These Fried Eggplant Appetizers are a delicious combination of garlic mayo, fresh tomatoes, and golden brown eggplant slices, rolled up into a tasty snack.
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Eggplant Appetizers Recipe Details
These Eggplant Appetizers are a satisfying and tasty starter to any meal. I just love how easy they are to make and how much flavor is packed into each bite.
- TASTE: Made of fried eggplant slices wrapped around fresh tomato wedges with a garlic mayonnaise spread, these roll ups have a lot of flavors.
- TEXTURE: The eggplant slices are thick enough to have a meaty texture that goes perfectly with the juicy tomatoes.
- TIME: It takes less than an hour to prepare these eggplant roll-ups.
- EASE: These Eggplant Appetizers are also easy to make and only use a few simple ingredients.
What You’ll Need
- Garlic cloves- pressed
- Avocado oil– for deep frying (canola, vegetable, or corn oil work too)
How to Make Eggplant Appetizers
- Cut the eggplant. Wash and cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices.
- Prepare the eggplant slices. Generously salt both sides of each slice and put them in a colander. Let them sit for about 20-30 minutes, allowing time for the excess liquid to drain out.
Pro Tip: Salting the eggplant slices helps the bitter juices sweat out so you can get them as dry as possible. They will fry much better this way.
- Fry them. Heat peanut oil in a pan over high heat and fry each slice for about 1 minute on each side, until golden brown.
- Pat dry. Place the fried eggplant on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil and pat dry.
- Prep the tomatoes and garlic. Each tomato should be sliced into 8 equal wedges. Then, zest the garlic.
- Make the spread. Combine the mayonnaise and zested garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
- Assemble the roll-ups. Spread the garlic mayonnaise on one side of each eggplant. Place 1 tomato wedge on top of each one and roll them up. Serve.
- Salt the eggplant slices- Too much moisture can make your eggplant soggy, so salt them to get out the excess water.
- Use small tomato wedges- This makes it easier to roll up the eggplant slices. If they’re too large, your roll-ups will not stay together.
- Make the spread ahead of time– Just prepare the garlic and mayonnaise spread and place it in the fridge in a covered dish until you’re ready to assemble your eggplant appetizers to save time.
- Pat off the grease- To avoid having roll-ups that are too oily, pat the eggplant dry with a paper towel to get off any excess grease from the frying process.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Add cheese- These Eggplant Appetizers can be made with cheese as well. Add some ricotta or Parmesan inside each roll-up, or melt some mozzarella on top.
- Substitute the tomatoes- If you don’t like tomatoes, you can use another vegetable in place of it, such as asparagus, bell pepper, or avocado slices.
- Add sauce- Marinara sauce is really good either served on top of these Eggplant Appetizers or on the side for dipping.
- Bread the eggplant- You can also bread each slice of eggplant and then fry them. Be careful not to make the breading too thick though so you can easily roll them up.
I used Italian eggplant because they are thick enough to slice for this recipe but on a smaller size. They also have a sweeter flavor. But other varieties can be used as well.
No eggplant? No worries. You can use other similar vegetables to make this recipe, including zucchini and squash. Just choose one that is flexible enough to be rolled.
These Eggplant Appetizers are so easy to make and work well with other recipes. Here are a few delicious ways to serve them.
- Meats: Serve this before a main course of Creamy Tuscan Chicken or Garlic Butter Steak Bites.
- Salad: Enjoy these appetizers with Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad or Couscous Salad.
- Sides: Serve this recipe with sides like Scalloped Potatoes, Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, and Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts.
- Pasta: These eggplant roll-ups are delicious with Pesto Pasta Salad, Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta, and Spaghetti and Meat Sauce.
Make These Eggplant Appetizers in Advance
Make ahead: You can fry the eggplant and make the spread ahead of time. Place them in airtight containers in the fridge. About 30 minutes prior to serving. Reheat the eggplant in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes, until they are warmed through. Then, assemble them and serve. These can also be served at room temperature as well.
Storing: These Eggplant Appetizers can last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. After a few days, the tomatoes and eggplant will become mushy as the liquid in them leaches out. So try to finish any leftovers within a couple of days of cooking.
Freeze: These roll-ups don’t freeze well because of the tomatoes. But you can freeze the eggplant slices once they have been fried and cooled. They will last for about 3 months. When you are ready to use them, allow them to thaw, warm in the oven, and then assemble with freshly made spread and tomatoes.
More Tasty Eggplant Dishes!
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
- Chinese Eggplant Salad
- Roasted Eggplant Salad
- Eggplant Napoleon
- Eggplant Caviar Spread (Ikra) Recipe
Full Recipe Instructions
Eggplant Appetizers (Roll ups)
- Wash each eggplant and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices.
- Generously salt both sides of each slice.
- Place the salted eggplant in a colander. Then, place a bowl or plate under the colander because the salt will cause the eggplant to release its bitter liquid. Let the sliced eggplants sit for about 20-30 minutes.
- Heat avocado oil in a pan on high heat. Then fry each eggplant for about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown.
- Place a paper towel on a plate before transferring the fried eggplant to absorb any extra oil.
- Cut each tomato into 8 equal wedges and grate or press 2 garlic cloves through a garlic press. Combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise and pressed garlic into a small bowl and set aside.
- Spread the garlic mayonnaise onto one side of each eggplant. Place 1 tomato wedge onto the bottom third of the eggplant roll it up tightly.
This recipe was originally published on March 25, 2015, but we have tweaked it a bit since then.