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Italian Sauteed Eggplant: Quick And Easy Recipe

Italian sauteed eggplant: a recipe for all eggplant lovers!

italian sauteed eggplant recipe in a plate


This recipe is a healthy revival of an Italian classic – melanzane a funghetto.

Melanzane a funghetto is an Italian dish that translates to “mushroom-shaped eggplant”.

It is a traditional recipe from the region of Campania in Southern Italy, and it typically consists of cubed eggplants that are sautéed with garlic, tomatoes, and herbs such as parsley or basil. 

The dish is called “a funghetto” from the way the eggplant is cut into small pieces that resemble mushrooms.

Different from the original recipe, I don’t fry them in vegetable oil, but I saute them in olive oil and I use parsley instead of fresh basil leaves.

Why This Recipe Is The Best

Easy and fast: A recipe that everyone can make, even those who are new to cooking.

It is super easy and only takes about 20 minutes to cook.

Super tasty: They have a fresh flavor thanks to the parsley, and are great whether hot, warm or cold.

The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity. 

With just a few ingredients and a bit of time, you can whip up an fantastic everyday recipe that’s perfect as a side, an appetizer, or even a main course!

What Goes In These Italian Sautéed Eggplants – Ingredients

Italian sauteed eggplant is a  delicious dish that requires only a few simple ingredients.

Here are the main ingredients you will need to make this dish:

Fresh eggplant

The star of this dish is the eggplant.

Choose a medium-sized Italian eggplant that is firm, has a shiny skin and is free of blemishes.

Any variety of eggplant will work for this recipe, but the most common type used is the Italian eggplants or globe eggplant, which is large and has a deep purple color.

Olive oil

You will need a good quality olive oil to saute the eggplant. Use extra virgin olive oil for a richer flavor.

Fresh Garlic

Garlic is a must-have ingredient in Italian cooking. It adds a wonderful aroma and flavor to the dish. 

Fresh tomatoes

Tomatoes are another essential ingredient in this dish.

I used a mix of yellow and red cherry tomatoes, but any tomato will work for this recipe.

You can also use tomato sauce if you prefer, but the final consistency will be a little different


Parsley adds a fragrant and fresh flavor to the dish.

Salt & Black pepper

To taste. We will use salt to purge the eggplant.  

Use freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor.

How To Saute Eggplant – Step By Step

Follow this simple steps to make this delicious side dish.

Step 1 

First, wash the eggplant and with a sharp knife cut them into 1-inch cubes.

salt the eggplant

Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and let them sit for 30 minutes in a colander with a weight on it.

This will help draw out any excess moisture and bitterness from the eggplant.

After 30 minutes, rinse the eggplant with cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel.

Step 2 

Heat a large large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil.

Once the oil is hot, add the garlic clove and let them brown a little bit, add the eggplant next and let it cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they are golden brown on both sides.

Let the eggplant cook undisturbed for a few minutes to allow it to brown before flipping.

pan-fried eggplant

Step 3 

Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Season the eggplant mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

Finally, add fresh chopped parsley to the eggplant. 

Serve and enjoy!

sauteed eggplant recipe in a fork

Recipe Notes & Tips:

  • Cut the eggplants into uniform slices or cubes to ensure that they cook evenly.
  • Salt the eggplant slices and let them sit for about 30 minutes to draw out any bitterness.

You can also skip this step, especially if the eggplants have fewer seeds, but if cutting them you see a lot of seeds then I suggest you don’t skip this step.

  • Add the eggplant to the pan in a single layer, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.

How to Store, Reheat and Freeze


To store leftover sautéed eggplant, let it cool to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container, and refrigerate it for up to 3-5 days.


To reheat, simply place it in a frying pan over medium heat and stir occasionally until heated through.

You can microwave them for about a minute, too. But I assure you they are great cold. 


To freeze Italian sautéed eggplant, let it cool to room temperature, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, and freeze it for up to 3 months.

To thaw, transfer the container to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.

What To Serve With Sauteed Eggplant

These sautéed eggplants are a versatile dish that can be served in many ways. 

I think it is the perfect side dish for chicken cutlets or these bacon wrapped chicken thighs, but they also go well with grilled meat or pork. 

Delicious over a slice of toasted bread for a special bruschetta. 

You can also serve them with pasta, which is reminiscent of Sicilian pasta alla norma, but also with rice or quinoa for a satisfying vegetarian dish. 

You can also use sautéed eggplant as a sandwich filling or serve it as part of an appetizer dish with other Italian favorites such as olives, salami, and cheese.


Are Eggplants Healthy?

Yes, eggplant is a healthy vegetable that can be part of a balanced diet

Eggplant is a low-calorie vegetable and is rich in fiber and antioxidants.

They can also help reduce cholestelorus and also contain lots vitamins like vitamin B5, B6 and vitamin C.

Overall, eggplant is a nutritious and tasty vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. 

Do you peel eggplant beforo sauteing?

It is not necessary to peel the eggplant, in fact it helps to keep the shape but some people prefer to remove the skin because it can be tough or bitter, so it is a matter of personal preference.

Do I have to salt the eggplant?

Salting the eggplant is recommended, as it helps to draw out any bitter flavors.

However, if you’re short on time or don’t mind the potential for a slightly bitter taste, you can skip this step.

How long to wait after salting eggplant?

Place the eggplant in a colander with coarse salt for at least half an hour. Wash it after to remove excess salt.

Can I add other vegetables to this recipe?

Yes, you can add other vegetables to this recipe, such as zucchini, red peppers or onions. Simply saute the vegetables along with the eggplant slices until they are tender.

Italian Sauteed Eggplant Recipe

italian sauteed eggplant


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Yield: 2

Italian sauteed eggplant

italian sauteed eggplant

This easy Italian sauteed eggplant recipe combines eggplant with fresh tomato for a flavorful side dish. Ready in less than 20 minutes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time For Purge Eggplant 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 2 medium eggplants
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves,
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Black pepper


  1. Start by cutting the eggplants. 
  2. After washing and drying them, remove the ends and cut them into slices then reduce each slice obtained into chunks about an inch and of the same size. 
  3. Place the eggplants in a colander, then sprinkle them with coarse salt and hold them flattened with another plate.
  4. Place a weight over the plate so that the vegetables are held firm. Leave them for at least half an hour, then wash them under running water and dry them with a clean towel or paper towels.
  5. In a nonstick skillet, we sauté the garlic with a little olive oil; when the garlic has browned, add the eggplant and cook over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  6. Meanwhile, cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the eggplant, which will have already turned a nice golden color.
  7. Add a little salt if needed and black pepper.
  8. Let it cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the cherry tomatoes have softened.
  9. Turn off the heat, add chopped parsley and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 454Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 170mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 15gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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More easy eggplant recipes:

If eggplant is your favorite vegetable then you must also try this eggplant parmesan, this is the Sicilian version, simple and super delicious.

Another one of my favorite recipes and are these breaded eggplant perfect for a quick lunch but also as a side dish or these air fryer eggplant rollatini, that they have a super cheesy heart.

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