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Best Eggplant Parmigiana Recipes

Best Eggplant Parmigiana Recipes

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Eggplant Parmigiana Shopping Tips

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Eggplant Parmigiana Cooking Tips

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.

Easy Eggplant Parmigiana Casserole Recipe

Eggplant parmigiana is a classic dish that almost everyone has tried once or twice. It is a delicious, meat-free dinner option with a long history rooted in Italian culture.

While you may think that eggplant parmigiana seems like a complicated dish, but it is quite simple.

We’ll share with you a beautiful, easy and very tasty eggplant parmigiana recipe that you can make any time right from your own home. It will be like having a piece of Italy baking in your oven!

This is The Only Eggplant Parmesan Recipe That You Will Ever Need

Skip the heavy carbs and go straight for the veggies in this flavorful Italian dish.

I’ve made eggplant Parmesan a handful of times, and I’ll be the first to admit—making this dish is a labor of love. You really have to be in the mood for the tomato-y, cheesy, and crispy-crusted eggplant bake. Traditionally known as Melanzane alla Parmigiana, the Italian dish consists of fried eggplant slices that are layered with tomato sauce and cheese. It mimics the assembly process of preparing a pan of lasagna, however, instead of browning ground meat, you are frying eggplant, which is a task within itself. Of course, when it’s all said and done and that bubbling hot dish comes out of the oven, you will know it was all worth it.

Regardless of whether you are a plants-only or meat-based eater, I think everyone ought to try their hand at making this classic dish at home (at least once), and this recipe is where you should start. Boasting over 100 reviews and a 5-star rating. well, the numbers don’t lie. There are a few key factors that set this eggplant Parmesan recipe (from our friends at Cooking Light) apart from the pack. For starters, it’s lighter. Instead of frying the eggplant, the slices are dredged in a Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and whole-wheat panko mixture, and faux fried by baking them in the oven. This drastically cuts down fat, but still creates a crunchy, firm texture. Plus, you don’t have to fuss around with drawing out the water content in the eggplant by coating it in salt the dry heat from the oven does that for you.

The filling consists of a combination of fresh basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and part-skim ricotta cheese, while fresh mozzarella slices and grated fontina cheese are reserved for layering. This mix of cheeses provides a decadent creaminess and salty flavor profile that reduces a need for additional salt in the recipe overall. If you are feeling ambitious, you can make your tomato sauce from scratch. However, a good-quality jar of store-bought tomato sauce is what the recipe calls for. (Give yourself a break there’s enough steps in eggplant Parm as is.)

Once the eggplant slices are baked up crisp, you can begin assembling. This is always the most enjoyable part of making any kind of layered baked dish. Start with some sauce on the bottom of the pan, next layer the eggplant slices, followed by a few heavy dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture, and then top with the mozzarella slices and shredded fontina. Repeat this process until your glass baking dish is loaded.

At this point, you should step away from the dish and marvel at the effort that you’ve put forward. Cover it with foil, pop it into the oven and bake for about 35 minutes. Afterward, remove the foil and garnish the dish with a little more mozzarella and fontina cheese for a melty and stunning finish. Get your Instagram picture snapping on as the dish comes out bubbling from the oven because this is definitely a masterpiece worth showing off. Just be ready for your DMs to fill up with a few, “No invite??” messages.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 medium Italian eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons water, room temperature
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • 2 cups freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, divided
  • 40 ounces Italian-style tomato sauce
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 30 ounces freshly grated mozzarella cheese

Lay eggplant slices on top of paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt to draw out moisture. Cover with additional paper towels. Let sit, 8 hours to overnight.

Place flour into a 1-gallon plastic zip-top bag. Sprinkle salt and pepper into the flour and shake the bag to mix. Place 6 eggplant slices into the bag, seal, and shake to coat.

Beat eggs and water together using a fork in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 inches of oil over medium-high heat in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Line baking sheets with paper towels to drain eggplants after frying.

Shake excess flour from eggplant slices and place into egg mixture, turning to ensure both sides are coated. Allow excess egg mixture to drip off before placing slices into the hot oil. Fry until slightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the paper towel-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Pecorino Romano cheese. Repeat process until all eggplant slices are fried. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Pour a small amount of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan to cover. Place 1/3 of the eggplant slices over sauce, slightly overlapping them. Sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining Pecorino-Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese evenly over the slices. Cover with a light layer of sauce. Sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese over sauce. Repeat for a total of 3 layers.

Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes to set.

Assemble three bowls for your eggplant parmesan recipe

At this stage of the eggplant parmesan recipe, prepare three separate bowls that are wide and deep enough to accommodate your eggplants rounds. Flour goes in one bowl, your beaten eggs in another, and finally, you will combine the breadcrumbs, oregano, shredded cheese, and Italian seasoning in the last bowl.

Epstein recommends blotting each slice of eggplant dry first. Then, you take a slice and dredge it in the flour. Next, the slice hits the egg bowl. The last step is to dredge the slice in the breadcrumb mixture until it is completely covered.

You will repeat these steps with each eggplant slice, arranging the finished slices on a foil-lined baking sheet (for easier cleanup!). Give the slices a bit of space here, and then, in the oven they go! At this point, you can slice your mozzarella cheese to keep the process moving along. Or, perhaps sip that glass of wine.

Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe


700 g eggplant
250 g tomato sauce
250 g sliced mozzarella (or tuma cheese)
80 g grated Grana Padano cheese or caciocavallo cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil

Slice and salt the eggplants. Leave them in a colander, covered with a weight, to extract excess liquid for 30 minutes. Then dry the eggplants slices with a clean paper towel and dip them in flour.

Fry in hot oil and drain on paper towels once cooked on both sides.

