a Sicilian tradition :: Breaded Eggplant Cutlets


Recently Elliott and I have been trying to eat more vegetarian meals, especially after reading the fascinating results of this study.  I also am always trying to find new eggplant recipes, because eggplants are cheap, plentiful, and everywhere in Sicily.  This isn’t easy when I don’t particularly like eggplant!  (Do you??)  I have recently learned two great eggplant recipes (a Sicilian pasta dish and an Italian antipasto).   But eggplant and me… still not great friends.

However, when I bit into these uh-may-zing eggplant cutlets at a recent cooking class, I began to reconsider my preferences.  Maybe it’s because everything breaded and fried is delicious?  Here’s how to make them at home:


First, peel and slice the eggplant lengthwise.


Then dip it in beaten eggs.


Dredge the cutlets in a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and salt.


Fry ’em up in butter.  Or vegetable or olive oil, as you prefer.  (The health study I mentioned earlier would probably recommend olive oil over butter.  Just a guess.)


Remove from the pan and let drain on paper towels.  As soon as they’re cool enough (they’ll burn your tongue!), cut them up and enjoy.

If you don’t have time to do the breading and frying yourself, Trader Joe’s sells pre-cut and pre-breaded eggplant cutlets.  They recommend using them as a meatless main dish and adding a little tomato sauce and cheese on top… yum yum!

I’ve included the kitchen-friendly recipe below.   Do you have an eggplant recipe you love?  Please share any ideas in the comments; I need some new recipes!

Breaded Fried Eggplant Cutlets


  • 1 large eggplant
  • ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil or butter


  • Peel & slice eggplant into ¼ width cutlets
  • Dip cutlets in egg wash.
  • Dredge eggplant pieces in breadcrumb mixture (breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, & salt).
  • Fry eggplant cutlets in vegetable oil or butter in large, non-stick pan until brown on both sides.
  • Remove from pan onto paper towels.
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14 Responses to a Sicilian tradition :: Breaded Eggplant Cutlets

  1. Alica May 14, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    I’m not a fan of eggplant either, but my neighbor ( a 1st generation Italian!!) makes a wonderful eggplant parmesan! I’ll have to ask her for her recipe.

    • Becca May 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      OK, I must admit that I am confused about eggplant parmesan. Many people have told me it’s not a true Italian recipe, but an American one based on Italian recipes. Will you ask your neighbor if that’s true? I’ve never seen it on a menu here, but maybe it’s just not Sicilian?

      • denisa September 24, 2014 at 7:12 am #

        Definitely Sicilian as I know for sure my grandmother brought that recipe with her from Partinico, province of Palermo Sicily. The eggplant is cut lengthwise, dipped in flour, egg, breadcrumbs with grated cheese parsley basil and deep fried. ♡♡

  2. OM May 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    This sounds like something I would love! Does the bread keep the eggplant from sucking too much oil? Because I always struggle with that, and no amount of paper towels can help me (I still love fried eggplant, though, I just can eat less of it each meal!). Maybe the trick is in using butter…

    • Becca May 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

      It felt pretty deliciously soaked in butter to me… hmm. Maybe try it and see if it’s different from using oil? I have also seen recipes that instruct you to bake or broil the breaded eggplant; that would certainly cut down on absorption of oil or butter.

  3. Lucy May 16, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    Yum. And such enticing photos. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  4. Amy May 20, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Hi Becca,

    I share your feelings on eggplant! This recipe is one I enjoy though: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1262642/italianstyle-stuffed-aubergines

    I make a couple of changes: add a generous handful of crumbled walnuts, a bit of grated parmesan cheese, switch the green olives for black, and often the cherry tomatoes for cut-up salad tomatoes (just watching the budget there, as cherry tomatoes are generally hideously expensive here).

    I usually chop the centre of the eggplant in my food processor, pulsing it up until it is almost the size of mincemeat. And to avoid that good old rubbery eggplant texture, don’t skimp on the olive oil or the cooking time!

    Take care.

    Amy x

  5. David Wright May 18, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    The precise thickness of the slices is important. I tried ½ “; salted them to extract moisture and put them in the refrigerator to weep. Breaded and fried but they were a little bit raw inside. Not bad but if I had fried them longer the crust would have burned. Lower the heat and they would absorb too much oil. So thickness is key. Next time I will try to slice them a little thinner; not salt them and use a combination of oil (for high temp) and butter (for flavor). The coating is inspired. Cheese and parsley is a perfect combo. With a little bit of luck I’ll let you know how they turn out. Sharing food is close to the core of our being.

    • Becca June 24, 2015 at 11:12 pm #

      Thanks for your tips!

  6. cb August 17, 2016 at 7:56 am #

    Hi Becca,

    When I google/imaged “breaded eggplant patties” yours is the most appetizing looking picture. I wanted to share a Puerto Rican eggplant recipe. Torrejas de Berenjenas . Just dip them in pancake/beer batter (or the batter of your choice and fry in the oil of your choice. Salt immediately after frying to taste. Quite YUMMY!

    Thanks for whetting my appetite today,


  7. Ashley September 6, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    Excellent!!!! Thank you!:)

  8. Ashley April 6, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    I make these all the time I follow your recipe I just use seasoned breadcrumbs and add parsley, salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs these are amazing thanks so much for posting Becca!

  9. Written Essay May 24, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

    Hi, yeah this post is truly good and I have learned lot of things
    from it regarding blogging. thanks.


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