Eggplant Torta Milanese

Crispy slices of fried eggplant and mild, creamy Oaxaca cheese make this satisfying sandwich totally crave-worthy. 

Eggplant Torta Milanese
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

Open wide for this delicious overstuffed sandwich. A torta is a Mexican sandwich typically served in a soft bread roll with a variety of fillings. This new crowd-favorite is stuffed with crispy eggplant and lots of big-flavor accompaniments including a smoky-vinegary sauce, sliced avocado, herbs, onion, and Oaxaca cheese. All this good stuff means this satisfying sandwich is packed with an equal mix of crispy, creamy, and zingy. Oaxaca cheese comes in in short braids or rounds; if you can't find it mozzarella works nicely.


  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 ¾ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 3 large eggs, beaten

  • 3 cups panko

  • 2 pounds Italian eggplants (about 2), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick pieces

  • ¾ cup vegetable oil, divided

  • 4 large sandwich rolls (such as brioche, telera, or bolillo), halved and toasted

  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 cup packed mixed fresh herbs (such as cilantro, basil, and mint)

  • 8 ounces Oaxaca or fresh mozzarella cheese, pulled into thin strands or shredded

  • 2 avocados, thinly sliced


  1. Stir together chile, adobo sauce, and vinegar in a small bowl.

  2. Stir together flour and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large, shallow dish. Whisk eggs and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a separate dish. Stir together panko, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a third dish.

  3. Sprinkle eggplant slices with remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Dredge eggplant in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Transfer to egg mixture and turn to coat. Lift from bowl, letting excess drip off. Press into panko mixture to coat. Place on a baking sheet.

  4. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium. Working in batches and adding fresh oil as needed, fry eggplant slices in hot oil until coating is deep golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a towel-lined baking sheet.

  5. Set 2 eggplant slices on bottom halves of rolls. (You may have leftover eggplant.) Top with onion, herbs, cheese, and avocados. Drizzle with chipotle mixture. Place top halves of rolls on sandwiches and serve.

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