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:
4.99 from 165 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!

61 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Linda
    06.29.2022

    Does it matter if I peel the skin off the eggplant? I noticed you leave it on in the pictures. I am making it tonight.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.02.2022

      Hi Linda, I leave mine on and I think it’s great!

  2. Melissa Uhlir
    06.27.2022

    5 stars
    This recipe was fairly simple and absolutely delicious. Will make again and again this summer!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.29.2022

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Maureen Morris
    06.22.2022

    5 stars
    Made this a few days ago … OMG!! Huge hit!! My 13 yr old grandson had 2 helpings!! Excellent recipe!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.22.2022

      I’m so happy to hear!

  4. Hannah Jacobsma
    06.14.2022

    Loved this recipe! Could you sub oat milk for almond? Thanks!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.18.2022

      I think it would be fine!

  5. Sara
    06.11.2022

    5 stars
    Thank you for helping me outdo my mother-in-law’s eggplant parm! My husband raved and I now love eggplant lol! I used the same breading mix for chicken breasts too and it was perfect. Thank you!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.18.2022

      Ha ha, I’m so glad it was a hit!

  6. Summer Lutz
    06.07.2022

    I was wondering if I could pre make everything and bake it when it’s dinner time. Do you think that would make the crust soggy? Should I refrigerate it if I prepare it a couple hours early? I can’t aIt to try it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.11.2022

      Hi Summer, I think the breading would get soggy making this one ahead. It would probably still taste good, the texture just wouldn’t be the same.

  7. Jules
    05.23.2022

    5 stars
    I’ve tried a few different recipes and this is by far the best! I made the marinara per the recipe and I think it really elevates the dish. No need to salt eggplant in advance – it turns out perfectly! I cut back on the mozzarella as we prefer a lighter cheesiness. This will be my go to recipe from now on!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.26.2022

      Hi Jules, I’m so glad it was a hit!

  8. Cathy
    05.05.2022

    5 stars
    Excellent! Followed recipe to the letter.
    My husband is Italian and he thought it “better” than his mothers.
    It will definitely be on my meal rotation from now on.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.07.2022

      Hi Cathy, I’m so glad he loved it so much, ha ha!

  9. Elle
    04.24.2022

    5 stars
    Omg! This is insanely good. I love making this for my family. Leftovers freeze well too. The pan panko tastes perfect, I could eat just the baked eggplant slices. But so good with all the cheese 🙂 I wonder if there’s any way to do any prep in advance to make this a little easier, but I assume the eggplant slices wouldn’t do well in the fridge? Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.27.2022

      Hi Elle, I’m so glad you loved it! I think you’re right – the eggplant will get more soggy and less crisp the longer it sits. Our lasagna and baked ziti recipes would better make-ahead options.

  10. Valerie
    04.10.2022

    Omg! I am in love with this recipe. I have been a long standing fan of Giadas marinara and after making this one I’m hooked and switched! Thank you for sharing. The only change is made was to substitute oregano for basil just a personal preference but it was divine!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.11.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  11. Sarah Penk
    04.05.2022

    5 stars
    Made it, thank you! Delicious! My one son is allergic to eggs & dairy (yikes!), so I had to use “Just Egg” plant replacement and goat cheese as the cheese – and it turned out YUM! I wish I could upload a photo. My 5 year old son and I made it together. Thankful for recipes, I need them! Will be using this recipe in the future again! It came out looking & tasting like as if from a fancy restaurant. Impressive! So good, many thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.06.2022

      Hi Sarah, I’m so glad he loved it! Thanks for the helpful tip letting us know that Just Egg is a good sub!

  12. Andrea
    03.16.2022

    Do you salt/soak or brine your eggplant slices prior to baking? I keep hearing different things about the need to do this. Supposedly the eggplant can be bitter if you don’t do the soak?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.17.2022

      Hi Andrea, I don’t in this recipe. Baked all together, it wasn’t distinguishable either way so I don’t think it’s worth the extra step.

      Salting can make eggplant more tender in general. For example, we salted in this air fryer eggplant recipe and it was delicious: https://www.loveandlemons.com/air-fryer-eggplant/, and I usually salt it when I’m simply roasting it. If I’m short on time, I skip it.

  13. Shawn DeLater
    03.14.2022

    5 stars
    Simple yet tasty. I did the baked option and loved it. I used my own Marinara and with the addition of her herbs it was a hit!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.16.2022

      I’m so glad you 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.