Eggplant Parmesan Panini

Eggplant parmesan was made to be sandwiched into a melty panini.

Two eggplant parmesan paninis are placed on a cutting board.
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

Few dishes are as comforting as the vegetarian staple eggplant parmesan. Here, it becomes a pressed sandwich, and it's about time. Rather than fry breaded rounds of eggplant as in the traditional dish, you'll start by roasting the slices until meltingly tender. Paired with sliced tomato, fresh basil leaves, mozzarella, and marinara sauce, the result is nothing short of a revelation. If you're into spice, swap in spicy Arrabbiata sauce for the marinara. Serve with a fresh green salad and light red wine.


  • 1 eggplant, cut into 8 (½ in. thick) rounds

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 1-lb. loaf ciabatta bread, split horizontally and quartered (8 slices total)

  • 1 tomato, cut into 8 (¼ in. thick) slices

  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves

  • 1 8-oz. ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup)

  • ¼ cup marinara sauce


  1. Place a large, rimmed baking sheet in oven and preheat oven to 450°F. Toss eggplant with oil in a large bowl until fully coated. Arrange eggplant evenly on preheated baking sheet; roast, flipping halfway through, until tender and browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over high (or preheat a panini press).

  2. Season eggplant with ½ teaspoon salt. Place 2 eggplant slices on each of 4 bread slices. Top eggplant with tomato slices; season with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Top with basil and mozzarella; sprinkle with Parmesan. Top remaining 4 bread slices with marinara sauce. Top eggplant halves with marinara halves to form 4 sandwiches.

  3. Place 2 sandwiches on grill pan and top with another heavy pan, pressing down to flatten sandwiches. Cook, flipping once, until cheese has melted and bread is crispy and browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining 2 sandwiches. (Or cook sandwiches in panini press.)

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

565 Calories
27g Fat
56g Carbs
26g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 565
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 1184mg 51%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 26g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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