Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizza Bites
Mini eggplant pizza bites are a popular Julia Child recipe and one of my favorite easy vegetarian dinners.
I’ve been making Julia Child‘s mini eggplant pizzas for years and had to share them before eggplant season ended. They have all the flavors of pizza but are naturally gluten-free and low carb. Eggplant pizza bites are easy to make with just a few ingredients.
If you love eggplant and pizza, you also have to try this top-rated Vegan Eggplant Parmesan, Pasta alla Norma, my authentic Pizza Dough and Pizza Sauce recipes, and my review of the coveted Ooni Pizza Oven! Grab a glass of clean wine and you’re ready to cook.
Why This Recipe Works so Well
Eggplant is a staple in Mediterranean cooking and works beautifully with tomatoes and cheese. In Julia Child’s brilliant recipe, pizza crust is replaced by eggplant rounds, for a more nutritious, and I think more delicious take on pizza.
The eggplant is sliced ¾” thick and baked until tender but still holding its structure. At the same time, a very simple yet delicious sauce simmers on the stove with just a few ingredients – a can of petite diced tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and dried herbs.
Once the eggplant and sauce are finished cooking, the eggplant gets topped, still on the baking sheet, with sauce and flavorful cheeses. The cheese melts under the broiler in just a few minutes and they are ready to eat your mini eggplant pizzas!
Variations & Substitutions
While Julia’s recipe is perfect as-is, there are simple ways to customize it depending on dietary restrictions, allergies, or preferences.
- Vegan Eggplant Pizza: Use dairy-free cheese such as Follow Your Heart and/or Miyoko’s.
- Shortcut: Use store-bought or leftover homemade pizza sauce.
- Grilled Eggplant Pizza: Cook the eggplant slices completely on the grill. Then top and with sauce and cheese and pop under the broiler or close the grill top to melt.
- Additional toppings: Add sliced olives or mushrooms if desired.
- Mini Eggplant Pizza Bites: Use a few baby eggplants or a Japanese eggplant (no need to salt) for bite-sized pizzas. Cook time may need to be reduced so check as they bake.
What to Serve with Eggplant Pizza
I like to enjoy these simply with a green salad and a piece of crusty bread, but they are great with any Italian or Mediterranean dish. Here are more tasty ideas.
- Farro Salad
- Mediterranean Lentil Salad
- Mediterranean Black-Eyed Peas with Greens
- Italian Vegetable Soup
- Make an Eggplant Sandwich by serving these eggplant pizzas with bread
- 1 large globe eggplant
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup Parmsan cheese
- 1/3 cup Mozzarella cheese (shredded or fresh and torn into small pieces)
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes in tomato juice*
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Cut the ends off the eggplant and discard. Cut the eggplant crosswise into ¾" rounds.
- Sprinkle the salt over both sides of the eggplant slices and arrange on a paper towel. Let the eggplant sit for 30 minutes to draw out some of the water.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two, taking care not to let it burn. Add the tomatoes, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Let simmer, adding a little water if needed.
- Use a paper towel to wipe off the water and salt from both sides of the eggplant slices.
- Arrange the eggplant on a large baking sheet. Brush both sides generously with olive oil.
- Bake the eggplant rounds in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes, until cooked through and tender.
- Remove from the oven and top the cooked eggplant rounds with sauce. Then sprinkle with cheeses.
- Place the baking sheet under the broiler until the cheese is very melty and bubbling for about 5 minutes, but watch closely so that it doesn't burn.
- Serve right away garnished with fresh basil.
This recipe is easy to make vegan by using dairy-free cheese.
I now make these with a 15 oz. can of San Marzano DOP whole tomatoes and crush them with a wooden spoon while the sauce simmers.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2-3 pizzas
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 864mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 6gSugar: 8gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.