NEW RECIPE: Low Carb Eggplant Marinara Bites

Low Carb Eggplant Marinara Bites by Anna Vocino Eat Happy Kitchen

These Low Carb Eggplant Marinara Bites are the ultimate bite-sized savory starter, but this recipe makes them cute and delicious. These little bites fry up so savory and delicious, and are very easy to make. The addition of Eat Happy Kitchen marinara saves you time and steps so you can get to eating these faster.

If you want more recipes to use up those jars of marinara, then click here for a round-up of red sauce inspiration.

If you’ve recently started NSNG, low carb, paleo, or keto, you will not be able to partake in restaurant Eggplant Parm or Chicken Parm, so I highly recommend taking matters into your own hands and making these recipes yourself. You’ll be shocked how easily you can whip up restaurant quality food at home. Use a cast iron skillet or a non stick sauté pan.

Feel free to melt some fresh mozzarella, asiago, or fontina cheese on these puppies, if you’re so inspired. For the folks like me keeping it dairy free, the parmesan at the end of the recipe is optional. You can use coconut cream in place of heavy cream in the egg wash. If you need to avoid almonds for any reason, then substitute crushed pork rinds for the almond flour.

Want more Eat Happy inspiration? Make sure you sign up for the 31 Days of Meals plan and free recipe sampler here!

Eggplant Marinara Bites

yields 25-30 bites
Course Starters/Snacks
Cuisine Keto, Low Carb, NSNG, Paleo, Vegetarian


  • 1-2 pounds baby/mini eggplants or thin Japanese eggplants, sliced into 1/4” disks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (or use coconut cream for dairy free)
  • 1 cup almond flour (or use plain crushed pork rinds for nut free)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more if needed for frying
  • 1 jar Eat Happy Kitchen Tomato Basil Marinara, heated
  • Small basil leaves, for garnish
  • Freshly grated parmesan, for garnish (optional)


  • Place eggplant slices on a paper towel lined baking tray. Season with salt and pepper on both sides of slices. Let eggplant “sweat” for 10 minutes, meaning the salt will draw some beads of water out of the eggplant. Dab the eggplant dry before the next step.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg and heavy cream until mixed and pale yellow. In a second mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and dried basil.
  • Heat olive oil in a non-stick sauté pan until hot and shimmering. Do the sizzle test: sprinkle a bit of the almond flour mix into the hot oil, and if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough for frying.
  • Dredge eggplant slices in egg/cream mixture, then roll into almond flour to coat. Place eggplant slices in oil, starting at the twelve o’clock position, and place clockwise in pan. Let cook 2-3 minutes per side, until browned, then gently flip eggplant slices, starting at the twelve o’clock position and working your way around the pan clockwise and cook other side 2-3 minutes until brown, being careful not to burn. Remove slices from pan to drain on a paper towel lined plate. Fry a second batch of remaining slices, adding additional olive oil to pan if needed.
  • Prepare bites: place eggplant slices on platter. Dollop a teaspoon of Eat Happy Kitchen Marinara on each bite, flattening a bit with spoon. Garnish each bite with a basil leaf and freshly grated parmesan. Serve.
Keyword celiac, dairy free, gluten free, keto, low carb, no sugar added, nsng, paleo, sugar free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  • Its useless for keto, because you dont give the information of carbs, protein and fat

    • Hi Isolde-
      Thanks for stopping by. While my recipes are 80% keto (and this one is, or I wouldn’t have tagged it as such), I don’t provide nutritional info as you can copy and paste the entire thing into google and get that if you really need it. My whole goal is to teach people to eat real food and not to count anything at all. I’m interested in breaking the diet mentality once and for all. So no, this is not useless for keto. And I bet you already know the carb counts of everything as most perpetual dieters memorize that sort of thing very quickly. I know this b/c I used to be one. Here’s a greater explanation of why I don’t give nutritional information. And join my Facebook group of 8K people who’ve lost weight doing low carb or keto (what we call NSNG) WITHOUT counting carbs.

  • Golly. . I guess enough people buy your book without the nutrition info that you imagine you don’t need it to make a sale. .well, I’m glad I checked your website because that it the ONE thing I look for. . I plugged this recipe into My Fitness Pal and found it is indeed a very low carb snack option, but to have to do this with every recipe? I’m not sure what you mean when you say “copy and paste the entire thing into google and get that if you really need it.” Does Google have a carb counter app that I don’t know about? I’ve been counting carbs for the past 3.5 years and if that’s what it takes for me to stay on goal, then no cookbook author is going to shame me out of it. .thank you, next. .

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you would ever feel anything remotely resembling shame when rendezvousing with my recipes. You are correct that I don’t put nutritional info in my cookbooks as they are not diet books and instead based on a lifestyle called NSNG (No Sugars No Grains, copyright permission granted from Vinnie Tortorich, check out his site for a free pdf that explains it in detail). But I say repeatedly that I never would never begrudge anyone from counting. We are all adults and get to choose how we want to eat. Here’s another link to a site I found that will calculate nutritional info (I’m not the only one publishing cookbooks without nutritional facts, so hopefully this link will come in handy). I’m so sorry that you mistake my philosophy on cooking real foods and offer of solutions as shaming you. There are so many wonderful recipes out there that I know will make you happy and fulfill your requirements! Best of luck and love to you, always, Melinda!

  • WOW. I sure do feel bad for all these people so obsessed with numbers! They clearly are not getting the message that if you eat real, clean food and combine that with being in touch with the signals your body sends to alert you to when you’re hungry, and when you’re satiated, you live a much happier life!! I LOVE that on NSNG I no longer have to count anything anymore — except the compliments on how good I look and how good the food I cook tastes! Thank you, Anna, for all you do — for making simple and delicious recipes, and for sharing so many of them for free. You are a gift and a blessing. And I will buy every book you publish AND gift them to everyone I love. xo

    • Smooch ang hugs and happy holidays to you, Susan! Thank you for your kind and supportive words and actions, always.

  • This recipe was delicious! My 4 year old and I made it tonight to great acclaim! My pet peeve is people who comment on recipes when they haven’t made the recipe. But everyone loves an avenue to complain! Or perhaps they could consider trying another recipe and moving on with life. This is fabulous and we’ll be making it agin and again. I would love to hear if you have any subs for the almond flour as my husband can’t do almonds but we are big fans of your recipes.

    • Hey Kate!! I don’t understand people complaining about recipes either, but I do try my best to never ever post a dud so as to minimize anything like that happening! I only want y’all to enjoy my recipes so that you come back for more!
      As for almond flour subs, I will use crushed up pork rinds, or a mixture of flax meal and freshly grated parmesan. I give a lot of ideas for these substitutions in my video for Chicken Parm found here.
      XOXO and so glad you are enjoying!!

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