Crispy Eggplant with Marinara Sauce

Rating: 5.00

Crispy Eggplant with Marinara Sauce is a dish that delights with its blend of textures and deep flavors. This recipe transforms the humble eggplant into a centerpiece, featuring slices coated in a golden, crunchy crust, complemented by a rich, homemade marinara sauce. Ideal for those who enjoy exploring diverse culinary landscapes, this dish promises a satisfying and flavor-packed experience.

Cooking Insights:

  • Eggplant Selection: Pick eggplants that are firm and weighty, ensuring they cook up meaty and flavorful.
  • Batter Perfection: Achieve the perfect batter consistency for a light, even coating that crisps up beautifully when fried.
  • Frying Technique: Medium heat is crucial for frying the eggplant to a perfect golden brown, ensuring a crunchy exterior and tender interior.
  • Marinara Sauce Craft: The marinara sauce is the heart of this dish. Simmer it to perfection, allowing the flavors to meld and intensify.

Essential Ingredients:

  • Eggplants: Opt for firm, glossy eggplants.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: These add a crispier texture than regular breadcrumbs.
  • Batter Spices: A mix of paprika, dried oregano, and chili flakes brings a subtle heat and flavor to the batter.
  • Marinara Sauce Components: Create a flavorful sauce with crushed tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and fresh herbs.

Cooking Steps:

  • Eggplant Preparation: Start by baking the eggplants to soften and enhance their flavor.
  • Batter and Breading: Whip up a flavorful batter, coat the eggplant slices in it, followed by a layer of panko breadcrumbs for crunch.
  • Frying to Crispy Perfection: Fry the eggplant until golden brown, achieving the perfect balance of crunch and tenderness.
  • Sauce Creation: Simultaneously, cook the marinara sauce, blending tomatoes, aromatics, and herbs into a savory and rich complement.

Serving Tips:

This dish is best served hot, with the crispy eggplant and smooth marinara sauce providing a delightful contrast in textures. Whether as a main dish or an appetizer, it’s a versatile choice suitable for any dining occasion. The depth of flavors and satisfying crunch make this a crowd-pleaser, perfect for gatherings or a special family meal. Enjoy the culinary journey as each bite brings a burst of flavor and a moment of pure joy.

Crispy Eggplant with Marinara Sauce
Crispy Eggplant with Marinara Sauce

Crispy Eggplant with Marinara Sauce

5 from 2 votes
This vegan Crispy Eggplant with Marinara Sauce is an Italian-inspired dish that features baked and fried eggplants with a golden, crispy coating, served with a homemade marinara sauce. Perfect as a main course or appetizer, it’s a delightful blend of textures and flavors.
Servings 4
Total Time 1 hour


  • Oven
  • Mixing bowl
  • skillet or frying pan
  • Saucepan


For the Eggplant:

  • 2 Italian eggplants
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk such as almond, soy, or oat, or water
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili flakes optional
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs ensure they’re vegan
  • Olive oil for frying

For the Marinara Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can 400g crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil chopped


  • Bake Eggplant: Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Prick the eggplants with a fork and bake until soft, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, peel off the skin, and flatten gently.
  • Prepare Wet Batter: In a bowl, whisk together plant-based milk or water, a pinch of salt, black pepper, paprika, dried oregano, chili flakes (if using), and flour to create a smooth batter.
  • Coat Eggplant: Dip each flattened eggplant slice in the wet batter, then coat with panko breadcrumbs.
  • Fry Eggplant: Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the breaded eggplant until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels.
  • Make Marinara Sauce: In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, cooking until softened. Stir in crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Just before serving, stir in fresh basil.
  • Serve: Place the crispy eggplant on a plate and serve with the warm marinara sauce.
Calories: 300kcal
Cost: $10
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Crispy Eggplant Recipe, Easy Vegetarian Dinner Ideas, Homemade Marinara Sauce

Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    This was wonderful! My bf said it felt like he was eating a pork chop. Delicious!

  2. Steven hart says:

    5 stars
    Just tried this with a few minor tweaks and it was superb!

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