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
    4.75 from 107 votes
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    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
    Author: Julie Chiou
    5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify MealtimeSign up here for all the secrets!

    Ingredients

    • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4" thick slices
    • 2 tbsp kosher salt (DO NOT USE TABLE 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)

    Instructions

    • 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.

    Video

    Notes

    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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    Comments

  • Stephanie. Ramos says:

    I added some ground beef to this recipe oh my so good 😍 great recipe thank you

  • Harriet Walters says:

    Do you send out recipes? If you do, please include me. Thanks!

  • Jenna says:

    It was good but I feel like the amount of some of the ingredients need to be tweaked a little. I used a good layer of oil to actually fry the eggplants. A few tablespoons was really not enough. Also, I would cut the eggs down to 2 and maybe decrease the milk too. I just had some much extra after using these to coat the eggplant. And as much as I love cheese, I would cut down the cheese to maybe 8-12oz. I felt like there was more cheese than eggplant and it kind of overwhelmed the good flavor. Overall, I did enjoy it though!

  • Lisa G says:

    If I could leave a 10-star review, I would. Thank you for bringing deliciousness to our kitchen! So very, very good. We were gifted three large eggplants from a local farmer. Hmmm…what to make? Found your recipe, and it was sooo good, that we made it two nights in a row! LOL The salt prep was perfection, and I made my own sauce (no jar stuff here). Thanks for this easy, and super delicious recipe.

  • Cindy says:

    This is the second time I’m making this. I am confused about what to do after frying eggplant. In the video you put it right from the pan into the casserole dish. However, in the written recipe you sat to place fried peices on a paper towel! Which one is correct?!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      either is correct :) whichever you feel is easiest

  • Trudy says:

    I have always made my eggplant parm like this. I have a comment for you. Once the egg plant has perspired, I generally block off the wet surface of the egg plant with a paper towel. You may be doing this but you did not mention it in your video. Another thing I do is I prep all my eggplant first. I fry it up and let it rest on paper towels to absorb any extra oil. When I assemble the casserole I find it easier to do it all at once rather than wait to brown another batch of egg plant.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      ah yes, i blot it as well!

  • Debbie says:

    I used to salt my eggplant,but went to work for an Italian restaurant and learned this family soaked their eggplant in water! Counter intuitive I know. BUT the egg plant doesn’t soak up any oil and tastes delicious

  • Rita says:

    I made this eggplant parmesan tonight for dinner. Both my husband and myself loved the recipe. I did the salt prep while my pasta sauce was cooking and it did draw out a lot of moisture. I have a pasta sauce we love and that’s very simple and easy to make, so I didn’t use your sauce recipe. I don’t know or care whether it’s authentic Italian. It was delicious and that’s what matters to me! I’ll be checking out some of your other recipes soon.

  • Amanda says:

    I lost my other eggplant recipe so i tried this out. Not in love. Way too greasy. Eggplant absorbed all the oil and just came out so gross. I had to throw half of it out. Pass on this one there are other recipes out there

  • Sheila says:

    This is by far the best eggplant Parmesan I e ever made OR eaten in a restaurant!

  • Modesty says:

    Quick question. How long will the cooked recipe keep in the refrigerator? I made enough for 3 servings and have 2 leftover. I would like to have it the next day or so. Will it be okay or will it get soggy?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      it’ll get a bit soggy but we do love the leftovers around here!

  • Renata Melnitschenko says:

    It was a great recipe, but I always love to know what type of product you use for the ingredients. When I find a recipe I always write my notes, and post my pictures. If I make the recipe a couple of times using different ingredients, I will make my notes and tell everyone who asks for the recipe the differences of when I used one product vs. another. Just my 5¢.

  • Jeanne Kruger says:

    I used 5 fresh tomatoes to make the sauce, along with 1 pound mild Italian sausage (ground), browning with 1/2 chopped Vidalia onion. Salt sauce to taste and add 1/2 tsp garlic powder, dried basil, and smoked paprika. Simmer the sauce while breading the eggplant and frying it.
    It was excellent!

  • Brenda says:

    Your recipe is delish but your video omits one very important step which your written instructions include – wiping off the salt and patting it dry.

  • Essence Phillips says:

    I am going to try your recipe next week but was wondering where you purchased your white triangular dishes you used for dredging the parm?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      i got them years and years ago at a grocery store, haha

  • Kristin Duggan says:

    This recipe is to-die-for good! It’s also amazing (just as good if not better) warmed up later. I have made huge dishes of this and we’ve eaten it all week and it’s still great. My husband said it’s better than his (Italian mother’s) eggplant parm, so I think that’s a win! ;)

  • Phyllis says:

    I haven’t made the recipe yet, but why cook only two pieces of eggplant at a time?

    • Julie Chiou says:

      so it doesn’t crowd the pan and bring the temperature down…but you can do more than two at a time if you want

  • Patty Bailey says:

    My mother always salted the eggplant. But pressed it with a weighted plate on top and I use paper towels. But I’ve done it both ways, with out drawing the moisture out and it’s fine.
    A couple steps you forgot. After patting it dry. It should go into flour and remove access flour by smacking it on the side of the dish. Then Egg (no milk needed). Then you need to add Parmesan to the bread crumbs. I use both progresso Italian and Panko Italian bread crumbs .
    Once cooked I transfer to paper towels and keep in the oven on warm.
    I also add a layer of whole milk Ricotta mixture. Same as lasagna.
    I make them as stacks.

  • Celeste Odono says:

    We harvested a couple of beautiful eggplants from our backyard garden. I decided to make this recipe tonight but it was too hot so we cooked it on the barbecue. It was oh sooooo good. My teenage son said that this would be one of the few eggplant dishes that he would surely eat. He is not a fan of eggplants but he loved this. Thank you so much!

  • Danielle says:

    This is THE ABSOLUTE BEST eggplant parm recipe EVER! My husband swore up and down he hated eggplant until I fed him this. Says it tastes like meat and even ate my leftovers which I thought for sure were safe. Lol. Every time I make this I make plenty of extra as it is so, so good as a leftover. To anyone who gave this less than 5 stars you really must not have done something right as it is no fail and delicious!

  • Liann Putney says:

    I love eggplant parmesan. However my boyfriend is on a low sodium diet. Do you know the sodium content of your dish?

    • Julie Chiou says:

      I’m sorry, I do not :(

  • Carol says:

    The best recipe for eggplant Parmesan ever.

  • Joan says:

    I finally found a way to make eggplant that I love. Not one of my favorite foods has changed after using your recipe. I will be watching the garden so none go to waste anymore. I did use Chinese eggplant and a package of shredded Italian 6 cheese blend. Easy to make and delicious. Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe.

  • Veronica says:

    I would have given it 0 stars if I could. It was horrible we had to throw the whole thing out. Wasn’t crisp and so not worth the mess and the extra step. So salty we could not eat. Yuck!

  • Johnnye Friedrich says:

    The best eggplant Parmesan I have ever made or had. Thanks

  • Lucy Magee says:

    Way too salty! Followed the directions and actually used a knife to scrape oof the salt on the eggPlant slices but is was still very salty.

    • Julie Chiou says:

      what type of salt did you use?

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