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Baked eggplant parmesan being served with a metal spatula

Layered, Baked Eggplant Parmesan

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A healthy, yet flavor packed meal the whole family will enjoy, baked eggplant Parmesan is a simple casserole style dish made in just under an hour.

overhead view of a baked eggplanyt parmesan on a barn board table, surrounded by various ingredients

Imagine layered, crispy, breaded eggplant slices baked in a rich tomato, garlic and herb sauce, then topped with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. A rich vegetarian dish, even the meat-eaters can enjoy.

Serve the baked eggplant parmesan alongside some basmati rice, or freshly cooked noodles for a full fledged meal, or just enjoy the eggplant parm on it’s own!

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What Does Eggplant Taste Like?

If you’ve never had eggplant, you may be wondering, what does eggplant taste like?

Very mild in flavor, these dark purple gourd like vegetables, have a soft cream colored flesh, very similar to that of zucchini. The flavor is also quite similar, with a somewhat bland, yet squash-y taste.

Two deep purple eggplants on a barn board table

This mild flavor makes eggplant ideal for use in recipes such as this baked eggplant Parmesan, vegetable soup and stews, and even breaded and baked or fried as an appetizer! The rich flavors of the tomato sauce, herbs, and cheese, help round out a meal that will keep you full, and healthy!

How Thick Do You Cut The Eggplant For Eggplant Parmesan?

Ideally you should choose a large firm eggplant without any dents, wrinkled skin or signs of mold. If the eggplant is soft and mushy to the touch, or has soft brown spots it’s a sure sign of an older fruit that is about to spoil.

Once you’ve chosen a nice large, firm eggplant, you’ll want to cut it into 1/4 inch thick circles. You want the eggplant thick enough to bread, yet still cook all the way through in the oven.

eggplant being cut into slices on a wooden cutting board

Do You Have To Peel The Eggplant First?

No. If you picked a ripe eggplant you should not have to peel it. A lot of the nutrients are actually located right underneath and in the skin (much like in apples) so you’ll get more nutrition out of the eggplant if you leave the skin on.

If you’ve chosen an older eggplant (or you want to use one up out of the fridge) and the skin has started to wrinkle and become leathery tough, you can peel the skin off to make the dish more palatable.

Do You Need To Salt The Eggplant?

You can if you want to help draw out some bitterness. Nowadays, there isn’t much bitterness left in eggplants as it’s been bred out of them, and skipping this step wont hurt in the least. If you do want to salt the eggplant to help draw out any remaining bitterness or some water, simply sprinkle salt on the cut surface of the eggplant and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Layered Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Ideally suited to a weeknight meal, this layered baked eggplant Parmesan is a simple recipe that can be prepared with minimal work. Lightly breading the eggplant slices is the most difficult part, after which you simply have to bake the slices, then add some sauce, and finally top with cheese before enjoying!

By layering the ingredients like a lasagna, you end up with a rich, hearty eggplant Parmesan casserole that will satisfy even the hungriest families!

Ingredients

  • 1 large firm Eggplant – use 2 if the eggplants are small
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 cups panko or other bread crumbs
  • 3 cups tomato sauce – homemade or store bought
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan
baked eggplant parmesan being served with a metal spatula

Instructions

  1. Trim the top and bottom off the eggplant and slice it into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 400F and lightly grease a sheetpan, as well as a 9 x 12 casserole dish with butter or pam spray.
  3. Prepare a quick breading station, mixing the flour with the salt and pepper in a bowl, whisking the eggs with a fork in a second bowl, and finally mixing the breadcrumbs and shredded Parmesan in a third bowl.
  4. eggplant slices being breaded in a breading station
  5. Taking one eggplant slice at a time, dip the slices into the flour, then the egg, and finally in the breadcrumb mix. Take each individually breaded eggplant slice and place it on the greased sheet pan. Bake the slices for 15-20 minutes in the 400F oven flipping them once half way through.
  6. golden brown baked breaded eggplant slices
  7. While the eggplant slices bake, mix the tomato sauce, onion powder, brown sugar, minced garlic, and herbs in a bowl. Season with some salt and pepper.
  8. tomato sauce being seasoned with herbs and spices
  9. Once the breaded eggplant slices are golden brown, spread a little sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish, and then place half of the baked eggplant slices out in the bottom of the greased 9 x 12 casserole dish. Top the eggplant with half of the tomato sauce, and remaining cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients as though you are making lasagna.
  10. Bake the assembled eggplant Parmesan casserole in the oven for another 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is golden brown on top. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley and serve!
  11. baked eggplant parmesan being served with a metal spatula

Assembling The Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Can You Freeze Eggplant Parmesan For Meal Prep?

Can you freeze the eggplant Parmesan? I would recommend against it. Because the eggplant itself contains a fair amount of moisture, freezing, and then thawing the eggplant will result in a soggy less then desirable texture once baked.

Related:  Pumpkin Breakfast Muffins

You can however refrigerate any leftovers after initially serving the dish, and then reheat individual portions either in a toaster oven, the oven itself, or in a microwave.

Can You Make Eggplant Parmesan Without Breadcrumbs?

