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Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich

Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich is an easy to make Italian sandwich with so much flavor! No meat needed for this hearty and delicious Italian hoagie that’s perfect for a game days, lunch, or any occasion!

Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich on a cutting board with a checkered napkin in the background.

If you love Eggplant Parmesan and Italian sandwiches, you are going to love this mashup of the two! Crisp and flavorful eggplant on soft bread with marinara sauce and lots of cheese, it’s the perfect meal.

For more eggplant recipes, be sure to try this Eggplant Caponata or this Easy Eggplant Parmesan recipe. This Chicken Parmesan Casserole recipe is a great 5-ingredient weeknight meal option.

Why You Need to Make this Sandwich!

One bite and you’ll agree that this Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich is the best! Even those alleged haters of eggplant love the crunch and cheesiness of this classic Italian hoagie.

This is the perfect recipe to have on hand if you are entertaining. It is relatively simple to make and can really feed a crowd for not a lot of money.

The combination of the soft bread, crunchy warm eggplant, and delicious mozzarella cheese makes this sandwich extra special. I like to serve it warm with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

Don’t be intimated by the dredging of the eggplant either. Here we use just a simple dredge of flour, egg, and store-bought Italian breadcrumbs. Plus, dredging eggplant is so much easier and clean than dredging chicken!

So, bring something different to the table with this fun take on an Italian sandwich! This eggplant parmesan sandwich may be your new favorite meatless hoagie.

Ingredients and Substitutions

overhead photo of ingredients needed for the recipe including a french loaf, cheese, and marinara sauce.

To make an Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich you will need: a loaf of bread, flour, bread crumbs, eggplant, eggs, parmesan, mozzarella, and marinara sauce.

  • Bread loaf: I like to use a long bread loaf like Italian or French bread for this recipe. You could use individual bread rolls and skip having to slice the bread in the pieces.
  • Eggplant: Get an eggplant that’s around 3/4 to a pound in weight. You need to get about 6 one-inch slices from the eggplant after removing the top and bottom of the fruit.
  • Bread crumbs: I try to keep the dredging for this recipe simple which is why I encourage you to use store-bought Italian-style breadcrumbs if you have them. The flavors are already in there without need additional ingredients. Or you can make your own by tossing together finely ground bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
  • Fresh mozzarella: Fresh mozzarella melts great but you can always substitute sliced or shredded mozzarella. Provolone would also be a delicious substitution here.

How to Make an Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich

Whenever making eggplant parmesan, the first step is always to salt the eggplant to remove the excess moisture. This will take about an hour of advance prep time, but it’s simple to do.

process shots showing how to make recipe including setting up the dredging bowls.
  • Step 1: Slice the eggplant into one-inch slices. You could peel the eggplant if you’d like.
  • Step 2: Sprinkle kosher salt on the tops and bottom of the eggplant and leave to sit for an hour. The salt will draw the moisture out of the eggplant and give it a more tender texture. Then, after the hour, pat the eggplant slices dry with a paper towel.
  • Step 3: In three shallow bowls, prepare the dredge for the eggplant. First, dip the eggplant in the flour, then in the beaten eggs, and lastly in the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Step 4: Place the coated eggplant on a tray and get ready to start frying.
process shots showing how to make recipe including frying in oil and spreading marinara on the bread loaf.
  • Step 5: Heat canola or vegetable oil in a skillet until it reaches about 365 degrees. You can test if the oil is hot by dropping in a bit of bread crumb and seeing if it sizzles. Carefully add in the eggplant slices, working in batches, and fry about 2 minutes per side. Then, remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain.
  • Step 6: Slice open the bread loaf and place on a baking sheet. Spoon marinara sauce on both sides of the bread and add on the cooked eggplant slices.
  • Step 7: Sprinkle parmesan over the eggplant then top with fresh mozzarella cheeese.
  • Step 8: Place the sandwich on the baking rack in the oven and broil on the top rack until the cheese melts. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Place on top half of bread and cut into slices.
Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich on a wood cutting board.

