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Baked Eggplant Fries

Baked Eggplant Fries

I finally tried eggplant recently – I have no clue why it took me so long because I love it! The first recipe I made was eggplant parmesan and we loved it so I decided to try making baked eggplant fries with warm marinara sauce for an after school snack for my kids. My son wasn’t a big fan but my daughter and her friend ate them all and said they were delicious. I was luckily able to have a couple before they were devoured by the girls and thought they were terrific. These eggplant fries were crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tasted wonderful dipped in the simple marinara.

Baked Eggplant Fries

Remove excess liquid from the eggplant by tossing the slices with a tablespoon of kosher salt until evenly coated on both sides. Place a colander in the sink and line the base and walls with the salted slices. Allow to sit for 45 minutes to allow the eggplant to release its liquid. Don’t skip this process or your eggplant will be bitter and soggy.

Make the marinara while the eggplant is draining its liquid by heating a small saucepan over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic, oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the can of tomatoes then crush them with a spoon. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add a pinch of sugar if needed.

When the eggplant is nearly finished draining and the marinara is simmering, place a rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.

Spread the eggplant on a triple layer of paper towels and top with another triple layer of paper towels then cover with a baking sheet and press firmly to remove as much liquid as possible. Allow to sit for a few minutes. Wipe off the excess salt from each slice. Cut each eggplant round into fries – they won’t be perfectly shaped but who cares. Set aside until ready to dredge.

Pour the flour onto a plate then season with sea salt & freshly cracked pepper, and garlic powder, to taste. Whisk two eggs in a bowl until well combined. Place panko crumbs and parmesan in a pie plate and mix well.

Dredge the dried eggplant fries first in the seasoned flour, next in the egg, and lastly in the panko/parmesan crumbs until evenly coated; set aside on a plate. Repeat with the remaining fries.

Baked Eggplant Fries

Bake the eggplant fries by carefully removing the HOT baking sheet from the oven and pouring two tablespoons of oil on the sheet; tip to coat evenly. Carefully place the panko/parmesan-coated eggplant fries on the baking sheet.

Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes then carefully flip the eggplant slices over with a wide spatula. Continue to bake for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven.

Serve the eggplant fries with the warm marinara immediately. Enjoy.

Baked Eggplant Fries

Baked Eggplant Fries

Baked Eggplant Fries

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Appies & Snacks
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 3
Author: Pam - For the Love of Cooking

Ingredients


  • Eggplant:
  • 2 small globe eggplant cut crosswise into ¼ inch thick rounds
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup flour
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • cups plain panko crumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan finely grated

  • Marinara:
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small sweet yellow onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, crushed with a spoon
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • Pinch of sugar if needed

Instructions

  • Remove excess liquid from the eggplant
    by tossing the slices with a tablespoon of kosher salt until evenly coated on both sides.
  • Place a colander in the sink and line the base and walls with the salted slices.
  • Allow to sit for 45 minutes to allow the eggplant to release its liquid. Don’t skip this process or your eggplant will be bitter and soggy.
  • Make the marinara
    while the eggplant is draining its liquid by heating a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic, oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the can of tomatoes then crush them with a spoon. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add a pinch of sugar if needed.
  • When the eggplant is nearly finished draining
    and the marinara is simmering, place a rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.
  • Spread the eggplant on a triple layer of paper towels and top with another triple layer of paper towels then cover with a baking sheet and press firmly to remove as much liquid as possible. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
  • Wipe off the excess salt from each slice.
  • Cut each eggplant round into fries - they won't be perfectly shaped but who cares.
  • Set aside until ready to dredge.
  • Pour the flour onto a plate then season with sea salt & freshly cracked pepper and garlic powder, to taste. Whisk two eggs in a bowl until well combined. Place panko crumbs and parmesan in a pie plate and mix well.
  • Dredge the dried eggplant fries
    first in the seasoned flour, next in the egg, and lastly in the panko/parmesan crumbs until evenly coated; set aside on a plate. Repeat with the remaining fries.
  • Bake the eggplant fries by carefully removing the HOT baking sheet from the oven and pouring two tablespoons of oil on the sheet; tip to coat evenly.
  • Carefully place the panko/parmesan coated eggplant fries on the baking sheet.
  • Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes then carefully flip the eggplant slices over with a wide spatula.
  • Continue to bake for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven.
  • Serve the eggplant fries with the warm marinara immediately. Enjoy.
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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Pam,thanks for the good work you are doing and also for sharing the recipe.I just wanted to know from you what is marinara?is it a sauce or a side dish.

    1. Hi Dannie,

      Marinara is a tomato sauce normally served over spaghetti. The eggplant fries taste great dipped in the warm marinara sauce.

      Pam

  2. We ate these at a restaurant several years ago and loved them but can’t remember if we’ve made them. Yours look delicious and may inspire me to whip up a batch.

  3. I can’t believe that you are just finding out about eggplant. You are right, it is delicious…just as I’m sure your baked eggplant fries are.

  4. My husband is not the biggest eggplant fan, but I bet I could get him to eat anything in fry form!

  5. eggplants were on sale at the store today and i got one without having a plan for it…so glad i did!!