Runner recipes: Cheesy garlic eggplant bites


Alyson Bravo

These cheesy garlic bites will satisfy some of the toughest snack cravings.

Alyson Bravo, Photo Editor

Fresh produce can get expensive, and with many Runners finding themselves unable to work during the pandemic, limited finances may prevent them from purchasing groceries. Though, Runners may be unable to buy more pricey dietary staples, like fresh vegetables, the CSU Bakersfield Food Pantry offers a variety of options for CSUB community members to collect.

Use the oil spray to lightly cover each slice. (Alyson Bravo)

The Pantry may have produce that Runners have never used, forcing students to choose between learning a new recipe or avoiding the new ingredients, such as eggplant. While the unfamiliar vegetable may seem intimidating to some, cheesy garlic eggplant bites are easy to make. 

Using the eggplant obtained during a weekly pop-up produce pantry, these bites are quick to make. For anyone looking to add new produce to their diet, this is a flavorful way to look for new favorites! 

Yield: 30-36 eggplant bites 

Prep time: 5 minutes 

Cook time: 25-30 minutes 

Total time: 30-35 minutes 


2-3 eggplants 

1 tablespoon of unsalted butter 

Cooking oil spray 

2-3 tablespoons garlic powder  

1-2 tablespoons salt 

1 cup cheese of choice; I recommend cheddar 

Optional: Chili flakes; I used smoked ghost chili peppers  

Optional: Bacon crumbles, for topping 

Ensure each piece is covered equally for the best flavor. (Alyson Bravo)


Begin by preheating your oven to 450F.  

While the over preheats, ensure each eggplant has been washed and cut into slices. Be careful that the eggplant is not cut too thin though, as they can burn easily. If they are too thick, it will take longer to cook.  

After the eggplant has been cut into slices, add a layer of butter to an oven-safe plate or pan.  

Once the pan has been buttered, place the eggplant slices in a single layer. Spray each slice lightly with cooking oil.After each slice has been sprayed on one side, sprinkle salt and garlic on each slice. Once you are done, flip all the slices and repeat the process on the other side.

Once the slices are evenly seasoned on both sides, allow them to bake for 20-25 minutes.  When the eggplant has reached the desired softness, place a small amount of cheese on each piece. 

Return the dish to the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese has reached the desired level of melted gooeyness. Remove the cooked bites from the oven, and top each bite with the chili flakes. 

Once the eggplant bites cool to a consumable temperature, serve and enjoy! 

Chef’s note: Adding the chili flakes after cooking prevents them from becoming too spicy. Applying the chili flakes prior to baking increases the amount of capsaicin released from the chilis, which will result in much more spicy eggplant bites.

Cheddar cheese compliments the garlic flavors. (Alyson Bravo)

Do you have a recipe that would be perfect for helping college students try “strange” foods? Submit it to The Runner at [email protected] for it to be featured.