Crispy oven baked eggplant cutlets are the perfect Italian side dish. Sliced eggplant is coated in a breadcrumb and parmesan cheese mixture and crisped to perfection. Check out my web story here!Jump to Recipe
Baked Eggplant Cutlets
If you love easy Italian recipes, check out my penne alla vodka, easy red wine pasta, or my popular 30 minute linguine with clams!
I have eaten far too many sloppy and mushy eggplant parmesan dishes and thought I had sworn off eggplant forever. The breading gets soggy, it falls off the eggplant, and you’re left with a mushy, seedy piece of eggplant that just flops off your fork. Gross.
Here’s the thing- eggplant is in season and I actually enjoy eating a wide variety of produce, so I had no choice but to get over it. I set out to make baked eggplant cutlets that would be tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and have breading that actually sticks.
Now that I have perfected this recipe, gone are the days that the eggplant will never see the light of day outside of my fridge. There are no more rotting eggplants that serve as kitchen decor. Dramatic, I know.
In all seriousness, this recipe really just gave me an excuse to whip up my all-time favorite recipe- Red Wine Pasta Sauce. I grabbed my own bowl of sauce so I could double-dip these extra crispy eggplant slices however much I liked.
Top this eggplant with a little (or a lot) of parmesan cheese and you have yourself a whole dish- eggplant parmigiana. These bad boys didn’t make it to become an eggplant parmesan because they were being eaten right off the baking tray. *slaps hands creeping up on my counter with spatula*
Ingredients for baked eggplant slices
- Eggplant– You can choose whatever variety of eggplant you would like, I like to vary this recipe up by using varieties like Thai eggplant, Italian eggplant, or graffiti eggplant.
- Egg– The egg is whisked, then the eggplant is dunked in the egg before it’s dipped in the breadcrumb mixture. The egg helps bind the breadcrumbs to the eggplant.
- Italian breadcrumbs– I opted for Italian breadcrumbs because they are already seasoned perfectly!
- Parmesan cheese– Grated parmesan is perfect for this recipe because it’s the fine texture is similar to the breadcrumbs and helps blend in. If you have shredded parmesan, put it in a blender to make grated parmesan cheese.
- Italian seasoning/salt– A pinch of Italian seasoning and salt add the perfect layer of flavor!
Prepare the eggplant
You will want to drain the excess liquid from the eggplant slices so the breading will stick to it. This process takes about 30 minutes, so make sure you plan ahead of time.
Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. This is a perfect size to easily bake them and allow them to expel water evenly. You want uniform pieces so they bake evenly and at the same time.
Slice, salt, and rest. Slice the eggplant, then put them in a single layer on a cooling rack. Salt the eggplant slices, then let them rest for 15 minutes. This allows the eggplant to expel some water which makes the breadcrumb mixture stick better. This also prevents the eggplant from becoming soggy, so it’s a very important step!
Flip the eggplant slices, salt, and rest again. Allow the other side to expel water for 15 minutes.
Dab the eggplant slices with a paper towel. Soak up all the excess water with a paper towel.
Use grated parmesan cheese
Grated parmesan cheese has a similar texture and size as the Italian bread crumbs. Using grated parmesan will allow the cheese to blend better with the breadcrumbs and create a more even breading, resulting in a crispier crunch!
Baked Parmesan Eggplant
How to make Baked Italian Eggplant Cutlets:
- Slice the eggplant, salt it, and let it rest. Allow each side to rest for 15 minutes to help expel excess water. Dab the water off the eggplant slices.
- Whisk the egg. Set to the side.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning.
- Preheat the oven to 400 ° F.
- Dunk the eggplant slice in the egg, then into the breadcrumb mixture. Press the breadcrumb mixture onto the eggplant slices to help it stick.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the eggplant slices and bake for 7 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Serve the baked eggplant slices immediately. Mangia!
What goes with crispy baked eggplant
- This easy five-minute marinara sauce is made with vine-ripened crushed tomatoes, basil, garlic, and onion to deliver the best tasting pasta sauce ever!
- This classic vegetarian minestrone soup is the perfect bowl to warm up to! It’s packed with hearty vegetables and pasta for a filling and healthy meal.
- Authentic Italian beef braciole (braciola) is made with tender skirt steak that is rolled with bread crumbs, provolone cheese, and prosciutto, then simmer in a red wine tomato sauce. This is perfect for a hearty Sunday dinner!
- Roasted Italian vegetables with creamy parmesan polenta is a delicious vegetarian meal that is healthy, filling, and packed with flavor!
- This authentic bolognese sauce is a traditional Italian meat sauce is made with crushed tomatoes, veal, ground beef, and tons of fresh flavor! This sauce is perfect with any pasta!
How to store and reheat
Store the baked eggplant slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Do not freeze the baked eggplant, it will get very mushy.
To reheat, place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. To reheat in the microwave, place the eggplant slices on a plate and warm and cook for 1-2 minutes until they are warmed through.
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Crispy Baked Parmesan Eggplant
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Crispy Baked Italian Eggplant
Crispy oven baked eggplant cutlets are the perfect Italian side dish. Sliced eggplant is coated in a breadcrumb and parmesan cheese mixture and crisped to perfection.
- 1 eggplant sliced into 1/4 inch disks
- 1 egg whisked
- 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
Prepare the eggplant. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch disks. Lay the eggplant out in a single layer on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with salt, and let sit for 15 minutes. Dab with a paper towel to absorb the expelled water, then flip to the other side. Salt the other side, let sit for 15 minutes, then dab again to remove excess water.
Prepare the dunking station. In a small bowl, whisk an egg. Set to the side. In another bowl, mix the Italian breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning.
Bread the eggplant. Dip the eggplant in the egg first, then hover over the eggplant over the bowl to let the excess egg drip off. Dunk in the breadcrumb mixture, and lightly apply pressure so the breadcrumbs adhere better.
Bake the eggplant. Arrange breaded eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the eggplant, then bake for another 5-7 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven and serve. Mangia!
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