Eggplant Parmesan

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    This is my favorite way to make eggplant parmesan. The extra prep step may not seem worth it to you, but trust me – it absolutely is and makes a huge difference. You can read the comments below and see that those who took the extra step did not regret it!

    Our all-time FAVORITE way to make eggplant parm! You will want to make it this way forever! #eggplantparm #eggplantparmesan #eggplantrecipe #vegetarian #recipe #italian

    Eggplant parmesan will always be one of my top favorite comfort foods. There is something about the dish that feels like it’s giving you a giant hug.

    Growing up, I was not a huge fan of eggplant. I didn’t like the texture.

    It was soggy and kind of slimey.

    The only time I would ever eat it would be when my mom deep-fried it or she made this one classic Taiwanese eggplant dish with this amazing garlic sauce.

    Any other dish that had eggplant in it, I’d refuse to eat.

    That is until I was introduced to the cheesy gloriousness of something called eggplant parmesan!

    What a great way to have a hearty meal without meat. It’d be a great meatless Monday meal.

    Eggplant is hearty and meaty enough to take place as real protein so I can see why this dish is also a favorite amongst vegetarians and why someone came up with it.

    Basically the vegetarian version of chicken parmesan.

    Our all-time FAVORITE way to make eggplant parm! You will want to make it this way forever!

    The method for the best eggplant parmesan recipe!

    Heads up: once you make it this way, this is the ONLY way you’ll want to make your eggplant parmesan in the future.

    The technique I talk about is 100% worth it.

    So many readers have made it before and have told me that they won’t ever skip the prep step again!

    Okay, so the best method to make eggplant parmesan is to pull the moisture out of the eggplant prior to frying it.

    How do we pull moisture out of the eggplant?

    We sprinkle salt on the eggplant slices!

    The salt pulls out the moisture from the eggplant and therefore, when you cover it with breadcrumbs and fry it, you will have a much crispier and less soggy eggplant parmesan dish.

    Exhibit A:

    All that moisture beading up on top of the eggplant? That’s the salt doing its job! It’s pulling out most of the moisture

    All you have to do is just pat it dry and dust off the excess salt and then you’ll be ready to start making your eggplant parmesan!

    Can you make eggplant parmesan ahead of time?

    Yes! However, the breading might end up a little soggy.

    I definitely encourage you to pull the moisture out of the eggplant as a prep step and if you are going to bread the eggplant, you definitely should fry it up immediately after otherwise the breadcrumbs start to get soggy.

    Even though we’ve pulled out the moisture, there is still going to be some moisture so it’s best you fry up the coated eggplant ASAP.

    After you fry up the eggplant, I would lay it on wire cooling rack so air can get through on both sides.

    Otherwise, you’d be suffocating the breading with the heat and condensation so then it’d turn the breading soggy.

    After it cools, you can place it in a plastic bag and put it in the fridge until you’re ready to use.

    I wouldn’t assemble the casserole dish ahead of time because the marinara sauce will turn the breading soggy and mealy — BUT if you truly do want to prep the eggplant parmesan ahead of time and don’t mind that it’s a little soggy, you can assemble the entire casserole dish at this point then cover it and place it in the fridge.

    Once you’re ready to bake it, I would let the casserole dish sit at room temperature while the oven is pre-heating.

    Sometimes if you stick a ceramic dish or glass dish from fridge to oven, it could crack.

    Our all-time FAVORITE way to make eggplant parm! You will want to make it this way forever! #eggplantparm #eggplantparmesan #eggplantrecipe #vegetarian #recipe #italian

    Can I freeze eggplant parmesan?

    Yes, but if that is what you are doing, I would suggest prepping it all in a disposable aluminum tray so you can pop it in straight into the oven without worries of your casserole dish cracking/breaking.

    If you freeze the eggplant parmesan in a glass or ceramic casserole dish, then you’d have to let it sit out on at room temperature before putting it in the oven and by then, your ingredients will all be melting and soggy.

