Who likes eggplant? (Unite!)
Who likes pizza? (OK, seriously, who isn’t raising their hand?)
Who’s stoked about combining the two? Me!
Let’s do this!
This 10-ingredient dinner or side is adapted and inspired by my Crispy Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan, only I took it a step further by adding pizza sauce and vegan cheese!
The base starts with thinly sliced eggplant (the thinner the better), which is then dipped in gluten-free flour, almond milk, and finally a crispy breading comprised of cornmeal, vegan parmesan cheese, and gluten-free bread crumbs.
Once they’re breaded, simply sauté on both sides until golden brown and then bake in the oven until crispy. All that’s left to do is top with a little red sauce and vegan cheese of choice and bake again until hot. And voila! Eggplant pizza.
We hope you LOVE these mini pizzas! They’re:
& Uber delicious
These pizzas would make the perfect side on Italian night or main when paired with hearty greens or our Best Vegan Meatballs! We especially love how crispy they are and that each bite includes plenty of hearty red sauce and vegan cheese!
If you’re into pizza, also be sure to check out our Easy Vegan Pesto Breadsticks, Easy Vegan Pizza, Butternut Squash Veggie Pizza, and Mini Portobello Pizzas!
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
For those looking to skip the breading process or make eggplant pizza on the grill (see below), we’ve got you covered! See alternative options in the notes!
Crispy Gluten-Free Eggplant Pizzas
- 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or other neutral dairy-free milk)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch (you can try subbing arrowroot starch, but we haven’t tested it)
- 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch (you can try subbing arrowroot starch, but we haven’t tested it)
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs*
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 whole long, narrow eggplant (sliced into 1/8th inch rounds // skin on)
- 4 Tbsp neutral cooking oil (like avocado or melted coconut // divided)
- 1 cup Easy Marinara Sauce (or your favorite store-bought pizza sauce)
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Vegan Ricotta Cheese (optional)
- Chopped mixed vegetables (like kalamata olives, green pepper, onion, or mushrooms // optional)
- Fresh basil (optional)
- Red Pepper Flake (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Also, prepare your dipping stations by mixing together almond milk and cornstarch in one bowl; gluten-free flour, cornstarch, and sea salt in another bowl; and gluten-free panko bread crumbs, cornmeal, vegan parmesan cheese, and sea salt in another bowl (see photo).
- Next, dip eggplant slices in flour mixture, then almond milk mixture, and then breadcrumb mixture and arrange dipped rounds on a clean plate or baking sheet.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp oil (30 ml // as recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Let the oil heat for 1 minute. Then add 4-5 eggplant rounds at a time and brown for ~2-3 minutes on each side or until light golden brown. Then add to the prepared baking sheet and add baking sheet to the oven so the eggplant can start baking.
- Continue browning eggplant in batches until all rounds are browned and in the oven, adding more oil to the cooking pan as needed. Turn heat down if eggplant rounds are browning too quickly.
- Bake eggplant for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and golden brown, flipping once around the halfway mark to ensure even baking. Prepare sauce, vegan cheese, and any other toppings at this time (optional). Set aside.
- Remove eggplant from the oven when crispy and golden brown. Top with a little red sauce, vegan cheese of choice, and any other toppings, such as mixed vegetables. Bake for another 5-7 minutes or until cheese is lightly golden brown. Enjoy as is or garnish with red pepper flake, fresh basil, or vegan parmesan cheese.
- Best when fresh. But you can store completely cooled eggplant (that hasn’t had any sauce or toppings added) covered in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Reheat on a baking sheet in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven until hot. You can also freeze UNCOOKED coated eggplant slices in a single layer and store in a freezer-safe container up to 1 month. From frozen, sauté on both sides until golden brown. Then bake in a 375-degree F (190 C) oven until hot, crispy, and golden brown. Top with desired toppings and then bake again to warm toppings – about 5 minutes.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1 tsp vegan almond ricotta per slice and without optional ingredients.
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