Crispy Baked Eggplant 

Every time I get an eggplant in my CSA box, I feel like it always turns into an experiment. Eggplant is just one of those vegetables that I rarely reach for on my own when I’m coasting through the produce aisles. But I always get excited when I see one in my CSA box (my box is delivered, so it’s like opening a Christmas present every Tuesday night!). It truly is such a unique vegetable; I mean how many vegetables are bright purple, after all? Although I must admit, I still always feel a bit lost when it comes to dreaming up eggplant-based recipes.

For some reason, this time I started thinking about ways to substitute eggplant for tofu from some of my old standby recipes I love. I wouldn’t necessarily say the texture of eggplant and tofu really remind me of each other, but something about this made me think it might work.

So I decided to try baking the eggplant in a similar way I do for what is my favorite tofu preparation method (see here). I was shocked to find not only did I really love the texture of this dish, but I think I might even like it a little more than baked tofu, depending on what you plan to use this for. The below recipe and method is very easy, quick, and tasty. But there are surely so many ways you could spice this up by, well, spicing up the eggplant. 🙂 And there are SO many ways you could use these little crispy pieces once they are ready. They are awesome alongside some warm marinara sauce and Parmesan, sort of an appetizer or small meal suggestion. I also think this is great in stir fries or curries. I could also see these working well in a sub sandwich situation, like this, or on top of pasta with red sauce and cheese. So basically, love the texture but these go well with other awesome flavors or dishes that come with sauces.

Crispy Baked Eggplant, makes two servings worth (for use in other meals, see above)

1 medium to large eggplant
salt
pepper
garlic powder
2 tablespoons arrow root powder
2 teaspoons olive oil

First, peel the skin from the eggplant and chop into roughly 1-inch pieces (think bite-sized).

Generously sprinkle the pieces with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then add to a bag or bowl and toss with the arrow root powder until all pieces are well coated.

Drizzle a little olive oil to a baking sheet, add the eggplant, and bake at 400°F for 22-24 minutes. Halfway through the bake time, remove from the oven and flip each piece so they will more evenly bake and all sides will get crispy.

Now you’re ready to add these to a stir fry, curry, or pasta dish. Or warm up some marinara and serve these alongside as a little app. 🙂

Notes: You can use cornstarch in place of arrow root powder.

This is best (the most crispy) the day it is made, but if you want to make this ahead and save stored in an airtight container, you can just recrisp for about 5 minutes in a hot oven (around 400°F or even a bit higher).

Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
  • Have you tried baba ganoush? It’s like hummus’ sophisticated and tastier brother. Just don’t forget to pierce the eggplant for roasting, or it might explode in your oven. That may or may not have happened to me.

    • Building on the baba ganoush suggestion – burn the eggplant on your gas burner! Seriously. I thought it was so dangerous but my husband convinced me. You just put the eggplant directly on the flame (you can line underneath it with some tin foil) and rotate it every few minutes! Let the skin get blackened and roasty, then cut it open and let it cool a bit. Combine it in a food processor with some tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper, maybe a bit of garlic and parsley, and if you’re feeling unorthodox some plain yogurt and pomegranate molasses. This is my favorite sauce to put on LITERALLY EVERYTHING.

  • I have eggplant on my counter from our local garden share that I’ve had no idea what to do with. This is perfect! Thanks!!

  • I love eggplant and will have to try this. It seems much healthier than my eggplant parmesan sub addiction!

    I saw baba ganoush in the comments. I think the trick to authentic baba ganoush is to grill the eggplant. I’ve attempted making it by baking it and the flavor fell flat.

  • Eggplant is used a lot in Sicilian recipes, you can look for Pasta alla Norma, Eggplant Parmigiana and Eggplant caponata.
    I love “meatballs” made with eggplants, basil, parmiggiano cheese, egg and breadcrumbs. You can bake them so it’s a relativly healthy recipe!

    greetings from Italy!

  • This is more of an observation about the new layout of the website…scrolling through this post, there were 6 ads embedded within the text portion only (1 underneath every photo). Not sure if it’s possible to move some of them to the right side, where they used to be primarily found, so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. I don’t take issue with them, but it cuts up the flow of the post when reading.

  • Hi Emma! This looks tasty, but I down have arrow root powder at home. Could I use flour or cornstarch? Cornmeal?

  • I tried this recipe last night ! I was already planning to make couscous bowls for dinner, and the baked eggplant was really tasty mixed in with roasted sweet potatoes and shredded carrot and cucumber. I didn’t have arrowroot powder so I used corn starch but I found they weren’t as crispy as yours look in these photos. I kept them in the oven a bit longer and then broiled them for a few minutes at the end and they were tasty but next time I’ll try with arrowroot powder like you did – maybe that will get them crispier? Thanks for the recipe, perfect timing! 🙂

  • i luv eggplant i don’t buy it enough, when i do i always prep the same way thanks for the tip i’ll have to try this recipe.

  • Sounds amazing. Going to track down some arrowroot. I love aubergine but it will make a change to experience it crispy rather than slimy!