Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan from

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!

How is it mid-March and we’re supposed to be getting 1-3 inches of snow today? This is annoying. Good thing we didn’t decide to have our wedding in March like we initially almost did. I also find it really interesting how people choose wedding dates. Some choose it for special meaning and then others (like us) just choose it cause it’s whatever was open at our wedding venue. But then that random date becomes a forever meaning to you. Kind of cool at how it was “meant to be.”

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

How good does this cheesy goodness look?! You will not regret making this dish and it will be your new favorite way to make eggplant parmesan!

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

This has been one of my favorite dishes to create from scratch. It’s really filling, super flavorful, hearty, and healthy. It’s got the best of every world! I had two large eggplant slices and my tummy was happily full :) one of the keys to this eggplant parmesan is to salt the eggplant slices and then give it time to let the salt draw out the eggplants’ liquid. It makes a huge difference when it comes to pan-frying the breadcrumb coated slices as they don’t end up soggy! And again, I will 100% endorse the use of whole milk mozzarella. I mean, c’mon, doesn’t that last picture just make your mouth water?!

Our all-time FAVORITE way to make eggplant parm! You will want to make it this way forever!
Eggplant Parmesan
Prep Time
1 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 35 mins
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!
Servings: 4
  • 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)
  1. 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.
  2. When your eggplant slices have finished draining liquid, brush off the excess salt, as you don't want it to be too salty!
  3. 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.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. 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 with 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil for every 2 eggplant slices.
  6. 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 :)
  7. 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!
  8. Serve hot and top with chopped basil, if using.

Posted on March 18, 2013

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  1. Patricia Jordan
    03/23/2013 at 8:52 pm

    Sorry…meant eggplant parm.

  2. 03/23/2013 at 10:35 pm

    Gorgeous, Julie! I could eat this all day every day, and twice on Sundays. One of my all-time favorite dishes. Yours is gorgeous!

  3. Janet
    03/24/2013 at 9:35 am

    OMG! I drooled looking at the pics and read the recipe…my bf doesn’t like cheese much- this would be way to much for him. BUT, I’m gonna make this for myself! (and maybe share a little with a neighbor!)

  4. 03/24/2013 at 10:00 am

    This looks so delicious! That melted cheese and promise of what is underneath, is irresistible! I am always looking for great veggie recipes that the whole family can enjoy. Thanks!

  5. 03/24/2013 at 11:09 am

    My husband and I have been looking for a great eggplant recipe to introduce us to the vegetable. We’re traditionalists (meat and potatoes people) so this looks like the PERFECT way to bring it in without being too “scary” – thanks!

  6. Moira
    03/25/2013 at 4:11 am

    Why do you prefer 1 to 2 inch thick slices of the ‘plant ? I’ve only had success with egg’parm at about 1/4″ thick cutlets … maybe 1/2″ for a random slice. Seems like slices that thick would take too long to cook “right” ~ they’d be too raw/chewy. If I’m making an eggplant stew, the larger chunks will do … but that’s a long, slow simmer. Just wondering how you make this work.

    • 03/25/2013 at 6:58 am

      Well, I honestly didn’t have a ruler near me while doing this so I just eyeballed my thick slices were 1 inch. I’ve always made eggplant parm with thicker slices and they’ve always cooked through for me. *shrugs* I honestly couldn’t tell you why I prefer the 1-2 inch slices, I guess it’s a method that works for me.

  7. Moira
    03/25/2013 at 7:04 am

    Thanks, Julie. I might try thicker slices next time ~ less prep time, surely!

  8. 03/25/2013 at 2:34 pm

    I really want to give eggplants a second try since my horrible eggplant lasagna disaster of 2010. I need to erase the over cooked like a dish sponge eggplant mess memory that I made. This looks like the perfect way to get eggplants into my heart.

  9. mo
    03/25/2013 at 5:13 pm

    Made this last night. Delicious as well as beautiful. No leftovers here.

  10. 03/26/2013 at 4:19 pm

    I am now officially craving eggplant Parmesan! This looks so cheesy and good.

  11. Meaghan
    03/26/2013 at 8:13 pm

    I have never had eggplant parmesan however your pictures convinces me I needed to try it. It was amazing! The perfect balance of marinara, cheese & crunchy on the outside and creamy smooth eggplant in the inside :)Will definitely make again.

