Excellent Eggplant

Are you looking for a new idea for an appetizer or side dish to serve your guests? Our Baked Italian Eggplant Dippers are delicious – Italian comfort food with a modern twist! Serve these at your next dinner party and we promise everyone will be smiling. Crispy, crunchy and savory when dipped in fresh marinara, they make the perfect small bite. Plus, they’re gluten-free and vegan, so those with food allergies or dietary restrictions can enjoy them too. Please pass the marinara!

Nutrient Booster: Eggplant

Eggplants are high in antioxidants and fiber and low in calories. Antioxidants are important for fighting free radicals and keeping our bodies healthy. Eggplants, along with tomatoes and peppers, are a species of plant, commonly referred to as nightshades. Many avoid nightshades because they are led to believe that they cause inflammation. While nightshades can trigger inflammation due to their alkaloid content, it may not be the nightshade that is to blame. Ingesting nightshades while the gut is unhealthy often causes some to experience inflammatory effects. It is important for those who do experience inflammation to heal their gut first, so they can begin to tolerate the health benefits found in nightshades and other alkaloid foods. In fact, results of a recent study in performed in Europe on healthy males who consumed pigmented potatoes (red, blue) showed that eating pigmented potatoes led to reduced inflammation in healthy adult men.

Awesome Appetizers

Still looking for more delicious and healthy appetizers and small bites to serve your guests? We’ve got you covered! We’ve listed some of our favorite appetizer recipes below:

Cashew Pesto Dip

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Zesty Herb Cashew Cheese

Cashew Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Baked Italian Eggplant Dippers

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings


  • 2 Japanese eggplant, 8" long (5 ounces each)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • marinara sauce, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 425⁰ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add olive oil.

  2. Cut ends of the eggplant off. Slice eggplant into 1/3 inch thick rounds.

  3. Prepare red wine vinaigrette by adding red wine vinegar, water, olive oil, Dijon mustard and oregano in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together until well combined. Set aside.

  4. In a larger mixing bowl, add breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. Set aside.

  5. Dip a few eggplant slices at a time into the red wine vinaigrette, then into the breadcrumb mixture. This step should be done in batches. Arrange breaded eggplant on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Once golden brown, flip eggplant slices and bake for another 5-10 minutes until both sides are golden brown. When done, take out of the oven and let cool until ready to serve. If desired, heat marinara sauce in a small saucepan to serve as a dipping sauce for the eggplant slices.

Recipe Notes

Nutrient Analysis: 
Serving size: 4 eggplant slices, Calories: 85 calories, Fat: 5 grams, Saturated fat: 1 grams, Carbohydrates: 7 grams, Sugar: 1 grams, Sodium: 70 milligrams, Fiber: 1.5 grams, Protein: 1 grams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Triad to Wellness has provided nutrition communication services to The Sorghum Checkoff. 
However, we were not compensated for this post. All opinions are our own.

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