- Food: Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
This dish for baked eggplant Parmesan will quickly become a family favorite! Herbs, tomato sauce, and cheese are placed on top of crispy eggplant.
My mother’s eggplant Parmesan recipe was one of my childhood favorites. Every night, my family ate supper together, and my mother made everything from scratch.
Because convenience items like tomato sauce and pre-shredded cheese were just not worth the extra cost, they were never used. Unless it was summer, dinnertime was a reliable pattern for all of us.
My sister and I, on the other hand, had more pressing concerns. In our jelly shoes, we had to keep an eye out for the ice cream guy, compete in swing set leaping contests, and run relays.
When my mother summoned us for supper, we dashed in and ate as quickly as we could so that we might return outdoors to play. Food was fine, but having fun was essential.
Unless the dish she was preparing was eggplant Parmesan. Even if it meant going in and relishing it for a few additional minutes before heading back out to play, the lovely whiff of saucy, cheesy goodness wafting out of the oven was something to be excited about.
My Parmesan Eggplant Recipe
When Sub Zero, Wolf, and Cove asked me what living delightfully meant to me, I immediately thought of my mother’s eggplant Parmesan and those warm summer family memories.
Because eggplant is in season, I thought it would be a good idea to create my own eggplant Parmesan dish. It’s a lighter version of my mother’s original recipe.
I create my own marinara sauce, just like my mother, by boiling crushed tomatoes for around 20 minutes on my Wolf burner.
Then I add hefty pinches of oregano and thyme to the eggplant’s Parmesan and panko coating for a fresh, herbal flavor. Rather than frying the breaded eggplant slices, I bake them till golden brown and crisp.
Finally, I top them with homemade marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella pieces. And, of course, once it’s out of the oven, I can’t resist sprinkling it with large basil leaves from our garden!
How to Make Parmesan Eggplant?
Are you prepared to cook eggplant parm? This is what you must do:
The eggplant should be breaded.
In one shallow bowl, combine the herb, Parmesan, and panko coating; in another, beat 2 eggs with a dash of almond milk.
Before tossing in the panko, dip each eggplant slice in the egg mixture. Make sure the eggplant is well-coated on all sides before cooking!
Bake the eggplant in the oven.
Arrange the breaded eggplant slices in a single layer on two rimmed baking pans coated with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees until golden brown and soft.
If your oven has a convection setting, I strongly advise you to use it here. The panko gets delightfully toasted and crisp when I use convection bake in our Wolf oven. The classic fried eggplant is not something I miss at all!
Make a lot of layers!
In the bottom of a big casserole dish, spread some tomato sauce. Layer eggplant slices, marinara, and half of the sliced mozzarella on top. Re-layer the cheeses, concluding with any remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese begins to bubble. Then, for a few minutes, turn on the broiler until the cheese begins to brown in spots.
Serve with a garnish.
Allow for a few minutes of resting time before slicing and serving the hot eggplant Parmesan. Then serve with fresh basil leaves over top and enjoy!
In a baking dish, place eggplant slices that have been breaded.
Tips for Making Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- Make the eggplant slices as even as possible. Even slices guarantee even cooking, so make sure your eggplant slices are all the same width. You don’t want some components to become overcooked before others do! The fresh mozzarella should be cut to a constant thickness to ensure even melting and browning.
- Grate the Parmesan cheese finely. If you get a quality chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano (or even pecorino cheese) and grate it yourself, your eggplant Parmesan will have more taste.
- Coat the eggplant slices in a thick layer of panko. The crunchy coating of panko, Parmesan, herbs, and red pepper flakes provides some of the best texture and flavor in this recipe, so don’t scrimp on it!
- Don’t forget the extra virgin olive oil! Before putting the breaded eggplant slices in the oven, sprinkle them with oil. It’s necessary for the panko to turn out golden brown and crisp.
- Between layers, season with salt and pepper. What marinara and Parmesan cheese you use will determine the overall flavour of your eggplant Parmesan. I like to add a sprinkle of salt and a few grinds of pepper between the layers of eggplant and cheese in my homemade marinara sauce so that the final dish is well-seasoned.
This eggplant Parmesan recipe is filling enough to be a meal on its own, but you can’t go wrong with pasta (or spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles!) or nice crusty bread to go with it.
I like to serve it with a simple veggie side dish like roasted broccoli, cauliflower, or tomatoes, grilled zucchini, or any of these salad dishes when I cook it for friends or family:
- Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes
- Panzanella Salad
- Classic Caprese Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Cherry Tomato Couscous
- Salad Caesar
|Time to Prepare: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Time allotted: 1 hour
This delicious, lighter baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe will teach you how to make eggplant parmesan. Make it for your next get-together or family supper because it’s excellent for serving a crowd!
- 2 large eggplant, cut into ¼-inch thick rounds
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, more for sprinkling
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 28 ounces Marinara Sauce
- 2 large balls fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking pans with parchment paper.
- Whisk the eggs and almond milk together in a medium-sized shallow dish.
- Combine the panko, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and several grinds of pepper in a medium-sized shallow dish.
- Dip the eggplant slices first in the egg, then in the panko mixture. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and bake for 18 minutes, or until soft and golden brown.
- Spread 1/2 cup marinara in an 8×12 or 9×13-inch baking dish, put half the eggplant, and top with 1 cup marinara and half the mozzarella. Replace the eggplant, marinara, and mozzarella with the remaining eggplant, marinara, and mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil and a couple more pinches of sea salt, then top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted to your liking. Preheat the oven to broil and cook the cheese for 2 to 4 minutes, or until browned and bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with basil leaves.