" method we're using, the breaded eggplant slices will turn out nice and crispy!
Breading the eggplant
See the recipe card at the end of this post for full instructions, but here's an overview.
- Toss the bread crumbs, Romano cheese and seasonings with a fork to combine.
- Dust each eggplant slice in flour to coat both sides.
- Dip the floured eggplant in beaten eggs, allowing the excess to drip off.
- Bread the eggplant, using a fork to pat down the crumbs on both sides.
- Place the eggplant disks on a greased sheet pan. Spray the surface of each circle with cooking spray.
Roast the eggplants uncovered, for 15 minutes on the first side. Then flip each slice over, spray again and bake for another five minutes, or until golden brown.
Tips for crispy baked eggplant
- Dip the eggplant slices in flour as well as eggs and bread crumbs.
- Instead of drizzling on oil, which can make the eggplant soggy, spray the surface with cooking spray.
- Bake at a high temperature (425 degrees F) right on the greased baking sheet, without using parchment paper or a cooking rack.
This is the same method I use for my Oven-Fried Cod.
You can bread these a day ahead of baking them. Don't spray the tops yet. Refrigerate the breaded eggplant slices on a greased sheet pan lightly covered with foil or wax paper.
The next day, spray the eggplant slices with cooking spray and bake them uncovered, as directed in the recipe.
You also can make and bake the eggplants a day ahead and refrigerate them on the sheet pan, lightly covered.
The next day, you can reheat the pan of oven-fried eggplants in a 425-degree oven for 5-7 minutes. They should deepen in color and become crispy again. Don't let them burn.
How to serve them
These oven fried eggplants make a great side dish or appetizer.
Of course, you can use them in Chicken Sorrentino, eggplant lasagna, Parmigiana or any dish that calls for breaded eggplant.
And don't forget, you can make a delicious breaded eggplant sandwich with some crusty Homemade Italian Bread!
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can freeze breaded eggplant slices without baking them first, or even after they're cooked. If cooked, let them cool off before freezing them.
Place the eggplant rounds on a wax-paper-lined sheet pan and flash freeze them for two hours. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag, separating the layers with wax paper. Use the frozen eggplant within three months.
Technically, you should be able to make breaded eggplant in the air fryer. However, it's not practical for a large amount of eggplant.
This recipe yields about 28 eggplant rounds. Most air fryers have a small capacity, so you would have to cook the eggplants in batches.
More eggplant recipes to love
- Eggplant Parmigiana
- Roasted Eggplant Dip (Salate de Vinete)
- Pan-Fried Eggplant with Tomato Sauce
- Caponatina (Eggplant Caponata Salad)
And don't miss my collection of 33 Italian Side Dishes (Contorni)!
If you try these Baked Breaded Eggplant Slices, be sure to leave a comment and a rating!
Baked Breaded Eggplant Slices
- 1 pound eggplant (preferably a skinny, long one so it has fewer seeds)
- ⅓ cup flour
- 2 extra large eggs
Bread Crumb Mixture
- ¾ cup plain bread crumbs
- ⅓ cup Romano cheese such as Pecorino
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt (not quite full)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- cooking spray
- 1 cup marinara (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a sheet pan with cooking spray.
- Rinse the eggplant and pat it dry. Place the eggplant on a cutting board and slice off the stem and root ends and discard them. If you wish to peel the eggplant (recommended), use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin and discard it. Slice the eggplant into ⅓-inch thick rounds.
- Place the flour in a soup bowl or dinner plate. In another soup bowl, beat two eggs.
- Add the bread crumbs to a small mixing bowl or dinner plate. Stir in the Romano cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Set up an assembly line from left to right with the eggplants, flour, eggs, bread crumb mixture and the prepared sheet pan. Have three forks ready.
- Use a fork to place an eggplant slice into the flour. Flour both sides, turning over once.
- Use another fork to transfer the eggplant slice into the beaten eggs. Turn over to coat both sides, then let the excess egg drip off. Place the eggplant slice into the bread crumbs.
- Use another fork to pat the crumbs onto the eggplant, then flip the slice over and bread the other side. Transfer the breaded eggplant to the greased pan.
- Continue breading all of the eggplant slices. Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on the sheet pan. Spray the entire surface of the eggplant rounds with cooking spray. (This is important to achieve crispiness.)
- Bake the eggplants for 15 minutes on the first side (or until golden brown). Remove the pan from the oven and flip over the eggplants with a spatula. Spray the tops with cooking spray and bake for another five minutes, or until golden brown.
- Let the eggplant slices cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve them plain or dip them in marinara sauce or mayonnaise, etc. You also can use them for eggplant Parmigiana, etc.
- Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to four days. See notes for freezing instructions.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C)