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:
5 from 12 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!

30 comments

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  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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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 🙂

  9. Christine
    10.27.2019

    5 stars
    Very delicious! I made this recipe tonight with only one eggplant.

    It’s easy to make and the recipe is noticeably less oily than other eggplant parmesans due to baking the eggplant rather than frying it. It’s a great lighter version, and it’s yummy!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.30.2019

      Hi Christine, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    Excellent food, looks good, salute to you all fellow chef’s!

  11. frou
    01.13.2020

    5 stars
    the Best eggplants, l have ever eaten♥️

  12. Judy
    06.04.2020

    The eggplant Parmesan recipe is listed as a freezer meal but no directions on freezing are included. I’m trying to make meals for my 91 year old mother that she can just take out of the freezer, thaw and heat. If this IS a freezer meal, should it be assembled and frozen, or fully baked and then frozen?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.05.2020

      Hi Judy, you can assemble it and then freeze it before it’s fully baked. When ready to reheat, let it sit overnight in the fridge to thaw, then bake it following the same directions in the recipe. Since it’ll be cold, it may have to bake a little longer. It’ll be done once the middle is warmed through. Hope that helps!

  13. Annie Daniels
    08.23.2020

    I have been making “baked” eggplant Parm for several years now – but with a mix of Italian bread crumbs and grated parm. for the coating. I love the thought of a crunchy Panko coating. I’ll try that out next go-round.
    One question- I always peal the eggplant. I don’t like a tough skin, that the side of my fork won’t cut through. Am I doing something wrong- that my skins are tough, if I leave them on?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.23.2020

      Hi Annie, it might be just a personal preference, I don’t find the skins too tough once it’s all baked together.

  14. Lori
    09.06.2020

    I made the eggplant parmigiana. Very Good. No one knew it wasn’t fried.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.12.2020

      I’m so happy everyone loved it!

  15. Leah
    09.12.2020

    If I was to cut this in half what size of pan would be best?
    It looks amazingly delicious!

  16. Fran
    10.11.2020

    5 stars
    I thought this was delicious. And it was easy and healthy. I had my food store deli counter slice Boar’s Head mozzarella cheese for me which made it that much more easy. I made half the recipe and used 12 thin slices of cheese. And I didn’t use the basil just because I didn’t have it on hand. I am planning to make this again… and again and again!

  17. Kim
    10.21.2020

    5 stars
    Eggplant Parmesan was the best I even used recipe with small chicken breast . How many calories fat sodium and fat would you say per potion of 2 cup?

  18. Sue
    10.25.2020

    5 stars
    5+ stars!!! This was delicious and a recipe I will definitely make again. I didn’t add the red pepper flakes and added only 1 teaspoon of oregano. It was SOOO good – thank you!

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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.