    Our all-time FAVORITE way to make eggplant parm! You will want to make it this way forever! #eggplantparm #eggplantparmesan #eggplantrecipe #vegetarian #recipe #italian

    If you love this eggplant parmesan recipe, then you’ll love these:

    Watch me make this eggplant parmesan recipe:

    Our all-time FAVORITE way to make eggplant parm! You will want to make it this way forever! #eggplantparm #eggplantparmesan #eggplantrecipe #vegetarian #recipe #italian

    Our all-time FAVORITE way to make eggplant parm! You will want to make it this way forever! #eggplantparm #eggplantparmesan #eggplantrecipe #vegetarian #recipe #italian
    4.87 from 65 votes

    Eggplant Parmesan

    This is my favorite way to make eggplant parmesan. The extra prep step may not seem worth it to you, but trust me - it absolutely is and makes a huge difference. Those who took the extra step did not regret it and I'm sure you won't either!
    Prep Time: 1 hr 15 mins
    Cook Time: 20 mins
    Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins
    Course: Dinner, Main Course, Main Entree
    Cuisine: Italian
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 4
    Calories: 723kcal
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    • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2" thick slices
    • 2 tbsp kosher salt
    • 1 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 4 tbsp vegetable oil, for lightly pan-frying
    • 3 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
    • 2 cups whole milk mozzarella shredded
    • 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded
    • Handful of fresh basil leaves chopped, for garnish (optional)


    • Salt both sides of your eggplant slices and place them in a large colander in the sink. Let the liquid drain for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
    • When your eggplant slices have finished draining liquid, brush off the excess salt, as you don't want it to be too salty!
    • In 2 shallow plates, add breadcrumbs to one and whisk eggs and milk in the other. Dip both sides of eggplant slice into milk/egg mixture then cover with breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess. Place on plate or large baking sheet and repeat until all eggplant slices have been coated.
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    • Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil into the skillet. Once the skillet is hot, add two eggplant slices at a time to the skillet and cook on both sides until golden brown, remove and set on a large plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until you've pan-fried them all.
    • In a large casserole dish, add 1 cup of marinara sauce to the bottom of the casserole dish. Add a layer of eggplant slices (I was only able to fit about 3 a layer) then using a 1/4 cup, dollop marinara sauce on top of the eggplant slices. The idea isn't to smother the layers with sauce. On top of the eggplant slices, sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers until you run out of eggplants slices. Top the casserole with more cheese before you place in the oven :)
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and brown on top. I used the broiler for 5 minutes to get the cheese nice and brown - you don't have to, but if you do, watch it carefully!
    • Serve hot and top with chopped basil, if using.



    Nutrition Facts
    Eggplant Parmesan
    Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
    Calories 723 Calories from Fat 396
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 44g68%
    Carbohydrates 47g16%
    Fiber 6g24%
    Sugar 9g10%
    Protein 39g78%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.
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  • Tina says:

    OMG Julie!!! I’ve never had eggplant Parmesan. I decided to try it after seeing your recipe. It was easy and simple to make and I must say. It was absolutely delicious I followed your instructions to the tee and it turned out great!! Thanks for sharing 😋

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I love hearing this!!!

  • Karyn Adcock says:

    I had some fresh eggplant out of the garden. I looked up recipes.looked at a few and decided to try yours. OMG. It was delicious. So now I’ll keep coming back to your website to try more of your recipes. I’ve also told neighbors to try your recipe for eggplant parmesan. Thank you

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Love hearing this! Thank you so much!

  • Kristina says:

    Can I leave out the milk if I don’t have any on hand?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      You could but the coating might not coat as well.

  • Sharon Ulissi says:

    Excellent recipe. Followed each step and Julie is correct. Crispy, crispy, crispy is best!! Thank you Jilie for this 10+ recipe.
    Sharon Ulissi

  • Desiree Steele says:

    This was fantastic!! Thanks for the salt tip!!

  • Teresa says:

    Amazing! Super easy! Thank you for sharing!

  • Sally says:

    I want to make this as it sounds wonderful but I am dairy free! Can I sub the milk for almond milk and still have it taste okay? I know the cheese will have to be left off but that’s fine! I’ve come to the realization that cheese just is not in the cards for me!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yes, almond milk will be fine. It’s such a light coating that it won’t affect the taste.

  • Jennifer says:

    Can I give this 10 stars? This is the first time I have cooked eggplant parm. I followed the recipe exactly. Even my husband, who is all about meat and hates when I make meatless meals, loved this so much he had a whole second plate full! This is fantastic!! I am adding it to our favourite recipe book. SO good. Thanks!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Omg, thank you so much for letting me know. Wow, this has made my day!! I’m so glad you and your husband LOVED it!

  • Carmen G. Valenzuela Zeballos says:

    With my husband now we part of empty nesters, your recipes are perfect for us. Thanks
    Carmen Gloria

    • Julie Wampler says:

      glad to hear this!!