  12. 03/27/2013 at 7:23 pm

    it’s been forever since i’ve had eggplant parm! will definitely be making this soon.

  13. Carolina
    04/01/2013 at 6:43 pm

    I did this recipe yesterday for my husband and myself. Wow! I had to write and say thank you. It turned out sooo well! Love your blog.

  14. Dkeveryday
    04/04/2013 at 12:52 pm

    I’d like to make this tonight and I was wondering…the spice on the top, is it basil? As for layering the pieces, are they supposed to be evenly layered like a lasagna or just piled on any which way? And to pour the sauce over each layer is it to cover the whole layer or just each eggplant slice individually?
    Sorry for all the questions but it looks so good, I don’t want to mess it up! Thank you and love your blog.

    • 04/04/2013 at 12:59 pm

      Hi, yes, as mentioned in a previous comment, it is basil. I would layer it like lasagna. Neat rows with some eggplant slices overlapping each other. I only covered just each eggplant slice individually. It’s not supposed to smother the entire eggplant layer. I hope you enjoy!

  15. Whitney
    04/10/2013 at 7:53 am

    I’ve been wanting to try this for a while and finally did last night. It exceeded my expectations! I will certainly be making this again soon. Great recipe :)

  16. Hannah
    04/23/2013 at 2:08 am

    Do you think you’ve confused inches with cms? Just because your pictures do not look at all like you are using 1 or 2 inch sized slices. Most use 1/4inch slice to work. I use 1cm size as I do not work in inches. But a 2INCH slice would be like the length of your thumb…. pretty thick and I can’t think it would ever work! Delicious none the less your pictures, and I just had Eggplant Parm for dinner tonight myself.

    • 04/23/2013 at 9:25 am

      Hi Hannah, no, I’m not confusing inches with cm’s. I don’t have a ruler when I’m cooking so I just eyeballed it when writing the recipe. However, if you notice in the recipe, it does say 3/4″ thick. I changed this a while back, and while my pictures don’t look like it, it’s because they do shrink a little during the cooking process. Thanks for your nice compliment on my photos!

  17. Melissa
    04/24/2013 at 8:40 pm

    I didn’t like eggplant parm the last time I made it (a long time ago) but your photos sucked me in. I’m a much better cook than I used to be so I decided to brave it and try your recipe. It was wonderful. My only change was based on a recommendation from the lady in the produce dept. I skinned the eggplant because she said it would be less bitter. It tasted perfect to me. My guest had 2 helpings so I think it went over well too. Thank you. :-)

  18. Meredith
    05/28/2013 at 8:04 pm

    Ohh this recipe is so tasty. I have made eggplant parm in the past (it’s one of my favorites) but I can never get it to turn out well. I left this recipe for my husband to cook for us while I was at work. It turned out incredible!

  19. Myra
    08/04/2013 at 8:37 pm

    I need to make this now!!!

  20. 08/20/2013 at 8:54 pm

    This looks absolutely divine! We love eggplant around here and I’ll be trying this soon!

  21. Cindy
    10/03/2013 at 4:46 pm

    One of my all time favorites! Can’t wait to try it out!

    • 10/04/2013 at 11:28 am

      I hope you try it out, Cindy and let me know what you think!

  22. 10/20/2013 at 8:28 pm

    Hi. Making this tonight and was wondering what you consider a large casserole dish? 9×13? 8×8?.. Thanks

    • 10/20/2013 at 9:27 pm

      Hi Marcella! An 8×8 will be just fine! Enjoy :)

  23. Claudia
    12/08/2013 at 5:00 pm

    Made this last night, got the recipe from a ziplist email. SOOO DELICIOUS! My husband was speechless haha told me it was the best thing I ever made! Thanks for the recipe! Looking forward to following the blog!

    • 12/08/2013 at 9:57 pm

      I’m so thrilled that you and your husband enjoyed this!! Thanks for the feedback :)

  24. Colette M McWilliams
    01/17/2014 at 1:24 pm

    I don’t know is that I am hungry or do these pictures look delicious?? Do pictures look delicious? I am making this!!

