Eggplant Parmesan

This baked eggplant parmesan recipe will become one of your family favorites! Crispy eggplant is layered with marinara, herbs & cheese.

Growing up, my family ate dinner together every night. At 6pm, we’d all be at the table – my sister, dad, and I – ready and hungry for the meal that my mom had spent her afternoon preparing. As a family, we rarely ate fast food or processed foods – it was important to my mom that dinner was cooked from scratch. Tomato sauce never came from a jar because she kept stockpiles of homemade sauce on hand, 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 summertime. In the summer, 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 would call us in for dinner, we’d rush in and eat fast, so we could get back outside to continue our play. Food was fine, but play was life. That is, unless the meal she was cooking was lasagna or 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 going back out to play.

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. Inspired by my mother, I’ve recreated her recipe below adding my own little twists here and there.

Easy eggplant Parmesan

My Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Now that eggplant’s in peak season, it’s the perfect time to develop an eggplant Parmesan recipe of my own. The result is 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!

Eggplant Parmesan recipe

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 dish, 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!

How to make eggplant Parmesan

  • Bake the eggplant. Spread the breaded eggplant slices onto 2 large parchment-lined 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!

Baked eggplant Parmesan Recipe

  • 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.

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

  • 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 & serve. Let the hot eggplant Parmesan rest for a few minutes before slicing & serving. Then, top it with fresh basil leaves and dig in!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe Tips

  • Slice your 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 your 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 your eggplant. 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 your breaded eggplant slices with oil before they go in the oven. It’s essential for getting the panko nicely golden brown & 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 & cheese so that the final dish comes out well-seasoned.

Baked eggplant Parmesan How to make eggplant Parmesan

Baked Eggplant Parmesan 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 in place of pasta) or good crusty bread. When I make it for friends or family gatherings, I also like to pair it with a simple veggie side dish like lemon green beans, roasted cauliflower, roasted tomatoes, or grilled zucchini, or any of these summer salads:

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

If you love this baked eggplant Parmesan recipe…

Try my roasted veggie lasagna, zucchini lasagna, stuffed zucchinicrispy baked zucchini, or more of our favorite dinner recipes next!

Eggplant Parmesan


5.0 from 2 reviews

Eggplant Parmesan

 
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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!
Author:
Recipe type: Main dish
Serves: 6 to 8
Ingredients
Marinara Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup finely minced shallot
  • 2 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon cane sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Eggplant Parmesan
  • 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
  • 2½ cups marinara sauce
  • 2 large balls fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves
Instructions
  1. Make the Marinara Sauce (can be made in advance). Heat the olive oil in a small pot over low heat. Add the shallot, garlic, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomatoes and their juices, balsamic vinegar, cane sugar, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Make the Eggplant Parmesan. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium-sized shallow dish, whisk the eggs and almond milk.
  4. In another medium-sized shallow dish, combine the panko, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and several grinds of pepper.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil.

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

16 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Nadene
    09.10.2019

    Hi, for this recipe, did you use the same marinara as in your Creamy Pasta Pomodoro?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.10.2019

      I just added the marinara to the recipe in this post below! (It’s similar to the pomodoro one, just increased quantity)

      • Nadene
        09.12.2019

        Thank you Jeanine.

  2. Terrence
    09.10.2019

    Looks amazing! What do you call a ‘large’ eggplant? Is there a weight you could share? Thanks

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.10.2019

      Hi Terrence, about a 7-inch long globe eggplant or similar will be great.

  3. Traci
    09.11.2019

    Just curious – is there a reason to use almond milk instead of dairy whole milk, since this isn’t a dairy free recipe? I usually have both in the fridge, but I think I’d opt for whole milk in this recipe unless there’s a reason not to.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.11.2019

      Hi Traci, there’s not a reason – you can use any milk, I just happen to keep only almond milk on hand.

  4. Sandra
    09.11.2019

    Eggplant Parmesan is what we call Parmigiana in Italy ! In stead of using fresh mozzarella one can also use processed mozzarella as it contains less liquid and therefore the dish will not become watery.

  5. Alison
    09.11.2019

    If I salted the eggplant first would it make it even crispier? I do not have a convection option on my stove.

    I love your cookbook!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.11.2019

      I’m glad you’re loving the book! I don’t bother salting it, the panko coating will get crisp regardless – you can bake it on a regular bake setting and just take it out once it’s crispy! It might take a minute or two longer, every oven is different.

    • Olja
      10.17.2019

      I prepared this great meal today and my husband says I can prepare it every week))) thank you very much!

  6. kate from katekatebear.com
    10.01.2019

    OMG I’m obsessed with this dish! I saw it come through via email and flagged it to make for later – so glad I did. The baked eggplant (and cheese) made it delightfully crunchy and flavorful. I’m 100% adding this to our regular rotation! ☺️

  7. Frank
    10.02.2019

    Can this be made the day prior and the. Cooked or re-heated?

    Thanks, great site

  8. Olja
    10.17.2019

    I prepared this meal today and my husband says I can prepare it every week)) thank you very much for a great recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.18.2019

      Ha ha, I’m so glad you both loved it 🙂

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.