If you want to make this dish gluten free, or low carb, simply skip the breading in the recipe below. While first breading and baking the eggplant does create a nice crispy crust and adds volume to the dish, you can just as easily sear the eggplant in a hot pan and then lightly roast them before adding in the sauce, herbs, and cheese.

Made the recipe? Comment & Rate it below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

Baked eggplant parmesan being served with a metal spatula
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5 from 9 votes

Layered, Baked Eggplant Parmesan

A vegetarian dish even the meat-eaters can enjoy, this baked eggplant parmesan is loaded with crispy breaded eggplant slices, a rich tomato, garlic, and herb sauce, then topped with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan.
Course Entree
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baked eggplant, eggplant casserole, eggplant recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 1814.7kcal
Author Chef Markus Mueller

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Large Eggplant use two eggplants if they are small
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 cups panko or other bread crumbs
  • 3 cups tomato sauce homemade or store bought
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan

Instructions

  • Trim the top and bottom off the eggplant and slice it into 1/4 inch thick rounds. 
  • Pre-heat your oven to 400F and lightly grease a sheetpan, as well as a 9 x 12 casserole dish with butter or pam spray.
  • Prepare a quick breading station, mixing the flour with the salt and pepper in a bowl, whisking the eggs with a fork in a second bowl, and finally mixing the breadcrumbs and shredded Parmesan in a third bowl.
  • Taking one eggplant slice at a time, dip the slices into the flour, then the egg, and finally in the breadcrumb mix. Take each individually breaded eggplant slice and place it on the greased sheet pan.
  • Bake the slices for 20 minutes in the 400F oven flipping them once half way through.
  • While the eggplant slices bake, mix the tomato sauce, onion powder, brown sugar, minced garlic, and herbs in a bowl. Season with some salt and pepper.
  • Once the breaded eggplant slices are golden brown, spread a little sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish, and then place half of the baked eggplant slices out in the bottom of the greased 9 x 12 casserole dish.
  • Top the eggplant with half of the tomato sauce, and remaining cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients as though you are making lasagna.
  • Bake the assembled eggplant Parmesan casserole in the oven for another 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is golden brown on top. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley and serve!

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26 Comments

  1. Are those the calories for the serving or the whole dish? It seems a bit excessive. 1,800 and some calories is enough for a whole day

    • Hi Emily, They are the calories for the whole recipe which makes 6 to 8 portions. So you’re looking at about 220-300 calories per serving. If you reduce the amount of cheese used you can easily reduce the amount of calories!

  2. Eggplant is my favorite – I can’t wait to try this eggplant recipe! Pinning for later 🙂


  3. Eggplant parm is such a great make ahead dish too! I like how you lightly breaded the rounds to add a bit of substance. I didn’t know all that about the skin of the eggplant, so interesting!

  4. Eggplant parm is one of my favorite dishes – it’s just so warm and hearty and perfect for cold weather. I love that your version is baked and not fried!

  5. This recipe and your beautiful photos make me hungry for eggplant. I love all of the ingredients and I can’t wait to try this at home.

  6. I really need to try this. We eat meat for nearly every meal, which I know isn’t ideal. Eggplant Parm has been on my list of things to try for YEARS, and this post absolutely makes me want to do it! Thanks for the step by step guide, and the tips!

    • This is pretty much exactly why I made this recipe! WE eat so much meat(not that I mind eating meat…) , and reducing consumption is something we need to work on. Hence this delicious , and filling recipe!


  7. I love this dish and the cheesy option to it. My family to grab it all. Yummy.


  8. I love eggplant parmesan. Even though I am carnivorous, I think it is far superior to chicken parmesan. I have always salted my eggplant to draw the bitterness and water out, but I had not heard that this wasn’t common practice anymore as the bitterness has been bred out. I really want to give this a try now!

    • I made it both ways, salting the eggplant, and not. I really didn’t notice a difference, If you where to eat the eggplant with less flavorings, maybe it would benefit from the salting, but the tomato, cheese, herbs, and garlic mask that quite well!


  9. I love this eggplant parmesan!!! So delicious and easy to make!

  10. I’ve never thought of myself as a big eggplant lover, but this dish might change my mind. it looks so good, and the parmesan would add such a cheesiness! Mmmm!


  11. I try and cut down on my meat in the week, so this is right up my street! It looks so comforting and full of flavor


  12. I don’t think there is anything I love more than eggplant parmesan to be honest..I’ll never turn it down. Yours looks absolutely scrumptious! Definitely a perfect Lenten meal for me to have since its meat-free ^_^


  13. Such a great meat-free dish, perfect to serve any day of the week! I must admit, I do not cook with eggplant often enough, as I always struggle with ideas and ways to use it, but after seeing your recipe, I think it is about to change! Thanks for sharing!

    • Eggplant can be a tough one to cook, I agree. It not being that popular in North America, it’s always difficult to cook with something you’re not used to! Hope you give this eggplant parmesan a try! It’s easy and I’ll guarantee you’ll love it!


  14. why am i not eating this right now? t looks incredible! loving all the flavors. eggplant is one of my fav veggies to cook with .


  15. We absolutely love eggplant parmigiana!! One of our go-to meals in the summer, but also any time of the year. Such a great dish!

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