These baked Eggplant Cutlets are my family's favorite way to eat eggplant. Eggplant is such a versatile vegetable that's great in so many different kinds of dishes. But this vegan recipe is the best way to make eggplant. These crispy eggplant slices are delicious on their own or used for vegan eggplant parmesan.
The best part of this recipe is that they are baked, not fried in hot oil. The eggplant slices aren't greasy or soggy and are much healthier. If you are looking for a vegan eggplant recipe that everyone will love, this one might be your new favorite.
Making the Eggplant Cutlets
First, preheat the oven to 400°. Prepare a baking pan by lining it with parchment paper. Slice the eggplant in thin, less than ¼ inch slices. Set aside.
Next, start preparing the bowls for dipping and coating. Put the ½ cup of flour in a small bowl. If you want, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the water and cornstarch and stir well. Set aside. The cornstarch will settle to the bottom a little bit so when you're ready to use it make sure you give it a quick stir.
In a shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Stir well.
Line up the sliced eggplant, bowls and pan assembly line style. First, dip the eggplant in the flour on both sides. Shake off any additional flour.
Next, quickly dip the eggplant in the cornstarch and water mixture. You do not want to leave the eggplant slices in the cornstarch and water mixture as the flour could wash off.
Place eggplant slice in the breadcrumb mixture and flip over. Make sure that both sides of the eggplant slice are covered in breadcrumbs and place on the prepared baking tray in a single layer. Repeat all the steps with the remaining eggplant until all eggplant slices are prepped. This goes a lot quicker if you have an extra set of hands. I usually enlist one of my kids to help.
QUICK NOTE: Your fingers are going to get messy during this process. A tip is to use one hand for all of the dipping and one hand to take the finished eggplant slice to put on the pan. That way one hand is dry and wont be messing up the "finished" slices.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip the eggplant slices and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Take the eggplant out of the oven and switch the oven to broil. Broil the eggplant for 1-2 minutes to crisp up. Be careful if you are using parchment paper as it's not technically supposed to be under the broiler. Another option is to put a spoonful of marinara sauce on each slice before broiling them.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and serve. We often like to have a small side of marinara sauce to dip them in. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
Extra Crispy Option
If you want to take an extra step, you can make the eggplant extra crispy. After cutting the eggplant, place slices on a wire rack and sprinkle with salt. Let it sit for 15 minutes. The eggplant will release some of its excess water. Flip the eggplant and repeat. Wipe the salt off the eggplant with a paper towel and continue with the recipe. You will probably want to adjust the amount of salt in the rest of the recipe. This step is completely optional. I don't bother as my family likes this recipe as written.
Can I make these eggplant cutlets in an air fryer?
Yes! Lower the temperature to about 375 and bakes for about 20 minutes total.
Can I use panko bread crumbs?
Sure! I like the coverage that regular bread crumbs give but panko also gives a good crunch.
Can I turn this into an eggplant parmesan recipe?
Yes! With the addition of tomato sauce and some vegan mozzarella cheese, this can easily be turned into eggplant parmesan.
I love nutritional yeast. Can I add some to the bread crumbs?
Sure! I'm not a fan of nutritional yeast but if you love the flavor, go for it. I'd add maybe 1 tablespoon to the breadcrumbs. You can also add vegan parmesan cheese if you have some.
Don't I need to make a flax egg for this?
No. Instead of a flax egg (flax seeds plus water), I like using the cornstarch and water mixture. It works great!
Can I make these into eggplant fries?
Yes, my kids love eggplant fries. Just cut them into fry shape and continue to follow the recipe. You won't need to bake them for the full 30 minutes though. Bake for 23-25 minutes.
This easy breaded and baked eggplant cutlets recipe has become a favorite in our house. You can have these slices as a main dish or as a side dish with some pasta. It's a healthier vegan version that tastes great and won't leave you feeling weighed down with all the oil. If you're trying to get your kids (or other family member) to eat eggplant, this recipe is a great place to start.
Interested in other oil-free recipes? Check out:
Eggplant Cutlets (Vegan and No Oil)
- 1 medium eggplant
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup plain (vegan) bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup marinara sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Cut eggplant in thin slices, less than ¼ inch thick. Set aside.
- Put the ½ cup of flour in a small bowl. If you want, add a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the water and cornstarch and stir well. Set aside.
- In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir well.
- Line up the eggplant, bowls and pan assembly line style. First, dip the eggplant in the flour on both sides. Shake off any additional flour.
- Next, dip the eggplant in the cornstarch and water mixture.
- Place the eggplant slice in the bread crumb mixture and flip over. Make sure that both sides of the eggplant slice are covered in bread crumbs and place on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
- Continue until all eggplant slices are prepped.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip the eggplant slices and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Take the eggplant out of the oven and switch the oven to broil. Broil the eggplant for 1-2 minutes to crisp up. Be careful if you are using parchment paper as it's not technically supposed to be under the broiler. Another option is to put a spoonful of marinara sauce on each slice before broiling them.
- Remove the eggplant from the oven and serve.
I made these tonight and loved them. I like eggplant but can’t handle all the oil when it’s fried. I added some tomato sauce and vegan mozzarella. Thanks for the recipe.
That sounds delicious May. Thanks for commenting.