Eggplant parmesan is a tangy, crispy, cheesy masterpiece! Delicious eggplant covered in a delightful mix of herbs and spices, this recipe will knock your socks off!
Baked to perfection, eggplant parmesan is the perfect entree for your family meal. And if you want to complete your delicious Italian feast, cook up some Roasted Asparagus, a Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad, and some homemade rolls. Your tastebuds will thank you later!
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant parmesan hails from Italy! It is a classic Italian dish that you may have seen on some Italian restaurant’s menu and wondered what it is or what it tastes like! Or maybe, you wondered how it could be an Italian dish without ANY pasta! Well, I will tell you all about it. Eggplant parmesan has a delicious mix of herbs and spices, ooey-gooey melted cheese, and marinara sauce that give it a distinct Italian flavor. It is coated and baked which makes it have a deliciously crispy texture! It’s a dish that your whole family will love!
Though authentic Italian eggplant parmesan doesn’t bread the eggplant, this recipe is amazing and I actually like it baked even better this way! In fact, this recipe is so delicious that it’s an easy choice and my kids even love it! And whenever my kids love something that is based on a vegetable, well… That’s a winner in my book! Cook it up as a whole meal with a green salad, some veggies, and some chocolate dessert. This is so amazing and filling that you will want to try this again and again! Trust me, it’s worth the time that it takes to put this together! You won’t regret it!
Sweat it Out
Before you begin cooking this eggplant parmesan, you will need to sweat the eggplant. What this does it that it basically drains all of the moisture and bitterness out of the eggplant. Trust me, don’t skip this step! Your eggplant parmesan will taste MUCH better after you do this!
- Slice: Cut up your eggplant into ½ thick slices.
- Set them out: Get out some paper towels and place them on a baking sheet. Go ahead and fill up the baking sheet with your eggplant.
- Salt: Sprinkle them liberally with sea salt. Flip each slice over and do the same to the other side.
- Wait: Let them sit like this on your counter for 30 minutes. You will see liquid start to come out of the eggplant! This is the bitter moisture that you WANT to come out. That means the sweating process is working!
- Rinse: Once you have let the eggplant sweat for 30 minutes, rinse each slice! Make sure that you rinse off all of the excess salt and liquid.
- Pat dry: Once your slices have been thoroughly rinsed, you will want to pat them all dry with a paper towel. Now, they are ready to season and cook! You will be amazed at how much this changes the flavor of your eggplant for the better!
Ingredients in Eggplant Parmesan
Now that you have taken the time to let the eggplant sweat it out, it’s time to look over the rest of the ingredients! See the recipe card below for a list of exact measurements.
- Eggplant: You will want to get 2 medium sized eggplant.
- Salt: This is for seasoning and letting the eggplant sweat.
- Flour: All purpose flour is fine to use in this recipe!
- Eggs: Try and make sure that our eggs are at room temperature before using.
- Panko bread crumbs: Coating them with these will give it that delicious, crisp texture!
- Parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese is classic to Italian recipes!
- Italian seasoning: This homemade Italian seasoning takes less than 5 minutes to make and is amazing! If you can’t make it then you can use store-bought.
- Homemade marinara sauce: I personally think that this marinara sauce tastes the very best! You can make it beforehand! Or, you can totally use store-bought marinara sauce if that’s all that you have!
- Mozzarella cheese: This delicious cheese will be melted on top! Yum!
- Basil: Used to garnish and add in a delicous and fresh flavor!
How to Make Easy Eggplant Parmesan
You have got all of your ingredients and let the eggplant sweat it out which means… It’s time to bake this up! This dish is worth every second that you spend on it! Trust me, you are going to love it!!
- Slice and sweat: Slice eggplant ½ inch thick creating 15 slices. Then, lay the eggplant on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and let them sweat all of the bitter liquid for 30-45 minutes. Pat with a paper towel to dry.
- Mix cheese and eggs: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl add the flour, another small bowl add the Panko, ¾ cup parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning . After that, in the last small bowl whisk together the eggs.
