These crispy eggplant sticks are a healthy baked snack with a crazy delicious and crunchy texture that your guests will love.

Eggplant sticks served in a napkin

Step aside French fries; these eggplant sticks are the perfect savory bite that will take your snack table to another level. Coated with panko breadcrumbs and vegan parmesan, they are crunchy on the outside and tender and delicious on the inside. They are a delightful snack for any time of day.

Of all the recipes I’ve demonstrated on my channel, this must be one of my favorites. These eggplant fries disappear as quickly as they arrive; in fact, they are very hard to take a picture of as they get snapped up almost immediately! They are also fun to eat.

Serve these with an all-time favorite sauce, like marinara or ranch, and you’ll be in for a serious culinary treat.

Why you’ll love this vegan eggplant stick recipe: 

This recipe is one of my absolute favorites; here’s why I think you’re going to love eggplant sticks too:

  • Healthy: Eggplant is naturally oil-free, and if baked instead of deep-fried, it remains a healthy alternative to French fries or other snacks. Eggplant is a low-calorie vegetable that is packed with fiber. This is a really great option if you want to include a little extra goodness in your menu.
  • Delicious: Crispy on the outside, soft and dreamy on the inside, and served with a tasty marinara sauce, this recipe is beautifully balanced and delicious.
  • Cost-effective. Depending on where you are, eggplant is generally an economical vegetable. You get quite a few eggplant sticks from one large eggplant.  
  • Versatile: Serve this as a snack or a side dish! Change it up by serving it with various sauces. I love how versatile this eggplant stick recipe is.

Ingredients and substitution notes 

Here are a few notes on the ingredients in this recipe to help guide you to success:

Eggplant: Choose lovely eggplants that are firm, dark, and shiny. Steer clear of eggplant that appears wrinkled or has soft spots. You can replace the eggplant with zucchini for a summer zucchini stick recipe variation.

Panko Breadcrumbs: I wouldn’t use anything but panko bread crumbs unless you absolutely have to. Panko breadcrumbs deliver the best crispy crunch as they are larger and lighter in crumb. However, if panko breadcrumbs cannot be found, you can use regular breadcrumbs.  

Vegan Parmesan cheese: Check out my vegan Parmesan cheese recipe. The combination of garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and Italian herbs really delivers that Parmesan experience. There are also so many great variations of vegan parmesan cheese on the market now. One of my favorite vegan parmesan cheeses is from Trader Joe’s.  

Make this Recipe Without Vegan Parmesan Cheese:  If you do not have vegan parmesan topping, do not worry; add another 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs to the recipe, increase the salt by another 1/4 teaspoon, and you should have wonderful eggplant sticks even without the parmesan.

How to Make Eggplant Sticks

Step one:  Peel the eggplant. Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/2 inch layers. Then cut each layer into 1/2 inch uniform strips.

Step two: Place eggplant sticks on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, and let sit for 15-20 min. This will release some of the moisture in the eggplant. Besides, it will remove some of the bitterness naturally found in eggplant. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove as much liquid and salt as possible before moving on to the next step.

Step three: In a shallow bowl, combine all dry ingredients to make the panko mixture. In another shallow bowl, mix the flour and water to make a batter.

Step four:  You are now ready to coat the eggplant sticks. Dip each eggplant stick in the batter, remove with a fork and let it drip before coating it in the dry breadcrumb mixture. Make sure all the sides are coated equally. 

Step five:  Place breaded eggplant sticks on a greased baking sheet or on a silicon baking mat and bake at 425F for about 10 minutes.

Serve the crispy fries with a warm marinara sauce or ranch dip.

Recipe variations and add-ins

This tasty recipe can be tweaked and twisted in a couple of fun ways; here are a few:

  • Extra spicy: Add a little extra kick by mixing in a little chili powder, paprika, and cayenne into the Parmesan mixture.
  • Indian Style: Sieve some ground garam masala, cumin, and coriander into the flour mixture.
  • Mexican Style: Add a little chili powder and cumin to the flour mixture and serve the sticks with guacamole for a Mexican twist.
  • Spicy Marinara: Add some crushed red pepper to the Marinara sauce and serve these crispy eggplant sticks with a little heat. Provide a ranch dip to balance the spice, and I am sure your guests and family will come back for more.  

Health Benefits of Eggplant:

Eggplant is an amazing vegetable, low in fat, carbs, and calories, but high in the often needed fiber. (1)

Many Types of Eggplants:  

You have probably noticed that your local grocery store or farmer’s market offers a variety of different-looking eggplants. They differ in appearance, color, shape, and even taste. Aubergine is another name for eggplant. The skin is edible but can be a little chewy.

We can find Chinese eggplants, Japanese eggplants, globe eggplants, Italian eggplants, Taiwan eggplants, with names, such as Black Beauty, Ping Tung, Early Long Purple, etc.  

Though traditionally thought of as a vegetable, eggplant is actually a fruit.  

For these eggplant sticks, we use the common globe, also known as the American variety. It has a meatier texture and is perfect for eggplant sticks. The structure holds up well in the baking process.  

Top tips to make the best eggplant sticks

Here are a few pointers to achieve the best eggplant sticks possible: 

  • Slice the eggplant into even-sized pieces. This will ensure they cook evenly.
  • Pat the eggplant slice dry. Doing this will help the coating stick properly. 

