Italian Eggplant Parmesan

I see you rolling your eyes there. “Kate, all eggplant Parmesans are Italian!” Let me clarify. In Italy, real eggplant Parmesan (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) is breading-free. Obviously, we Americans chose to coat our eggplant in egg wash and breading.

Another surprise? Italians do not put any cream into their fettuccine Alfredo! Let’s now rely on provide a cumulative eye roll at Olive Garden.

Jokes aside, this baked eggplant Parmesan is whatever I desire eggplant Parm to be. This dish is made completely from scratch, however it’s easy to prepare. We’ll roast the eggplant pieces rather of frying them. Then we’ll put together the meal and bake it. Easy!

eggplant Parmesan ingredients

We’ll likewise avoid the breading, that makes this eggplant Parmesan gluten totally free. Without the breading as diversion, the eggplant taste actually shines through. This meal may look very tacky (okay, it is tacky) however the majority of the cheese is on top of the meal so it can establish that alluring golden crust.

This dish is healthier than the majority of American eggplant Parmesans, however tastes like my nonexistent Italian granny made it. I made a fast homemade marinara out of tomato paste and fire-roasted tomatoes, that make it taste like it’s been simmering on the range for hours. If you remain in a time crunch or seeking to streamline, however, you can definitely utilize your preferred jarred marinara.

Watch How to Make Eggplant Parmesan

roasted eggplant with mozzarella

The Dish Motivation

The eggplant Parmesans I have actually bought for many years at dining establishments have actually differed significantly, however I have actually grown to anticipate heavy, oily, breaded eggplant served with marinara and standard-issue spaghetti. I normally leave with a stomachache and a side of remorse.

Then I bought the eggplant Parmesan at a regional dining establishment here in Kansas City called Ragazza, which offered me expect eggplant Parm. Their eggplant Parmesan is available in a charming little cast iron frying pan, with layers of eggplant cut lengthwise and sliced like lasagna. It consists of gently breaded eggplant, however it isn’t overtly oily, and the marinara sauce tastes like it’s been simmering on the range for hours.

Regazza’s makes the owner’s mom’s dish, and I need to purchase it whenever I consume there. Their eggplant Parmesan influenced the eggplant lasagna in my cookbook, that includes long strips of roasted eggplant layered in between the noodles and marinara. Have you had the possibility to attempt that a person? So great!

How to make Italian eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan Dish Advancement

Given that it’s eggplant season, I set out to develop a homemade eggplant Parmesan dish that I might get actually thrilled about. I based my dish on the lasagna dish in the book, while keeping Ragazza’s dish in mind. I understood I wished to roast the eggplant instead of fry it pans loaded with simmering oil scare me, and fried eggplant tastes more like oil than eggplant.

Eggplant infamously takes in oil like a sponge, which is why you’ll wish to brush oil onto the eggplant instead of sprinkling it on. Simply make certain to utilize fresh eggplant, due to the fact that there’s no conserving mushy, bruised eggplant.

When I was dealing with my dish, I got hung up on the breading part. I do not enjoy dipping my fingers into raw eggs, and it’s tough to discover entire grain breadcrumbs. Plus, the breading in eggplant Parmesan undoubtedly gets covered in marinara and winds up soaked. What is the point of breading if it’s all soaked?

That’s when I dove into the history of eggplant Parmesan and found out that Italians do not in fact bread their eggplant. Eureka! I got rid of the breading part and arrived on an eggplant Parmesan that I really enjoy. I comprehend that some might emphatically disagree with me on the breading front, however let’s simply consent to disagree.

Eggplant Choice Tips

Prior to you head to the supermarket, here are some pointers:

  • Make sure to pick eggplants that are smooth and glossy, without any damages or mushy parts. They ought to feel heavy for their size.
  • If possible, pick eggplants that are on the smaller sized side. Big eggplants tend to include more seeds, which can produce an annoying texture in this dish.
  • Then, make certain to turn that eggplant into eggplant Parm quickly, considering that overripe eggplant tastes more bitter.

This gluten-free eggplant Parmesan recipe is easy to make. It's gluten-free because there's no breading involved in authentic Italian eggplant Parm! #glutenfree #vegetarian

Eggplant Parmesan Serving Ideas

Wondering what to serve with your eggplant Parm? I ‘d recommend easy side meals, such as roasted veggies (you can roast them on the upper rack while the eggplant Parm bakes on the lower rack), sautéed sides or green salads. Here are some concepts:

  • Green Beans Amandine
  • Honey Mustard Brussels Sprout Slaw
  • Italian Chopped Salad: Or a streamlined variation.
  • Quick Collard Greens
  • Roasted Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts or Green Beans

More Eggplant Recipes to Take Pleasure In

  • Caponata: This tasty and sweet Sicilian appetiser includes eggplant with sautéed bell pepper, celery, tomatoes, olives and capers.
  • Impressive Baba Ganoush: Hummus-like in texture, this Mediterranean dip is made with eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon and garlic.
  • Pasta alla Norma: Sicilian pasta meal with eggplant, marinara and basil. If you enjoy eggplant Parmesan, you need to attempt this dish.
  • Ratatouille: Timeless end-of-summer French stew. I roast the veggies to minimize the wetness and highlight their taste.
  • Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Orzo Pasta: An enjoyable late summer season pasta salad that is totally filled with veggies.

