This is a fun and healthy Italian eggplant pizza recipe that uses eggplant slices as the main topping, but also adds in some other flavorful ingredients as well. It’s easy to make for a quick lunch or light dinner. It’s also easy to eat!
This recipe has morphed over the years and now I’m happy to share it formally with you. The best part? This recipe is stress-free and anyone can make it!
Eggplant Pizza Recipe Overview
I originally got the idea of using eggplant on pizza from my Italian in-laws many moons ago. In my own Italian family growing up, we didn’t use eggplant much except for holiday recipes like eggplant parmesan.
This pizza recipe takes only 10 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook. I use store-bought pizza crust for a variety of reasons which I’ll explain below. However you can use a homemade Italian pizza dough if you prefer.
This is not a pizza where the dough is omitted and replaced with an actual eggplant. This is a regular pizza with an eggplant topping and a good amount of roasted red pepper which goes great flavor-wise with the eggplant.
You can use as many eggplant slices as you want or use them sparingly. The recipe is very flexible and I’ll step you through it start to finish.
Using Eggplant on a Pizza
If you’ve ever used eggplant slices in cooking, you know that it’s usually recommended to salt the eggplant and let it drain of excess moisture. Doing that process will help reduce some of the bitterness in eggplant, but I do not think it’s necessary for this recipe, therefore, I just skip that part.
- Salting and draining the eggplant slices is not necessary.
- The eggplant needs to be thinly sliced – with or without skin.
- The eggplant is placed on the pizza raw, we do not need to broil or roast it first.
These are my three hacks that save me time and will produce an amazingly delicious and healthy eggplant pizza.
To make this recipe all you need are the following.
- Pizza Pan. I recommend stainless steel ones. That’s what I use.
- Pizza Cutter. No need to go crazy with these. Here’s one that does the trick and is very similar to the one I use.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need. Exact measurements are provided in the recipe card below.
- Pizza crust. A store bought pizza crust will not get soggy, and I find that it holds up well. You can use my homemade pizza crust recipe if you prefer, but it produces two pizzas so adjust quantities as needed.
- Extra Virgin olive oil. Of course, right?!
- Minced garlic. This recipe uses fresh garlic, not powder.
- Pizza sauce. This can be any tomato sauce or pizza sauce. I use either my homemade pizza sauce recipe if I have some handy, or I use a good quality brand of pizza sauce.
- Grated Romano cheese. You can use Parmesan cheese instead if you want..
- Sliced Eggplant. A small eggplant is all you need and it should be sliced into ¼” slices. You can use any variety such as a globe eggplant or Japanese eggplant which is thin and long.
- Roasted red pepper. I buy roasted red pepper in a jar. There is no need to roast your own red pepper unless you want to. If you do, you’ll need to dice up the raw pepper very fine for quicker cooking.
- Salt and black pepper. To taste, optional.
This Italian eggplant pizza is so simple to make, you’ll be surprised. As you know, I’m a believer that best Italian cooking is simple Italian cooking and this is one of those recipes that totally proves it.
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
Step 2. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil and minced garlic so the olive oil is well flavored.
Step 3. Brush the olive oil mixture onto the pizza crust. If you don’t have a brush, use the back of a spoon.
Step 4. Add a layer of the sauce. We don’t use a ton of sauce for the pizza. Use a spatula or back of a spoon to spread it around.
Step 5. Next, sprinkle the Italian cheese over the sauce.
Step 6. Slice the eggplant into ¼” rounds. Use as many or as few eggplant slices as you want. I always place them so that every slice will have some eggplant on it. Sometimes I like a lot, while other times I don’t.
Step 7. Chop the roasted red pepper and add that to the pizza evenly over the top, then brush each eggplant slice with some of the olive oil and garlic mixture.
If you don’t have any of the mixture leftover, just use olive oil. This will help the eggplant topping cook quicker and taste amazing!
Step 8. Add a dash of salt and pepper if desired.
Step 9. Bake the pizza in the oven for 15 minutes or until the pizza crust is golden brown and the center is cooked through.
PRO TIP: If using homemade pizza dough, the baking times will probably be different, especially depending on the thickness of the crust. I recommend for a regular pizza dough, to increase the time to 25 minutes but keep an eye on it.
