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Italian Breaded Eggplant

Italian Breaded Eggplant, a fast and easy Italian appetizer. Nothing like sliced eggplant in a delicious Parmesan and bread crumb coating. The perfect side dish to any meal.

4 eggplants stacked.


 

If you love fresh summer produce then you just might have an over abundance of zucchini and eggplant. Because I know I always did. From making Zucchini Patties to Zucchini Bread to Breaded Baked Zucchini it’s now time for eggplant to shine. And shine it does. From Eggplant Parmesan to a delicious Bucatini and Eggplant Pasta  to this simple breaded eggplant.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Eggplant
  • Salt
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese – freshly grated is always best
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil

Why grate your own Parmesan Cheese?

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A couple of reasons it’s better to grate your own. It’s cheaper and it tastes so much better. Packaged cheese tends to have a coating to keep the cheese from sticking together. Not a good thing.

You can grate your own cheese with either a Cheese Grater or by placing chunks in your Food Processor and just pulsing a few times until coarsely ground.

Freshly ground parmesan cheese can be kept in a plastic bag or airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. You can also store it in the freezer for up to 18 months.

How to make Breaded Eggplant

Place sliced eggplant in a large bowl and toss with salt, let sit for 20 minutes. Then drain, but do not rinse.

Sliced eggplant in a glass bowl.

In a small plate mix bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, in another plate beat eggs well, in a third plate add flour.

Bread crumbs, eggs and flour in 3 plastic container.

Dip slices of eggplant first in flour, then egg, then coat well with breadcrumb mixture.

Breaded eggplant frying in a pan.

Fry in hot oil a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Serve. (sprinkle with additional salt if desired). 

Eggplant browned in oil.

Is Eggplant good for you?

Eggplant which has vitamins A and C, they help protect against cell damage. It can also help cells process sugar better because it is high in a natural plant chemical called polyphenols, which is very helpful if you have diabetes.

How to choose the perfect eggplant

It’s best to pick medium to small eggplants they are more tender and contain fewer seeds than the much bigger ones. You are going to find seeds in the eggplant, but no worries you can eat them, just make sure they are white and not black. Black seeds indicate a tougher older vegetable.

You can tell if it’s tender and young by its firmness, size, colour and uniformity. The best ones are tender but firm, with smooth, shiny skin. In good condition the stem should be bright green, as it turns brown it becomes less desirable.

Eggplant stacked.

Is it necessary to place the eggplant under salt?

It depends on the eggplant, if the eggplant is young and tender then some people don’t, although it does help make the dish more tender and less bitter, and personally I can always tell the difference.

If you have time I recommend that you do do it. In a large bowl toss the sliced eggplant with a little salt, let sit for about 20-30 minutes, then drain, never rinse.

FAQs

Can they be baked?

Yes they can, place the breaded eggplant on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, drizzle them with a little olive oil and bake in a pre-heated 350F (180C) oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. The thickness of the eggplant will determine how much time is needed to bake. For the last 5 minutes broil for a golden brown. Serve with a sprinkle of salt if desired and serve immediately.

Can I use an Air Fryer?

To fry them in an air fryer, place them in a single layer in the tray layer and fry at 375F (190C) for approximately 5 minutes then turn and air fry again.

How to store them?

It’s always best to eat the fried eggplant as soon as it is made, but if you do have leftovers be sure to place in an airtight container and refrigerate. They will keep in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or low oven.

4 stacked eggplant on a black plate.

But once in a while you have to make this delicious breaded eggplant. Fast and easy. A delicious side dish. I know , I know, but they are fried!

Not deep-fried mind you, we’ll say lightly fried. As the Italian says if you are going to eat them, you might as well eat them right. Buon Appetito!

More Eggplant Recipes

 

Breaded eggplant stacked.

Italian Breaded Eggplant

Rosemary Molloy
Italian Breaded Eggplant, an easy and so delicious side dish or appetizer, sliced eggplant lightly fried in a yummy Parmesan breadcrumb mix.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 326 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2-3 round or long eggplant (young and firm), slice into 1/4 inch more less thick, (no need to peel)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying (I use corn or sunflower oil)

Instructions
 

  • Place sliced eggplant in a large bowl and toss with the salt, let sit for 20 minutes. Then drain, but do not rinse.
  • In a small plate mix bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, in another plate beat eggs well, in a third plate add flour.
  • Dip slices of eggplant first in flour, then egg, then coat well with breadcrumb mixture.
  • Fry in hot oil a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Serve. (sprinkle with additional salt if desired). Enjoy!