Please let me understand how this ends up for you in the remarks. For more soothing casserole meals, attempt my Spinach Artichoke Lasagna and Lentil Baked Ziti.

The best eggplant Parmesan recipe, made with baked eggplant and no breading! It's like lightened-up lasagna.

Italian Eggplant Parmesan

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Prepare Time: 45 minutes
  • Overall Time: 1 hour (plus 15 minutes cool-down time)
  • Yield: 6 to 9 portions 1 x
  • Classification: Meal
  • Approach: Baked
  • Food: Italian

4.9 from 199 evaluations

This Italian-style eggplant Parmesan dish is lighter than the majority of it’s made with roasted eggplant pieces (not fried) and no breading at all. It’s gluten totally free, too! Dish yields one 9-inch square eggplant Parm, or about 8 portions.


  • 3 pounds eggplants (about 3 small or 2 medium)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Great sea salt and newly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, carefully sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pushed or minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, ideally the fire-roasted range *
  • 1/4 cup approximately sliced fresh basil, plus extra basil for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces newly grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 1 1/2 cups, jam-packed)
  • 2 ounces newly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)


  1. To roast the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Line 2 big rimmed, flat pans with parchment paper for simple clean-up.
  2. Trim both rounded ends on one eggplant, then stand it up on its largest flat side. Slice through the eggplant vertically to make long, even pieces 1/4- to 1/2- inch-thick. Dispose of both of the sides that are covered in eggplant skin. Repeat with the other eggplant( s).
  3. Brush both sides of the eggplant pieces gently with olive oil (you’ll likely require about 1/4 cup oil). Organize them in a single layer on the ready baking sheets. Spray the tops with a couple of dashes of salt and pepper. Roast up until golden and tender, about 22 to 27 minutes midway through baking, turn the pans 180 degrees and switch their positions (relocation pan on lower rack to upper rack, and vice versa). The pan on the lower rack may require a couple of additional minutes in the oven to turn golden. Reserve.
  4. On the other hand, to make the tomato sauce: In a medium pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil up until sparkling. Include the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring sometimes, up until the onion is extremely tender and clear, about 4 to 7 minutes.
  5. Include the garlic and tomato paste. Cook, while stirring, about 1 minute. Include the crushed tomatoes, stir to integrate, and bring the mix to a simmer. When simmering, minimize the heat to medium-low and simmer up until the sauce has actually thickened well, about 15 minutes. Eliminate the pot from the heat and stir in the sliced basil, vinegar, salt and red pepper flakes. Taste, and include more salt if required (I normally include another 1/4 teaspoon).
  6. When you’re prepared to put together, spread out about 3/4 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9″ square baker. Set up about one-third of the eggplant pieces over the sauce, overlapping somewhat (cut them to fit, if required). Spoon another 3/4 cup of the sauce over the eggplant and spray with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
  7. Set up about half of the staying eggplant pieces equally on top. Spread another 3/4 cup sauce on the top and spray with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Layer the staying eggplant pieces on the top and leading with 3/4 cup sauce (you may have a little left over) and the staying mozzarella cheese. Uniformly spray the Parmesan on top.
  8. Bake on the lower rack at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, exposed, up until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let it cool for a minimum of 15 minutes to provide it time to set, then slice and spray extra basil on top. Slice with a sharp knife and serve.
  9. Leftovers keep well, covered and cooled, for about 4 days. Reheat prior to serving.


Dish influenced by the eggplant Parmesan at Ragazza in Kansas City, and adjusted from the eggplant lasagna in my cookbook, Love Real Food.

Faster way choice: Change the homemade marinara with store-bought marinara. You’ll require about 3 cups (24 ounces). Newman’s Own natural marinara would be my leading choice for this dish.

Prepare ahead of time: You can put together the eggplant lasagna the night prior to (possibly even a number of days prior to), then bake when you’re prepared (it may require an additional 5 minutes approximately in the oven to establish the golden top).

* Tomato notes: You can likewise utilize diced tomatoes or entire tomatoes, processed in a food mill or mixer up until mainly smooth. My favored brand name of canned tomato items is Muir Glen Organic, for their taste and BPA-free cans.

Parmesan note: A Lot Of Parmesans are not technically vegetarian (they include animal rennet), however Whole Foods 365 and BelGioioso brand names use vegetarian Parmesans.

▸ Nutrition Details

The info revealed is a price quote offered by an online nutrition calculator. It needs to not be thought about a replacement for an expert nutritional expert’s suggestions. See our complete nutrition disclosure here.

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