Recipe Tips

  • Take the time to salt the eggplant and remove the moisture before frying. This will give you a more tender eggplant without any bitter taste.
  • You can make your own Italian breadcrumbs at home by adding Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt to traditional breadcrumbs. Note that panko breadcrumbs won’t work well here.
  • Fresh mozzarella melts great, but you could substitute shredded mozzarella or slices of provolone.
  • Instead of using a long bread loaf, you could use smaller bread rolls and make individual sandwiches.
  • Serve your Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich hot or at room temperature.
Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich on a cutting board with a checkered napkin in the background.

FAQs

Do you need to remove the skin off of eggplant?

If you are salting and removing moisture from the eggplant before cooking, there is no need to peel the skin. The skin will become soft and tender once cooked.

What temperature should you fry eggplant?

The oil should be between 365-375 degrees. You will know it is hot enough when it starts to glisten. Test it by tossing in a piece of the dredge and see if it starts sizzling. If the oil is too cold, you risk the eggplant getting oily, rather than crispy.

What cheese goes well with eggplant parmesan?

Because the flavor of eggplant is more subdued, you want to go with a mild cheese that will enhance instead of overtake the flavor. Mozzarella or provolone are both great options, as well a sprinkle of parmesan to add a salty bite.

Eggplant parmesan sandwich open faced on a baking tray.

More Italian Favorites

Sausage Kale Pasta

Italian Ground Turkey Meatballs

Pizza Rustica

Chicken Risotto

Italian Stromboli Recipe

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or review in the comments section further down the page.

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Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich recipe.
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich

Eggplant Parmesan is extra special served with marinara sauce and lots of cheese on soft Italian loaf. This is a great meatless option that's hearty and packed full of flavor.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: baked meatball sandwiches, eggplant parmesan
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 445kcal
Cost: 5-6

Equipment

  • shallow pan for frying

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 loaf Italian or French bread
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • basil, oregano, or Italian seasoning for topping

Instructions

  • Cut off the top and bottom of the eggplant. Slice the eggplant into 6 one-inch thick slices. Lay the eggplant on a baking sheet and sprinkle both sides of the eggplant with kosher salt. Let the eggplant sit for an hour at room temperature to release moisture. Use a paper towel to blot all of the liquid off the eggplant slices; set aside.
  • Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until the oil is about 365-375 degrees. Meanwhile, set out three shallow bowls and in each bowl add the flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs. Take a slice of eggplant and dip both sides in the flour, shaking off the excess. Then, dip it in the egg and then lastly dip it in the breadcrumbs. Place the coated eggplant on a plate and repeat with remaining slices.
  • Fry the eggplant in the oil being careful not to overcrowd the pan (you may need to work in batches). Cook the eggplant until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Carefully remove the eggplant from the hot oil and place on a clean paper towel to drain.
  • Set your oven to broil and position baking rack near top third of the oven. Slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet. Spoon 1/2 cup of marinara sauce on both sides of the bread. Add on the cooked eggplant, sprinkle on the parmesan cheese, and top with fresh mozzarella cheese.
  • Place the sandwich under the broiler for a minute, just to let the cheese melt. Sprinkle on Italian seasoning and top the sandwich with the other half of the bread. Let sit for 2-3 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • Take the time to salt the eggplant and remove the moisture before frying. This will give you a more tender eggplant without any bitter taste.
  • You can make your own Italian breadcrumbs at home by adding Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt to traditional breadcrumbs. Note that panko breadcrumbs won’t work well here.
  • Fresh mozzarella melts great, but you could substitute shredded mozzarella or slices of provolone.
  • Instead of using a long bread loaf, you could use smaller bread rolls and make individual sandwiches.
  • Serve your Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich hot or at room temperature.

Nutrition

Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 1332mg | Potassium: 353mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 449IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 231mg | Iron: 4mg
Recipe Rating




Tara

Thursday 22nd of September 2022

This veggie Italian sandwich had so much flavor! Will definitely make it again.

Andrea

Thursday 22nd of September 2022

This is my kind of sandwich. Love eggplant parmesan and how easy it is to make.

Emily

Thursday 22nd of September 2022

This was so tasty, crunchy and cheesy! The whole family loves this vegetarian option, even the ones that don't normally love eggplant!

angelakallison

Saturday 24th of September 2022

Mine too! I'm so happy to hear that :)

Renee | The Good Hearted Woman

Thursday 22nd of September 2022

I love eggplant parm, and I love Italian sandwiches, so this recipe is definitely a keeper for me! Delish!