Eggplant Parmesan

This baked eggplant Parmesan recipe will become one of your family favorites! Crispy eggplant is layered with herbs, tomato sauce, and cheese.

Eggplant parmesan recipe

Growing up, my mom’s eggplant Parmesan recipe was one of my favorite things to eat. My family ate dinner together every night, and my mom always cooked it from scratch. Tomato sauce never came from a jar, and cheese was never pre-shredded because convenience foods like that were simply not worth the extra expense. Dinnertime was a sound routine for all of us… unless it was summer.

Then, my sister and I had more important matters at hand. We had to keep lookout for the ice cream man, hold swing set jumping contests, and run relays in our jelly shoes. When my mom called us in for dinner, we rushed in and ate as fast as we could so that we could get back outside to play. Food was fine, but play was life. That is, unless the meal she was cooking was eggplant Parmesan. The amazing waft of saucy, cheesy goodness coming out of the oven was something to really get excited about… even if it meant coming in and savoring it for a few extra minutes before heading back out to play.

My Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

When Sub Zero, Wolf, and Cove asked me what living deliciously means to me, my mom’s eggplant Parmesan and those warm summer family memories immediately came to mind. Because eggplant’s in peak season, I thought it was the perfect time to develop an eggplant Parmesan recipe of my own. It’s a delicious, lighter ode to my mom’s classic recipe.

Just like my mom, I make my own marinara sauce by simmering crushed tomatoes over my Wolf cooktop for about 20 minutes. Then, for fresh, herbaceous flavor, I add generous pinches of oregano and thyme to the eggplant’s Parmesan and panko coating. Instead of frying the breaded eggplant slices, I bake them until nicely crisp and golden brown. Finally, I layer them with the homemade marinara sauce and slices of fresh mozzarella. And of course, I can’t resist topping the whole thing with big leaves of basil from our garden once it’s out of the oven!

Dredging eggplant slices

How to Make Eggplant Parmesan

Ready to make eggplant parm? Here’s what you need to do:

  • Bread the eggplant. Mix together the herb, Parmesan, and panko coating in one shallow bowl, and whisk 2 eggs with a dash of almond milk in another. Dip each eggplant slice into the egg mixture before tossing it in the panko. Make sure the eggplant is well-coated on all sides!

Breaded eggplant slices on a baking sheet

  • Bake the eggplant. Arrange the breaded eggplant slices in a single layer on 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400° until tender and golden brown. If you have a convection setting on your oven, I highly recommend using it here. When I use convection bake on our Wolf oven, the panko gets deliciously browned and crisp. I don’t miss the traditional fried eggplant at all!
  • Layer it up! Spread some tomato sauce in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Add a layer of eggplant slices, more marinara, and half the sliced mozzarella. Repeat the layers, finishing it off with any remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Hand spreading marinara sauce in a baking dish with a measuring scoop

  • Bake! Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is starting to bubble. Then, turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes, so the cheese starts to brown in places.
  • Garnish and serve. Let the hot eggplant Parmesan rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Then, top it with fresh basil leaves and dig in!

Breaded eggplant slices in a baking dish

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe Tips

  • Slice the eggplant as evenly as you can. Even slices mean even cooking, so try to cut your eggplant slices to a consistent width. You don’t want some pieces to overcook before others get tender! The same goes for the fresh mozzarella – cut it to a consistent thickness to get even melting and browning.
  • Freshly grate the Parmesan cheese. Your eggplant Parmesan will have more flavor if you get a nice chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano (or even pecorino cheese) and grate it yourself.
  • Get a nice, thick panko coating on the eggplant slices. In this recipe, some of the best texture and flavor come from the mix of panko, Parmesan, herbs, and red pepper flakes, so don’t skimp on that yummy crispy coating!
  • Don’t forget the olive oil! Make sure to drizzle the breaded eggplant slices with oil before they go in the oven. It’s essential for getting the panko nicely golden brown and crisp.
  • Season between the layers. The overall seasoning of your eggplant Parmesan will depend on what marinara and Parmesan cheese you use. With my homemade marinara sauce, I like to add a sprinkle of salt and a few grinds of pepper between the layers of eggplant and cheese so that the final dish comes out well-seasoned.

Hand layering fresh mozzarella on eggplant slices in a baking dish Hand sprinkling cheese on eggplant Parmesan in a baking dish

Serving Suggestions

This eggplant Parmesan recipe is hearty enough to be a meal on its own, but if you’re looking for something to go with it, you can’t go wrong with pasta (or spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles!) or good crusty bread. When I make it for friends or family, I also like to pair it with a simple veggie side dish like roasted broccoli, cauliflower, or tomatoes, grilled zucchini, or any of these salad recipes:

For more salad ideas, check out this post!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

More Favorite Dinner Recipes

If you love this baked eggplant Parmesan recipe, try one of these delicious dinner recipes next:

Love eggplant? Find more of my favorite eggplant recipes here.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

rate this recipe:
4.98 from 41 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Serves 6 to 8
Learn how to make eggplant Parmesan with this delicious, lighter baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe. It's perfect for serving a crowd, so make it for your next gathering or family dinner!

