Personal Eggplant Pizzas

published Jul 8, 2022
Eggplant Pizza Recipe

Dotted with your choice of toppings and garnishes, eggplant pizza is saucy and cheesy - and doesn't require pizza dough.

Serves2 to 3

Prep30 minutes to 35 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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A photo of slices of eggplant with melted cheese and sliced pepperoni on on a tray, photographed from the side
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

The eggplant here isn’t used as a pizza topping, but as a base! Thick rounds are roasted before being topped with sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings your stomach desires. With no pizza dough involved, it’s a little like roasted eggplant Parmesan, better eaten with a fork than hand-held. The added pepperoni (optional, although obligatory in my book) somehow makes it totally different than the Italian American classic. 

How to Make Eggplant Pizza

  • Slice the eggplant: Cutting 3/4-inch slabs ensures a sturdy base for all the toppings.
  • Salt the eggplant: Optional (see below), but a helpful step.
  • Roast the eggplant: High heat keeps things from getting mushy.
  • Prep the toppings: Store-bought pizza sauce tend to be heavily seasoned and have a cooked-down tomato taste. This recipe uses a quick tomato sauce made with uncooked canned tomatoes and a few pantry staples. It’s a fresher flavor against the roasted eggplant and broiled cheese.
  • Top the “pizzas” and broil: Go lighter on the cheese than you think. A thin layer melts and browns nicely, giving you just enough to satisfy that cheesy craving while letting the eggplant still star. Too much cheese gets rubbery and overwhelms things.
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

Do I Have to Salt Eggplant Before Cooking?

Salting eggplant is often said to be done to get rid of bitterness in eggplant. Generally speaking, this isn’t needed with the way the fruit is bred today. However, salting does draw out the moisture, which helps it hold its shape better. It’s not strictly necessary, but the eggplant will be a little less soggy if you take the time to salt it first. If you’re short on time, you can skip this step.

What Do I Serve with Eggplant Pizza?

Eggplant pizza can be eaten as an appetizer or as a main dish with a side. A salad, green vegetable, or cooked grain is an excellent accompaniment.  

Eggplant Pizza Recipe

Dotted with your choice of toppings and garnishes, eggplant pizza is saucy and cheesy - and doesn't require pizza dough.

Prep time 30 minutes to 35 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 2 to 3

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    large globe eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds)

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    Italian seasoning, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    granulated garlic or garlic powder

  • 1 (8-ounce) can

    tomato sauce

  • 1 clove

    garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 4 ounces

    low-moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

Optional toppings:

  • Pepperoni

  • Sliced olives

  • Sliced mushrooms

  • Sliced or diced onions

Optional garnishes:

  • Fresh basil leaves

  • Grated Parmesan cheese

  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Cut 1 large eggplant crosswise into 3/4-inch thick slices (about 8 ). Season both sides of the eggplant with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Let rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, a rack in the middle and a second rack in the top third of the oven. Heat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper if desired for easy cleanup.

  2. Blot off the excess moisture on the eggplant with paper towels. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil onto the baking sheet. Add the eggplant slices in a single layer and turn to coat. Season both sides with 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic. Roast on the middle rack for 9 minutes. Flilp the eggplant and roast until soft but not mushy and light golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes more.

  3. Meanwhile, pour 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce into a small bowl. Finely mince or grate 1 garlic clove into the bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir to combine. Grate 4 ounces mozzarella cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup).

  4. When the eggplant is ready, remove the baking sheet the oven. Switch the oven to broil on high. Divide the tomato sauce among the eggplant slices (1 to 2 tablespoons each) and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the cheese. (You may have extra sauce and cheese depending on the size of the eggplant.) Top with optional toppings as desired.

  5. Return the baking sheet to the oven and broil on the top rack until the cheese is browned and bubbly, 2 to 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, or red pepper flakes if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.