    • 01/17/2014 at 9:15 pm

      I hope you enjoy it Colette!

  25. Kelsey
    03/20/2014 at 1:20 pm

    What is the chopped fresh herb on top? I feel like that would add a lot but I don’t see any herbs in the ingredient list! Basil?

    • Julie
      03/20/2014 at 1:26 pm

      Hi Kelsey! Yup, as mentioned in previous comments, it’s basil! I’ll go ahead and update the recipe. I hope you make it and enjoy! :)

  26. Amber
    04/07/2014 at 9:39 pm

    I have made eggplant parmesan before & this is better than I have ever made. My husband told me that this one of the best if not THE BEST dinner I have ever made (we’ve been married 15 yrs). YUM!

    • Julie
      04/08/2014 at 8:35 am

      Oh wow, Amber! I’m thrilled to hear this!! :) :) thank you!!

  27. Marta
    06/02/2014 at 7:48 am

    Hi, I just had to say this is so much like a recipe my Mom use to make… You brought back some wonderful Memories for me, as She has been gone over 15 years! I just Loved the Photos and have saved this with added notes, as my Mom did add cooked crumbled sausage in the layers.. MMMM So good and so cheesy! Thanks so much again for the recipe. I have just started to follow you and am looking forward to MORE wonderful recipes to try and to save! Keep up the beautiful Photos & Recipes! Ciao for Now!

    • Julie
      06/02/2014 at 2:43 pm

      Awww I’m so happy this was able to evoke some happy memories for you :)

  28. Lynsey
    06/04/2014 at 1:06 pm

    Just wanted to say what a brilliant recipe this is, it does take a while to make but it’s one of my favourite meals and my partner absolutely loves it..better than any restaurant version he says!

    • Julie
      06/05/2014 at 9:52 am

      This makes me so happy to read! I’m thrilled that you and your partner love it!

  29. Kelli
    08/01/2014 at 11:51 am

    Can you make it all ahead and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it? Trying to plan around my day:) Not sure if letting it sit in the fridge would make it soggy?

    • Julie
      08/02/2014 at 8:36 am

      Hi Kelli, I wish you could but I think it’d get soggy :(

  30. Carmen Rice
    09/24/2014 at 5:41 pm

    Made this tonight for my husband and myself… oh my goodness- it was absolutely the bomb. I did make one little change, I love, LOVE basil, so I added it to each layer. It was PERFECT. Thank you. I will be making this recipe again!!

    • Julie
      09/25/2014 at 9:09 am

      I’m so glad you loved this!! :)

  31. Simone
    10/13/2014 at 11:04 pm

    I fixed this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. I used skim mozzarella instead of the whole milk mozzarella. Next time I fix this I will bake the eggplant instead of frying it. Thanks for this great recipe!

    • Julie
      10/14/2014 at 7:20 am

      Thanks for letting me know! Baking would definitely be another great way to cook the eggplants!

  32. Katie
    10/22/2014 at 8:07 pm

    I made this recipe and it was incredible. The thickness of the eggplant combined with a light pan fry gives the eggplant a good bite when it’s finished baking. It wasn’t overdone and mushy.

    • Julie
      10/23/2014 at 8:21 am

      So glad you enjoyed this Katie!

  33. 11/11/2014 at 9:01 pm

    Just made this for dinner and it was awesome! I actually froze some to pull out on the “we’re crazy busy today” nights. Thanks for posting!

  34. Ella
    11/20/2014 at 11:06 am

    Anyone tried using Panko instead of the bread crumbs? That’s all I have on hand and wonder if it would work just as well..

    • Julie
      11/20/2014 at 4:44 pm

      I think the panko could work!

  35. Cassandra
    01/22/2015 at 6:02 pm

    Hello, first time prep and cook…. So when you say let the eggplant drain, do I leave the eggplant under running water for 45 mins? Or after I cut it it needs to drain the liquid that is inside of it…? Help.

    • Julie
      01/22/2015 at 7:55 pm

      Hi Cassandra, after you cut it, it needs to drain the liquid that is inside of it. Don’t leave it under the running water for 45 minutes. Just set it aside in a colander in the sink and let it drain.

