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Eggplant Parm Bites

The following recipe was created in collaboration with Lauren Schulte. To see more of her bites and meals, visit her Instagram @TheBiteSizePantry

Its Midwest grown produce season at Heinen’s, and whether or not you like eggplant, my lightly breaded and air fried Eggplant Parm Bites are so delicious, you’ll find yourself craving this purple veggie all season long!

Eggplant Parm Bites

If you don’t own an air fryer, don’t fret, this snack or appetizer can be easily baked in the oven, but I just love the extra crispy texture that the air fryer creates. With just a spritz of heart-healthy avocado oil, rather than a bath of frying oil, these soft-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside bites are well-balanced and nutritious!

Eggplant Parm Bites
Eggplant Parm Bites
Cook time:
15min
Prep time:
15min
Total time:
30min

Servings:
18 Rounds

Ingredients

For the Eggplant

  • 1 medium-size eggplant, sliced into ¼-inch rounds with the skin on
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup egg whites, or two beaten eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Heinen’s avocado oil spray

For the Rosemary Basil Salt

  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 cup coarse sea salt

For the Toppings

  • Mid’s tomato basil pasta sauce
  • Heinen’s Italian cheese blend
  • Rosemary Basil Salt (see above)

Instructions

For the Rosemary Basil Salt

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Blend on low until the salt turns a bright green color and the basil and rosemary are well blended, about 30 seconds.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

For Air Fried Eggplant 

  1. Create a dredging station by filling three separate bowls with the flour (bowl 1), egg whites (bowl 2) and panko bread crumbs and herbs (bowl 3). With a fork, mix the panko bread crumbs with the seasonings.
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 380˚F for 5 minutes.
  3. Cut the stem end off of the eggplant and slice the eggplant into ¼-inch rounds.
  4. One at a time, dip both sides of the eggplant rounds into the flour, followed by the egg whites and breadcrumbs to fully coat.
  5. Place the coated eggplant rounds into the preheated air fryer basket, making sure that they do not overlap. Spray lightly with Heinen’s avocado oil spray.
  6. Cook for 8 minutes, flip and spray the other side, then cook for another 3 minutes. Times will vary depending on thickness and your preference for doneness.
  7. When the second side is crispy, remove from the air fryer and prepare the toppings.

For Oven-Baked Eggplant 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. Create a dredging station by filling three separate bowls with the flour (bowl 1), egg whites (bowl 2) and panko bread crumbs and herbs (bowl 3). With a fork, mix the panko bread crumbs with the seasonings.
  3. Cut the stem end off of the eggplant and slice the eggplant into ¼-inch rounds.
  4. One at a time, dip both sides of the eggplant rounds into the flour, followed by the egg whites and breadcrumbs to fully coat.
  5. Place the coated eggplant rounds on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 375˚F.
  6. Once the first side is crispy, flip the rounds over, lightly coat them with Heinen’s avocado oil spray and place the tray back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until second side is crispy.
  7. When the second side is crispy, remove from the oven and prepare the toppings.

For Topping

  1. Add a Tbsp. of red sauce and shredded Italian cheese to each cooked eggplant round.
  2. Sprinkle dried oregano and parsley over each slice for garnish.
  3. Place the eggplant slices back in the oven for 5-8 minutes to melt the cheese. If air frying, place back into the air fryer for an additional 3 minutes. The cheese should be bubbly and start to brown.
  4. Sprinkle with rosemary basil salt and enjoy!

Eggplant Parm Bites

The Bite Size Pantry, Lauren Schulte
By Lauren Schulte
Well hello there, I’m Lauren and I love food! Keeping meals simple, satisfying and accessible to all is the main purpose behind my cooking, but I always add a touch of creativity and uniqueness.I’m a family-taught cook and food is one of my greatest passion in life, but I suppose there is a little more to me than just food. I am a fur-mama to two wonderful rescue pups, Herbie and Nelly and our cat Grayson, who are all part of The Bite Size Pantry household. They love to be with me in the kitchen and they make the cleanup process a whole lot easier. Thanks to the wonderful internet world I’ve been able to pursue my dream of cooking. Sometimes it seems like a lot, but I just love food and I really love sharing that love with others who love it too.

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