Baked Eggplant!

PictureHello, my foodie friends!  I hope you all are enjoying your weekend and catching up on some much needed R&R especially since we lost an hour of sleep last night!

Today, I am sharing my baked eggplant recipe! I have been wanting to make this recipe for the last couple of weeks but never got around to it until now!!!

Since moving almost 3 years ago my husband and I are pretty fortunate to have a lot of  “stuff” available to us, especially some pretty amazing grocery stores!   One of my favorite grocery stores is Fresh Thyme Market. Not only is this store convenient for us to get to, but the prices for most of the food are reasonable and the quality of food is top notch.  I can buy as much  HIGH quality, USDA Organic and verified Non-GMO food as I want without breaking the bank.  Which is how buying food should be in my personal opinion.

Eggplant is such an incredibly beautiful and nutrient dense powerhouse vegetable that doesn’t necessarily get the attention I feel it deserves.  Or perhaps it doesn’t get this much-needed attention because people truly have no idea how to cook it let alone what to make with it when they get home. 

You certainly eat FIRST with your eyes and eggplant is no exception.  When making eggplant my goal is always to keep the skin on for additional nutrients and dietary fiber and to NEVER fry this vegetable.  Why? When you fry eggplant you loose nutrients and gain the additional fat from whatever oil or fat you used to fry it in.  When you bake an eggplant you retain these nutrients without the additional negative factors like excess fat.  When selecting your eggplant look for one that is not too big or too small (like goldilocks). I usually look them over to make sure there are no physical blemishes or anything wrong with the eggplant and choose one or two that are medium in size because from experience this size seems to be just right.

When I am grocery shopping and come across and see eggplant I think of my time I spent in Italy studying Nutrition and the lifestyle of the Italian culture or more specifically ‘the Mediterranean Diet.’  I am taken back to the sights and smells of the aroma of food spilling out into the streets from the many open cafes and it takes me home, home to Italy.  I find myself, within the last 4-5 years eating more and more like my Mediterranean side of the family.  Or perhaps, being Italian myself, the Italian culture and their lifestyle genetically calls my name. Whatever the reason(s) I want to share my take on Baked Eggplant!



  • 1-2 medium eggplant, sliced into ½-inch thick rounds (8 to 10 slices)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup plain panko bread crumbs (To make it Gluten-Free make sure the Panko mix says Gluten-Free)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan Sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • cooking oil spray
  • Tomato Sauce of your choice or 1 large 28 oz can diced Tomatoes and you can add fresh diced onions and garlic.
  • ½ cup of mozzarella cheese and ½ cup Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over eggplant
  • 1 cup fresh basil finely chopped, or ¼ c. dried basil
  • ¼ c dried parsley to sprinkle over eggplant


  1. Cut the eggplant and place eggplant on 2 lined baking sheets with a double layer of paper towels and lay the eggplant slices among the sheets evenly. Liberally salt the eggplant slices, using about a teaspoon or so of salt, and let them sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes to an hour. This allows the eggplant to sweat releasing the water from them.  Using fresh paper towels, wipe the tops of the eggplant to remove excess salt and firmly press to release any remaining liquid. Dry on both sides and transfer to a plate. Wipe the baking sheets and line them with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray well with cooking oil. (I have also tried spraying baking sheets with cooking spray but found lining the baking sheets with parchment paper and or aluminum foil is easier clean up).
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs using either a fork or a whisk. In another medium shallow bowl, combine the panko, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Dip one slice of eggplant into the egg, making sure both sides are coated well, and then press ONE side into the bread crumbs. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with all remaining slices.
  4. Spray the tops of the eggplant slices well with cooking oil or lightly drizzle olive oil over the tops and bake until the eggplant is soft and the crust is crispy, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the pans from the oven and spoon a heaping tablespoon of sauce on each, followed by a slice of mozzarella.
  6. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Top with fresh basil and serve.

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