Make ahead of instructions and storage

You can slice your eggplant sticks the day before and pop them into an airtight container in the fridge. This is a great way to meal plan and save a little prep time right before the event.

In addition, you can also make up the vegan Parmesan cheese recipe in advance, or purchase one already made. If you choose to serve this with the recommended marinara sauce, go ahead and make the marinara sauce ahead of time. You can even make a batch and freeze it until you’re ready to use it.

You can freeze these crispy eggplant sticks once they are baked and reheat them at a later stage. To refrigerate or freeze them, you’ll need to cool them first and then store them in an airtight container. 

Serving suggestions 

These eggplant sticks are a lovely snack or side dish. They are child-friendly and a healthy vegetable dish to serve friends and family.

  • Switch up the sauce: Serve these with your favorite sauce, such as hummus, vegan ranch dressings, vegan aioli, or a garlic & herb sauce. Add a few drops of hot sauce to a vegan mayo for a spicier version.  
  • Salad: Serve these crunchy sticks alongside a light and fresh salad. This will complement the flavor of the eggplant sticks really well. Try my quick and easy sesame kale salad or this coleslaw recipe.
  • Inside a sandwich: Fill slices of your favorite bread with lettuce, avocado, plant-based deli meat, tomato, and hummus. Layer in these eggplant sticks for a totally delicious filling.
  • Pasta: Top some penne pasta with marinara sauce and a few of these tasty crispy eggplant fries.
  • Rice bowl: Place the eggplant sticks on top of a bowl of warm rice and serve with an asian sesame garlic sauce.  


Why are my eggplant sticks soggy?

If your eggplant sticks are soggy, it may be because they were not treated before coating and cooking them. The reason for sprinkling the baked eggplant fries with a little salt and letting them sit for a few minutes is so that the eggplant will release some of its moisture. The next step is patting off the moisture, which will ensure a dryer and crispier eggplant stick. Another possible reason is that the oven may not have been hot enough to give you that crispy outside and moist inside.  

Can I make these eggplant sticks gluten-free?

Yes, you most certainly can! Switch out the wheat flour for a suitable gluten-free alternative. You will also want to use a gluten-free panko crumb mix instead of a regular one.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the eggplant sticks ahead of time by preparing them in their coating and then refrigerating them until you’re ready to bake them.

How long do eggplant sticks keep in the fridge?

These eggplant sticks will stay beautiful for up to 2 days.

Can You Air Fry these eggplant sticks?  

Absolutely. Place in a single layer in the air fryer and cook until the desired crispiness. Enjoy the air fried eggplant sticks with a dipping sauce. 

Can I freeze eggplant sticks? 

Yes, you can freeze them. You’ll need to coat them and then spread them on a tray (without touching). Freeze the eggplant sticks for 2 hours on the tray, and then you can lift them off the tray and pack them into an airtight container. This will prevent them from sticking and breaking.

Why is the coating not sticking to my Parmesan eggplant sticks?

If the eggplant sticks are too wet, the coating will not stick. Drying the outside of the eggplant sticks before coating them is really important. Doing this will ensure that the coating adheres to the vegetable.

Is eggplant a vegetable or a fruit?  

Eggplant is actually a fruit.  

Can eggplant be eaten raw?  

Yes, technically, you can eat ripe eggplants raw, but eggplants are best when cooked. Eggplant is considered a nightshade like tomato and potato. Raw eggplant can contain a small amount of solanine, a substance that can cause some digestive issues. This substance disappears when cooking.  

Other eggplant recipes you might enjoy: Try my Vegan Eggplant Parmesan or One-pot Eggplant and Mushroom Pasta recipes.

Wrapping it up

And there you are, a fantastic snack or side dish recipe the whole family will enjoy. They are positively addictive, a delicious eggplant stick recipe that will hit the spot for both vegans and non-vegans alike.

Enjoy the ‘crisp on the outside, soft on the inside’ experience of these wonderful eggplant sticks. It my house they are a real favorite.

Watch My Eggplant Sticks Recipe Video:

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Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Sticks

Baked Eggplant Sticks with Marinara

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  • Author: Chef Ani


These vegan Parmesan eggplant sticks are a healthy baked snack with a crazy delicious and crunchy texture that your guests will love.


  • 1 large eggplant, cut into sticks
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan 
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/161/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1/2 cup water


1. Peel eggplant. Cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch layers. Then cut each layer into 1/2 inch strips. (If this does not make sense, see video for further instruction:) 

2. Place eggplant sticks on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, and let sitfor 15-20 min. Pat dry with a paper towel, remove as much liquid and salt as possible.

3. Preheat oven to 425F

4. In the mean time, in a shallow bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.

5. In another shallow bowl, mix the flour and water to make a batter.

6. Dip each eggplant stick in the flour batter, then into the dry mixture, make sure that all thesides are coated.

7. Place on greased baking sheet or on a silicon baking mat.

8. Bake at 425F for 10 min. Turn each stick, if desired, and bake an additional 10 min.

9. Serve warm with a marinara sauce for dipping.


If you do not have vegan parmesan topping, do not worry, add another 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs to the recipe, increase the salt by another 1/4 teaspoon, and you should have wonderful eggplant sticks even without the parmesan.

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Love this eggplant recipe? Let me know in the comments.


  1. Healthline “7 Surprising Health Benefits of Eggplants”