Eggplant Tapas with Cheese and Shrimp

This Eggplant Tapas includes a slice of eggplant topped with creamy manchego cheese sauce with a bit of shrimp to top it off.

Eggplant Tapas with Cheese and Shrimp by

I love appetizers. When I go to a party with a heck of an appetizer spread, I go to town. In fact, I prefer appetizers to dinner. I often skip dinner because I stuffed myself with so many delicious starters. I definitely think the Spanish got it right with their Tapas spread. Just hang out with a never-ending glass of Sangria and enjoy the constant plates of Tapas coming to the table. Heaven.

This recipe for Eggplant with Cheese and Shrimp, came from a wonderful cookbook I found at Williams-Sonoma, before kids. The Tapas Cookbook. The name says it all! Great pictures and fantastic Tapas recipes from Spain. Most are easy to put together. This one takes a few more steps than most, but it is oh-so worth it. I made these for our annual Christmas Eve party (yes, I’m FINALLY posting the recipe). Either I didn’t make enough, or they were THAT good, but when the last guests arrived to the party, there were none to offer!

Eggplant Tapas with Cheese and Shrimp by

You begin by cutting you eggplant into 1/4-inch rounds, sprinkle with salt and let it rest to draw the moisture out. Next, you dredge the rounds through flour and fry them up.

The cheese sauce starts with a simple roux, where you add milk and manchego cheese to create the creamy sauce.  When the sauce is done, stir in some already cooked shrimp, top them on the eggplant rounds and bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes. Top with parmesan and parsley and watch these disks of deliciousness disappear!

Eggplant Tapas with Cheese and Shrimp by

Mmmmmm….. I wish I had some now, actually!

Eggplant with Cheese & Shrimp

A creamy manchego cheese sauce with a bit of shrimp tops each eggplant slice making this one lip-smackingly delicious treat! Recipe adapted from The Tapas Cookbook


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
  • 1 1/4 cup milk, warm
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 2/3 cup manchego cheese, shredded
  • 1 TBS half-and-half
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 cup baby shrimp, cooked & shelled
  • 2 TBS Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 TBS parsley, American, chopped


  1. Slice into 1/4-inch rounds:
    • 1 large eggplant
  2. Spread the slices on a large tray lined with paper towels and sprinkle both sides with:
    • 1 TBS salt
  3. Leave for 20-60 minutes to remove excess moisture.
  4. Pat eggplant rounds dry with paper towels.
  5. In a small plate reserve:
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  6. Press both sides of eggplant into the flour, shaking off any excess.
  7. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add:
    • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  8. When oil is hot, add sliced eggplant, making sure you don't over-crowd the pan.
  9. Fry until golden, about 3-5 minutes and flip over to brown the other side.
  10. Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
  11. Add to hot skillet:
    • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  12. Fry remaining eggplant slices and drain on paper towels.
  13. Arrange slices on eggplant slices on a baking sheet.
  14. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  15. To make the cheese sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add:
    • 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
  16. When butter has melted, stir in:
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  17. Stir and cook gently to form a paste.
  18. Slowly stir in:
    • 1 1/4 cup milk , warm
  19. Continue to stir until smooth.
  20. Stir in:
    • 1/2 small onion , chopped
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg, ground
  21. Heat over medium-low heat for 20 minutes to cook the flour.
  22. Pass through a strainer and discard the solids.
  23. Return cream sauce to saucepan and stir in:
    • 2/3 cup manchego cheese , shredded
    • 1 TBS half-and-half
  24. Stir until cheese has melted and remove from heat.
  25. Beat in:
    • 1 egg yolk
  26. Season with:
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/8 tsp black pepper, ground
  27. Mix in:
    • 1 cup baby shrimp , cooked & shelled
  28. Spoon the cheese and shrimp sauce over each eggplant round.
  29. Cook in the oven until golden-brown, approximately 15-20 minutes.
  30. Garnish with:
    • 2 TBS Parmesan cheese , grated
    • 2 TBS parsley, American , chopped


Serving Suggestions: You can also try this with crab or crumbled Italian sausage. If you can't find manchego cheese, you can substitute with parmesan cheese. If using large shrimp, cut into small pieces first and then add to the cheese sauce.

Cooking Tips: Instead of frying the eggplant you can also bake it. Brush each slice of eggplant with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet at 385ºF for 20 min, flip over and bake for an additional 20 min.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 8

Cook Time:

Eggplant with Cheese & Shrimp Detail

And for your next party, skip the main course and just serve Tapas! Olé!


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One Response to Eggplant Tapas with Cheese and Shrimp

  1. MaryMoh at #

    What a beautiful appertizer….all my favourites there!

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