Notes

To bake them, place the breaded eggplant on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, drizzle them with a little olive oil and bake in a pre-heated 350F (180C) oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. The thickness of the eggplant will determine how much time is needed to bake. For the last 5 minutes broil for a golden brown. Serve with a sprinkle of salt if desired and serve immediately.
To fry them in an air fryer, place them in a single layer in the tray layer and fry at 375F (190C) for approximately 5 minutes then turn and air fry again.
It’s always best to eat the fried eggplant as soon as it is made, but if you do have leftovers be sure to place in an airtight container and refrigerate. They will keep in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or low oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 587mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 2mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

Updated from September 16, 2015.

45 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just love these but can they be made in an air fryer? I guess I could just try it and see🤪
    I love your recipes and thank you so much for all your hard work with them. I am Italian but there were never recipes!! I learned to make most things by taste but not for baked goodies.

  2. 5 stars
    great recipe,,thanks same as my moms, best eggplant in my opinion is Rosa Bianca. a beautiful white and rose color n< I grew this and others for years , y'all with gardens have to look for seed ,you will be amazed , a French restaurant I grew for loved this above all. ROSA BIANCA. Question Mom used to put eggplant from garden skin removed cut in strips , maybe cooked ,? poached ?/ in glass jars not canned. ?? made what she cackled caponata ???

    1. Hi Joseph, thanks so much, glad you liked it. I think you might be talking about pickled eggplant. https://anitalianinmykitchen.com/pickled-eggplant/. Glad to bring back memories of your Mom. Take care.

  3. Too salty without being rinsed off and dried. I would recommend changing that as people w high BP should be aware. Otherwise, its great. Thank you.

  4. 5 stars
    In India, we make these but add a lot more spices and fry in the same way and we call these bhajjis

    In India we make these but with a lot more spices and instead of dipping in egg mixture, we make a batter of chickpea flour with chilli powder and salt and fry them in deep oil. But it must be a refreshing change to try with the Italian coating and I shall definitely try it. I love your recipes.

    I

    1. Hi Sukanya, thanks so much. I will have to check Bhajjis out, sounds very interesting. I hope you like the Italian version. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    We haven’t even sat down to eat it yet. Just ate the first round that was done. By far the best recipe if have used for fried eggplant. My hubby loves this dish and I never make it because they always come out soggy. Not this time! Thank you.

  6. I hardly dare ask, but can you cook this in advance and then re-heat? My son-in-law loves eggplant, but with so many other side dishes to cook, I do like to get as many sides prepared ahead of time so I can concentrate on the turkey.

    1. Hi Madeline, I hate to tell you but I no not a good idea. Because they are fried they have to be eaten immediately. Merry Christmas.

  7. 5 stars
    Ms. Rosemary, Thank you and thank your mother-in-law! This is hopefully what I’ve been looking for. When I was young back in the ‘60’s, I often climbed a couple of fences dragging our most robust puppy along with me to a neighbor’s yard. His wife wouldn’t allow a dog. He taught me how to garden in ways Americans are just starting to learn. But his wife taught me to love eggplant. He would have me help get the young vegetables picked take to his wife and have her fry some up. Never greasy, always delicious. They spoke no English and yet we talked for what seemed like hours, after our labors in the garden. He liked the help, I liked having a Grandfather. Our families were good friends with his daughter and her family who lived across the street from him. The pup learned to climb fences to my parents dismay. I would take bags of fruit from our trees in later summers. The first time that I walked in the side door was when he passed away. I never learned the type of eggplant he grew, the common variety here, Black Beauty, in the South isn’t the same. We have found a Japanese type called Ichiban that is very close. I imagine he brought the seeds from his garden in Italy. Do you know of a specific type of eggplant that your family grows?

    1. Hi Elaine, I love this story. And she would plant what’s called Italian or Globe eggplant, I also like to use the Graffiti eggplant, hope that helps. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. My grand mother used to make breaded fried eggplant. After frying the disks, she put cheddar or whatever appropriate cheese she had generously on top. Then, she OVEN melted it and served with side of spaghetti., then topped it all with sauce. That way, the eggplant stayed crisp.

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