Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches

Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches

Oven-fried eggplant coated with panko and Parmesan cheese gets an irresistible frico-like crust in this recipe.


  • 1 medium-size globe eggplant, sliced into 6 (1/2-inch-thick) slices
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 cup panko
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 hoagie rolls, halved lengthwise (about 4 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce (such as Rao’s), divided
  • 2 slices provolone or low-moisture mozzarella cheese
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn


  1. Place eggplant on a wire rack lined with paper towels and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt evenly over both sides. Let liquid drain from eggplant for 40 minutes. Pat eggplant dry with paper towels.
  2. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the center rack of the oven. Preheat to 450°F.
  3. Whisk together panko, garlic powder, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano in a shallow dish. Whisk together eggs and water in a separate shallow dish. Working in batches, place eggplant slices in egg mixture, and turn to coat; transfer eggplant slices to panko mixture, and turn and pat to adhere.
  4. Carefully remove preheated baking sheet from oven, and add 3 tablespoons of the oil to pan; tilt pan to cover evenly with oil. Place breaded eggplant slices in an even layer on oiled pan, and drizzle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
  5. Bake eggplant in preheated oven until golden brown and crisp on both sides, 28 to 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through cook time. Remove eggplant slices to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and season immediately with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  6. Increase oven temperature to broil. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Place hoagie rolls, cut sides up, on prepared baking sheet. Remove some of the bread from centers of hoagie rolls, and discard or reserve for another use. Drizzle cut sides of hoagie rolls evenly with melted butter, and broil in the center of the oven until just starting to turn golden around edges, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven; tear Provolone (or mozzarella) into pieces, and place on bottom halves of hoagie rolls. Return to oven, and broil until cheese has just started to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven, and spoon 2 tablespoons of the marinara sauce over each cheese-topped slice. Shingle 3 of the oven-fried eggplant slices over each hoagie roll bottom on top of marinara. Place 1 basil leaf on top of each eggplant slice. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the marinara over each eggplant slice, and top each with about 1/2 oz. torn mozzarella; sprinkle each hoagie roll bottom evenly with 1 tablespoon of the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano. Return to oven, and broil until cheese has melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven, and place 3 basil leaves on top of cheese on each sandwich. Place top halves of hoagie rolls on top of melted cheese. If desired, place whole sandwiches back in oven to warm through. Slice and serve.

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