Completely oil-free vegan crispy baked eggplant coins because eggplant parmesan is absolutely necessary when the temperatures start to cool down. I used a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and cornstarch to make the crispiest dang eggplant parmesan that’s ever been baked in an oven. Top with vegan cheese if you want to stay traditional to the parm and serve with a nest of your favorite spaghetti and marinara sauce.
To start you need to prep your eggplant. You’ll want a firm, decent sized typical deep purple eggplant. Use eggplants quickly after buying because they go off fast! I got my eggplants for this recipe the day before and if I would’ve waiting another day to use them up I would’ve needed new eggplants. Once you have your eggplant slice rounds about 1/4″ thick. I’ve seen a lot of recommendations to salt your eggplant rounds, apparently to remove moisture and/or reduce bitterness but I’ve never had a problem with either issues so I’ve always skipped this extra step. Why make more work?
To get a good crispy crust pat your eggplant slices dry and then dip in your cornstarch slurry and then into your panko mixture. Cornstarch is great for creating a fantastic crust in the oven and panko is much crispier off the bat than traditional breadcrumbs. You want to press your eggplant into the panko so that the crumbs stick but not so forcefully that you overcoat. If you add too much panko it will never bake through. A thin layer of panko on each side is perfect. Then bake away. Flip half way through baking, I flipped at the 2o minute mark. I also broiled for a few minutes at the end to develop just a little extra color. Without oil you usually will not get that pretty browning but it still will taste good so I broil a little too add in some color. Serve immediately with your favorite pasta.
I made a quick marinara with canned tomatoes and boiled up some spaghetti for a fuss-free, healthy pasta dinner. Feel free to use jarred sauce to simplify even more. I also like to toss these eggplant coins into a Mediterranean themed bowl or salad with hummus, red peppers and olives as a replacement for falafel. Make extra eggplant coins and throw the slices back in the oven the next day for a few minutes to reheat back to its crispy glory. You can have eggplant all week!
Oil-Free Baked Eggplant Coins
- 1 purple eggplant
- 1/2 cup plant milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice eggplant into 1/4" thick rounds and set aside. To a small bowl add plant milk, lemon juice and whisk in cornstarch until evenly combined. To a flat plate add panko, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper. Dip eggplant rounds into cornstarch slurry and then into panko mixture and place onto foil lined baking sheet. Continue until all eggplant has been coated in panko and spaced evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flip and bake an additional 15-20 minutes. May broil for an additional 2-3 minutes if more color is desired.