Baked Eggplant Cutlets
These delicious and easy breaded eggplant cutlets are a healthy way to make perfectly crispy eggplant in the oven every time. They are a great meatless alternative to classically baked chicken cutlets and also a great way to introduce eggplant to kids.
I can’t say enough about these homemade breaded eggplant slices. My whole family was literally grabbing them off the baking sheet, dunking them in some marinara on the side, and chowing down. I am not even sure they knew it was eggplant when they started but I happily watched as they ate a huge serving of veggies. My kids were even asking for more, which is pretty incredible since they usually shy away from eggplant.
The key to making crispy eggplant cutlets is to make sure you cut them super thin so that they crisp up and salting them. This is a step that many people skip but is super important. Salting the eggplant helps pull out some of the moisture and allows the eggplant and coating to get nice and crunchy on the outside. If you skip this step, you could end up with soggy eggplant slices. They will still taste great but will be missing that addictive crunch.
Main Dishes to Serve with Baked Eggplant Cutlets
Think of these cutlets like any other “meat” — you can add them to just about anything, including:
- Low-Carb Eggplant Parmesan is my all-time favorite and could very well be yours, too!
- These cutlets would make a nice, crispy base for these Eggplant Pizza Bites.
- Instead of roasting your eggplant, chop up these cutlets and add to this Roasted Eggplant and Quinoa Salad with Feta.
- Bake up several eggplant’s worth of cutlets and top with whatever you have on hand — every cutlet can have a different topping.
- Use a cutlet like a faux burger — add it to a bun and top with all your typical burger toppings. You won’t miss the meat!
How Can I Use Leftover Baked Eggplant Cutlets?
Eggplant cutlets are great a number of ways, my favorite, of course, being this skinny eggplant parm. Other ways to eat the eggplant include:
- As a snack. No muss, no fuss.
- You can use these cutlets as the “meat” for your sandwich along with your favorite toppings.
- These cutlets would also work well sliced or cubed over a salad.
- They also make a great appetizer topped with a dab of ricotta and some marinara sauce. Just be sure to slice your eggplant thin!
- Dice the cutlets up and mix them together with some chickpeas, halved cherry tomatoes, basil, and some grated parmesan for an eggplant-parm-inspired salad.
Do You Have to Peel an Eggplant?
I didn’t peel the eggplant to make these cutlets. But I know that some people don’t like the skin at all. For these cutlets, feel free to make them how you like. It does make the eggplant less chewy and bitter if you cut the skin off — especially if you have a bigger or older eggplant. Smaller ones should be softer and cook more easily — but then again, your cutlets will be smaller.
How do you fry eggplant in the oven?
When I originally posted this recipe, I got a lot of questions about frying eggplant. While these come out nice an crispy, some people enjoy a more “fried” version. If this is what you crave, simply drizzle the eggplant cutlets with a touch of olive oil or melted butter before baking them. The oil will add the flavor of fried eggplant that many are used to and make things even crispier.
What Makes Baked Eggplant Cutlets Healthy?
First of all, these cutlets are baked, not fried like most eggplant. Other ways that these cutlets are because:
- Eggplant itself is low-carb and low-fat and also low in calories. The fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!) also has plenty of bone-building calcium and antioxidants that can help to ward off heart disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses.
- Breadcrumbs, when used sparingly, are a great replacement for heavier breading used for frying. And, since these cutlets are baked, breadcrumbs are a good carb to add to get that crispiness you want in a cutlet.
- Egg whites are low in calories and high in protein.
- Spices such as oregano, basil, rosemary, pepper, and salt can help to fight inflammation in your body and also fill you with your daily allowance of essential vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy and working properly.
This recipe originally appeared in 2012 with the picture below. It has since been updated with better photos, tips, and ideas.
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