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
    4.83 from 75 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
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    Ingredients

    • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4" 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)

    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.
  • 494 Comments
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    Comments

  • Sandra says:

    Please think about putting the temperature of the oven 375* by your prep time, cook time, total time it would make a lot easier to to find other wise it is easily over looked.

  • Joseph campisi says:

    Slice the eggplant. Salt. Put in colander and weigh it down with some plates. Let the water drip out of the slices.

  • Angie ahern says:

    Great recipe, thanks for sharing! Would you consider changing the number of eggs to either 1 or 2? I had way too much egg/milk mixture leftover and it seemed to be an extreme waste.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      i’m going to leave recipe as is for now but if you want to note it for yourself in the future, please do!

  • Peggy says:

    This is the best! Loved the salt trick which did NOT make them salty. I used my husbands spaghett sauce and it was soooo good! I just got done making 8 single servings for my children as christmas gifts (with other freezer foods). Thank you:)

  • Jean Ragone says:

    I am making this eggplant Parmesan again tonight. Even though I. Have attempted to remove the water from the eggplant in the past by pressing, I was never successful. The salt method here worked great. The eggplant is so well prepared that it still is a little firm the next day.

  • Ron says:

    I used to fry the eggplant, but it came out sort of greasy. I now do the same prep, but bake the slices. Much better

  • Linda Gagain says:

    I made this recipe using. Gluten free breadcrumbs and fresh mozzarella It was excellent !

  • Patrick Cody says:

    Absolutely inedible. The eggplant absorbes the salt. This was too salty to eat. Terrible recipe.

    • Sarah says:

      I haven’t tried this particular recipe yet, but reading the comments I had to reply to you! I grew up part of my life in Turkey and Eggplant was a huge part of the foods we ate there. My mom prepared eggplant several times a month for various recipes. This salt method isn’t new or unique to this blog, it’s been done for a very long time all over the world. The eggplant WILL NOT ABSORB the salt. Another reason you use salt is also to get rid of the bitterness of the eggplant. My advice to you would be to ensure you are properly removing the salt. We would always do a quick rinse under cold water and pat dry. Make sure you’re not going salt crazy either, about 1/2 tablespoon per medium eggplant is enough. Rinse under cold water, pat/press dry with a towel or paper towels and then continue with your recipe.

      I don’t want anyone reading your comment to think it will turn out salty. The eggplant will not absorb the salt and if done properly all the salt would be removed in the rinsing process.

      Salting your eggplant beforehand is very important especially when working with supermarket eggplant that tends to be older, more bitter and more susceptible to be soggy.

      Usually this isn’t a concern with fresh eggplant however.

  • Emily says:

    The only step I would modify would be to add the Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumb mixture before coating the raw eggplant. 1/4 cheese 3/4 breadcrumbs , Thanks for a great recipe.

  • Matt Davis says:

    Julie, nice recipe with one exception. You say to cut 1/2” slices of eggplant, but show about 1/4”. You may need to revisit that. 1/2” is really thick!

    Making this now at 1/4”, which match almost every other recipe for eggplant Parmesan and look just like your video.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thanks for the note. I’ve changed it! You’re right, 1/2″ is very thick, haha

  • V hall says:

    I would never make my eggplant parmigiana like this again, way too salty!!

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