Eggplant parm caprese grilled cheese is a crazy delicious mash up of eggplant parm + grilled cheese! Grilled cheese with fried eggplant as the bread! It makes the most amazing cheesy eggplant parmesan sandwich!
Honestly, I do not even think you will miss the bread here. These sandwiches are super hearty and cheesy. It's like a handheld version of eggplant parm!
First make the 'bread'
- Grab a eggplant into 1 inch rounds.
- Dip the eggplant rounds into the breading.
- Fry the eggplant rounds until golden and crispy (and delicious!)
Pretty straightforward. I prefer to keep the breading completely vegetarian for this dish. And so, instead of the typical flour, egg, breadcrumb breading you typically see, I replace the egg with a flour and water batter. I mix together a small amount of water with a little flour. Whisk until you get a thin pancake batter like consistency and you're set. When you dip the eggplant in this mixture, it is the perfect consistency for the breadcrumbs to adhere to the eggplant and stay put while frying.
Of course, if you prefer the beaten egg breading, I would recommend to 2 large eggs in the breading station instead.
Now for the Grilled Cheese!
Once the eggplant rounds are fried to golden perfection, all you have to do is assemble these eggplant parm caprese grilled cheese sandwiches. Because fresh mozzarella is hard to thinly slice, I assemble the whole sandwich on a baking sheet. Just layer the eggplant rounds with fresh mozzarella, tomato slices, and basil. Top everything with another eggplant round and bake it until the cheese is nice and melty!
Serve this sandwich with some balsamic glaze, marinara sauce and crushed red pepper chili flakes (plus a knife and fork!)
For more crazy veggie sandwich ideas check out: Eggplant and Halloumi Burgers, Everything Naan with Cilantro Chutney Cream Cheese, Dabeli Sliders with Pomegranate Relish
Eggplant Parm Caprese Grilled Cheese
- 1 eggplant sliced into ½ inch rounds
- 1 cup all purpose flour divided
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- salt & pepper
- cooking oil for frying eggplant slices
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella sliced
- 1 tomato sliced
- 10-12 basil leaves
- balsamic glaze for optional drizzle
- marinara sauce for optional dipping
For the Eggplant
- Set up 3 bowls for breading the eggplant slices: Bowl (1) ½ cup plain flour, Bowl (2) liquid station, water + flour (or you can use two beaten eggs), Bowl (3) seasoned breadcrumbs. For the liquid station: whisk together water and flour until a thick batter forms, you're looking for slightly thinner than a pancake batter consistency.For the seasoned breadcrumbs station: combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley and red chili flakes
- Dip each eggplant slice into plain all purpose flour, coat both sides. Next dip into the flour and water batter again coat on both sides. Last dip into the seasoned breadcrumbs and coat on both sides. Place the breaded eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Bread the remaining eggplant slices the same.
- Heat a deep skillet with cooking oil, you will need about 1 inch of oil. Once the oil has heated up, slowly add a few slices at a time of the breaded eggplant to the oil and fry until both sides are golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate, continue to fry all of the remaining eggplant slices. Sprinkle all of the fried eggplant with a touch of salt.
Assemble the Sandwich
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay out half of the fried eggplant rounds, top with fresh mozzerella slices, tomato slices, and basil leaves and then close the sandwiches with another eggplant round. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melty.
- Serve with balsamic glaze and marinara sauce if desired.
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