Introducing 4-ingredient eggplant patties, a simple and tasty way to make the most of seasonal eggplants. With just eggplant, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, and an egg, these patties are perfect for picky eaters and as a vegetarian burger alternative.
Today, we’re diving fork-first into a recipe that’s as delightful as a summer breeze and as easy as saying “yes” to a second scoop of gelato. It’s all about those plump, purple wonders of the garden – eggplants!
Now, I know what you might be thinking: “Eggplants? My kids won’t touch those with a ten-foot pole!”
Well, my friends, that’s where this recipe comes to the rescue. These little patties are like eggplant’s fancy dress party – irresistible and a guaranteed hit with the little ones.
And guess what? If your garden is bursting with eggplants in the peak of their season (or if you’ve got a neighbor who’s got more eggplants than they know what to do with), this recipe is the golden ticket to turning that purple abundance into a delicious meal.
Plus, if you’re looking for a meatless alternative to burgers, these eggplant patties have got your back.
So, grab those eggplants, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, and an egg, and let’s get this flavorful eggplant patty party started!
Your taste buds are in for a treat, and you’ll be singing “Mamma Mia!” in no time.
🥰 Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- Simplicity at its Best: With just four simple ingredients, this recipe is a breeze to make. It’s perfect for busy weeknights when you want a delicious homemade meal without spending hours in the kitchen.
- Kid-Friendly Magic: If you have picky eaters at home who usually wrinkle their noses at the sight of eggplant, these patties are a game-changer. They’re a sneaky and tasty way to get your little ones to enjoy this nutritious veggie without any fuss.
- Seasonal Bounty: When eggplants are in abundance during the peak of their season, this recipe is a fantastic way to put those garden-fresh eggplants to good use. It’s an excellent option for anyone looking to make the most of seasonal produce.
- Vegetarian Delight: Whether you’re a vegetarian, flexitarian, or simply looking for a meatless alternative to burgers, these eggplant patties are a winner. They offer a satisfying, hearty bite that even carnivores will adore.
- Crispy, Crunchy Goodness: The combination of crispy breadcrumbs and tender eggplant is pure culinary magic. Each bite offers a satisfying crunch followed by a burst of savory, cheesy goodness from the Parmesan.
- Versatile and Customizable: While the base recipe is fantastic on its own, you can also get creative and add your favorite seasonings or toppings to customize the patties to your taste. Make them spicy, herby, or add some extra cheese – the possibilities are endless!
- Great for Meal Prep: Whip up a batch of these patties and store them in the freezer for a quick and convenient meal option. They’re perfect for busy days when you need a delicious dinner in a pinch.
🥘 Ingredients and Substitutes
- Eggplant serves as the star of this recipe, providing a creamy, meaty texture and a mild, earthy flavor. If you want to try something different, consider using zucchini or portobello mushrooms for a similar texture and taste.
- Parmesan Cheese not only adds a cheesy kick but also helps bind the ingredients together. For a vegetarian option, you can use nutritional yeast flakes or a dairy-free Parmesan alternative if you’re lactose intolerant or following a vegan diet.
- Breadcrumbs: provide a crispy exterior and help hold the patties together. To make this recipe gluten-free, opt for gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers. For added flavor, you can use seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Eggs act as a binding agent, helping the patties maintain their shape. If you’re looking for an egg substitute, you can use a flax or chia seed “egg” (1 tablespoon of ground seeds mixed with 2.5 tablespoons of water) for a vegan-friendly option. Silken tofu or yogurt can also work as binders in vegan variations.
👩🍳 Step-by-step Directions
To begin, we must prepare the eggplants for use as “minced meat” for our patties. We have two methods at our disposal: you can either roast them in the oven or opt for boiling.
I decided to go with the latter choice to avoid the need for the oven and to prevent unnecessary heating in the kitchen.
Begin by thoroughly washing the eggplants, then place them in a large saucepan.
Add water and a teaspoon of salt, and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow it to simmer over medium heat until the eggplants are completely tender.
Quick Note: The cooking time will vary, usually taking around 20 minutes, depending on the type and size of the eggplants you are using.
Once the eggplants are perfectly moist, remove them from the heat and place them on a sieve to drain and cool down slightly.