Spread 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce on an ovenproof baking dish. Add a layer of fried eggplant (it’s okay if they overlap a little), a handful of Grana (or Parmigiano) cheese, a pinch of salt, slices of mozzarella, and chopped basil leaves. Sprinkle with more tomato sauce.

Keep alternating layers of ingredients: First the eggplants followed by grana cheese, mozzarella, basil, and finally tomato sauce. Finish with a layer of mozzarella, and add a sprinkle of grana cheese with a pinch of pepper. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for about 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Eggplant Parmesan

Heat oven to 350 °F. Peel eggplants and thinly slice to about a 1/8 of an inch. Make a mixture of eggs and milk in a medium bowl. I start with 4 eggs and about 1 oz of milk and continually make more as it gets low. Coat the eggplant slices in the egg mixture and then cover each side with breadcrumbs. Fill 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in sauté pan and heat over medium to high heat. The bigger the sauté pan the faster the process of frying the eggplant will go. Fill sauté pan with the eggplant and fry each side until golden brown. Drain the grease from the eggplant on paper towels. You’™ll need to change out the oil a couple of times in order to fry all of the eggplant. In a medium size bowl, mix 2 eggs with the container of ricotta cheese. In another bowl, grate mozzarella cheese.

In your favorite large casserole dish, coat a very thin layer of sauce in the bottom. Start to layer the eggplant, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, and then sauce again. Repeat this process until you fill the casserole dish. I like to put an extra layer of mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling.

Authentic Eggplant Parmesan (Parmigiana Di Melanzane)

Eggplant Parmesan (Parmigiana di melanzane), is a true classic Italian dish that has become immensely popular around the world. So much so, it has spawned other versions of "Parmesan"-style dishes that don't really exist in Italy (or at least not under this name), such as chicken Parmesan and veal Parmesan. It is, however, sometimes made with zucchini in place of eggplant in Italy, where it is called Parmigiana di zucchine.

The Italian-American version is usually breaded before frying, but the traditional Italian version is not. As a result, it's not only lighter, faster, and easier to prepare, but you can really taste the rich eggplant flavor. If you are a fan of eggplant, then you may prefer this recipe. If you want to make it even lighter, you could grill or bake the eggplant slices instead of frying them.

This is an incredibly comforting dish that makes a hearty side (contorno) or a satisfying meatless/vegetarian main, together with a salad and some crusty Italian bread. Serve with a full-bodied Merlot or Chianti.

Eggplant Parm Is the Greatest Recipe of All Time

You know those recipes we hold near and dear to our hearts because they are really the greatest ever of all time? Well, we’re using this series as an opportunity to wax poetic about them. The eggplant parm of test kitchen manager Brad Leone's mom, to be exact (he's been talking about it for months). They truly are the greatest recipe of all time (aka GROAT). Here’s why.

Mom’s eggplant parm is one of the best dishes I’ve ever had. It all starts with a homemade sauce this step cannot be skipped. For Mich (that's my mom) it's olive oil, onion, garlic, and whole peeled tomatoes, likely a little basil, and maybe some dried oregano. Cook, cook, cook until the onions fall apart. Not too much onion, you're not making stew.

Next, she uses t__hick, peeled circles of eggplant, like ½–¾ inch thick__. Spread the slices out in a single layer and sprinkle them with salt. This helps draw the water out of the eggplant and helps maintain a meaty consistency during and after frying. I like to be able to taste the eggplant and not just thin layers of breaded mystery.

From there, it's all about frying in olive oil in a cast iron pan that’s bigger than most dinner plates. The old egg-wash-and-breadcrumb combo (mom likes the fine stuff in the cardboard can) does the trick. I like a little black pepper in the egg but not sure how mom feels about that. After frying, drain the eggplant on paper towels to help absorb some of the extra oil that it soaked up. This is super important: eggplant can act like a sponge and soak up whatever you put it in, especially oil.

Now, I prefer the Parm layered in a rectangular baking dish, like a 9 x 13. Put a little sauce on the bottom first, then a layer of eggplant, then freshly grated mozzarella cheese and a little grated Parm. Season with salt and pepper then add another layer of sauce. Repeat until you're out of space or eggplant. It’s a nice idea to use block mozzarella grated in between the layers and then use fresh mozzarella on top for melting and browning. Then bake at 375˚ for about 45 minutes—you may need to broil the top for a minute or two to get the cheese bubbly and golden.

The big secret about this dish is to wait before serving, when it's barely warm or even at room temp. The family’s favorite way to eat eggplant Parm, though, is to eat it ice cold right from the fridge. Wanna top that? Place the cold eggplant parm on some warm crusty bread, sandwich style or open-faced. Cold eggplant Parm is certainly on the top five most satisfying and comforting foods known to man, it’s a fact**.

**As a Test Kitchen, we ate three trays of eggplant parm in less than 36 hours. It. Is. That. Good. So do like Brad says and "Make this dish times two."

Recipe Summary

  • 2 medium eggplants (1 1/2 pounds total), cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes, pureed
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (2 ounces), divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

In a colander, toss eggplant with 2 teaspoons salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Arrange slices in a single layer on a dish towel and roll up tightly to extract excess water.

Meanwhile, in a medium pot, bring tomatoes and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer until thickened, 30 minutes.

In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan season with salt and pepper. Put flour and eggs in two more shallow dishes. Coat eggplant in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, letting excess drip off. Coat with breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large straight-sided skillet, heat oil over medium-high (a few breadcrumbs should sizzle when added). In batches, fry eggplant until golden brown and tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with half the eggplant, overlapping slices slightly, 2 cups sauce, and half the mozzarella. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.


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