Perfectly breaded eggplant, plenty of sauce and melty cheese make this eggplant Parmesan sandwich simply irresistible! It’s so hearty, this eggplant sandwich is a meal in itself!
If you’re a sandwich lover, like me, then this eggplant Parmesan sandwich needs to happen!
Though it takes a little time to prepare the eggplant, there’s nothing complicated here.
The pan-fried crispy eggplant rounds are delicious on the sandwich, of course, but I always have to have a little taste of some before they even hit the bun; quality control, right?
Fun fact: did ya know that even though eggplant is considered a vegetable, it’s actually a fruit! So, this is a fruit sandwich. Um, I’ll move on.
Fan of eggplant? Check out this roasted eggplant dip!
Why We Love This Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich
- It loaded with crispy, yet tender, eggplant
- Super cheesy
- Hearty and filling
- Of course, it tastes delicious!
How to Make It
Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
Bread and Fry Eggplant
- Clean and peel your eggplant. I like to just partially peel, basically leaving on some peel and removing some. Do what you enjoy best. Then, slice the eggplant into rounds, sprinkle with salt and place on a wire rack so that they release some of their moisture.
- Prepare your dredging station by getting together your flour, egg and seasoned panko mixture.
- Wipe off the excess salt from your eggplant slices and dredge into flour.
- Next, dredge into whisked egg, shaking off excess.
- Finally, dredge the slices into the panko mixture, pressing to adhere the mixture to the eggplant.
- Place the coated slices onto a sheet pan while you are finishing them all.
- Heat some oil in a non-stick pan and fry the eggplant.
- Turn to fry the other side. Remove once done and continue with your batches (replacing the oil, as necessary).
Assemble The Sandwich
- Cut your buns in half, spread on some garlic butter and toast.
- On the bottom bun, spread on the sauce.
- Next, distribute the cooked eggplant slices over top.
- Spread a little more sauce on top.
- Next, layer on some mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Place into the oven to melt.
- Once out of the oven, sprinkle on some crushed red pepper flakes and fresh basil.
- Place top bun in place.
- Time to enjoy this eggplant Parmesan sandwich!
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Do I Have to Peel The Eggplant?
I like to at least partially peel, so the eggplant kinda has a ‘zebra-like’ pattern.
Keep in mind, that the dredge sticks better to ‘unpeeled’ eggplant.
I also think that it’s easier to eat when the eggplant is fully or partially peeled; you’re not tugging pieces out as you are eating.
More Recipes Tips
Use a hearty bread, something that will stand up to the sauce and cheese. I love to use ciabatta.
Totally recommend giving your bread a nice toast, too.
This eggplant Parmesan sandwich recipe yields 6 sandwiches. You could easily half if you’re feeding fewer people.
Prevent clumps in your panko. When making your panko component (for your dredge), after you’ve prepared, don’t put all of the panko in your dish at the one time. Add, as necessary, to bread the eggplant rounds.
I use store-bought sauce, but you could make something from scratch, if that’s what you prefer.
More Hearty Sandwich Recipes
Hope you love this eggplant sandwich as much as we do!
If you try this eggplant Parmesan sandwich, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to hear how you enjoyed it!
Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich (crispy and cheesy)
- 2.5 pounds eggplant , peeled (or partially peeled) and cut into ½-inch rounds (about 2 medium eggplants)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs (approximately)
- 3 cups unseasoned panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese , grated (use a store-bought vegan or vegetarian variety if you prefer)
- 2 teaspoons red chili flakes/crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 ¾ teaspoon salt , divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- olive oil (enough to fry eggplant)
Other Sandwich Ingredients
- 6 6-inch ciabatta buns
- 6 tablespoons garlic butter (approximately)
- 1.5 cups pasta sauce
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese , thinly sliced (or shredded mozzarella cheese)
- 6 tablespoons parmesan cheese , grated
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes/red chili flakes (or to taste)
- 12 to 15 leaves fresh basil , thinly sliced
- Wash and dry your eggplant. Then, fully peel or partially peel, leaving some skin on (whatever your preference is). Slice into ½-inch rounds. Place on a rack over a sheet pan and sprinkle with salt, about ¾ a teaspoon or so (to draw out some of the moisture). Let sit for about an hour.
- After an hour, wipe off excess salt with a clean paper towel.
- Set up your dredging station by place flour in one dish, whisked eggs in another and panko in a third.
- To your dish of panko, add parmesan cheese , chili flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, oregano, basil, remaining teaspoon of salt and pepper. Stir to combine everything. (I like to add a little panko in the bowl at a time so it doesn't start to clump as you are dredging your eggplant).
- Taking on eggplant round at a time, dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
- Then, dip into egg, shaking off excess.
- Then, dredge into seasoned panko bread crumbs, pressing to adhere. Lay on a plate while you continue dredging your eggplant slices.
- Add & heat olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the skillet) in a 12-inch skillet on low to medium-low heat heat.
- Add eggplant rounds (cook them in batches). You'll probably have about 6 batches in total.
- Cook about 4 to 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. Allow to drain on a wire rack set over a baking sheet while you are continuing cooking your batches. You can sprinkle with a pinch of salt once cooked, if you like (optional).Note: Add more oil to the pan, as necessary, when cooking batches. Also, be mindful of your eggplant. The more you cook, the hotter the pan gets. Just watch that the eggplant don't burn.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once eggplant is cooked, cut ciabatta buns in half. Spread with garlic butter and toast (you can place them on sheet pan and bake in the oven until they're toasty, about 8 to 10 minutes).
- To assemble sandwiches: for each sandwich spread pasta sauce on bottom half of each bun (about ¼ cup).
- Top with eggplant (about two layers or 4 to 5 slices). Top eggplant with about 2 more tablespoons of pasta sauce.
- Next, add mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Place sandwiches in the oven for a few minutes or until cheese has melted.
- Carefully remove from the oven and add chili flakes and fresh basil on top and place top bun. Enjoy!
- Use a hearty bread, something that will stand up to the sauce and cheese. I love to use ciabatta.
- Totally recommend giving your bread a nice toast, too.
- This eggplant Parmesan sandwich recipe yields 6 sandwiches. You could easily half if you’re feeding fewer people.
- Prevent clumps in your panko. When making your panko component (for your dredge), after you’ve prepared, don’t put all of the panko in your dish at the one time. Add, as necessary, to bread the eggplant rounds.
- I use store-bought sauce, but you could make something from scratch, if that’s what you prefer.
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 serving.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.