When the eggplants have cooled down sufficiently for you to handle them, peel them thoroughly, and then let them continue to drain to remove as much liquid as possible.
Pro Tip: It’s crucial to drain the eggplants as thoroughly as possible because the wetter they are, the more breadcrumbs the mixture will require to hold its shape, and the eggplant flavor may be lost.
Once the eggplants have been thoroughly drained, finely chop them with a knife, and the “minced meat base” for the patties is ready.
Pro Tip: Feel free to make extra eggplants this way and freeze them for up to 6 months, so you can enjoy this fantastic summer recipe anytime.
Now, we will prepare the mixture for the patties. Place the finely chopped eggplants in a bowl, along with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
Mix the mixture thoroughly and taste it. If needed, add more salt and pepper. Only after that, add the egg.
Quick Note: I do not recommend tasting the mixture after adding raw egg, as it may not be safe.
This is the moment to incorporate any additional spices and herbs that enhance your flavor preferences. Feel free to explore various cheese varieties as well.
Add the egg and mix the mixture thoroughly.
We can now begin shaping the patties. Take a plate and put about ¼ cup of breadcrumbs into it.
Then, shape the patties to your desired size, and place them on the plate with breadcrumbs.
Carefully flip the meatball to the other side, ensuring that you’ve also covered the edges well with breadcrumbs.
Once you’ve formed all the meatballs, we can begin frying them.
Take a deep skillet with a thick bottom to prevent burning, and add a generous amount of frying oil to it.
Pro Tip: Using more well-heated oil prevents excessive oil absorption in patties, forming a seal during frying. Less oil can lead to inadequate coating, causing eggplant meatballs to soak up oil.
When the oil is well heated, you can carefully start placing the patties in it, being mindful of any potential splatters.
Pro Tip: To check if the oil is hot enough, drop a breadcrumb into it. If it starts sizzling immediately, it’s time to add the patties.
Cook over medium heat until they are well browned on both sides and become crispy. This should take approximately 2-3 minutes on each side.
Transfer the patties to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any remaining excess oil. Afterward, serve them with your preferred sauce.
I enjoy them with a tomato-based sauce with aromatic herbs.
These patties also taste great cold from the refrigerator, so don’t hesitate to give them a try that way as well.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
- The Classic Burger Bliss: Treat your eggplant patties like royalty by nestling them inside soft, toasted buns. Slather on some creamy garlic aioli or a vibrant pesto mayo. Top it all off with crisp lettuce, juicy tomato slices, and a generous slice of fresh mozzarella. You’ll have a burger that’s hearty and unforgettable.
- Mediterranean Mezze Platter: Elevate your patties to the center of a Mediterranean feast. Serve them alongside a rainbow of mezze delights: hummus, tzatziki, olives, marinated artichokes, and warm pita bread. Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon for an explosion of flavors.
- Salad Sensation: For a lighter option, place your eggplant patties on a bed of mixed greens. Drizzle them with a zesty vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, and a touch of honey. Add roasted red peppers, cucumbers, and feta cheese crumbles for extra pizzazz.
- Stack ‘Em High: Get artsy by stacking your eggplant patties with layers of grilled vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and red onions. A drizzle of balsamic reduction and a sprinkle of fresh basil leaves will transform this stack into a culinary masterpiece.
- Pasta Party: Elevate your favorite pasta dish with these patties. Toss them with spaghetti or linguine in a rich tomato sauce. Finish with a shower of Parmesan cheese, and you’ll have a hearty pasta extravaganza with an unexpected twist.
- Brunch Brilliance: Who says these patties are just for lunch or dinner? Serve them for brunch alongside a fluffy omelette, roasted cherry tomatoes, and crusty artisan bread. It’s a brunch spread that’ll make your weekend mornings unforgettable.
- Mini Appetizer Bites: Make mini patties for bite-sized appetizers. Top each one with a dollop of whipped feta, a cherry tomato half, and a tiny basil leaf. Skewer them with toothpicks for elegant party bites that disappear in seconds.
🏆 Expert Tips. What to Pay Attention To?
- Choosing the Perfect Eggplant: Look for eggplants that are firm, glossy, and heavy for their size. Avoid any with wrinkled skin or soft spots. These beauties will be the stars of your dish, so make sure they’re in tip-top shape.
