This easy Crispy Baked Eggplant is the best way to make crispy eggplant slices with healthier, gluten-free ingredients. Great as a snack, appetizer, or used to make eggplant parmesan and eggplant mozzarella stacks.
This easy crispy baked eggplant recipe is where the best gluten-free eggplant recipes begin! With simple, easy-to-follow-instructions you will learn how to make gluten-free oven-fried eggplant that is phenomenal served plain but can also be used to make eggplant parmesan as well as scrumptious eggplant mozzarella stacks.
We love eating crispy eggplant slices as mozzarella stacks! Crispy breaded eggplant stacked with fresh buffalo mozzarella, marinara sauce, fresh basil leaves, and a quality shredded Parmesan. It's seriously SO good.
And it's seriously so easy to make, so don't let the beautiful presentation fool you. Assembly and preparation only take a few minutes and the finished dish is five-star restaurant quality.
So grab an eggplant or two while they're in season and make these crispy baked eggplant slices to set your gluten-free eggplant recipes up for success.
Why Make Crispy Eggplant Slices In The Oven
- Baked to perfection. Achieve deep-fried crispiness straight from the oven.
- Oven-fried crispy eggplant can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or as the base for many gluten-free eggplant recipes.
- Delicious, nutritious, and kid-friendly way to prepare eggplant.
- You'll only need a shortlist of basic, easy-to-find ingredients.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Avocado Oil Mayo - I use Chosen Foods brand or homemade Paleo olive oil mayo.
- Onion (finely minced) - You can also use freeze-dried minced onion.
- Eggplant (unpeeled) - cut into about twelve ½ inch thick slices. For flavor true to eggplant parmesan use a large Italian eggplant. Thai eggplant and graffiti eggplant are smaller and good for making crispy eggplant as a side dish or appetizer.
- Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs - Use breadcrumbs that are fine and dry like Aleias Italian Breadcrumbs.
- Parmesan - freshly grated parmesan will give you the richest flavor. Parmesan + breadcrumbs are the best combination of ingredients to make a delicious gluten-free breading.
- Italian Seasoning - adds herbs, spices, and Italian-inspired flavor.
- Salt & Pepper - to taste.
- Cooking Spray - Use a pure olive oil cooking spray, like Chosen Foods brand.
How To Make Crispy Baked Eggplant
To make breaded eggplant slices:
Coat eggplant slices:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together mayo and finely minced onion. With a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of mayo-onion mixture over both sides of each eggplant slice.
Bread eggplant slices:
In a small shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Dredge each coated eggplant slice through breading mixture by pressing both sides of each slice into the mixture to coat.
Coat with cooking spray and bake:
Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Place breaded eggplant slices in a single even layer on a baking sheet. Spray the top of each slice with a light layer of cooking spray. Bake in 425 degrees preheated oven for about 12 minutes, flip and continue to bake for another 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown, crisp and toasted.
Serve freshly baked and crispy baked eggplant slices plain or use to make eggplant parmesan or eggplant mozzarella stacks
To make eggplant parmesan:
- Place crispy baked eggplant slices in a 9 x 13" baking pan, leaving some room between each slice.
- Top each slice with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and freshly grated parmesan.
- Return to a 425-degree oven and bake until cheese begins to melt and become lightly toasted.
To make eggplant mozzarella stacks:
- On the bottom of a small plate, spread a spoonful of your favorite marinara sauce. Top sauce with a slice of crispy eggplant, followed by another spoonful of marinara sauce, a slice of buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil.
- Repeat the same order of ingredients making two more layers Finish with a layer of sauce, fresh basil, and freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy!
Slice the eggplant in ½" thick uniform slices so they cook and crisp up evenly.
If you have the time, salt the eggplant slices first to expel some of the moisture. To do so, sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and let rest for 15 minutes. Flip the slices and do the same on the other side. With a paper towel, blot away as much moisture as you can. This will help the breading stick to the eggplant and stay crisp.
For texture most similar to traditional Italian eggplant parmesan, use finely ground breadcrumbs. You can use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs but the flakes are larger so the texture won't be quite the same.
Do not use an air bake cookie sheet. Make sure to use a regular baking sheet for even browning and the crispiest baked eggplant.
Dairy-free Crispy Baked Eggplant
With just one simple swap, you can make this recipe dairy-free as well as gluten-free. Simply use nutritional yeast or your favorite vegan shredded Parmesan substitute in place of freshly grated parmesan.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Cool to room temperature and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Reheating: To reheat, place the eggplant on a baking sheet and reheat in a 375-degree oven for 8 to 12 minutes (or until crisp again and warmed through) flipping halfway through.
Freezing: not recommended.
To make eggplant less soggy, sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and let rest for about a half-hour to release moisture. Blot dry with a paper towel before using to make crispy baked eggplant.
You don't have to. While it can be a little tough and chewy, the skin helps the flesh hold its shape when cooked. It will soften, tenderize and become palatable when baked.
Baked eggplant is fully cooked when the breading is firm and crisp to the touch and the inside is soft, smooth, and tender. Cooking eggplant correctly is super important because if it's under-cooked it's chewy and bitter and if it's over-cooked it's mushy.
If you love this recipe I would be so grateful if you could leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below. I love reading your comments and feedback!
Crispy Baked Eggplant
- ½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon very finely minced onion or minced freeze-dried onion
- 1 lb unpeeled eggplant sliced-about 12 (½ inch slices)
- ⅓ cup fine dry gluten-free breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup fresh grated parm
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Combine mayo and onion in a small bowl and spread evenly over eggplant slices on both sides.
- Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Dredge eggplant in breading mixture.
- Place eggplant on a baking sheet greased with non-stick olive oil cooking spray (do not use an air bake cookie sheet here, make sure it’s a regular baking sheet for proper browning.) Spray the top of the breaded eggplant with a light coating of olive oil spray
- Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. Turn eggplant over and bake 10-12 more minutes or until golden.
*This post was originally published in 2011 and has been updated throughout.