Who needs a crust? In this delicious eggplant pizza, roasted eggplant, tomato sauce, and melted cheese unite to create a wonderful pizza-like experience.
It's easy to make, too: simply bake the eggplant slices, top them with sauce and cheese, then briefly return them to the oven to melt the cheese.
There's no need to mourn the loss of pizza after transitioning to a new diet! Luckily, there are plenty of tasty alternatives. 🍕
I have several pizza-inspired recipes on this site, including a few with a vegetable base such as cauliflower pizza crust and zucchini pizza. They are all excellent, but this recipe is one of my favorites, simply because I love eggplant and find its flavor and texture especially pleasing.
Why this recipe works
Eggplant pizza is so good. Granted, it's only good if you like eggplant. But if you do, then this is the perfect veggie-based pizza for you.
Did I say that I love eggplants? 🙂 I do. They are so delicious. I usually simply slice them into rounds, brush them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and roast them in a hot oven. Sometimes I make balsamic grilled eggplants.
But this recipe is even better. It has no doughy crust, that's true. But it does have plenty of flavor!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty pizza. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Olive oil spray: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead. Though admittedly, it won't be as flavorful.
Eggplant: In this recipe, it's best to use a large, firm eggplant. You want to be able to slice it into fairly big rounds.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the pizza could end up too salty.
Garlic powder: I prefer it in this recipe to fresh minced garlic because it coats the eggplants more evenly.
Pizza sauce: Try to use a brand with no added sugar such as Rao's.
Shredded Mozzarella: Provolone is also very good. Or you could use a pre-shredded "Italian cheeses mix."
Toppings: Those are optional. As you can see in the photos and in the video below, I sometimes use pepperoni. Olives are also excellent.
Making eggplant pizza is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. The basics instructions are:
You start by seasoning eggplant slices with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then you roast them in a hot oven.
Next, you top each eggplant slice with marinara sauce, cheese, and a topping if you wish. Return the pan to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. That's it!
Frequently asked questions
Since I roast the eggplant at high heat, I find that there's no need to salt it first. The high heat roasting takes care of any extra liquid.
I don't peel it. It's edible and it's also very pretty! Some cooks feel that the skin has a slightly bitter taste so they prefer to remove it. I feel that the combination of oven-roasting and the flavors from the pizza toppings mask any bitterness.
These tasty bites make a great appetizer, snack, or side dish. But they are so filling and satisfying, that I often serve them as an entree, with a simple side such as arugula salad, tomato salad, or steamed broccoli.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power.
They are surprisingly good cold, by the way. If you like leftover cold pizza, I think you will like leftover cold eggplant pizza!
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Eggplant Pizza Bites
- Olive oil spray
- 1 large eggplant unpeeled (1 ¼ lbs.)
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup marinara sauce (I use Rao's)
- ½ cup part-skim shredded Mozzarella
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with olive oil.
- Slice the eggplant crosswise into ½-inch-thick rounds, yielding about 12 rounds. Place the eggplant rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Spray them with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
- Bake the eggplant rounds for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn them over, spray with more olive oil, and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven but leave the oven on. With a spoon, spread marinara sauce on each eggplant round. Top with shredded cheese. You can add more toppings at this point, such as pepperoni or olives.
- Return the pan to the oven. Bake just until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.