- Bread Crumb Bliss: When it comes to breadcrumbs, go for the good stuff. Fresh breadcrumbs are the way to go, but if you’re using the store-bought kind, choose ones without excessive seasoning. It’s all about letting the eggplant and Parmesan shine.
- Cheese Love: Speaking of Parmesan, freshly grated is the secret ingredient that takes these patties to the next level. It’s worth the extra effort, I promise. The aroma and flavor will be simply irresistible.
- The Perfect Flip: When frying the patties, let them get golden and crispy on one side before attempting to flip them. This will help them hold their shape and prevent any sticking mishaps.
- Customize and Experiment: Don’t be afraid to play around with flavors and toppings. These patties are a canvas waiting for your culinary artistry. Try different herbs, spices, or even a dollop of your favorite sauce to make them your own.
🤔 Answering Your Questions:
Can I Make These Patties Ahead of Time and Reheat Them?
Absolutely! You can prepare the patties in advance and serve them cold or reheat them when needed. Place them on a baking sheet in a 300°F (150°C) oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. This will help maintain their crispiness.
Can I Freeze These Eggplant Patties for Later Use?
Absolutely! To freeze the patties, arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid. Then, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag, placing parchment paper between the layers to prevent sticking. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 15-20 minutes.
What’s the Best Way to Serve These Eggplant Patties for a Vegetarian Meal?
These patties are incredibly versatile. You can serve them in burger buns with your favorite toppings and condiments or as part of a larger vegetarian meal. Try them on a bed of mixed greens with Mediterranean-inspired sides like hummus, tzatziki, and pita bread, or alongside a pasta dish with tomato sauce and grated Parmesan for a hearty and satisfying vegetarian meal.
What Herbs and Spices Can I Add to the Eggplant Mixture for Extra Flavor?
Feel free to get creative with your seasoning. Fresh basil, parsley, or oregano can add a burst of freshness. For a touch of heat, consider adding red pepper flakes or a pinch of smoked paprika. Experiment with your favorite herbs and spices to customize the flavor to your liking.
What Should I Do if My Eggplant Patties Are Still Undercooked in the Middle After Frying?
If your patties are crispy on the outside but slightly undercooked in the middle, you can finish cooking them in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until they’re cooked through. This will ensure they are both crispy and fully cooked inside.
📋 Recipe Card:
4 Ingredient Eggplant Patties
- Boil the eggplants until they become completely tender.25 oz Eggplant
- Once they are soft, remove them and let them cool slightly on a sieve.
- Peel the eggplants and continue to drain for about 30 minutes.
- Finely chop the eggplants and add breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese to them.½ cup Breadcrumbs, ⅓ cup Parmesan
- Mix well and taste, adjusting salt and pepper to your liking.
- Add the egg and mix thoroughly.1 Egg
- Shape the mixture into patties and coat them well on all sides with breadcrumbs.¼ cup Breadcrumbs
- Fry them in well-heated oil until they turn golden brown on both sides.
- You can serve them immediately or enjoy them cold; they are equally delicious.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe to find more tips and notes about this recipe. Read Full Recipe ⇑
- Choosing Eggplant: Opt for medium-sized globe eggplants for best results. Their mild flavor and texture work beautifully in these patties.
- Gluten-Free Option: To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers. Ensure all other ingredients are also gluten-free if necessary.
- Customize Flavors: Feel free to get creative with seasonings. Add fresh herbs, spices, or a dash of your favorite hot sauce to customize the flavor profile
- Freezing Instructions: To freeze, arrange cooked patties in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen solid. Transfer to an airtight container with parchment paper between layers. Reheat from frozen in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare the patties in advance and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours before cooking. This makes weeknight dinners a breeze.
- Serve with: Pair these patties with your favorite burger fixings, toss them in a salad, or serve them as appetizers with dipping sauces.
- Extra Binding: If you find your mixture isn’t binding well, you can add a touch more Parmesan or breadcrumbs to achieve the right consistency.
- Check for Doneness: Ensure the patties are cooked through by testing one before serving. They should be crispy on the outside and tender inside.