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Eggplant Parmesan Bites with Marinara Dipping Sauce

Forget the forks in favor of your fingers with this easy, cheesy recipe for Eggplant Parmesan Bites with Marinara Dipping Sauce.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients  

  • 2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/2 lbs total)
  • 2 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs (See Kelly's Note)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought marinara sauce
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Equipment:

  • Deep-fry thermometer

Instructions 

  • Peel the eggplants and dice them into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large colander and toss them with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let them drain in the colander over a bowl in the sink for 30 minutes to remove excess moisture.
  • Combine the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs with 2 tablespoons water. Place the flour in a third bowl. Bread the eggplant cubes in batches by coating them in the flour, then the eggs and then the cheesy breadcrumbs.
  • Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  • Add three inches of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot set over medium heat and attach the deep-fry thermometer. Once the oil reaches 360ºF, add the breaded eggplant in batches, cooking them until they're golden brown on all sides. Using a slotting spoon, transfer the eggplant to the paper towel-lined baking sheet and immediately season them with salt. Repeat the frying process with the remaining eggplant, returning the oil to 360ºF between each batch.
  • Garnish the eggplant bites with chopped fresh parsley and serve them with marinara sauce for dipping.

Kelly's Note:

  • I prefer a mix of Italian-style Panko breadcrumbs and very fine Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs, which produces well-breaded eggplant with a crispy crunch.
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