Eggplant Parm Sandwiches
with mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil and Greek salad
Eggplant parm often involves excessive frying that results in long cook times and extra calories, but this lightened version saves time without sacrificing any of those classic flavors. Serve the sandwiches with a refreshing Greek salad made with cucumbers and tomatoes.
Smarts: Eggplant holds a lot of moisture which is why it can turn soggy when cooked. Salting it early in the prep process will help to extract excess liquid and encourage the eggplant to cook evenly and get nice crisp edges.
- Eggplants - 1 lb, diced
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 1/2 cup, grated
- Panko - 1/2 cup
- Italian seasoning - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp
- Cheese, fresh mozzarella - 6 oz, sliced
- Basil - 10 leaves, sliced
- Hoagie or other sandwich rolls - 4
- Marinara sauce (use your favorite store bought variety) - 1 1/2 cups
- Breaded eggplant (ingredients listed separately) - ~3 cups
- Olives, Kalamata, pitted - 1/2 cup, chopped
- Cucumbers, medium - 1, diced
- Tomatoes, medium - 2, chopped
- Oil, olive - 2 tsp
- Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 tsp
- Eggplant - Cube eggplant (leave peel on or remove). Place a colander over a mixing bowl. Toss eggplant with salt and transfer to colander. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes; the salt will draw moisture out of the eggplant (this will help the breading to stick and the eggplant to stay crisp while cooking).
- Make breading - Grate parmesan cheese (if not already grated). Combine parmesan cheese, panko, Italian seasonings and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Olives - Chop olives. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Mozzarella / Cucumbers / Tomatoes / Basil - Prep as directed.
- Turn on oven’s broiler. Spray a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray. Slice rolls and place them cut-side up on the pan.
- Toss eggplant cubes with breading. Press cubes between your hands to help breading stick.
- Heat a skillet or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then eggplant cubes to heated oil. (Do this in batches if the pan is too small to easily hold all of the eggplant.) Gently saute eggplant cubes until tender inside and golden brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes.
- When eggplant is cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer eggplant to a paper-towel lined plate.
- Place sheet pan under broiler and toast buns until lightly golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven and spread each half of buns with marinara. Top one half of each bun with basil and then eggplant and mozzarella.
- Return sandwiches to oven and continue cooking under broiler just until mozzarella is melted.
- Just before serving toss olives, cucumbers and tomatoes in olive oil and vinegar. Season with some salt and pepper.
- Serve sandwiches with salad on the side and enjoy!
Used sliced eggplant instead of cubed, and the egg wash before dipping in the parm/panko mixture like others suggested. I forgot to salt it beforehand, but it still turned out good.0 Helpful
We made this with chicken instead of the eggplant. Very tasty!0 Helpful
This tasted ok, but felt messy and relatively unhealthy compared to other meals0 Helpful
It was good had to make it open faced maybe would of cut into strips vs chunks0 Helpful
Used egg as per previous suggestions. Still cubed but served on fresh pasta instead as didn't feel like sandwiches. Baked in oven for 15 minutes. Cubes made it easy for the kids to eat (and enjoy!)0 Helpful
I agree with other reviewers that the breading didn't stick well, but I kind of mashed my eggplant together and used copious amounts of oil, and managed to get it to work. Next time I would probably use an egg wash. Otherwise, even the hubby liked it, and he always whines about veggie meals.0 Helpful