Bake up Mediterranean crispy roasted eggplant in under 30 minutes for a delicious appetizer or side dish.
This easy and healthy roasted eggplant is crisped up to perfection in the oven! The outer breading is made from almond flour and parmesan cheese (so no breadcrumbs required) making this dish naturally gluten free, keto, vegetarian, and low carb friendly. To go along with the baked, crispy eggplant, we've made feta and Greek yogurt dip. It perfectly compliments the baked eggplant for a delicious Mediterranean appetizer or side dish!
I've always been a huge fan of eggplant parmesan. So much so that whenever I buy eggplant at the grocery store, that's about the only thing I can ever think to make with it!
So last week, when I brought some eggplant home, I decided to force myself to switch things up and create a new dish. And, well, this Mediterranean crispy roasted eggplant is now one of our new favorites!
Whether you need an easy, healthy side dish or even an appetizer, this is the perfect dish for you. Best of all, it whips up in under 30 minutes!
How To Buy & Store Eggplant
There are two types of eggplant - an Asian variety and a Western variety. Likely, if you live in the U.S. as I do, you'll find the Western eggplant variety that resembles a pear with dark purple skin.
Although eggplants are available year round, they're at the peak of season June through September. When selecting an eggplant, make sure the outer skin is blemish free without wrinkles or soft spots.
When stored correctly, eggplants can last about 3-4 days. The ideal way to store eggplant is in a cool (50-55°F/10-13°C) dark place. Typically, a refrigerator is too cool for this. However, if the refrigerator is your best option, place them towards the front of the fridge where it tends to be a little warmer.
For more tips for buying and storing fresh produce, sign up for my 5 day email series all about how to become a better home cook. One lesson is completely dedicated to fresh vegetables.
How to Prep the Eggplant
There's not a lot of prep work involved in this recipe, which is part of the reason I love it so much! To prepare the eggplant, you'll just need a really sharp chef's knife. I always like to use a honing steel before I start cutting to straighten and sharpen my knife.
Then, just cut the eggplant into 1 inch cubes. It's that easy! I prefer to leave the skin on for this recipe since the skin provides so many nutrients! The skin softens up in the oven, so you won't really even be able to tell it's there.
I also wanted to address a hot topic with eggplant: to salt or not to salt. Because eggplant is made up of so much water, oil can easily soak into the eggplant, making it heavy and soggy. This is especially true if you're frying it.
However, the good news for us is that we're not using oil in this recipe, so we don't have to worry about using salt to draw the moisture out of the eggplant prior to cooking. If you take one thing from this lesson, remember that salt left on the eggplant for about 30 minutes before cooking can be useful if you're frying the eggplant in oil or trying to remove some of the bitterness.
Tips on How to Make Crispy Eggplant
The best part about this dish is how crispy and golden brown the outside of the eggplant gets. Getting the roasted outside is really easy to achieve from a home oven. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Always roast veggies at a high temperature. I'd suggest purchasing an oven thermometer to make sure you're oven is heating properly.
- Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. An overcrowded pan will result in veggies that are steamed instead of roasted.
- Be sure to flip the veggies halfway through cooking to ensure an even golden brown and crispy eggplant texture.
Meals to Pair with Mediterranean Crispy Eggplant
If you're making this Mediterranean eggplant as an appetizer, try pairing it with hummus and pita, or incorporating it onto an appetizer platter.
To eat crispy roasted eggplant as a side dish, pair it with chicken souvlaki, Greek meatballs and brown rice, or even as part of a Mediterranean quinoa bowl.
In case you prefer to create your own menu, here are some flavor combination ideas that pair really well with eggplant:
- Bell peppers (especially green & red)
More Vegetable Recipes
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30 Minute Mediterranean Crispy Roasted Eggplant
For the Roasted Eggplant
- 1 large eggplant cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 cup fresh parmesan finely grated
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- fresh parsley for garnish
For the Feta Dip
- 4 ounces feta cheese
- ½ cup full fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed (about half a lemon)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Heat oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- To a large mixing bowl add almond flour, parmesan, basil, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined and set aside.
- To another large mixing bowl add two large eggs and ½ cup of water. Beat until egg yolks are broken up.
- Using one hand, coat a handful of eggplant in the egg mixture. Place them in the almond flour mixture. Using the other hand, fully coat all sides of the eggplant. Place on baking sheet. Make sure not to overcrowd the baking sheet. Each eggplant bite should have ¼ - ½ inch around it.
- Bake for 23-27 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and crunchy on the outside. Garnish with roughly chopped parsley and serve immediately.
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My husband is gluten free so it's really awesome that this recipe uses almond flour. We love these so much. Can't wait to make them again!