Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich
This heavenly Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich recipe makes for an easy and delicious hot lunch. Crispy fried eggplant is layered on a ciabatta roll with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, marinara sauce, and fresh basil leaves.
I get the convenience of a simple PB&J, but I LOVE the more elaborate sandwiches. Especially the hot and cheesy ones!
Thanks to a local NYC restaurant called Parm, I recently fell into a TOTAL sandwich craze. Remember this Italian Club Sandwich I posted a month back? That was a recreation of a Parm sandwich.
And today we will tackle another pick from their menu, the Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich. It’s a great way to enjoy the classic dinner recipe in sandwich form.
Chicken Parmesan is one of the most loved recipes on this earth, but personally I love Eggplant Parmesan even more, and always have.
There’s something about that crispy eggplant texture that I can’t get enough of.
And let me say, even eggplant haters love this sandwich.
My husband has never been an eggplant fan but totally devoured these.
When my husband saw me editing these photos he said, “I want to eat another sandwich.” When I told him to go ahead and eat another one, he said “but my belly is still full from the last two.”
They’re so good.
Step by Step Overview:
The first thing you want to do is slice up a couple eggplants into disks, discarding the stem at the top of the eggplant:
Most grocery stores carry Globe eggplants (the big purple ones), so that’s what I use here.
Make sure you select firm eggplants from the store, that don’t have any indentations in them. Truly fresh eggplant won’t be discolored in spots, either.
A quick note on “draining” the eggplants: If you have the time, go ahead and salt the eggplants and let them sit for 30 minutes to drain, then brush the excess salt and moisture off with paper towel. If you don’t have the time, I found that in this recipe you can get away with not salting them and letting them sit.
Make the bread crumb mixture by combining panko, oregano, and garlic powder:
I prefer using panko breadcrumbs instead of Italian breadcrumbs, because they have a more robust crunch. I then add my own seasoning, but you can also add Italian seasoning to the panko.
In another two bowls, add all purpose flour to one, and large eggs in another:
Dip eggplant slices one by one into the flour:
Then into the egg:
Then into the breadcrumb mixture:
Shake off any excess bread crumbs so they don’t fall off and burn during cooking.
Heat a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat.
Then fry the eggplant in batches for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown:
Drain on paper towels as you finish each batch.
To assemble each sandwich, slice a ciabatta roll in half and lay on a few breaded eggplant slices, seasoned with salt and pepper:
Add a layer of grated parmesan cheese, then a layer of marinara sauce:
I no longer make my own homemade marinara sauce, as I love Rao’s brand. Any high quality tomato sauce or pasta sauce you enjoy will work here.
Then add sliced fresh mozzarella, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil:
Sprinkle the mozzarella with salt and pepper, then put the top piece of bread on.
Bake the sandwich(es) on a baking sheet in a 350F preheated oven for 10 minutes, so the ciabatta can toast nicely and the mozzarella cheese melts.
Then you can stick a single layer of basil leaves inside the sandwich, for a final touch:
These eggplant parmesan sandwiches definitely qualify to be a meal on their own, but you can also add a side salad like Zucchini Ribbon Salad or Kale Salad. Enjoy the melty cheese crispy eggplant goodness!
Lasagna is another one of my favorite recipes that has a similar flavor profile. Leftovers keep beautifully too!
Recipe Tips and FAQ
That should work out fine, though I personally don’t have an air fryer. Coat well with cooking spray so the eggplant is crispy.
Some people enjoy adding pesto sauce in lieu of the tomato sauce.
Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich
For the Eggplant Parmesan:
- 2 medium eggplants (about 2.5 lbs)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 eggs
- olive oil for frying
For Sandwich Assembly:
- 6 ciabatta rolls
- 1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- 1 cup marinara sauce (I love Rao’s)
- 1 lb ball of fresh mozzarella sliced thinly
- olive oil for drizzling
- fresh basil leaves
- Slice the eggplants into ½” thick disks. If you have the time, season the slices with salt and set aside on rack to “drain” for 30 minutes. Wipe the salt and excess moisture off with paper towel. If you don’t have the time, you can get away with not doing this step, but you’ll need to season the eggplant more aggressively in later steps.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Place the flour in a dredging bowl. Place the panko, oregano, and garlic powder in another dredging bowl, and stir to combine. In a third bowl, whisk together the eggs with a pinch of salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of water.
- Dredge the eggplant slices in the flour, shake off the excess, then in the egg, shake off the excess, then into the panko bread crumbs. Set aside.
- Heat up a skillet over medium heat, and fill with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan about ¼” up. Place a single layer of eggplant slices into the skillet and fry for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Make sure to watch that the eggplant slices aren’t burning, and adjust the heat up or down as needed.
- Place the fried eggplant slices on a tray, season with salt and pepper, then keep in the warm oven while you finish frying all batches of eggplant. Add more olive oil to the skillet as needed.
- When you’re done frying all the eggplant, remove the eggplant from the oven and increase the temperature to 350 degrees F.
- To assemble each sandwich, slice a ciabatta roll in half, then put on a single layer of eggplant slices. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then add a couple spoonfuls of grated parmesan, then a couple spoonfuls of marinara sauce, then a single layer of sliced mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil, then put the top of the sandwich on and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is melty. Tuck a few basil leaves into each sandwich, then enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated in January 2019. Originally published February 2016.