Baked Mini Eggplants

Mini eggplants are adorable, delicious, and perfectly sized for cooking in the toaster oven. Enjoy these seasonal cuties while you can! 

Sheet pan of cooked eggplant halves topped with sauce and cheese.

During the summer I like to buy baby eggplants from our favorite farmer’s market stand. They’re a touch sweeter and have fewer seeds than the globe eggplants you usually see at the grocery store. 

Plus, I love how easy they are to cook. There’s no peeling or salting, we just roast the mini eggplants until the flesh is tender and meaty. 

You can top them with whatever you wish. Lemon juice and fresh herbs, marinara sauce and cheese, or spread on some garlicky hummus – feel free to get creative! 

Baby eggplants and ramekins of oil and salt and pepper on a counter.

Ingredients 

Baby Eggplants: Look for eggplants that are firm with smooth (not wrinkly) skins and bright green stems. Ideally, you want them to be similar in size but I usually take what I can get.  

Oil: Olive Oil or Avocado Oil both taste great – especially a garlic-flavored variety. 

Seasonings: Since I wasn’t sure how I wanted to top our eggplants, I kept things simple with just salt and pepper. But for a quick flavor boost, you can add minced fresh garlic or garlic powder. Eggplant tastes great with so many herbs and spices, this post for roasted eggplant will give you lots of other seasoning ideas. 

Step-By-Step Instructions

To cook the eggplants you could leave them whole, chop them into pieces, or slice them into rounds for a broiled eggplant sandwich. Today, we’re going to bake them as halves.

1. Start by cutting the eggplants in half lengthwise. Then use a paring knife to make a crosshatch pattern on the flesh of each one. You’re just trying to score the flesh about ¼ to ½-inch deep, not cut all the way through the skin. 

Cutting board with halved and scored eggplant and paring knife.

These little cuts will help the eggplant to cook more evenly and gets some of the oil and seasoning inside of the eggplant giving it more flavor.  

2. Next, brush a small pan (we used an eighth sheet pan) with oil. Add the eggplants and brush the flesh with oil, then season with salt and pepper. You can also mix the seasonings with the oil before brushing it on if you want. 

Hand brushing oil onto a pan of mini eggplant halves.

Then flip the eggplant over so the flesh is facing the pan. To make the skins tender and more flavorful we like to season and oil them too. 

Unfortunately, the gorgeous eggplant skins will turn brown when roasted. So take a minute to appreciate that beautiful purple color before it disappears. 

Vibrant purple eggplant halves on a small eighth sheet pan.

3. Roast the eggplant in the oven or toaster oven at 400°F until the flesh is tender and browned about 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll know the mini eggplants are ready when you can stick a fork into the largest one and it meets little to no resistance.  

Closeup of roasted eggplant with fresh parsley.

How to Serve Mini Eggplants 

There are so many ways to enjoy these roasted baby eggplants. For a quick side dish, top with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges or drizzle with balsamic glaze. 

Eggplant’s mild flavor is ideal for pairing with a variety of sauces and spreads. Try hummus, pesto, tzatziki sauce, or peanut sauce and lime wedges.  

For this batch, I used a spicy marinara we had open in the fridge and added crumbled feta. Then I broiled the eggplant for a few minutes and topped them with a handful of chopped basil. They tasted like mini veggie pizzas!  

Small pan of baked eggplant.

More Tasty Vegetable Recipes 

Pan of roasted mini eggplants topped with marinara, feta, and basil.

Baked Mini Eggplant

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Mini eggplants are adorable, delicious, and perfectly sized for cooking in the toaster oven. Enjoy these seasonal cuties while you can! 

Ingredients

  • 8 to 9 ounces Baby Eggplants (about 4 or 5), rinsed and dried well
  • 1½ to 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Optional Seasoning Ideas

  • Italian seasoning, rosemary or thyme (fresh or dried), garlic powder, minced fresh garlic, or your favorite seasoning blend.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. If using a toaster oven, adjust the cooking rack to the bottom position and select the BAKE setting.
  2. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife, make a ¼ to ½-inch deep crosshatch pattern on the flesh of each one. You’re just trying to score the flesh, not cut all the way through the skin.
  3. Brush a small pan with oil. Place the halves on the pan and brush the flesh with oil, then season with salt and pepper. Turn the eggplant over with the flesh facing the pan. Brush the skins with oil and season lightly.
  4. Bake until the flesh is tender and browned and you can easily stick a fork through the largest one, about 20 to 25 minutes (or longer depending on the size of the baby eggplants).
  5. Cool for a few minutes on the pan, then enjoy the eggplant served with lemon wedges, drizzled with balsamic glaze, or alongside your favorite dip.

Notes

Topping Options: Marinara sauce and cheese pair well with the “meaty” eggplant, any fresh herbs (like chives, basil, or dill) along with a dollop of creamy plain yogurt is nice, for a restaurant-level appetizer drizzle the eggplant with peanut sauce and add a squeeze of fresh lime juice then top with chopped peanuts - it’s so good!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 4 Mini Eggplant Halves
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62Total Fat: 3.6gSaturated Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 7.5gFiber: 4.5gSugar: 3.8gProtein: 1.3g

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