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Eggplant Parmesan

Molten golden brown cheesy goodness meets tender yet crispy slices of eggplant smothered in tomato sauce in this vegetarian-friendly eggplant parmesan.

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Eggplant parmesan in a black cast iron casserole with a large serving spoon scooping out a serving of eggplant parmesan
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Salads pair perfectly with eggplant parm!

A Classic Eggplant Parmesan

We all need crispy eggplant slices, layers of melted cheese, and bright tomato sauce after a long week. This eggplant parmesan recipe is great for a humble family meal or a large gathering (it’s vegetarian, too!) and comes together in just about an hour and a half. Our version uses baked eggplant versus fried, so you can feel good about serving it, too. Be sure to also try, Chicken Parmesan.

Eggplant parmesan in a black baking dish with a metal serving spoon.

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What is Eggplant Parmesan?

Classic eggplant parmesan, also known as eggplant parmigiana, is layers of gooey cheese, rich marinara sauce, and thin crispy eggplant, which can be either fried or baked. It represents the heart of American Italian cuisine. We like to double up on our veggies and serve alongside Spaghetti Squash. You also can’t go wrong with a vegetable side, like Zucchini with Parmesan, Broccolini, or Roast Mushrooms.

Ingredients for eggplant parmesan shown in small bowls including eggplant, mozzarella, parmesan, marinara, eggs and panko.

Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make this delicious, homemade eggplant parm!

  • Eggplant

  • Kosher salt

  • All-purpose flour

  • Eggs

  • Panko breadcrumbs

  • Garlic powder & onion powder

  • Italian seasoning

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Marinara sauce

  • Fresh mozzarella & Parmesan

Eggplant slices on two parchment lined baking sheets seasoned with kosher salt.
Eggplant slices dipped in egg, flour and panko on a parchment lined baking sheet surrounded by three bowls of ingredients.
12 Eggplant slices dredged in flour, egg and panko arranged on a parchment lined baking sheet.
12 crispy breaded baked eggplant slices arranged on a parchment lined baking sheet.

How to Make Eggplant Parmesan

Follow these step-by-step instructions to make crispy, cozy eggplant parmesan:

  1. Prepare the eggplant! We start by slicing the eggplant and salting them to remove any bitterness. Do not skip this step!

  2. Prepare the dredge. A seasoned flour mixture, a panko coating, and a separate egg mixture.

  3. Bread 'em! dip the slices of eggplant into the flour, followed by the egg mixture and then the panko. This will allow them to crisp up and hold their shape! Then, drizzle with a little olive oil.

  4. Bake! While some eggplant parmesan recipes call for fried eggplant, we like to bake ours at 400°F for 30 minutes until crispy and golden!

  5. Assemble! Layer marinara on the bottom of the 9x13, followed by the crispy eggplant slices, more marinara sauce, sliced mozzarella, and a sprinkling of parm. Repeat.

  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Pro Tip: if after 40 minutes, the top hasn’t browned up nicely, pop it under the broiler for a few minutes but do not take your eyes off it at the risk of burning!

  7. Enjoy this simple gooey baked eggplant parmesan!

Marinara spread out in the bottom of a baking dish
Crispy breaded eggplant arranged in a cast iron baking dish.
Breaded eggplant sliced topped with marinara sauce in a large baking dish.
Breaded eggplant slices topped with marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese slices in a black casserole dish.

How to Store Eggplant Parmesan + Tips

  • For the absolute best eggplant parmesan, Homemade Marinara Sauce is always preferred.

  • Our Italian friend who lives in New York, claims that the quality of the cheese is everything! Also, a friendly reminder to avoid using pre-grated parm: it doesn’t yield the same results because it contains anti-caking agents which stops it from melting!

  • We’re team panko over breadcrumbs, but either can be used. We just love the texture of panko, especially when baking eggplant parm over frying it.

  • How Do You Make Eggplant Parm Not Soggy? Our first tip — uniform slices, no larger than ¼ inch slices. This ensures even cooking time and reduces the amount of moisture that bakes off when creating that crispy, brown coating. The second — salt your eggplant which removes excess moisture and bitterness! And the last tip — never to forget the EVOO! We bake our eggplant slices at 400°F for 30 minutes but only after a nice dousing of olive oil to crisp up the panko breading.

  • Looking for another great veggie main dish? Try our Vegetable Pot Pie recipe.

baked Eggplant parmesan in a black cast iron 9x13 casserole dish surrounded by fresh basil.
Eggplant parmesan in a black cast iron casserole with a large serving spoon scooping out a serving of eggplant parmesan

Tools You Need For Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Looking For More Saucy Vegetarian Dinners?

The best dinners are those you can serve with or without sides, and it’ll still be a comforting, hearty meal like our Best One Pot Dinners! We also love:

A Family Favorite!

This cheesy, sauced baked Eggplant Parmesan has your back when it comes to pleasing a crowd. For more recipe inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest or order our cookbook. We love when you share your meals. Tag us on Instagram using #themodernproper. Happy cooking!

Eggplant Parmesan

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  30 min
  • Cook Time:  1 hr 10 min
  • Calories: 523

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store bought
  • 16 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F with the racks in the upper third and lower third. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

  2. Arrange eggplant slices on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons of the salt. Set aside for 10 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel.

  3. Place the flour in a shallow bowl or pie pan. In a separate shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Place the panko, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt in a third shallow bowl. Dip each eggplant slice into the flour, then into the beaten egg, allowing the excess to drip off. Press each slice into the panko mixture to coat and return to the sheet pans. Drizzle the slices with olive oil.

  4. Bake the eggplant for 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, or until golden. Reduce heat to 375°F.

  5. Add ¼ cup of the marinara sauce to a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread out into an even layer. Transfer half of the eggplant slices to the sauce in an even layer, slightly overlapping if needed. Cover the eggplant with ½ of the remaining marinara sauce. Top with half of the mozzarella slices and ½ cup of the Parmesan. Repeat with remaining ingredients, finishing with the remaining ½ cup Parmesan sprinkled on top. Bake until the cheese is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.

  6. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories523
  • Protein28 g
  • Carbohydrates44 g
  • Total Fat26 g
  • Dietary Fiber6 g
  • Cholesterol160 mg
  • sodium1912 mg
  • Total Sugars10 g

Eggplant Parmesan

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Borders

    Can this be assembled the day before and then baked or would this cause eggplant to lose its crispness?

    We haven't tried but you will probably have the best texture baking it right away.

  • Suzy Tipton

    Are you able to give WW points on your recipes now that everyone is on the same plan but each of us have our own daily points? I know we can use the recipe builder.

    Unfortunately we don't provide that information.

  • Anna

    This was amazing!!!! I made extra eggplant and loved just eating it out of the oven! Will be making this again!!

    Thanks Anna, so happy you loved it!

  • Kay

    This is such an incredible meal! The panko on the eggplant is so good. So happy I tried this one!

    Thanks Kay, we are happy you tried it too, and even more happy you loved it!