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Overhead shot of Italian Eggplant Meatballs (Polpette di Melanzane) in a bowl, served with some marinara sauce on the side.
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5 from 1 vote

Neapolitan Eggplant Meatballs (Polpette di Melanzane)

An Italian street food that can also be served as appetizer!  If you are looking for a vegetable treat that kids would also love - Neapolitan Eggplant Meatballs (Polpette di Melanzane) is always a hit!  (VIDEO ABOVE)  
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 14
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Neriz


  • 3/4 kg eggplant, about 2 large eggplants
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (+1/3 cup for coating)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped roughly, heaping cup
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (or enough submerge the meatballs halfway)
  • salt and pepper, to season


  • Preheat oven to 225°C (400°F).
  • Place the eggplants on a baking tray and pour olive oil on them. Make sure the eggplants are properly coated with oil.
  • Place the eggplants in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they turn soft.
  • Take the baking tray out of the oven and let the eggplants cool down.
  • Cut the eggplants in half and scoop the insides with a spoon. Be careful, they might still be hot.  
  • Place the scooped eggplant on a strainer to start draining.
  • Push more water out of the eggplants by using a fork.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the strained eggplant, Parmigiano Reggiano, parsley, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and egg. Mix to combine properly.
  • Start forming the meatballs by using a tablespoon to scoop some mixture and use your hands to form it into shape.
  • Roll the meatballs into the remaining 1/3 cup breadcrumbs.
  • Heat up vegetable oil on a small or medium pan -- there should be enough oil that half of the eggplant meatballs are submerged into it.
  • Once the balls turned brown on all sides, take them out of the pan and place on top of a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  • Serve.



Calories: 150kcal