Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious classic Italian favorite! Tender eggplant is breaded in crispy breadcrumbs, then laid in a delicious bed of marinara sauce, topped with parmesan cheese, and baked until hot and melty.
This easy eggplant casserole is great to make ahead, reheats beautifully and is full of flavor. Serve alongside a simple Tomato Salad with some bread and Homemade Garlic Butter for a meal your family will love!
I have to admit, eggplant was a vegetable I was not familiar with, I didn’t even know how to cook eggplant until about 5 years ago. When I took cooking classes in Italy, I learned the art of preparing this amazing dish and working with eggplant.
Eggplant Parmesan is one of the things I always love to order when I go out for Italian food (you’ll sometimes see it on the menu as Eggplant Parmigiana or Melanzane alla Parmigiana). While I love to order this dish (or a tomato and Italian sausage pasta dish), it was only recently that I started making eggplant parm at home.
A traditional eggplant parmesan recipe starts with breaded and fried eggplant but I wanted to enjoy it at home without all the deep frying. Breading and baking in the oven produces results so rich and delicious, you’ll never know the difference and your waistline will thank you!
As much as I love Chicken Parmesan, eggplant has a beautiful way of mimicking the texture and the richness of a meat dish while adding a delicious earthy flavor. Layers of eggplant, homemade marinara, and shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheese create a decadent (almost lasagna-like) dish. I like my eggplant parmesan to be very saucy but if you prefer less marinara sauce feel free to reduce the amount.
How To Make Eggplant Parmesan
Learning how to cook eggplant parmesan at home is as easy as can be!
- Cut eggplant into ¼” discs (no need to peel) and place them on a rack.
- Sprinkle with salt to draw out moisture. Rinse & pat dry.
- Bread the eggplant in breadcrumbs and bake for a few minutes
- Layer marinara, eggplant and cheese. Repeat.
- Bake until it is hot and bubbly!
Breading Tip: A great tip to minimize mess when breading in this process is to use your left hand for wet ingredients and your right hand for the dry ones!
What To Serve With Eggplant Parmesan
While it’s meat free, this eggplant parmesan dish is hearty and delicious! Because it is a rich dish, you’ll want your sides to be a bit lighter in flavor like grilled zucchini, Roasted Broccoli or a nice light salad with lemon vinaigrette. And of course don’t bread or dinner rolls to sop up any sauce left in your bowl!
Can you Freeze Eggplant Parmesan?
If you have leftover eggplant parmesan, it can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months.
To make this dish ahead of time, prepare as directed without baking. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze up to 3 months. To bake, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.
More Casseroles You’ll Love
- Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole – Easy!
- Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole
- Lasagna Roll Ups – Make ahead
- Pizza Pasta Bake – Kids love this dish
- Classic Stuffed Shells Recipe – Family favorite!
- 1 ½-2 pounds eggplant sliced ¼ inch
- ½ cup flour
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese shredded
- zest from 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon basil
- 26 ounces pasta sauce or homemade
- 16 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
- ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded
- ¼ cup fresh parsley or basil chopped
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare two baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- Slice eggplant about ¼ inch thick place on a rack or pan. Sprinkle generously with salt. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.
- Whisk eggs together in a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl, add the flour. In a third bowl combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, lemon zest, garlic powder and basil. Set all three bowls aside.
- After the eggplant has rested, rinse well under cold running water well and pat dry.
- Dredge each slice of eggplant first in the flour, then into the egg, and finally in the breadcrumb mixture. Place each slice of eggplant on prepared parchment lined pans. Spray with cooking spray if desired.
- Bake for 5 minutes, then flip and bake for 5 minutes more or until golden brown. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 375°F.
- Spread a thin layer of pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 dish. Layer ⅓ of the eggplant, herbs, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and pasta sauce.
- Repeat layers ending with cheese. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)