This low-calorie recipe for baked eggplant is a delicious and healthy side dish for summer. It’s easy to make and has a unique chili lime flavor that compliments several main dishes, including chicken and fish. This nutritious recipe is high in fiber and is made without breadcrumbs.
Baked Eggplant Slices
It gets hot in Virginia in the summer, so I look for lighter recipes both for a main dish and for a side dish. This easy baked eggplant recipe without breadcrumbs is a simple light side dish that goes with several different meals. Personally, I like to serve oven baked eggplant with grilled chicken or fish.
The chili lime flavor of this eggplant recipe pairs well with unseasoned fish or chicken. However, I’ve also made this sheet pan roasted eggplant with chili lime chicken or chili lime fish. The flavor isn’t overwhelming, and they both taste amazing with this delicious flavor combination.
I like this healthy recipe for baked eggplant because it’s so easy to make. Simply make your seasoned olive oil, brush your eggplant slices and bake. While it’s baking, you have time to attend to your main course or prepare a salad for dinner.
Eggplant can get soggy when you bake it or fry it. I have some tips to prevent your oven fried eggplant without breadcrumbs from turning soggy when you bake it. You can salt your easy baked eggplant similar to how you salt zucchini before baking it, and I have another trick that I use so be sure to read through the tips before making this recipe for vegan baked eggplant.
Is Cooked Eggplant Good For You?
Yes, the cooked eggplant in this sheet pan roasted eggplant is good for you. Baked or roasted eggplant has a number of potential health benefits, which include:
- Eggplants are low in calories but high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Per one cup of eggplant, there are 20 calories and 3 grams of fiber.
- Additionally, eggplant is a good source of manganese, folate, potassium, Vitamin K and Vitamin C.
- Eggplant also has trace amounts of magnesium, copper and niacin.
- Since eggplants are a low calorie, high fiber food, they may help to regulate blood sugar.
- Eggplants are a good source of antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals may be responsible for reducing certain types of cancers or heart disease.
How Long Can You Keep Eggplant Before Cooking?
You can buy your eggplant for oven baked eggplant several days before you want to cook it. Eggplants will last 3 to 5 days on the counter. If you won’t be able to make oven baked eggplant slices before then, put it in the fridge for 7 to 10 days.
Don’t cut your eggplant for baked eggplant slices until you’re ready to make it, however. The slices will start to brown in about half an hour. Cooked eggplant is good for 3 to 5 days when stored in the fridge.
You can freeze eggplant slices to make oven baked eggplant later. However, you will need to blanch the sliced eggplants for 4 minutes before freezing to stop the enzymes that cause the eggplant to break down. If you do not blanch the eggplant slices, they will lose their nutritional value, color and flavor within a month.
Should Eggplant Be Refrigerated?
You can store your eggplant for this easy baked eggplant recipe on the counter or in the fridge. Both are fine, but storing it in the refrigerator will help it last longer.
Should Eggplant Be Soft or Firm?
When shopping for the vegetable for your oven fried eggplant without breadcrumbs, look for one that is firm but not hard. You should be able to touch the eggplant with minimal give when you push a finger into it. If it’s soft or you puncture the skin of the eggplant, then the eggplant is not safe to eat because it is starting to rot.
How Do I Make My Baked Eggplant Less Soggy?
Eggplant has a spongy flesh that has several small air pockets. These air pockets sock up oil very quickly, which can lead to soft baked eggplant slices. For sheet pan roasted eggplant that isn’t soggy, follow these tips:
- Brush your oil onto the eggplant instead of putting oil in the pan. This helps you control how much oil you use so the baked eggplant slices don’t absorb too much oil and get soggy.
- You can also add salt to your eggplant. Salt works by drawing moisture out of the eggplant slices. This makes the air pockets collapse, so they won’t get filled by oil when you make oven baked eggplant.
- To use salt to prevent your baked eggplant slices from getting soggy, sprinkle the slices with salt and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry before making vegan baked eggplant.
Should I Salt Eggplant Before Roasting?
Salting eggplant before making this easy baked eggplant recipe isn’t necessary for flavor. However, as mentioned above, the salt can lead to a better texture that isn’t soggy. It also removes the bitterness from the eggplant.
How to Cook Eggplant in the Oven
It’s easy to cook eggplant in the oven. Here is how it’s done:
- Before you make this sheet pan roasted eggplant, cut off the stem and the bottom of the eggplant.
- Then cut the eggplant into slices about 1/3 inch thick.
- Once you’ve sliced the eggplant, salt it to make it firmer. Then brush the slices with olive oil and season before baking in the oven.
Chili Lime Baked Eggplant Ingredients
To make oven fried eggplant without breadcrumbs, you will need:
How to Make Baked Eggplant
Follow these directions for this vegan recipe for oven baked eggplant:
- To make this eggplant recipe, start by washing both eggplants. Dry, then cut off the top and the bottom from each eggplant. Next cut the fruit into ⅓ inch slices.
- Place slices onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle with fine ground sea salt. Allow the eggplant to rest for 30 minutes. Then rinse the eggplant slices and dry with a tea towel.
- Just before the eggplant has finished resting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or drizzle olive oil over the pan.
- While the oven preheats, combine olive oil, lime juice, chili flakes and ground pepper in a small to medium sized prep bowl. Mix well to combine. Then use a pastry brush to brush both sides of your baked eggplant slices with the chili lime olive oil mixture.
- Place the eggplant slices onto the prepared baking sheet. Then bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Once roasted, the eggplant slices should be soft in texture and dark gray in color.
- You can store any leftover vegan baked eggplant slices in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 2 eggplants
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons fine ground sea salt
- Wash eggplant and cut off the top and the bottom. Cut into ⅓ inch slices.
- Place slices on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant slices and dry with a tea towel.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or drizzle olive oil over the pan.
- Combine olive oil, lime juice, chili flakes and ground pepper. Brush both sides of your baked eggplant slices with the chili lime olive oil mixture using a baster or pastry brush.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The eggplant slices should be soft in texture and dark gray in color.
- Store leftover vegan baked eggplant in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days.
Using salt on the eggplant prior to roasting will remove the bitterness from the eggplant. It will also help to improve texture so your chili lime eggplant isn't soggy after roasting.
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3181mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g
This eggplant recipe is suitable for both a vegetarian and vegan diet. It makes both a healthy side dish or a main course. If you’d like to try more plant based side dishes, be sure to make these crispy zucchini chips.