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Eggplant Parmesan

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  30 min
  • Cook Time:  1 hr 10 min
  • Calories: 523
Eggplant parmesan in a black cast iron casserole with a large serving spoon scooping out a serving of eggplant parmesan
Photography by Gayle McLeod

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

A Classic Eggplant Parmesan

We all need crispy eggplant slices, layers of melted cheese, and bright tomato sauce after a long week. We dream of the first slice when the spatula gets lifted and stringy, gooey, melted mozzarella cheese hangs from it while plating. 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, with most of that being oven time. Our version uses baked eggplant versus fried, so you can feel good about serving it, too. Try its sister recipe, Chicken Parmesan.

Large black casserole filled with eggplant parmesan with a large metal serving spoon scooping out eggplant.

What is Eggplant Parmesan?

Classic eggplant parmesan, also known as eggplant parmigiana, is layers of ooey gooey cheese, rich marinara sauce, and thin crispy eggplant, which can be either fried or baked. It represents the heart of American Italian cuisine. When making our recipe for eggplant Parmesan, we have a few tips for elevating it.

For the absolute best eggplant parmesan, Homemade Marinara Sauce is always preferred as well as the quality of the cheese is key! Our Italian friend who lives in New York, claims that the quality of the cheese is everything! Also, here’s your friendly little reminder to avoid using pre-grated parm if you are able: 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.

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

  • Fresh Parmesan cheese

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 Do You Make Eggplant Parm Not Soggy?

If you’re reading this as an eggplant parm skeptic or know someone who is, this is probably why: soggy eggplant. But, not here. We’re on a mission to prove that our eggplant parmesan recipe is the BEST eggplant parmesan recipe because we leave no room for soggy eggplant, and we’ll tell you exactly how.

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.

Crispy breaded eggplant arranged in a cast iron casserole dish.
Breaded eggplant sliced topped with marinara sauce in a large 8x13 casserole.
Breaded eggplant slices topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese slices in a black 9x13 casserole dish.
Breaded eggplant slices arranged in a casserole dish topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella slices and grated parmesan cheese

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 for 10 minutes to remove any bitterness. Do not skip this step! In the meantime, prepare the dredge, which comprises three stages: a seasoned flour mixture, a panko coating, and a separate egg mixture. Once the 10 minutes is up, carefully dry them off.
  2. Bread 'em! Start by dipping 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! Repeat for each eggplant slice. Then, drizzle with a little olive oil.
  3. Bake! While some eggplant parmesan recipes sometimes call for fried eggplant, we like to bake ours at 400°F for 30 minutes until crispy and golden!
  4. Assemble! A great step to involve the little ones! Start by layering marinara on the bottom of the 9x13, followed by the crispy eggplant slices – feel free to overlap – then a little more marinara sauce, the sliced mozzarella, and a sprinkling of parm. Repeat, finishing with parmesan! Bake for 30-40 minutes at 375°F or 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!
  5. Enjoy this simple gooey baked eggplant parmesan!
Eggplant parmesan topped with lots of cheese in a black 9x13 casserole dish

What to Serve With Eggplant Parmesan

Although this meal is perfect on its own, when serving this up for a crowd, we like to make it a bit heartier by pairing it with a simple pasta like Spaghetti and Meatballs or a pasta alternative like Spaghetti Squash. You can’t go wrong with a vegetable side, like Zucchini with Parmesan, Broccolini, or Roast Mushrooms. Add a simple salad: Antipasto Salad, Panzanella, or a Simple Italian Salad are all favorites to make it greener. If you’re serving this eggplant parmesan recipe as a side, we suggest an elegant roast chicken or turkey, like our Marry Me Chicken, as the entree. What to do with leftovers? Make a sandwich, of course!

baked Eggplant parmesan on a black cast iron 9x13 casserole dish surrounded by fresh basil.

Tools You Need For Baked Eggplant Parmesan

  • Sheet pans

  • Parchment paper

  • Shallow bowls or pie pan

  • 9x13-inch baking dish

Looking For Easy & Delicious 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:

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

A Family Favorite!

This cheesy, sauced baked Eggplant Parmesan has your back when it comes to pleasing a crowd. Did you achieve that bubbling, golden brown top? Show us by tagging us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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
  • 16 ounces fresh mozzarella , thinly sliced, we like buffalo mozzarella
  • 8 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 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 half of the Parmesan. Repeat with remaining ingredients, finishing with the Parmesan. 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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  • 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.

  • 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!