  • Kathleen Levins says:

    I made this a few months ago and my husband was just asking me to make it again! Super easy (no I haven’t done the salt technique yet), flavorful and plenty of leftovers with using 1 large eggplant. Thank you for sharing!

    • Nancy Merillat says:

      I liked it too, but did the salt technique……DO NOT DO THE SALT!! It was so salty, I could hardly eat it! Will make again, but with NO salt!!

  • Nancy Merillat says:

    This was a really good recipe, but I would never soak the eggplant in the salt again. I followed the directions, even WASHED off the salt after 45 minutes, but the end result was so incredibly salty that I won’t be able to eat any more! Must of soaked into eggplant I guess….but will try in again and tweak it!!

  • Pat says:

    My husband is Italian and his family does it with the salt and the bread crumbs…dont let anyone tell you different…maybe that person who said it wasn’t “italian” came from another part of Italy??..this is the way it should be done!!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thank you!

  • Kelley Wright says:

    Mmm… Absolutely wonderful!!

  • Chris Gates says:

    Thank you Julie this is great !!!

  • Sandra says:

    I’m on a g-tube and can’t eat anything. I still love to cook for my family everyday. According to the family this was excellent. I added a little Italian seasoning. i will be making this again! Great recipe!

  • Andrea says:

    Delicious!! Great tip on using the broiler!

  • Shari Kreuter says:

    Seems like a great recipe but the instruction to wipe the salt off leaves it way too salty to eat so it was waisted I will try again probably NO SALT 😩

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Hi! Sorry to hear about this! How does wiping the salt off leave the dish too salty to eat? Additionally, may I ask what kind of salt you are using and how heavily you are sprinkling on the eggplant slices? The kind of salt you use can affect this a lot.

      • Jeris U. says:

        I rinsed the slices and thoroughly dried with paper towels rather than just wiping off the salt. I think that made a big difference on how salty the end result was.

      • Lilly says:

        In the instructions its say to wipe off the salt but in the video you don’t wipe it off, what is the best way?

        • Julie Wampler says:

          wipe off the salt. apologies, when filming a video it’s nearly impossible to do every step correctly. i’m glad you read both the instructions and videos and asked the question!

    • Russ Mindick says:

      I had the same experience! The dish looked beautiful, eggplant was crispy but unfortunately was inedible due to the saltiness. I took the time to wipe off each slice of eggplant but to no avail – the salt was embedded. Going to try again with no salt unless I can figure out another way to remove the moisture from the eggplant.

    • Phil Evaul says:

      I felt the same way. It’s really just too salty to eat.

  • Linda Vroman says:

    I made this but the salting screened to make the eggplant tough. Maybe if the temperature or cooking time were increased it would have been better. Also I’m wondering if it should have been covered with foil while cooking except for maybe the last ten minutes or so.

  • Kristin says:

    I love it when I read a recipe and it’s how I already make something. What I usually don’t do is use milk with the eggs so I’ll try that next time (saw that it coats better in another post). I also use this in my veggie lasagna.

    The marinara also makes all the difference. My fave is roasting sweet tomatoes (cut in half face down), garlic, a sweet onion, fresh marjoram, basil, and oregano, all drizzled with olive oil and then blending it. It’s fresh and sweet and compliments the bitter of the eggplant. There’s my 2¢.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      So true about the marinara!!

  • CJ says:

    Julie is correct. This is the best way to make it. It is easy and the eggplant has perfect texture. I tossed my other eggplant parm recipes. Follow this recipe as written and you will too!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thank you so much!!

  • Sam Kahl says:

    Ms. Julie, I’ve made eggplant Parmesan before consulting your recipe. I’ve made it with and without meat, with diced tomato added to the mix. Trying it again, I found your recipe. The surprise discovery? Pulling the moisture out of the eggplant. I tried the salt. In a few minutes, I saw water beading up. I twenty minutes, sheets of water formed. Thank you for that insight. I don’t mind mushy eggplants, but prefer it as a spaghetti sauce. My new casserole cut more firmly, like a piece of good steak. Thank you again.

  • Jeris U. says:

    I made this last night with eggplants we got from our garden. Rather than a colander, I put the slices on a cooling rack over the sink (I can do more that way). I was very pleased with the result – my hubby says he could almost go vegetarian if he could get food like this!! And I found that it is so important to make sure the slices are at least 1/2″ thick – the finished product was beautifully al dente and not mushy!

