Antipasti and Light Bites

Eggplant Bruschetta with Mozzarella

September 10, 2017 (Last Updated: September 9, 2017) by Emily

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Grilled eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella cheese, red pepper flakes and fennel seeds. Made with toasted crusty Italian bread this appetizer or antipasto is simple, light and packed full of flavour.

I’ve been making this eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella for years now it’s incredibly delicious and extremely easy to make. It’s made with only five simple ingredients, good quality mozzarella cheese, eggplant/aubergine, good quality crusty bread and a little pinch of red pepper flakes and fennel seeds. Have you ever tried eggplant, mozzarella and fennel seeds as a combo?….you need to!

Eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella sitting on baking paper on a wooden surface with sliced bruschetta in the background.

How to cook eggplant/aubergine

I think eggplant it’s a little underrated. The important thing to remember when cooking with it is not to over oil it. It’s so easily done since it acts like a little veggie sponge soaking up every last droplet of oil that’s drizzled on top resulting is a very mushy, oily flat thing. But by brushing just a little oil on each side, it grills, fries or roasts perfectly and it’s a great carrier of flavours, sprinkle over your favourite spices and herbs and it will be transformed.

This is one of my absolute favourite bruschetta toppings, it’s crunchy on the outside and lovely and soft on the inside plus I’m a massive fan of everything on this bruschetta. Fennel seeds and red pepper flakes (pepperoncino) are something I cook with a lot! Try adding some fennel seeds into a ragú and see how it transforms. The same goes for the red pepper flakes just a little pinch of heat can add so much flavour to simple pasta dishes, stews and sauces.

How to make eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella

You’ll need one medium sized eggplant/aubergine, mozzarella, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, good quality crusty bread and olive oil.

Two photos one of eggplant, mozzarella, red pepper flakes and fennel seeds laid out on a wooden surface. The next is a loaf of crusty bread on a wooden surface. Eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella

Finely slice the eggplant with a knife then using a pastry brush lightly brush each side with a little olive oil. Place the eggplant slices on a hot griddle pan until coloured and charred on each side. They should only take around 30-60 seconds on each side.

Sliced eggplant stacked up on top of kitchen paper and then laid out on a griddle pan. Eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella

Place the griddled eggplant slices on some kitchen paper and cut the crusty bread slices. Toast the bread on one side only by placing them under a grill.

Grilled eggplant with char marks on a plate next to a sliced loaf of crusty bread. Eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella

Next add two slices of cooked eggplant on the untoasted side of bread, add more slices for larger slices of bread. Top with mozzarella and sprinkle over red pepper flakes, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt and pepper.

A close up photo of grilled eggplant on crusty bread with mozzarella. Eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella

Place the slices under a hot grill until the mozzarella is bubbling, melted and slightly golden, serve hot. This eggplant bruschetta is like grilled cheese with a kick and makes great antipasto or appetizer with a glass of vino. I also love to make bruschetta for a quick but tasty lunch during the week or at weekends.

More easy bruschetta toppings to try;

Eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella

A close up of eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella sitting on crushed baking paper on a wooden surface

Other eggplant recipes to try;

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5 from 12 votes

Eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella

Grilled eggplant bruschetta with mozzarella, red pepper flakes and fennel seeds. Made with crusty Italian bread this simple snack, lunch or antipasto is light and delicious.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 208kcal
Author Emily Kemp


  • 8 slices crusty bread
  • 1 medium sized eggplant/aubergine
  • 8.8 oz (250g) mozzarella , sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • salt and pepper ,to season


  • Put a griddle pan over medium heat. Finely slice the eggplant lengthways and brush each side with a little olive oil using a pastry brush. Place the slices on the griddle pan in batches and grill each side until slightly charred and cooked through.
  • Place the cooked eggplant on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Put the slices of bread under a hot grill and toast on one side only.
  • Place two slices of eggplant of the untoasted side of each slice of bread. Add extra eggplant to larger slices if needed. Top each bruschetta with mozzarella then sprinkle over a few red pepper flakes (chili flakes), fennel seeds then a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Place the bruschetta under a hot grill until the mozzarella has melted, bubbling and slightly golden. Cut large slices in half and serve hot.


Please note this recipe was tested and developed using metric measurements all imperial measurements are approximate.


Calories: 208kcal
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
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  • Reply
    Kathryn @ FoodieGirlChicago
    September 18, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    This looks like a wonderful appetizer or maybe even a light dinner! Can’t wait to try it.5 stars

  • Reply
    September 17, 2017 at 5:03 am

    This is a gorgeous, yet simple recipe! I love eggplant and am planning on making this!5 stars

  • Reply
    Lisa | Tiny Kitchen Capers
    September 13, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    This looks delicious! The fresh mozzarella and that crusty bread. I could make a meal of this!5 stars

  • Reply
    Elaine @ Dishes Delish
    September 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Yummy! I love eggplant. So much. This is perfect because I get to eat it with bread! Win-win. Your photos are beautiful! I can’t wait to try this.5 stars

  • Reply
    September 11, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I can’t wait to try this bruschetta out! I’ve never tried it with melted mozzarella before and what a great idea. Love the flavors of the fennel seeds and chili flakes too. Very inspiring.5 stars

  • Reply
    September 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    These sound just amazing. I’m obsessed with the flavor of fennel seeds and crusty breads and I feel like I’m always stuck trying to figure out how to use up eggplant! Thanks for this great idea!5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      September 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      No problem Amy, thanks so much. I love cooking with fennel seeds too they have so much flavour!

  • Reply
    The Food Hunter
    September 11, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Perfect for all my garden eggplant.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Love the addition of fennel seeds! So much flavour in this bruschetta!5 stars

  • Reply
    Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    September 11, 2017 at 2:56 am

    I have never tried bruschetta with eggplant! How creative and delicious!5 stars

  • Reply
    Helene D'Souza
    September 10, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I make bruschetta secretly at home so that nobody else can eat it away. I am so going to try this with chili flakes and fennel! YUM!5 stars

  • Reply
    sue | theviewfromgreatisland
    September 10, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    These are stunning, and what a creative way to use eggplant! Love the moody shots 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    September 10, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    I am just starting to appreciate eggplant (used to hate it) but I love the idea of grilling it for these bruschetta. Great meatless Monday dish!5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      September 10, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      It’s funny how our tastes change over time, isn’t it? Hope you like this one Lisa!

  • Reply
    Amy @ The Cook Report
    September 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Wow, this looks completely perfect, such a great alternative to regular bruschetta, yum!

  • Reply
    Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry
    September 10, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I’m always looking for vegetarian recipes that my husband will love. I think he will enjoy the chilli addition5 stars

  • Reply
    September 10, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    I loove your photos! I could eat bruschetta all day long. Thanks for those tips on how to cook with aubergine!5 stars

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