Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches
These heavenly Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches are a great recipe 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.
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 while I’ve never had Parm’s Eggplant Parmesan Hero, I decided I would go ahead and make my own because the cravings were already there and needed to be dealt with.
(And when I say my cravings need to be “dealt with,” I’m totally serious. I’m the kind of person whose cravings don’t go away until they’re fulfilled. I’m stubborn like that, haha).
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.
Case in point: when my husband saw me editing these photos he said, “I want to eat another sandwich.” When I told him to go eat another one, he said “but my belly is still full from the last two.”
I think I would really call that pigging out on Eggplant Parmesan sandwiches. And he is totally justified.
The first thing you want to do is slice up a couple eggplants into disks:
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:
In another two bowls, add flour to one, and eggs in another:
Dip each eggplant slice into the flour:
Then into the egg:
Then into the bread crumbs:
Fry the eggplant in batches for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown:
To assemble each sandwich, slice a ciabatta roll in half and lay on a few crispy eggplant slices, seasoned with salt and pepper:
Add a layer of grated parmesan cheese, then a layer of marinara sauce:
Then add sliced fresh mozzarella, and drizzle with olive oil:
Sprinkle the mozzarella with salt and pepper, then put the lid on:
Bake the sandwich(es) in a 350F oven for 10 minutes, so the ciabatta can toast nicely and the mozzarella cheese melts.
Then you can stick a few basil leaves inside the sandwich, for a final touch:
Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches
For the Eggplant Parmesan:
- 2 medium eggplants about 2.5 lbs
- 1 cup 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
- 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!