Crispy Baked Eggplant Slices

Baked to perfection, these Crispy Baked Eggplant Slices work as an appetizer, snack or the whole meal. Crispy on the outside and pillowy soft in the middle, these Breaded Eggplant Slices are a family favorite and so great for the summertime.

A stack of sliced Crispy Baked Eggplant Slices on a white plate

2023 Update: This recipe was originally shared in July 2012. I have added measurements by weight to the recipe card. The post has been updated to include new photos, as well as more tips and tricks. I hope you love them!

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Crispy Baked Eggplant Slices recipe 

Confession time: I never tried eggplant until I lived in Italy. And even then, I was majorly skeptical. It was basically unavoidable, as the purple veggie was bountiful in my Tuscan town, and it was a part of many meals we were served. And then I was surprised that I liked it.

However, since the summer of 2006, I have enjoyed experimenting with eggplant, and this recipe is no different. And like most of the recipes featured here, it was created after I just had to have it and the world might end if I didn’t. Because, clearly, that’s how I roll.

Recently, I’ve craved baked Eggplant Parmesan on several occasions and since I can’t order this dish from one of my favorite Italian/European restaurants, Pinetta’s, I’ve learned how to make it by myself.

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    We’ve always called this eggplant parm in our house, but it’s not a classic parmesan eggplant. It’s more like eggplant medallions that get nice and crispy (but are soft on the inside) and you dip them into marinara and it is SO GOOD. It hasn’t disappointed one of my random cravings yet.

    Why I love this recipe:

    • The recipe is easily doubled or tripled. You just have got to have enough baking sheets for it.
    • It works just as well for an easy appetizer or as a delicious dinner. 
    • You can add it to pasta or eat it on its own. 

    This recipe is particularly great for the summer, when your eggplant plant is producing like bonkers. (We had a summer where ours just went wild and we made this weekly to keep up with the supply.)

    More oven recipes to try: Oven Roasted OkraBaked Turkey Meatballs | Baked Steak | Baked Sweet Potato Cubes | Oven Roasted Tomatoes

    What is eggplant?

    Also called aubergine, eggplant is a purple vegetable in the nightshade family. 

    They can be solid or striped, and the color ranges from dark purple to light lavender. Some varieties can even be pale green, yellow or reddish. 

    Eggplant is used in all kinds of dishes from ratatouille to pasta dishes to sheet pan dinners

    It is famously used in the vegetarian version of chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, which is also called melanzane alla parmigiana or eggplant parmigiana

    Ingredients to make baked eggplant parmesan on marble with a patterned blue and white towel

    What you need to make this recipe:

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    • Parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat
    • Rimmed baking sheet 
    • Whisk 
    • Mixing bowl
    • Plate
    • Fork or tongs
    • Paper towels

    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • A large eggplant — any variety works. This recipe can easily be doubled. 
    • Panko bread crumbs — you can also use gluten-free panko.
    • Grated parmesan cheese — you could also use shredded parmesan if you’ve got that on hand. Using the real deal from the deli counter (and not from the shelf-stable jar) gives this dish extra flavor.
    • Black pepper — fresh cracked pepper sends this dish over the top. 
    • Dried oregano — you can substitute chopped fresh oregano instead. You’ll need about double the amount of oregano if you’re using fresh.
    • Kosher salt — a medium-grain kosher salt os my go-to. Sea salt also works. 
    • Eggs — use the best you can afford. Large eggs from the grocery are my go-to.
    • Milk — any kind of milk or half-and-half will do. You can also use lactose-free milk or unsweetened almond milk.

    Variations on this recipe:

    If you want to make these eggplant cutlets a little different than the written recipe, there are a few ways to change them up:

    • Use Italian bread crumbs.
    • Cut the eggplant into longer slices instead of medallions to make eggplant fries.
    • Change up the spices. Replace the oregano with an Italian seasoning blend. Add in some garlic powder, too.

    How to make Crispy Baked Eggplant Slices

    Some eggplant recipes call for pulling off the thick skin, but this one does not. 

    Therefore, I’d say this one is pretty easy, even though it does take a little bit of time to bread all the slices of eggplant . They are oven fried eggplant, after all! 

    First, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

    Prepare the eggplant. Slice into ½-inch rounds. Sprinkle both sides with salt. Set aside for 15 minutes. This pulls out extra water from the eggplant. If you skip this step, you’ll end up with soggy baked eggplant. 

    While the eggplant slices are sitting, break the eggs and combine with the milk. Whisk them together in a shallow bowl. Set aside.

    On a large plate, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, black pepper, oregano and salt. Use a fork to toss the ingredients together.

    Use a paper towel to blot both sides of each eggplant slice to remove the excess water that came to the surface.


    Dip eggplant slices into the beaten eggs, then transfer it to the breadcrumb mixture. Coat the slice on both sides of the eggplant.

    Transfer the breaded eggplant to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all of the remaining eggplant slices and form a single layer.

    You may spritz them with some olive oil spray, though that’s not necessary because they should crisp up.

    Bake for about 25 minutes. They should be perfectly golden brown and crispy.

    How to serve baked eggplant

    This crispy baked eggplant recipe is perfect for so many occasions. 

