As the late summer / early fall harvest approaches, I start thinking of ways to use those big, in-season eggplants. This year, I dug into our archives, and pulled out this simple recipe for baked eggplant fries. It’s a super-east toss and bake recipe that results in flavorful, nutritious “fries” for dipping in salsa, guacamole, or my favorite, dairy-free ranch.
These Baked Eggplant Fries are Easy to Toss Together
This recipe was shared with us years ago by So Delicious Dairy Free, but it was originally created by author Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple. Amie focuses on “clean eating” and consciously crafts her ingredients and recipes to get as much nutrition and flavor as possible.
How to Pick the Best Eggplant
When grocery shopping for these baked eggplant fries, look for a 1 to 1 1/2 pound standard American glob eggplant. It should be relatively firm to the touch, and have deep purple skin that is shiny, smooth, and doesn’t have any brownish spots.
Keeping the Fats in Check
We like healthy fats, but too much of a good thing is just too much. And eggplant loves to suck up oil. To keep these baked eggplant fries from becoming too heavy, Amie’ uses a combination of oil, milk beverage, and lemon juice for coating. The lemon adds a little complementary zest to the flavor.
To Peel or Not to Peel?
Amie likes to leave the eggplant skin on, and so do we. Eggplant is an amazing source of potent antioxidants and free radical scavengers, which are linked to brain and cardiovascular health. Some of this goodness is found in that purple eggplant skin. We also think the skin adds great texture and flavor to these baked eggplant fries.
Special Diet Notes: Baked Eggplant Fries
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and paleo-friendly.
- 1 large eggplant, cut into thick fry-like slices
- ¼ cup unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 fresh lemon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the milk beverage, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the eggplant slices and toss to coat.
- Place the eggplant slices on your prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the eggplant fries for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let the fries cool for a few minutes before serving.
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Anyway to make these without the coconut flakes and lemon due to diet restrictions? Can I use rice milk instead of the coconut or almond milk? 🙂 My daughter is allergic to what feels like everything! Thanks.
You can use any coating that you like (even crushed cereal) or none at all! If you want that tangy taste, use cider vinegar in place of lemon. Yes, any milk alternative will work. Look for flax milk for a richer option than rice.
Trying tonight. Skin on?
Your choice! The skin can be a little tough, but does help with structure.
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Okay, weird question…do they taste like eggplant? I’m not an eggplant lover, but every now and then I get them in my CSA bin and would love to use them – I usually give them away. This is pretty creative!
They tasted great! But they didn’t look a thing like the picture!
Oh wow, really! That isn’t stock, it’s the actual recipe, so weird. Glad you enjoyed them though Sarah!
Whoo hoo–just bought 2 eggplants today! Now I know what I’m doing with them. . .! 🙂