For this easy vegetarian eggplant pizza, you need to pre-bake the eggplant. That way you make sure it’s tender and unctuous when your pizza crust turns golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly. But it’s no problem because you can pop the sliced eggplant into the oven to bake while rolling out the dough and assembling the rest of your ingredients.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small baby eggplant, thinly sliced into rounds
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Flour for dusting
- 1 pound pizza dough, whole-grain if desired, room temperature
- 3/4 cup prepared marinara or pizza sauce
- 6 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Freshly chopped basil leaves for garnish
- Position the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 500°F.
- Place eggplant in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the eggplant with 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bake until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin. Transfer to a piece of parchment paper set on a pizza peel, cutting board, or flat cookie sheet. Create a lip around the outside edge by pressing the dough outward with one hand and at the same time, using the other hand to push inward and create a 1-inch raised edge.
- Spread marinara or pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle the pizza with mozzarella, reserved eggplant, and parmesan cheese.
- Slide the parchment and pizza directly onto the oven rack and bake until the edge of the pizza is golden and the cheese is melted, 10 – 12 minutes.
- Transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Cut into slices and sprinkle with fresh basil leaves.
Alternate Pizza Cooking Methods:
Pizza Stone: Place a pizza stone in the cold oven. Preheat to 500°F for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. Place rolled dough onto a well-floured pizza peel, baking sheet, or cutting board. Top the pizza then slide it onto the hot stone and bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
Pizza Steel: An alternative to a pizza stone. The pizza cooks about 3 to 5 minutes faster on the steel because it conducts heat better and gives the crispiest of crusts. Place pizza steel in the cold oven. Preheat to 500°F for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour. Place rolled dough onto a well-floured pizza peel, baking sheet, or cutting board. Top the pizza then slide it onto the hot pizza steel and bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden, 6 to 10 minutes.
Baking Sheet: Coat a baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Assemble and bake the pizza on the sheet pan.
- Make the eggplant up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate it in an airtight container.
- Transfer frozen pizza dough from the freezer to the fridge to defrost up to two days in advance.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 287
- Sugar: 14 g
- Fat: 9 g
- Carbohydrates: 40 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 11 g
Keywords: Eggplant Pizza, Pizza with Eggplant Topping, Homemade Pizza with Eggplant