Sautéed in aromatic herbs, garlic, and olive oil, these Italian Sauteed Eggplant are the perfect side dish to any Italian meal! It can be served as a standalone appetizer, a flavorful side dish, or as a key component in various Italian recipes, adding a deliciously earthy and satisfying element to any meal.
Fresh eggplant is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. It is readily available in the Summer but usually found in the grocery store year round.
This sauteed eggplant recipe is the perfect side dish to so many pasta dishes and classic Italian dishes. If you love eggplant parmesan and easy eggplant recipes, you'll love this recipe!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's a delicious side dish! The best way to serve this dish is on a busy nights or for big Sunday dinners. It goes perfectly with most pasta dishes as well as most meat dishes. You can't go wrong with an easy eggplant side dish!
- It's easy to make! Chop the eggplants and sauté them in a large skillet with some aromatics and let it cook. You'll have a delicious recipe in no time at all!
- It can be made ahead of time! This recipe is great because it can be served warm, at room temperature, or even cold! Make this recipe ahead of time and then reheat it when you are ready.
Ingredients in Italian Sauteed Eggplant
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this delicious dish!
- Eggplants. Pick an eggplant that has shiny skin and feels firm. It should not be mushy or have any soft spots on it.
- Extra virgin olive oil. It may seem like we are using a lot of oil in this recipe, but eggplant soaks up so much oil as it cooks.
- Italian seasoning. Italian seasoning is full of parsley, rosemary, basil, and lots of other herbs. It's an easy seasoning to always have on hand.
- Parmesan cheese. There's nothing that parmesan cheese doesn't make better!
See printable recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
How To Make Italian Sauteed Eggplant
Step 1: Wash the eggplants and cut the stem and end off of the eggplants. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Chop the garlic and set that aside. If the eggplant is damp, dry the eggplant with a paper towel.
- Cut them into eggplant slices. Instead of eggplant dices, use eggplant slices. This will be a hearty way to enjoy this sautéed eggplant recipe
- Use a different type of eggplant. For this recipe, we are using the classic larger eggplant, but you can use Italian eggplants which are small eggplants or Chinese eggplant which have fewer seeds.
- Change the cheese. We all love parmesan cheese, but you can use Pecorino Romano, mozzarella cheese, or shredded cheddar would be delicious too!
- Add fresh herbs. If you have a vibrant garden in the Summer and have some fresh basil or fresh parsley growing, chop that up and add it to the cooked eggplant.
How To Serve Italian Sauteed Eggplant
- As a pasta dish. Add 1 cup of tomato sauce to the pan and boil your favorite pasta. When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and add it to the pan-fried eggplant. Mix and serve.
- As a side dish to your favorite protein. This would be delicious with Instant Pot turkey tenderloin, Instant Pot chicken parmesan, Instant Pot pork tenderloin, Instant Pot chicken thighs, or Instant Pot drumsticks.
- As a side dish to your favorite pasta dishes. Serve this as a side dish to meaty marinara, baked spaghetti and meatballs, meatless baked ziti, or easy pizza casserole.
- With crusty bread. This is a delicious side to dip sourdough bread, sourdough discard bread, Instant Pot bread, or kefir bread in.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. To reheat the pan-fried eggplant, place them in a pan with a little bit of oil and cook until it is heated through.
This is not a great recipe to freeze. This has lots of fresh ingredients and is best when served hot or at room temperature.
Yes! Instead of sautéing the eggplant in a large pan, add all the ingredients to a baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned.
You can, but you do not have to. The skin of the eggplant softens as it cooks but if you do not like the bitter flavor, remove the skin from the eggplant.
Yes! Cut the eggplants and add them to an air fryer. Cook for 8-10 minutes after spraying with olive oil and garlic powder.
More Vegetables Recipes
Easy Italian Sauteed Eggplant with Parmesan
- 2 Medium Eggplants Diced (4 cups)
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ⅓ cup Parmesan Cheese
- Wash the eggplants and cut the stem and end off of the eggplants. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Chop the garlic and set that aside. If the eggplant is damp, dry the eggplant with a paper towel.
- Add the olive oil to a large nonstick skillet and turn the heat to medium heat to medium-high heat. Add the eggplant to the sauté pan in a single layer. It's ok if there are a few overlapping. Cook for 3-5 minutes trying not to stir much so you can brown the eggplant.
- After the eggplant has cooked for 3-5 minutes, add the Italian seasoning, garlic, and salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the eggplant has a soft texture and is no longer hard. The last minute of cooking, add the parmesan cheese and mix. Serve immediately.
- For this recipe, we are using the classic larger eggplant, but you can use Italian eggplants which are small eggplants or Chinese eggplant which have fewer seeds.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. To reheat the pan-fried eggplant, place them in a pan with a little bit of oil and cook until it is heated through.