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eggplant parmesan in white glass container on counter with spatula lifting out a square
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Eggplant Parmesan

Easy to make Eggplant Parmesan, a delicious, vegetarian option to its counterpart, chicken parmesan.  Eggplant coated in a bread crumb mixture, layered with marinara and bubbly cheese, this dish is mouthwatering good.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time45 mins
Cool10 mins
Total Time1 hr 55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: eggplant, eggplant parmesan, vegetarian main
Servings: 8
Calories: 622kcal
Author: Rachael

Equipment

  • Paper Towels
  • Rimmed Baking Sheet
  • Metal Cooling Rack
  • Zip Top Bag
  • Bowl
  • Shallow Dish
  • Food Processor of Blender
  • Sauce Pan
  • 9 x 13 Baking Dish

Ingredients

Eggplant + Breading

  • 2 pounds Eggplant sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • 3 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 4 cups Bread Crumbs
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 Eggs large

Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 14.5 ounces Diced Tomatoes (1 can)
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • cup Basil freshly chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

The Rest

  • 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese whole-milk
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 10 Basil Leaves fresh, roughly torn

Instructions

Eggplant:

  • Slice eggplant into ¼ inch thick rounds, and toss with 3 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • Set on a paper towel lined baking sheet, and set aside for 30-40 minutes. During this time the eggplants will weep out excess water.
  • After 30-40 minutes are up, wipe off excess salt from eggplant, then use additional paper towels, to press gently down on the eggplant rounds, and remove additional water.
  • Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with a metal cooling rack, spray rack with non-stick spray, and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with racks in the upper and lower middle positions. Place two baking sheets in oven to heat along with the oven.
  • In a large bowl combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine, and set aside.
  • In a zip top bag combine flour, and 1 teaspoon pepper, and shake to combine. Set aside.
  • In a shallow dish, beat eggs with a fork, until frothy. Set aside
  • When eggplant round are ready, place 8-10 at a time into the zip topped bag, and shake to coat with flour. Then remove from bag, and dip into the egg mixture. Let any excess egg run off. Then dip in the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese mixture.
  • Set each round on the prepared tray lined with the sprayed cooling rack.
  • Repeat until all the eggplant is dredged.
  • Remove hot baking sheets from hot oven, and add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil to each sheet, and carefully tilt the sheet around to evenly spread the oil across the pan.
  • Place half the eggplant rounds down into the oil in each pan, and return the pans to the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, at 10 minutes in, switch and rotate the pans. At 20 minutes in, use a spatula to flip the eggplant rounds. After 30 minutes, remove from oven, but leave oven on.

Sauce:

  • Meanwhile, place all sauce ingredients except fresh basil, into a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a sauce pan, and turn on to medium high heat. Once it starts a slow boil, turn down to medium-low, and let simmer 15-20 minutes until sauce thickens and reduces.
  • Stir fresh basil into sauce, taste, and adjust seasonings to preference.

Assembly:

  • Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non stick spray.
  • Scoop 1 cup of sauce into the bottom, and spread it evenly.
  • Layer in half the eggplant slices, overlapping as needed to fit.
  • Pour 1 cup of sauce over the top of the eggplant.
  • Add half the cheese to form another layer.
  • Next layer remaining eggplant, dot with 1 more cup of sauce. And a remaining cup of mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake in hot oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven, and let cool 5-10 minutes.
  • Top with fresh basil, and serve with the remaining cup of sauce.

Notes

Pay Attention to how Thick you Cut the Eggplant: If eggplant is too thin it will burn.  Cut slices at about 1/4 inch thickness and make sure it is uniform so you get even cooking time.
Adjust Seasonings Based on Preference:  Feel free to use a combination of Italian seasonings that fit your flavor profile.

Nutrition

Calories: 622kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 1997mg | Potassium: 554mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 638IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 513mg | Iron: 5mg