Eggplant Parmesan Bite Pasta Bowls Recipe

Jennifer W. | The Scrumptious Pumpkin Updated

Eggplant Parmesan Bite Pasta Bowls are a fun twist on the classic dish. Gotta love that!

Eggplant Parmesan Bite Pasta Bowls Photo

I’ve always loved eggplant parmesan, but it used to be quite a rare thing to find me cooking it at home. The whole operation of putting each individual slice of eggplant through flour, and then egg, and finally breading, was time consuming. And then I could never fit more than a few slices of eggplant in the skillet. So the first batch went cold as I added yet more oil and cooked the second and third batches (all while trying to keep the temperature of the skillet perfectly even so nothing burned along the way). It was just a really lengthy, really messy process for me.

Eggplant Parmesan Bite Pasta Bowls Picture

That has all changed, though, since I started making these penne pasta bowls with eggplant parmesan bites.

This dish is super easy and foolproof, and that makes it just my kind of recipe!

Baked Eggplant Bites Photo

I quickly dice up an Italian eggplant (an Italian eggplant is about half the size of the typical American eggplant, and perfectly portioned for this recipe). Then I use a large slotted spoon to transfer the ‘bites’, all in one big batch, from flour to egg to breading.

Baked Eggplant Bites Picture

I spread them out on a baking sheet, and let the oven do all of the work of turning them golden and crispy (the key to getting them toasted and browned: make sure they’re well coated with olive oil!)

Sauteed Onions Photo

That frees me up to grate some fresh parmesan cheese, cook some penne pasta, and throw together a quick and easy veggie marinara sauce. I just sauté some onion and bell pepper with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and add a jarred marinara. This quick marinara means that the sauce is ready to go by the time the eggplant parmesan bites have finished cooking.

Last step: just toss everything into serving bowls, and top each one with plenty of the grated parmesan! It’s all very straightforward and simple, so the process of cooking the dish is actually pretty fun. And, no question, the bite-sized breaded eggplant pieces make this dish a lot of fun to eat too!

Eggplant Parmesan Bite Pasta Bowls Image

The seasonings in the crispy breading make the eggplant bites so scrumptious, and they’re perfectly complemented by the freshly grated parmesan. And the sautéed onions and peppers in the marinara sauce really help to bulk up the dish (and add tons of nutrition!), so you can help yourself to a generous portion of this pasta without crazy amounts of calories. Those old days of avoiding eggplant parmesan are so long gone – this dish is just too fun and easy!

We absolutely love this dish! Pair it with some crusty rosemary roasted garlic bread and a salad with homemade caesar dressing.

Are you tired of the dinner routine?

Stuck in a rut or looking for fun new recipes to try?

Our Facebook Group is growing every day! If you haven’t joined yet, we invite you to come check it out and join the fun.

Facebook!

You can ask for recipe ideas, talk about cooking techniques, or get help figuring out the right new pan set for you. If you’ve already joined, invite a friend along!

Eggplant Parmesan Bite Pasta Bowls Recipe

    6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Italian Eggplant, cut into 1/2" cubes (or use 1/2 of a large American eggplant)
  • 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Egg, preferrably organic, pastured
  • 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Panko Crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 10 ounces Whole Wheat Penne, organic
  • 1 small Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium Orange Bell Pepper, thinly sliced (or yellow bell pepper)
  • 1 1/2 cups Marinara Sauce, organic
  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil, or parsley, chopped (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Arrange breading station: place flour on one large plate or platter. Place egg in a large mixing bowl and whisk with a fork. Place panko breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme in a separate mixing bowl or platter, and stir until well combined.
  3. Use hands to toss diced eggplant, all in one batch, through flour until every piece is lightly coated with flour.
  4. Transfer eggplant bites to mixing bowl containing egg. Use a large slotted spoon to carefully mix eggplant with egg, until every piece is lightly coated with egg.
  5. Use slotted spoon to transfer diced eggplant to breadcrumb mixture. Use hands to toss eggplant through breadcrumbs until every piece is well coated.
  6. Transfer breaded eggplant to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread out the pieces so that no two are overlapping. Wash hands.
  7. Season eggplant bites thoroughly with salt and pepper. Measure two tablespoons of olive oil and carefully pour over eggplant, ensuring each piece is lightly coated with oil.
  8. Cook for about 17-20 minutes, or until eggplant bites are golden-brown and crispy.
  9. Meanwhile, as eggplant is cooking, boil a large pot of water. Salt the water and add penne pasta. Cook about 7-8 minutes, or until just al dente, and drain.
  10. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add jarred marinara, stir until well combined, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  11. Transfer penne, veggie marinara, parmesan bites, and 2/3 cup parmesan to a large mixing bowl. Carefully stir until combined. Transfer pasta to serving bowls and top with remaining parmesan. Add chopped basil or parsley (optional), and serve.

Recommended

Published:
Modified:
Author:
Cooking Method:
Baked
Cuisine:
Italian
Category:
Healthy Comfort Food
Tags:
, , , , , , , , , ,
Related Recipes:
Healthy Comfort Food Recipes, Stealthy Healthy Recipes, Healthy Eating Recipes, Healthy Recipes, Italian Recipes, Pasta Recipes, Eggplant Recipes, Baked Recipes, Baking Recipes, Vegetable Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes
Recipe Yields:
6 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Published:
Author: Jennifer W.
Recipe Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 89
Calories 399

% Daily Value*
17%
Total Fat 11g
16%
  Saturated Fat 3g
21%
Sodium 496mg
19%
Total Carbohydrate 57g
7%
  Dietary Fiber 6g
  Sugars 10g
35%
Protein 18g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Jennifer W.

About Jennifer

Jen is a lifelong lover of fresh, healthy eating. She shares this love on The Scrumptious Pumpkin. Here on Food Fanatic, she's sharing her best Healthy Comfort Food.