- Coat: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip the eggplant first in the flour, second in the egg, and last in the Panko. After you dip it, then lay in an even layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake until crispy: Bake for 25-30 minutes flipping halfway through and bake until crispy and brown.
- Add sauce: In a 9×13 inch baking dish spread ½ cup of the marinara in the bottom. Then, lay half of the eggplant on top of the sauce. Top with 2 cups of the marinara sacue and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Once you’ve done that, then repeat the layer and end with mozzarella cheese and sprinkle ¼ cup grated parmesan on the very top.
- Bake until cheese melts: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked throughout and the cheese is bubbly. Once it’s done baking, then you can serve with chopped basil for garnish if desired.
If you’ve never cooked eggplant parmesan before, don’t let it intimidate you! While it takes a bit of time to make, it isn’t complicated and anyone can do it! Here are a few tips to help you out!
- Do I need to peel the eggplant? Nope! Make this easy on yourself and leave the peel on! It is completely edible and adds a great texture after it’s been cooked!
- How do I pick an eggplant? A good rule to follow when picking out your eggplant is to look for one that is glossy. Also, when you pick it up, give it a little squeeze. It should have a tiny bit of give to it. If it’s rock hard, it’s not ready and one that is too soft is too ripe!
- Let it rest: After you have baked your eggplant, let it sit for 15+ minutes at room temperature after baking. If you try to cut into it right as it comes out of the oven, it will fall apart. Give it a minute to set back up!
How to Store Leftovers
If you end up with leftovers of this eggplant parmesan, you can totally store it and eat it later! In fact, it makes a great lunch the next day!
- Refrigerate: Once your eggplant parmesan has cooled, place it in an airtight container. Then, put it in your fridge and it can last there for 2-3 days!
- Reheat: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cover in foil and cook eggplant parmesan for 15 minutes. Take off the foil and cook for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
Amazing Eggplant Parmesan
- 2 pounds eggplant (about 2 medium sized eggplant)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (divided)
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 4 cups homemade marinara sauce (or store-bought)
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- Fresh chopped basil for garnish
- Slice eggplant ½ inch thick creating 15 slices. Lay the eggplant on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and let them sweat all of the bitter liquid for 30-45 minutes. Pat with a paper towel to dry.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl add the flour, another small bowl add the Panko, ¾ cup parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. In the last small bowl whisk together the eggs.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip the eggplant first in the flour, second in the egg, and last in the Panko. Lay in an even layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes flipping halfway through and bake until crispy and brown.
- In a 9×13 inch baking dish spread ½ cup of the marinara in the bottom. Lay half of the eggplant on top of the sauce. Top with 2 cups of marinara sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layer and end with mozzarella cheese and sprinkle ¼ cup grated parmesan on the very top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked throughout and the cheese is bubbly. Serve with chopped basil for garnish if desired.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Made this twice with your italian seasoning recipe and Rao Marinara (husbands favorite), I sweated the eggplant for 1 hour and rinsed and dried with paper towel as directed. I used regular bread crumbs maybe try with panko next time This is in my rotation absolutely delishes👏
Came out delicious. Will definitely make again.
It’s definitely crispy but a little dry. I made extra eggplants and dipped them in blue cheese dressing and it made a good appetizer. I didn’t try it yet as the eggplant parm but I’m hoping the sauce and cheese and the extra cooking time will make a difference.
Can you make this a day ahead and refrigerate it?
I recommend baking the day of for the best results! But, you can try partially make this ahead of time. You can make it to step 4 and then cover and refrigerate it. Cook it with the cheese and sauce just before serving.
I have a question. I sweat the eggplant but forgot to rinse it. I breaded and baked it. When I tasted it. The eggplant is too salty. How can I fixed this?
The salt will remain on the eggplant if you don’t rinse it. Try rinsing it next time and see if that tastes better!
This was well worth the time to make. My kids are even eating the crispy eggplant right from the oven. Thank you for sharing!