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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. Making this tonight! Looks and sounds delish, but I’m confused as to what I’m draining after i let it sit with salt for 20 minutes.

    1. Hi Kim, you will be draining the water that the salt brings out of the eggplant. There won’t be much, but a little. Hope that helps and I hope you enjoy it.

    1. Hi Marie, no don’t rinse off the salt, just drain the eggplant. I added additional instructions. Thanks for pointing that out. πŸ™‚

  2. 5 stars
    I first remember eating this (with a touch of curry powder added) as a little boy, 70-80 years ago. Mum was a very good cook willing to learn from European and Asian neighbours. We did eat well even with little household money coming in!

    1. Hi Thomas, that sounds interesting with curry. I will have to give it a try next time. I bet your Mom was a wonderful cook. Thanks so much.

  3. 4 stars
    Love this recipe so much. Using it again tonight for an eggplant parmigiana. As a vegan I use aquafaba (chickpea water) instead of eggs for the crumbing, works very well.

  4. 5 stars
    When making a large batch of eggplant I usually prep like this recipe, then brush with oil and bake on parchment paper. It comes out crispy, not with the oily yummyness as it has when fried.. but still very good. I can then freeze for use in parm, pizza, thru the winter. Making some today!

  5. 5 stars
    This is how I was introduced to eggplant! My dad makes it the exact same way. Mangia!

  6. Is there any way to make this 1.5 hours before serving as a side dish with dinner? Can we keep it warm in an oven until serving or can it be served at room temp without getting unappetizing and soggy? Thank you!

    1. Hi Kelly, I would suggest, preparing them but not frying them, place them on a parchment paper lined plate, cover with plastic and refrigerate (or leave at room temperature if not too much time has to pass before frying), then fry and serve. Unfortunately this is one of those things that will go soggy if it sits too long, make and serve. Hope that helps.

  7. This looks delicious. I love eggplant, but I usually bake it — I never thought of frying it this way before, but I’ll give it a go!

  8. 5 stars
    This is undoubtedly will become one of my regular meals. It is easy and looks so appealing. Thanks so much. I don’t usually make comments, so I want to take the opportunity to tell you how much I love your blog and look forward to all the authentic recipes. I live vicariously through you!!! To live in Italy is only in my dreams!!!

  9. Looks yummy! It’s a good think you’re still getting goodies from the garden πŸ™‚ Have a great day!

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