These are some questions I originally had when I started baking these pizzas. You might have them too.
Doesn’t the eggplant make the pizza soggy?
No, it doesn’t because we are slicing the eggplant very thin and allowing the higher temperature of the oven to bake it through. Using a storebought pizza crust also helps it not to get soggy.
You’d have more issues if using a homemade pizza dough, unless you precook the pizza crust.
What type of sauce works with eggplant?
If you don’t have pizza sauce, you can use regular tomato pasta sauce, but add some oregano unless it’s heavily seasoned already. The thing is that you really want a simple sauce, similar to a marinara sauce. You can also make marinara sauce from tomato paste which is very easy and quick.
Should the eggplant skin be left on?
This is completely up to you. Sometimes I leave it on and sometimes I don’t. However, I always peel my eggplant if it is not organic because I don’t want to consume any of the pesticides that the skin may have absorbed.
Can I roast the eggplant first?
Absolutely! If you still want to roast or broil the eggplant before using on the pizza then go for it. I just don’t think it’s necessary, but I always encourage my readers to do what they will like the most.
Recipe Substitutions & Variations
Here are some ideas for substituting ingredients or modifying the recipe. Like I said, it’s very flexible so be creative and have fun!
- Add additional toppings such as anchovies, olives, pepperoncini, spinach, red pepper flakes, or onions.
- Right before removing the pizza from the oven, toss on some chopped fresh basil.
- Sprinkle some precooked sausage, crumbled meatballs, or pepperoni on the top.
- Mix it up with different cheeses. Add some mozzarella cheese, feta, goat cheese, or ricotta.
Storing and Reheating Tips
Store any leftover pizza in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze your pizza, also in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 3 months.
Reheat your pizza in the oven or smart toaster oven at 350F for 10 minutes. If the pizza slices are frozen, then either let them thaw to room temperature, or reheat for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.
What to Serve with Eggplant Pizza?
Here are some ideas for side dishes or other main dish items that compliment this eggplant recipe.
A simple Italian green salad will always compliment any pizza recipe.
Cannellini bean salad is full of healthy ingredients and full of protein. A great compliment to your pizza.
This Italian chickpea salad also full of protein and it also makes great leftovers. I’ve used this recipe as a side dish and as a main dish too.
Similar Pizza Recipes You May Enjoy
Here’s a simple Romano pizza recipe. You can use homemade or store bought pizza dough.
Another pizza recipe is a ricotta and spinach pizza that makes a perfect light lunch or dinner.
Ever wonder what is a bianca pizza? Find out with our true 4 cheese Italian white pizza. It’s delicious!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my eggplant pizza recipe. It’s a keeper in our house and I hope it becomes one in yours too. Use the recipe card below to make this delicious pizza.
If you make any changes to make it your own, let me know in the comments down below. I’d love to hear from you!
- 1 pizza crust store-bought if using homemade dough, see notes below.
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp for the crust, 1 Tbsp for the eggplant slices
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/4 cup pizza sauce
- 4 Tbsp Romano or other Italian cheese
- 1 small eggplant, sliced
- 1 roasted red pepper, from a jar
- 1/8 tsp salt and pepper to taste (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400F or according to pizza crust package instructions1 pizza crust store-bought
- In a small bowl, mix together minced garlic and olive oil and brush on top of pizza.3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove
- Add a layer of the pizza sauce.1/4 cup pizza sauce
- Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top.4 Tbsp Romano or other Italian cheese
- Add the eggplant slices on top – use as many or as few as you want.1 small eggplant, sliced
- Brush the slices with some of the olive oil.3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Top with the chopped red pepper and spread around.1 roasted red pepper, from a jar
- Add a dash of salt and pepper (optional)1/8 tsp salt and pepper to taste (optional)
- Place pizza on a pizza pan and cook in the oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes or according to package instructions.
- If you don’t have pizza sauce – try a basic Italian sauce.You can also just use fresh tomatoes if you want. Get creative!
- If using homemade dough, your recipe will probably create two pizzas. Adjust quantities accordingly. You can use my own Italian pizza dough recipe here.
- Notice I recommend a small eggplant. Since they are sliced thin, they go a long way. You can create a solid layer of eggplant slices or use them sparingly like I do. Either way is fine. If you have extra slices try making some fried eggplant slices!