Skip to Content

Eggplant Parmesan

AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES

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

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!
4.73 from 117 votes
Prep Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Servings: 4
Save Recipe Share via Text Message Print Recipe

Ingredients 

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2" thick slices
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt, (DO NOT USE TABLE SALT)
  • 1 ½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ 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 the top side of your eggplant slices and place them on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Let the liquid pull out for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • When your eggplant slices have finished draining liquid, brush off the excess salt with a damp paper towel, 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

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 723 kcal | Carbohydrates: 47 g | Protein: 39 g | Fat: 44 g | Fiber: 6 g | Sugar: 9 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Dinner, Main Course, Main Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dinner, eggplant, italian recipe, parmesan
A quick basic chopped salad that is a starting base for whatever salad creations you may think of! #salad #choppedsalad #quicksalad #easysalad #saladrecipe
Previous
Quick Basic Chopped Salad
These honey mustard and onion pretzels taste EXACTLY like the ones you know and love. Recipe on tablefortwoblog.com
Next
Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzels
Recipe Rating




Ella Belle

Thursday 1st of April 2021

Now that is what I call an Awesomely Delicious pan of Comforting Eggplant Parmesan!

Oh yes to all that cheesy, tomato, basil and eggplant goodness! Good by itself! Good topping a plate of pasta! AND, extraordinary great to use the next day, (if any is left) for making a delicious Eggplant Parm Sandwich! I usually double up on this recipe just so I will have leftovers for a sandwich or two the next day!

For the most delicious Eggplant Parm sandwich using this Eggplant Recipe: I split a loaf of French or Italian bread lengthwise Toast it a bit, then I spread some of the same sauce I used to make the eggplant Parm onto both sides of the bread,. Then I load that beautiful, leftover Eggplant Parm on one half of the bread. I top that with mozzarella cheese and then put it under the broiler to melt the cheese and warm up the eggplant. Then, I put the other half of the bread with sauce on the top to finish the sandwich assembly. But, then I entirely wrap that hot/warm sandwich up tightly with Saran Wrap. Then I actually wrap it up again, very snuggly, in a thick towel and let it set for about 10 to 15 minutes. This makes that sandwich bread absorb the saucy eggplant goodness and it makes for the most delicious, messy eggplant sandwich ever! Now I'm craving this, so I'm off to make some more!

Thank you Julie Chiou for creating this amazing version of eggplant Parmesan!

Mary Anne

Saturday 20th of March 2021

You have an exception presentation style. Clear, friendly, well spoken. I enjoyed the video and will enjoy making (and eating) your recipe for eggplant parm! Great job!

April Alatorre

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

Soooo delicious!

Michele

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

I make eggplant parm on a larger scale because my kids and hubby love the leftovers (they swear it tastes better the next day). I never thought about putting the fried eggplant on a baking rack to cool first. Great idea- thanks. Instead of salting the eggplant slices i soak them in salt water for 30 min. Then another 20 or so to dry in the colander. I use a towel to press out any excess moisture. Also- for added crispness- a quick dip in cornstarch works- although i usually make a mess with the cornstarch (and its just one more step...). I add a little parm cheese to the breadcrumbs. I only had plain breadcrumbs. Next time i will try the Italian style. Thanks for your recipes!

Melissa

Friday 26th of February 2021

Yum yum yum. Thanks for making this simple enough for me to actually attempt it. Now I just need to convince my family to eat eggplant or I’ll eat the whole thing myself!