    Note: 4 tablespoons of oil is in no way sufficient, as it does not allow for oil absorbed by the eggplant and breading. I used avocado oil, as it is better at higher heat, but I ended up using about 1/4 to 1/3 cup in total (maybe a bit more), as the oil level reduced and the stray breadcrumbs started to burn. But it is a keeper, I will make this again!

  • Christine Snyder says:

    do you peel the eggplant before making ? The skin is bitter …

    • Julie Wampler says:

      You can if you want to but I did not.

  • Joanne says:

    Can’t wait to make this

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I hope you love it!

  • Marty Klotz says:

    I’m presuming you sliced the eggplant lengthwise if you could only fit two in the pan. I sliced in rounds and was able to do many in batches. Either way, you get the same result: A delicious dish that I know I will be making again! I’m surprised I’m seeing some resistance to the salting of the eggplant. I always thought that was common practice when making any eggplant dishes such as baba ganoush.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Hi, no, I sliced them into rounds but it really also depends on how big a skillet you have and the eggplant size you got (diameter of rounds). Glad you enjoyed!!

  • Kathleen Keiko Richmond says:

    We made this eggplant recipe and it was truly the best Eggplant ever! My husband also said he could go vegetarian of all recipes tasted like this one!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Wow, thank you!

  • Joan says:

    Your recipes are very good and easy

  • Carol Tayloe says:

    Very annoying, I don’t want a long history, just give me the recipe, I’m in a hurry most of the time, I scroll and scroll, , when I finally get tomwhat looks like the recipe, my iPad shuts down.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      it seems to work long enough for you to scroll down and leave this comment.

      • Rachel says:


  • nancy says:

    I loved your recipe!! Frying the eggplant prior to baking in the oven is a MUST and cannot be omitted. The texture was perfect as was the taste. I shall keep this recipe and add it to my favorites! Thank you!

  • Tierra says:

    I can’t wait to try out this recipe! Since graduating from college I have so much more time to cook and I’ve been dying to try and make eggplant Parmesan, but before I do I was wondering is it okay to make this dish with just one layer of eggplant? I only cook for just myself and I don’t eat a lot so I don’t want to make too much.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yes, definitely can use only 1 layer of eggplant!

  • Liz says:

    Best eggplant dish I’ve ever had. You must do the salt step!! I made this with my friends home grown Japanese eggplants and it turned out so good. Crispy, yummy and savory! Thank you!!!!

  • Lisa says:

    If I make enough to freeze, when I want to reheat it, what temperature and how long should I put it on for? Also delicious recipe – the only one I’ll use for eggplant parm. :)

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I would put it at 375 degrees Fahrenheit at maybe 20-30 minutes.

  • Lydia Walker says:

    Do you have a low sodium, low fat recipe for eggplant parmesan?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Hi, sorry, I do not.

  • Christine Allen says:

    Hi Julie! Can you make this into a freezer meal? If so, how would you go about it? Thanks!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Hi, please read the blog post. There is a section that specifically says, “can I freeze this eggplant parmesan?”

  • Krista says:

    I made mine in a casserole dish. Only the top layer was awesome and crispy. Thinking of baking on cookie sheets next time to hopefully have all of them as amazingly crispy and tasty as the top layer. Thoughts? Even my 4 and 6 year old loved eating the top layer. They helped me make it too. Great sensory cooking experience for them.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yes, that would work great!

  • Bonnie Jones says:

    Can’t wait yo try it.

  • Pam Dean says:

    So delish!

  • Mike gaura says:

    I didn’t see where it said how many servings what is there in this recipe. If you would please be so kind as to tell me how much, I would highly appreciate it

    • Julie Wampler says:

      it says right in the recipe card the servings. it’s right above the ingredients.

  • Sabine Miller says:

    Excellent recipe. Was my first time making eggplant parmesan. While I did not have mozzarella handy, I used Havarti cheese which was delicious.

  • Monica A. says:

    I don’t know what happened to the folks who don’t like the salt technique. Not salty at all and I ate three pieces before even finishing the recipe (putting in the oven with sauce and cheese). GREAT recipe exactly as is!

  • Phil Evaul says:

    It’s a really great idea and the texture of the egg plant is fabulous due to the low moisture however it’s not an easy feat getting the salt off of the egg plant and it rented the dish almost to salty to eat. I am going to research if there are of the methods for drawing the moisture out of food/vegetables.

  • Katryn says:

    The eggplant parm was so good! Using the salt to draw out the water made it that much crispier game changer! 👌

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