    For an appetizer, serve them with a big bowl of homemade tomato sauce as a “dipping sauce.” It is SO GOOD this way! Serve them with Italian Margaritas just for fun.

    For dinner, serve them with pasta sauce and eat them on their own, or spoon them over your favorite kind of pasta. 

    You could switch out the meatballs in spaghetti & meatballs for eggplant slices, or use them to make a vegetarian version of fettuccine alfredo

    You could even put them over a salad for lunch. 

    How to store

    Store in the fridge in a food-safe, airtight container for up to 5 days. 

    To reheat, place them on a baking sheet at 250°F for 15 minutes. 

    A sheet pan of Crispy Baked Eggplant Slices

    Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

    • This is a great entrée option for vegetarians if you are planning to serve an Italian dish with a meat protein.
    • For a perfect appetizer, serve with pesto and marinara sauce for dipping. Add spoons for guests to put a scoop on their plate. Double the recipe if needed. 
    • Keep this crispy eggplant crispy and warm in the oven at 200°F while you wait for guests to arrive, but be careful not to let them dry out. 
    A stack of sliced crispy eggplant medallions on a plate

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you leave the skin on eggplant when you bake it? 

    Yes, you can leave the skin on eggplant when you bake it. 

    What is the best way to cook eggplant?

    The best way to prepare eggplant is to sprinkle both sides with salt. Set aside for 15 minutes. This pulls out extra water from the eggplant. 

    What is the secret to cooking eggplant? 

    To avoid watery eggplant, sprinkle both sides with salt. Set aside for 15 minutes. This pulls out extra water from the eggplant.  

    A crunchy eggplant medallion sits on a bowl of marinara sauce on a sheet pan

    Quick tips and tricks to making the best baked eggplant parmesan recipe:

    • Slice the eggplant into even slices, I recommend ½-inch rounds. You can use a mandoline to help you. 
    • Avoid watery eggplant by sprinkling both sides with salt. Set aside for 15 minutes. This pulls out extra water from the eggplant. If you skip this step, you’ll end up with soggy baked eggplant. 
    • If you are sensitive to eggplant’s bitter taste, you can soak the eggplant slices in milk for 30 minutes before breading them. 

    More Italian recipes: 

    A fork holds a large bite of crispy eggplant next to a stack of the eggplant
    A stack of sliced Crispy Baked Eggplant Slices on a white plate
    Yield: 4 servings

    Baked Eggplant Parmesan

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Total Time: 35 minutes

    Baked to perfection, these Crispy Baked Eggplant Slices work as an appetizer, snack or the whole meal. Crispy on the outside and pillowy soft in the middle, these Breaded Eggplant Slices are a family favorite and so great for the summertime.

    Ingredients

    • 1 large eggplant, sliced in ½" rounds (515g / 18.5 oz.)
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • ½ cup grated parmesan (can also use shredded) (35g)
    • 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano, (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano)
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
    2. Slice the eggplant into ½" rounds. Sprinkle both sides with salt. Set aside for 15 minutes. (This is going to pull out extra water from the eggplant.)
    3. While the eggplant slices are sitting, break the eggs and combine them with the milk, whipping them together in a bowl. Set this bowl aside.
    4. Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, oregano, salt and black pepper on a large plate or a large shallow bowl. Use a fork to combine the ingredients.
    5. Blot both sides of each eggplant slice with a paper towel to remove the liquid that came to the surface.
    6. Dip each eggplant slice into the egg mixture, then transfer it to the bread crumb and spice mixture. Coat the slice on both sides, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
    7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until light brown and crispy.
    8. Serve warm with marinara sauce and enjoy!

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    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    4

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 174Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 357mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 9g

    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    14 Comments

      1. Do it! Winston and I LOVE that place, and everything I’ve had there is good. And their red sauce is just a little sweet!

      1. Thanks, Holly! I love that your mom grows eggplant in her garden. That’s awesome! I hope whenever you make this dish, you like it!

    1. I was JUST thinking about how much eggplant there is at our Farmer’s Market right now, and all the ways I could use it, and whether my sweet husband would eat it all. This recipe is going to the top of my list!
      Love that my old Grahamwood friend loves food as much as I do!

      1. Aww, Allyn! Hello, old friend! Your comment was an absolute delight and surprise this afternoon! I’m happy to hear you love eggplant, too. And you sound like me — this recipe was one that was an effort to get my sweet husband to eat eggplant, and he likes it! He wasn’t so sure about it being the main attraction, though, and I’m happy to say that it worked out for him, so hopefully yours will feel the same way.

        And I agree — loving that you can find old friends over the Internet and share a common interest after all these years. 🙂

    2. I have to say, the only dish I’ve made that’s been an epic disaster involved eggplant. I have zero idea how to cook it, cut it, etc. And I haven’t loved the texture, but when I have it in a restaurant or appetizer, it’s fab.

      1. Aww, sad face on the eggplant epic disaster. (Can I ask what happened to make things go so awry?)

        Before I read up on eggplant and the cooking of it, I had some major issues/qualms about cooking it because of the texture and my texture issues. I’m hoping you can figure out a way to cook it that works for you!

      1. Thanks so much, Heather! It’s pretty awesome, and I definitely recommend it… even if you aren’t an eggplant fan!

        Thanks for stopping by!

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