Baked Eggplant Parmesan | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Baked Eggplant Parmesan takes a classic and makes it just a bit more healthier by baking the eggplant in the oven instead of pan frying it. My family loves this meatless meal and so will you! 

Baked Eggplant Parmesan in casserole dish, ready to serve, with serving spoon
This easy preparation for Baked Eggplant Parmesan is sure to go to the top of your list for delicious and satisfying vegetarian dishes! 

American Italian food is a favorite cuisine of my family. They adore this Baked Ziti with Sausage dish and practically lick their plates clean when I serve Slow Cooker Beef Italiano. I love how you can have a meal on the table in no time by adding a green salad and some crusty bread. Easy peasy! 

When I was looking for something meatless that my family would love, of course my mind went to Eggplant Parmesan. Now I've made versions of Eggplant Parmesan in the past, but it always included frying eggplant slices and I always ended up with greasy, soggy, eggplant. Yuck. 

However, when I stumbled upon the inspriation for this recipe in one of my thousands of cookbooks, I mentally bookmarked it to try. I thought maybe THIS would be the inspiration I needed to create a better for you eggplant Parmesan that everyone could enjoy. 

I was right. This no fry eggplant Parmesan recipe is a winner! 


Servings of Baked Eggplant Parmesan on white plates with pasta and garlic bread and fork, ready to eat

Do you need to salt the eggplant slices before making Baked Eggplant Parmesan?


If you've made Eggplant Parmesan before, you may have come across recipes that call for salting the eggplant and allowing it to sit for several hours before making it. This does two things: 1) It seasons the eggplant slices and 2) Draws out some of the moisture and bitterness. The truth is, today's eggplants are grown to be less bitter than their ancestors, so salting to rid of bitterness isn't really a thing anymore. 

Drawing out some of the moisture, however, is a step worth taking in my opinion. 

In this recipe, I do call for salting the eggplant slices but only ask for them to sit for 30 minutes. I do think drawing out a bit of the moisture does help make a crispier oven baked breaded eggplant slice, BUT if you can choose to skip this step. Since you aren't actually frying the slices in oil, you won't get splatter from the excess moisture. 

Overhead view of Baked Eggplant Parmesan on white plate with pasta and garlic bread

Do you peel eggplant for Eggplant Parmesan?


Peeling eggplant for Eggplant Parmesan is entirely personal preference. There is no right or wrong. The purplish, blackish peel is entirely edible. So if you don't mind it, you can just leave it on. I'm not a fan, because sometimes it can be a little tough, so I peel it off when I make this recipe. 

What do you need to make Baked Eggplant Parmesan?

  • 2 medium sized eggplants. Choose eggplants that are firm and heavy for their size with shiny skins and green stems.
  • Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs. Choose a brand you like the flavor of or make your own by adding Italian seasonings, salt, and ground black pepper to plain dried breadcrumbs.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese. Choose a good Parmesan cheese it will make a huge difference. 
  • Dried basil 
  • Eggs
  • Cooking spray or olive oil in a mister
  • Pasta sauce. Choose one that you love the taste of! 
  • A can of Petite Diced tomatoes. I like the small diced ones best because they don't overpower. 
  • Shredded mozarella cheese. Part skim is fine as well as whole milk. Consider purchasing a brick and shredding it yourself. Prepackaged shredded cheese often has ingredients added to help keep the shreds from sticking to each other and this can make it harder for it to melt properly. 
  • Fresh basil (optional) 
  • Large baking sheets
  • 13 x 9 " casserole dish or bigger depending on how many eggplant slices you end up with
  • Aluminum Foil


How do you make Baked Eggplant Parmesan?


Begin by salting the eggplant slices. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F while the slices are sitting.

Set up a breading station with breadcrumb and cheese mixture and eggs. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray.


Preparing to make baked eggplant Parmesan with breading station ready to go

Pat each slice with paper towels to remove excess moisture and dip in egg, then in breadcrumb and cheese mixture, and place on prepared baking sheet.

Eggplant slices breaded and ready for the oven on a sheet pan

Bake in preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees F. 

Spread about 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Layer the eggplant slices in a single layer (they can overlap slightly to fit), then top with sauce and cheese. Repeat layer and cover with foil. 

Unbaked Eggplant Parmesan ready for the oven in a casserole dish with cheese on top

Bake in 375 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted, the eggplant is soft, and the casserole is bubbly and heated through. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

Sprinkle with fresh basil just before serving, if desired. 

Finished Baked Eggplant Parmesan, overhead view of casserole dish with serving spoon lifting an eggplant slice





Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Main Course, Vegetarian
Italian American
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 40 Mininactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 1 H & 19 M
Fresh eggplant slices are coated in seasoned breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, then parbaked before getting coated in tomato sauce and cheese. A delightful vegetarian dish everyone will love!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Cooking spray, such as Pam
  • 32 oz. jarred pasta sauce (I like Mid's Tomato Basil)
  • 15 oz. can petit diced tomatoes
  • 16 oz. shredded mozarella cheese
  • fresh basil, for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and allow to sit in a colander for about 30 minutes. This will draw out some of the water in the eggplant and keep the dish from getting soggy. After 30 minutes, pat each slice dry with a paper towel. 
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray. 
  3. Set up breading station. Combine the seasoned breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and dried basil on pie plate or a large paper plate. Whisk two eggs in another pie plate or shallow bowl. 
  4. Bread the eggplant slices by dipping first into the egg, then pressing into the breadcrumb mixture. Set in single layer onto prepared baking sheets. Continue with all the eggplant slices. 
  5. Spray the tops of the breaded eggplant slices thoroughly with cooking spray. 
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are somewhat crisp and softened.  Remove from oven. Turn oven down to 375 degrees F. 
  7. While eggplant slices are baking, combine the pasta sauce and canned tomatoes. Spoon about a cup onto the bottom of a 13 x 9" baking dish (or larger depending on the size of your eggplants). 
  8. On top of the sauce in the baking dish, place a layer of breaded eggplant slices. You can overlap somewhat, but you want to create a single layer. Cover slices with half of the sauce. And then half of the mozarella cheese. Repeat the process with remaining eggplant slices, finsihing with a layer of cheese. 
  9. Cover with foil. Spray the inside of the foil so the cheese doesn't stick if it's close to the top. 
  10. Bake in oven at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. 
  11. Sprinkle with fresh basil just before serving, if desired. 

Notes:

You can elect to not peel the eggplant if you wish. I'm not a huge fan of the peel, so I like to remove it, but it is edible.

This dish goes great with pasta on the side.

Calories

533.00

Fat (grams)

23.83

Sat. Fat (grams)

11.49

Carbs (grams)

52.71

Fiber (grams)

10.25

Net carbs

42.46

Sugar (grams)

19.41

Protein (grams)

29.63

Sodium (milligrams)

2539.90

Cholesterol (grams)

123.06
Nutritional Information is an estimate and provided as a courtesy.
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1 comment:

  1. TOLLES REZEPT....

    wünsche noch einen schönen ABEND
    bis bald die BIRGIT aus TIROL

    ReplyDelete

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