This Baked Eggplant Parmesan is a lighter twist on the classic Italian recipe. It’s coated in panko breadcrumbs, then baked with layers of cheese & marinara
For Marinara Sauce
- 1 sweet onion large diced
- 3 garlic cloves sliced
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
For the Baked Eggplant
- 2 eggplants sliced into ½ inche circles
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup parmesan shredded
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 ¼ cups low moisture mozzarella
Make the Marinara
1In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, sweat the onions for about 4 minutes, add garlic, and cook until lightly golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.
Prepare the Eggplant
1Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet lined with a clean towel, salt the eggplant generously then apply another clean paper towel on top of the eggplant; let it rest for 45 minutes. Then use the paper towels to pat dry and remove the excess salt and moisture.
2Preheat oven to 400°F, lightly grease a baking sheet. Combine bread crumbs, olive oil and parmesan cheese in one bowl. Beat eggs in a separate bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. Place flour in a third bowl.
3Toss the eggplant with the flour, then dip into the egg wash, and then into the breadcrumbs, making sure to press the breadcrumbs onto the eggplant firmly. Place onto the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining slices. Bake until the eggplant coating is browned, about 30-35 minutes.
Assemble the Eggplant Parmesan
1Apply enough marinara to cover the bottom of a casserole dish, place half of the eggplant on top of the marinara. Spoon another layer of marinara over the top followed by ¾ cup mozzarella. Apply the remaining eggplant on top of the cheese followed by the remaining marinara and one remaining cheese.
2Lower oven temperature to 375°F. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese has lightly browned, about 20 more minutes. Broil for 2-3 minutes if necessary.
3Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve with fresh herbs, if desired.
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
Freezing Instructions: You can also freeze the baked eggplant parmesan for up to 3 months. To re-heat, thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through. You can also freeze the uncooked eggplant parmesan as I often do. Follow the baking instructions but leave it in the oven for an extra 10 minutes.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
- Instead of making the marinara sauce, you can use store-bought pasta sauce.
- Instead of all-purpose flour, you can bread the eggplant with almond flour or any other flour of choice.