Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
This Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe fills your mouth with crisp eggplant, flavorful marinara, and plenty of melted cheese to replicate a classic Italian dish.
- 2 lbs eggplant 2 large/3 medium/4 small, cut into 1/3" thick rounds
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Olive oil to drizzle over eggplant and 1 Tbsp for the sauce
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 24 oz good quality marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves coarsely chopped, (optional, but nice)
- 1 lb shredded mozzarella grated on the large holes
How to Bake Eggplant for Eggplant Parm:
Preheat Oven to 375˚F. Grease 2 baking sheets. Set up 3 rimmed dishes in this order: In the first one, stir together 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. In the second, beat 3 large eggs. In the third combine 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs and 1/2 cup grated parmesan. Dip eggplant slices in flour, then beaten eggs, then in the panko/parm mixture.
Place breaded eggplant onto greased baking sheets and drizzle tops with olive oil or spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 375˚F for 32 min, flipping the eggplant rounds and rotating the pans halfway through (my baking sheets didn't fit on one rack so I put them on separate racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven). Once done baking, remove from oven and reposition rack to the center of the oven.
How to Make the Sauce:
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Once oil is hot, add garlic and stir 1 min until fragrant. Add marinara sauce and coarsely chopped basil. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
To Assemble Eggplant Parmesan:
Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 or 9x12 casserole dish. Add 1/2 eggplant slices, overlapping if needed to fit, then top with 1/2 marinara sauce and 1/2 mozzarella, Repeat with remaining eggplant slices, marinara and mozzarella. Bake uncovered at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly golden.
To avoid bitter eggplant, it's very important to use eggplant that is ripe and cook it soon after it's picked or purchased.