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplant, cut into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 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
  • cup fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium-sized shallow dish, whisk the eggs and almond milk.
  • In another medium-sized shallow dish, combine the panko, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and several grinds of pepper.
  • Dip the eggplant slices into the egg mixture and then into the panko mixture. Place onto the baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 18 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
  • In an 8x12 or 9x13-inch baking dish, spread ½ cup marinara, layer half the eggplant, and top with 1 cup of marinara and half the mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, the remaining marinara, and the remaining mozzarella. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with a few more pinches of sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted. Turn the oven to broil and broil for 2 to 4 or until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
  • Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil.

Special thanks to Sub Zero, Wolf, and Cove for partnering on this post!

53 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Luci
    07.26.2021

    Hi. Can I cook the eggplant in an air fryer instead of the oven?

  2. Denise C
    07.04.2021

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe tonight for dinner. I substituted yellow crookneck squash from my garden for the eggplant. I coded everything and oven-toasted it oh, and I must say it already tasted amazing. I felt like I was doing something really wonderful and beautiful for my family as I Was preparing this lasagna. I can’t wait to taste it.

  3. Lauren Barfield
    06.28.2021

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe. I only used one eggplant and jar sweet basil sauce. My kids went back for seconds. Could not believe it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.29.2021

      I’m so glad everyone loved it!

  4. Tony
    06.22.2021

    5 stars
    This is a great recipe. I am the 74 year old husband cook that was looking for an alternative to frying eggplant.

    I used low-fat milk instead of almond milk, used smoked mozzarella for that subtle interesting change of taste, and topped everything off with a 6 cheese shredded Italian blend.

    I used two 8″x8″ pyrex dishes (one for us, one for my son to take home) and fit 4 rounds in the bottom of each dish, and built up from there – topping each stack with two criss-crossed basil leaves – sooooo flavorful.

    I also used the Silver Palate lo-sodium San Marino marinara sauce (3 twenty-five ounce jars).

    Going to try the Easy Baked Ziti tomorrow night!

  5. Katheryn Vazquies
    06.17.2021

    5 stars
    We substituted black garlic for the garlic. Oh! Yum! What an excellent recipe. My husband doesn’t like eggplant but he went back for seconds on this. Excellent, excellent recipe. The sauce was easy to make and has quickly become a family favorite and we all liked the crispy eggplant. Thank you for sharing this wonderful meal.

  6. alicia
    06.15.2021

    5 stars
    my favorite eggplant parmesan recipe. it’s delicious, my only tip would be to sprinkle more seasoning between each layer of eggplant if you’re someone who likes a more savory taste. otherwise, it’s absolutely amazing. it’s very filling and tastes great!

  7. Esther
    06.11.2021

    I’ve made this recipes a couple of times. Love it. Where can the nutritional value of this meal be found?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.12.2021

      I’m so glad you loved it! I’m sorry, I don’t calculate nutrition facts.

  8. Sue Ellen Milam
    06.08.2021

    This was my first attempt at trying this recipe. I’ve only had eggplant fried as a child. This was an amazing dish. My husband does not care for eggplant or parmesan cheese and he absolutely loved it and went back for seconds. I highly recommend this recipe!!

  9. melanie ann vile
    06.07.2021

    I was wondering if you could freeze the eggplant parmesan to serve later. if so, do you bake and then freeze, or freeze and then bake?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.08.2021

      Hi Melanie, I haven’t tried to freeze this particular recipe. I think it could work – I’d assemble it, freeze it, let it thaw overnight in the fridge, and then bake it.

    • Michelle
      07.05.2021

      A friend made this for a potluck and it was delish. Anyone know if I Can instead substitute eggplant for chicken?

  10. Ann
    05.17.2021

    5 stars
    I prepared this recipe and it was scrumptious!

  11. Deborah
    04.21.2021

    Hello
    Is there a certain type of eggplant to use? I’ve had eggplant before and didn’t care for it due to it’s bitterness. Is there a way to tell if it is a bitter eggplant?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.22.2021

      Hi Deborah, very large eggplants can be bitter, and ones that feel heavy for their size. The bitterness comes from the seeds and some eggplants are more seedy inside than others. In this recipe, there are so many flavors going on that I think any eggplant bitterness will be disguised. Hope that helps!

  12. Sonya Jones
    04.12.2021

    5 stars
    DELICIOUS! This is the first eggplant Parmesan I’ve tried or eaten, how is this the first time? It’s soooo good!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.13.2021

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  13. Ev
    03.23.2021

    5 stars
    Thank you! I used this as a base-line for the eggplant parm I made today. I’ve cooked with eggplant before (I’ve liked it, but not my family), but this was a hit!

    I read through your recipe, then went with what I remembered when throwing it together. Totally forgot to drizzle with olive oil after breading until there was only 5 minutes left (lamented about this to everyone in my household) – broiling for a couple of minutes at the end helped with crisping instead.

  14. Lisa
    02.24.2021

    5 stars
    Delicious and simple to make!!! I am so pleased with this recipe – a big hit with my family.

  15. Margaret
    02.08.2021

    5 stars
    This is my first time making eggplant parmesan (always order out) and all I can say is WOW! This tastes just like my favorite Italian takeout! I used “Italian flavored” panko to save myself some time and it worked really well. Will definitely be making this again!

  16. Belinda Sue
    01.27.2021

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh. First time I’ve ever made eggplant (I’ll be 59 next month) it is soooooo good!!!!!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.