Crispy fried eggplant rounds coated in Parmesan cheese and pork rind breadcrumbs make a fun low carb appetizer or snack when served with Marinara sauce.
I’m enjoying Summer’s bounty this year thanks to the generosity of my neighbors. I’m typically gifted with zucchini, squash, tomatoes and citrus but this past week I received some eggplant. While I don’t often buy eggplant, I do like to cook and eat it in dishes like ratatouille, rollatini, eggplant Parmesan or baba ganuoush.
And speaking of Summer, the kids and I have been cooped up in the house together due to the hot (and humid!) weather. We’re getting a little stir-crazy as we wait for school to begin in two short weeks. My husband took my kids the the community pool on Saturday and I stayed in the quiet house.
While they were gone, I made-up this crispy fried eggplant rounds recipe. And, ate some crispy fried eggplant rounds. And made more crispy fried eggplant rounds to share with my family. My goodness, they were good!
Just so you know, this is a low carb eggplant recipe. The coating I used is a combination of Parmesan cheese and crushed pork rinds. I bet you thought I used panko bread crumbs, right? The combination of Parmesan cheese and crushed pork rinds is the low carb version of panko and makes a beautiful crisp crust. It’s the same coating I used on my popular Parmesan crusted pork chop recipe and cast iron skillet chicken Parmesan. Yum!
(If you aren’t following a low carb diet, sub Panko for the crushed pork rinds and you will be fine.)
I served the fried eggplant rounds with store bought Marinara sauce. Jarred pasta sauce can be full of added sugar so read the label. I’ve found that Rao’s Marinara sauce is delicious and has the lowest carb count. For a spicier sauce, try the Arabiatta sauce.
[OVEN METHOD] I have not cooked this particular recipe for crispy eggplant rounds in the oven, but here is what I have done in the past: Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and place a sheet pan(s) in the oven to heat. Prepare eggplant. Spray the sheet pans with oil and place the egg plate on the sheet pans. Bake 10-15 minutes per side or until crisp and golden brown.
These crispy eggplant rounds would be great in an eggplant lasagne recipe like this one from Wholesome Yum.
Low Carb Crispy Eggplant Rounds are 6 net carbs per serving!
Crispy Fried Eggplant Rounds With Parmesan Cheese and Marinara Sauce
- 1 pound eggplant (cut crosswise into 1 cm - 1/2 inch rounds, 453.6 g)
- 1 cup crushed pork rinds (1 oz/ 28.35 g)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (1 oz/ 28.35 g)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Prep. : Slice the eggplant into 10-12 rounds, sprinkle them with salt and put in a colander to drain for 15 minutes. Dry completely on paper towels. Meanwhile crack the eggs in a shallow bowl (cereal or soup bowl) large enough to hold an eggplant round and scramble with a fork. Mix the pork rinds, cheese, and seasoning together in another shallow bowl. Ready a small sheet pan.
- Procedure: Pick up a round with a fork and flip it back and forth in the egg until completely covered. Pick up with a fork and let the egg run off. Place into the crumb mixture and cover the top with crumbs. Press the crumbs onto the top. Then, flip the round over with the fork and do this again. Lift the eggplant round out and shake off the excess crumbs. Lay on a sheet pan. Repeat the process on all of the rounds. You should have enough for 10-12 rounds depending on how big they are.
- Cook: Heat an iron skillet or a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Alternately, you can use a big pancake skillet and fit all on the skillet at once. When hot, add the oil (you will need much less oil in a non-stick skillet). When the oil is hot, add 3-4 round to the pan and let cook for 3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel to drain then to a cooling rack. As you go, you may need to add a little more oil to the skillet or adjust the heat down just a bit. The eggplant will be brown and very crispy. Serve with tomato sauce, spicy mayo or eat as is!