  36. Steph LeClaire
    03/06/2015 at 7:13 pm

    I’m not sure becuase I didn’t look when this was posted, but I just made this tonight for my family and it turned out AMAZING!! Thanks so much for sharing and I love proving my huband wrong when it comes to new food. When I told him what we were having (him never have had eggplant) went out and got dinner for himself after work. After smelling the house and look at the cheesy masterpiece he asked it he could have some lol! YES I LOVE A WIN!

    • Julie
      03/08/2015 at 6:53 pm

      Yay! Awesome your family loved it, especially your husband!!

  37. Anita
    04/16/2015 at 10:57 am

    I made this on Easter. It came out great. Will be making again. I just got another eggplant today.

  38. 06/25/2015 at 6:33 pm

    Made this tonight for dinner and it was awesome. Thank you for posting

  39. sprouts
    08/03/2015 at 8:23 am

    Parmesan is not vegetarian! Whilst we vegetarians know this, carnivores catering for us do not and it can be embarrassing when they have lovingly prepared a dish we can’t eat. It would be better instead to stipulate vegetarian, Parmesan-like cheese in the ingredient list

  40. Hope
    08/04/2015 at 10:55 am

    Do you think this would freeze well?

    • Julie
      08/05/2015 at 7:15 am

      I haven’t tried it myself but I can’t see why it wouldn’t.

  41. Abigail
    08/24/2015 at 1:39 am

    I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious! The only difference was I used panko instead of regular bread crumbs. Thanks so much, my family really enjoyed it.

  42. Alisa
    08/29/2015 at 7:43 pm

    I have made eggplant before, but this is the BEST recipe I have ever used! It is amazing and I’m going to make it for dinner guests this next weekend! I have never had the eggplant ‘sweat’ before cooking, maybe that is the secret. No matter what, it is delicious!

  43. Jessyka
    09/02/2015 at 6:45 pm

    Mine was okay to salty maybe next time I’ll pat dry.. but yummy!! And super easy

    Thank you

  44. 09/04/2015 at 3:32 pm

    Are you using just one eggplant in this recipe for an 8×8 pan? I tend to use too much product in my recipe thinking it will make it better, then it messes up the whole recipe. 😞

    • Julie
      09/05/2015 at 10:58 am

      Yes, just one eggplant

    09/13/2015 at 11:14 am

    I planted egg plant this year and got three nice sized egg plants. First time with this vegetable. Will try your recipe tonight. Your picture is very good…encouraging for sure. Will comment after we have this later. My husband doesn’t think he can eat it. Hope this works for us as I would love to plant it again. Nice website!

  46. Marie
    01/10/2016 at 7:04 pm

    Loved this, oops forgot to snap a pic, although I did not layer this, I followed the first basic steps.
    This is what I did different, only having 1 large eggplant I used only 2 eggs, that step worked nicely with very little egg mixture to throw away. Next I sprayed my non stick skillet with canola oil, placed eggplant in pan & sprayed the eggplant tops. Lastly I could not find my 9 x 9 pan, soooo I single layed the eggplant in my 4 qt casserole. Then I sprinkled on the mozzarella cheese using only a 1/2 cup.
    I knew your thinking why bother to comment since I changed it so much, to thank you for this great great recipe, even lacking the required layering this recipe rocked. Thank you so very much.

  47. Faith
    01/13/2016 at 8:33 am

    I’m making this for my friend for her Birthday,,,,it’s one of my favorite dishes. She’s never tried it before thanks for the fabulous recipe !

  48. Trish
    02/24/2016 at 5:46 am

    I don’t get the first step, are you soaking the eggplant in water?

    • Julie
      02/24/2016 at 10:05 am

      Hi Trish – no, you aren’t soaking the eggplant in water. You’re salting the eggplant so the salt draws out the moisture of the eggplant. You’re putting it in a colander so the excess liquid drains off into the sink. Otherwise, if you just put it on the plate, the eggplant would be sitting in its own liquid and therefore, soaking itself in liquid and not drawing moisture out! Hope this helps!

  49. Brandi
    04/20/2016 at 12:33 pm

    Amazing dish!

  50. chichi
    05/07/2016 at 9:52 am

    This stuff is AWESOME!

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