Coated in panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, these baked eggplant slices are perfectly crispy and downright delicious! Serve them with marinara dipping sauce as a healthy side for dinner or use them as a base for eggplant parmesan. You can’t go wrong with this simple recipe!
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Boy oh boy, do I have a good one for you today! If you read yesterday’s post, then you know how excited I am about my eggplant recipes this year. And my favorite one out of all of them might just be these crispy baked eggplant slices.
They are SO good. But also SO easy. The ingredient list is short, but the flavor profile is big. They’re crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. And you get all these amazing characteristics just from parmesan cheese, panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs), Italian seasoning, and salt.
I highly recommend making them as a side dish for a late summer dinner. Just don’t forget the marinara sauce for dunking. I’m making this recipe again tonight to serve with salmon, and I can’t wait!
In addition to being a great side, you can serve baked eggplant slices as an appetizer, after-school snack, or use them as a base for eggplant parmesan. I’d love to hear how you use them, so be sure to leave a comment at the end of the post!
How to Make Baked Eggplant Slices
- Slice the eggplant into ¼-inch rounds.
- “Sweat” the eggplant. Put the eggplant slices in a colander in the sink and sprinkle generously with salt, making sure you spread the salt evenly over both sides of the rounds. Let the eggplant sit for at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes until it starts to “sweat.” Once little drops of moisture appear on the rounds (“sweating”), lay the rounds on a clean towel and blot up any moisture with another towel. This step is optional (read more about it in the Expert Tips).
- Set up the breading station. Beat a couple of eggs in a shallow bowl or plate with rims, and mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, seasoning, and salt in another one. Use a fork to dip an eggplant slice into the bowl with the eggs, coating both sides, and then into the bowl with the breading ingredients.
- Bake the eggplant slices. Place the breaded rounds on a lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes, flip each one over, then bake for another 15 minutes until lightly browned.
For the full ingredients and instructions for crispy baked eggplant slices, scroll down to the recipe card. For expert tips and answers to frequently asked questions, read through this section first.
- “Sweating” the eggplant is optional, especially if you are short on time. However, the purpose of sweating eggplant is to draw out some of the bitterness, so I recommend it for those who do not like bitter flavors.
- For a crispy coating, be sure to use panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs) and not regular breadcrumbs. If you’re interested, this article gives a good explanation about why panko gets crispier during cooking. Pretty much every grocery store carries panko.
- Serve baked eggplant slices with marinara sauce for dipping. They pair especially well with my Canned San Marzano Tomato Sauce. If you want to use them as a base for eggplant parmesan, my cookbook has a good recipe!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. They will lose their crispiness over time. However, you can reheat them in the oven at 400 degrees F for a few minutes and finish them under the broiler for a minute or two to crisp them up if desired.
Similar Vegetable Recipes
If you love these breaded eggplant rounds, check out my Baked Crispy Artichoke Hearts. You may also enjoy the Baked Italian Zucchini Balls and Vegan Eggplant Meatballs. For a main dish to pair with this recipe, see the Spinach Feta Salmon Burgers, Greek Lentil Salad, Healthy Fennel Stew with Shrimp, or White Beans and Escarole.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Crispy Baked Eggplant Slices
- 1 eggplant - cut into ¼-inch rounds
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning - see notes for a substitute
- ¼ teaspoon salt - plus more for "sweating"
- Marinara sauce - for serving; optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Depending on the size of your eggplant, you may need two lined baking sheets.
- Slice the eggplant into ¼-inch rounds and put them in a colander in the sink. Generously sprinkle them with salt, making sure to coat both sides of the rounds. Let the eggplant sit for at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes until it begins to "sweat" and drops of moisture appear. Transfer the eggplant slices to a clean towel and pat them dry.
- In the meantime, set up the breading station. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl or plate with rims. In another shallow bowl or plate, whisk together the panko, parmesan, Italian seasoning, and salt.
- Use a fork to dip each eggplant slice in the egg bowl followed by the breading bowl. Be sure to flip the slices over in each bowl to coat both sides and press the slices down into the breading to make it stick. After dipping in each bowl, hold the eggplant slice over the bowl with your fork to let any excess egg or breading drip/shake off.
- Put the breaded eggplant slices on the lined baking sheet(s) and transfer them to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until lightly browned and crispy. If you are using more than one baking sheet, swap the positions of the baking sheets halfway through.
- Serve the eggplant slices with marinara sauce for dipping, and enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- The “sweating” step is optional, but it does help reduce some of the bitterness in eggplant. If you are someone who does not like bitter tastes, I recommend “sweating” the slices. Some people can’t taste the difference, so it’s up to you.
- If you don’t have Italian seasoning, use 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1 teaspoon dried rosemary.
- My San Marzano Tomato Sauce is a great option for dipping.
- The rounds are crispiest when enjoyed right away, but you can keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days. Reheat in the oven at 400 degrees F for a few minutes and turn on the broiler for a minute or two at the end to crisp them up if desired.
- This should serve about 4 people as a side, but you may need to use a second eggplant if they are small.
- If you need this recipe to be strictly vegetarian, use parmesan cheese labeled as vegetarian.
Mangia! – Lizzie
I made this for my husband and myself and we both absolutelt loved it!! Crispy, crunchy and delicious! I would totally recommend it!! I sweatthe eggplant and I would recommend doing that. I think that really added to the crsipy texture.
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Shari, that’s so great! I’m thrilled to hear that you and your husband enjoyed this recipe.
What adjustments are needed for the airfryer?
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Sheila, I do not have an air fryer so I don’t have any information on how to adjust this recipe for one.
This is one of my favorite eggplant recipes! I’ve made it many times this summer, and just prepared another batch. This is so much easier than frying and tastes great! (Even Uncle Frank raves about them!) I’ve used these eggplant slices in parm and served as, nit just a side dish, but the main course with your marinara sauce. Love this! Y
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Yay! I’m so glad to hear that you love and make them often! I agree that it’s so much easier (and less messy) than frying. The Panko breadcrumbs work wonders for making them crispy! Always happy to hear about an approval from Uncle Frank too :-)!