Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

You don't have to be a vegetarian to appreciate eggplant's delicious flavor and overall benefits. This veggie is great for so many reasons, but we especially love the fact that it's good for your health. According to Healthline, eggplants are rich in many nutrients and can assist with heart health. Another plus? They have a ton of antioxidants.

Recipe developer Ting Dalton came up with this delicious family favorite recipe. "I remember the first time we took my eldest son to Italy, and he tried eggplant parmesan. He loved it, and I was shocked because it was a completely vegetarian dish," Dalton explains. "Since we returned, I think this recipe is the closest thing to the dish he tried. The earthiness of the eggplant with the salty goodness of the cheese alongside fragrant tomato sauce — it's such a winning combination." What a fun way to bring your travels back home! Keep reading to find out how to whip up this dish.

Gather the ingredients for this baked eggplant parmesan recipe

The first step in any recipe is to take inventory of what you have at home before getting the rest of your ingredients at the store. Pick up eggplants, extra virgin olive oil, all-purpose flour, eggs, panko breadcrumbs, shredded Parmesan cheese, Italian herbs, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, minced garlic, white wine vinegar, two cans of crushed tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, and mozzarella cheese.

Slice and season the eggplant

Grab a cutting board, a sharp knife, and the eggplant, and slice it into ½-inch thick rounds. Then, take out a baking rack or pan and place the rounds on top. Sprinkle both sides with salt and leave the eggplant to sit for 20 minutes to an hour to let out all of the excess moisture. Once the time is up, pat the eggplant with paper towels to dry it and remove the salt. 

Make the panko mix

Select a medium-sized bowl to make the panko mixture. Start by adding in the panko breadcrumbs. Next, toss in the garlic powder, ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper, Italian herbs, and shredded Parmesan cheese. Mix to combine everything. "While you can use fresh breadcrumbs by blitzing bread, I do like the crispier touch of panko," Dalton shares. "Don't be stingy on the cheese either — the gooeyness of the mozzarella once melted is divine."

Then, go ahead and preheat the oven to 300 F.

Coat the eggplant in the mixture

Arrange three bowls to make a dipping station. In the first, add the flour mixture, followed by whisked eggs in the second, and the panko breadcrumb mixture in the third. Coat each piece of eggplant with flour on both sides, then dip it into the eggs. Last but not least, dip both sides of the eggplant into the breadcrumb mix. Gently shake off any excess crumbs. 

Then, lay the seasoned eggplant slices onto an oiled baking pan and pop them into the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Make the tomato sauce

While the eggplant bakes in the oven, prep the tomato sauce. Take out a skillet and place it on your stove, then pour in the olive oil and turn the heat to medium. Next, add the minced garlic and cook for a minute.

The last ingredients you need to add are crushed tomatoes and white wine vinegar. "My secret ingredient here is the white wine vinegar," Dalton shares. "It just lifts the tomato sauce and adds an extra tanginess alongside the aromatic basil and fragrant garlic." 

Let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes. You don't need to cover the skillet with a lid for this step. After it's done simmering, season with a little salt and pepper to taste, stir in the basil, and remove the pan from heat.

Assemble the eggplant parmesan and bake

Now, you will need a large casserole dish. Spread a generous layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom, then add the eggplant slices on top. Next, put the mozzarella on top of the eggplant slices, followed by a spoonful of tomato sauce and the shredded Parmesan cheese.

Repeat the steps once more for an additional layer, and then pop the dish into the oven. Bake it for 30 minutes until the cheese is browned and melted.

Add basil and serve

Once you remove the baked eggplant parmesan from the oven, top it with fresh basil and serve. This makes a great appetizer or a main course and it is super filling, thanks to all of the delicious layers.

We don't think you will have much left over, but don't sweat it if you do! "Leftovers will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator," Dalton notes. If you're looking for another dish to add to your meal prep routine, Dalton shares that "You can make this ahead of time and bake in the oven when you're ready to serve." Or plan further ahead: "You can also batch bake this and freeze for up to three months, then reheat by baking [it] in the oven."

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
4.9 from 32 ratings
Baked eggplant parmesan is a warm and hearty meal that could turn any meat eater into a vegetarian. Whip up this comforting meal with step-by-step instructions.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
1.1
hours
Servings
6
servings
baked eggplant parmesan in dish
Total time: 1.35 hours
Ingredients
  • 2 large (or 3 small) eggplants
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + extra to grease the baking pan
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 (11-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped + more for serving
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
Directions
  1. Slice the eggplant into rounds, around ½ inch thick.
  2. Arrange the slices on a baking rack or pan and sprinkle with salt on both sides. Let the eggplant sit for a minimum of 20 minutes and up to an hour so that the excess moisture is released. Pat the slices with paper towel to dry the eggplant and remove the salt.
  3. Mix the panko breadcrumbs in a bowl with garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper, Italian herbs, and shredded Parmesan cheese.
  4. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  5. Arrange three bowls containing the whisked eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs.
  6. First, coat the eggplant slices in flour on both sides, then dip them into eggs, and finally into the breadcrumbs, gently shaking off excess crumbs.
  7. Lay the breaded slices on an oiled baking pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.
  8. Meanwhile, pour the olive oil into a skillet and heat on medium.
  9. Add the minced garlic and gently cook for 1 minute.
  10. Add the tomatoes and white wine vinegar and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the chopped basil and remove from heat.
  12. In a large casserole dish, spread a generous layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.
  13. Then layer the cooked eggplant slices, mozzarella, a spoonful of tomato sauce, and some shredded Parmesan. Repeat with an additional layer on top.
  14. Bake the dish uncovered at 350 F for 30 minutes until the cheese is browned and melted.
  15. Top with chopped fresh basil and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 533
Total Fat 27.5 g
Saturated Fat 14.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 155.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 44.0 g
Dietary Fiber 8.7 g
Total Sugars 12.7 g
Sodium 1,011.1 mg
Protein 30.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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