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Crispy Baked Eggplant Slices

Crispy baked eggplant slices are a simple way to celebrate the meaty flavor of eggplant without all of the salting, soaking, pressing and fuss of other recipes. Panko (gluten free or traditional) and herbs add crunch and big flavor you can adjust any way you can think of!

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As beef cattle farmers, meat is never far from our table. But we do love to change things up from time to time and crispy eggplant is a great way to do that.

With or without pasta (eggplant parmesan anyone?), these crispy slices of eggplant are great with just a bit of good marinara and a fork.

There are a lot of roasted eggplant recipes out there–most of which call for salting the sliced eggplant to draw out liquid, then patting each slice dry before roasting. And the truth is…the eggplant still gets soggy.

There’s really no way to avoid it–it’s a vegetable after all.

But I’ve found that a quick, hot roast with panko bread crumbs gives crunch and there’s not a ton of sogginess to go along with it. Keep your slices on the thinner side and they’ll cook through before they begin to leak water.

Tips for the best baked eggplant slices

  • Always choose an eggplant that’s firm and has a smooth skin. Pass by the wrinkled ones with damage or big soft spots.
  • Skin is optional in this recipe but I left it on because we like it. If you’d prefer slices that are easier to cut, peel your eggplant before breading.
  • Choose a good panko or coarse bread crumb that’s very dry. Homemade bread crumbs will be too soft for this recipe and will probably get soggy. Gluten free panko is a great option here, and is what I used in the photos.
  • Add parmesan cheese to the panko for an extra boost of flavor.
  • Avoid the temptation to use fresh garlic or herbs. They’ll burn in the oven before your eggplant roasts.

Steps for baked eggplant slices

Step 1: Prepare your breadcrumb and parmesan mixture and set aside. Slice your eggplant in to 1/2″ thick slices. Add the egg and water to a bowl and beat well to mix. Dip the eggplant in on both sides. Don’t let it soak–you don’t want the eggplant to take on extra water.

a bowl with beaten egg and a slice of eggplant in it

Step 2: Add the egg-dipped slices to the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat and pressing really well with your hands so it sticks.

a bowl of panko bread crumbs with eggplant and a fork

Step 3: Give your slices space so they don’t steam, and lightly spray them or drizzle them with a bit of avocado or olive oil. This will help the panko get golden brown.

sliced and breaded eggplant ready to be baked

Recipes to enjoy baked eggplant

Baked eggplant slices can be the main dish or part of a bigger recipe like a casserole or pasta. Try these recipes:

Roasted Eggplant

Roasted eggplant feels richer and much more indulgent than it is. Roast up a big batch to enjoy with marinara sauce or over pasta. 
5 from 4 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 175kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Slice the eggplant thin for crispy chips or thicker, depending on how you want it--up to about 1/2" thick at the most. 
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg and water.
  • On a plate blend the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic and pepper.
  • Dip the eggplant into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs pressing down firmly to make sure they are coated all over.
  • Lightly spray a cookie sheet with the cooking spray and lay the eggplant in one layer. You may need more than one sheet for all the slices. Lightly spray the tops of the eggplant with more cooking spray. 
  • If baking thin chips, bake about 15 minutes, turning once halfway through. For thicker slices, bake 30-40 minutes until golden, flipping halfway. Serve with marinara sauce or melt a little mozzarella over the top and serve with pasta.

Nutrition

Calories: 175kcal
eggplant stacks on a plate with lemon wedges on the side
 
Recipe Rating




Dee

Saturday 13th of July 2019

Wonderful, delicious ..all family loved it. thank you

Mario "Vitale" Morrone

Sunday 6th of May 2018

What egg? Recipe Instructions: "In a small bowl, beat egg and water" What egg?

Rachel Ballard

Sunday 6th of May 2018

Uhhh...I guess that would be the egg I forgot to put in the recipe but it's there now. :)

Sara Elmore

Friday 19th of January 2018

Tried a couple of weeks ago & is really good, thank you!! Making again to have with my version of marinara & a pasta...hubs even likes! I admit, I did use crushed up unsalted crackers, not panko and it worked well. Nice meat substitute.

Rachel Ballard

Saturday 20th of January 2018

Hey Sara! That sounds wonderful! And crackers works well. Just whatever you have that will stay crispy is fine. --Rachel

Christine Allen

Sunday 24th of December 2017

Hello, Can I use regular or maybe even seasoned breadcrumbs instead of the Panko breadcrumbs?

Rachel Ballard

Wednesday 27th of December 2017

Hey Christine, Yes I'd think so. The regular breadcrumbs may not be quite as crunchy after it bakes but you're welcome to try. Panko is so crunchy, that they are almost foolproof--but certainly use what you have or like. --Rachel

Nitin Dani

Tuesday 19th of December 2017

Was excellent. Thanks for the recipe. What I also did was sprinkle some finely chopped garlic and onion on the top that became crispy after baking and was a great addition to the marinara sauce.

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 19th of December 2017

Wow thanks Nitin! This is one of my favorites too! --Rachel

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