This easy baked eggplant parmesan is the best Italian Sunday dinner. Sliced eggplant is breaded with seasoned panko breadcrumbs and then baked till crispy. Then, they are layered with marinara and of course lots of cheese! This no fry version of eggplant parmesan is all of the flavors that you love, without all of the extra grease! For a quick overview of this recipe, check out my web story for this easy baked eggplant parmesan!
One of my husband's favorite dishes is eggplant parmesan for Sunday dinner. We started baking the eggplant in the oven instead of frying it in oil and we are hooked! It's less messing and the breaded slices of eggplant stay much crispier without the extra moisture from the grease. It also holds up well if you want to make it earlier in the day or even the day before!
🍆 Ingredient notes
- Eggplant - Look for eggplants that have smooth shiny skin that leave an imprint when you lightly press your finger into it. This means that they are ripe and ready to use!
- Panko breadcrumbs - Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese style breadcrumb that are lighter and crispier. Regular breadcrumbs can be used as an alternative.
- Olive oil spray - I like using olive oil spray to lightly coat the breaded eggplant slices before baking. This gives the breadcrumbs a light even coating of oil to help them be extra crispy. If you don't have spray, regular olive oil can be drizzled on them instead.
- Marinara - Either homemade or your favorite store bought marinara will work!
- Cheese - I like using a combination of both mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese for this recipe. The mozzarella cheese adds a creamy taste, while the parmesan adds a nice sharpness.
🔪 Step by step instructions
First, wash and remove the ends from your eggplants and then slice them into ½ - 1" thick rounds. Lay them on a paper towel or cooling rack and sprinkle generously with kosher salt on both sides. Let the salted eggplant slices sit for an hour to sweat out any extra moisture and bitterness.
Next, wash the eggplant slices thoroughly to remove any excess salt and then pat them dry.
Next, scramble two eggs with some water and season the panko breadcrumbs with italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg first, allowing the excess egg to drip off and then press them into the seasoned breadcrumbs so that the entire slice is coated.
Place the breaded eggplant slices onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in a 400˚ oven for 25-30 minutes until crispy and lightly browned. Rotate the sheet pans on the oven racks halfway through cooking to make sure that both pans get evenly cooked and browned.
Next, add ½ cup of the marinara sauce to the bottom of the pan, and then top that with half of the baked eggplant slices.
Top the breaded eggplant with half of the remaining marinara, then half of the mozzarella cheese and half of the parmesan cheese. Top with the remaining eggplant slices, the remaining marinara and then lastly the remaining cheeses.
Bake the layered eggplant parmesan in a 375˚ oven for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
⭐ Top tip
Don't skip sweating the eggplant slices. It really helps to make the crispiest slices that have both the best flavor and texture for this dish!Print
- Gluten free - Use gluten free breadcrumbs instead of regular panko breadcrumbs.
- Dairy free - Replace the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses with your favorite dairy free cheese. Final cooking times may need to be adjusted depending on the type of cheese.
💭 Frequently asked questions
The peel on eggplant is completely edible and does not need to be removed before slicing and sweating.
You do not have to sweat the eggplant before breading it, however it does remove excess bitterness and moisture that the eggplant has. If you do not have time to sweat the eggplant, cut the slices thinner and pat dry as best as you can.
🥘 Make ahead instructions
- Breaded and baked eggplant slices will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days. Pop them in the oven for 5-10 minutes to crisp them up before layering.
- Breaded and baked eggplant slices can also be frozen on a sheet pan and then transferred to a ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes to crisp them up before layering.
- Eggplant parmesan can be assembled ahead of time and then baked later. I don't like assembling it more than 12-24 hours beforehand because the longer the breaded eggplant sits in the sauce, the soggier it will become.
- To freeze eggplant parmesan, simply assemble the entire dish, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw completely. Cooking times might be longer, depending on how cold the dish is.
🍅 More Italian dishes
If you enjoyed this recipe for my no fry baked eggplant parmesan, check out these other Italian inspired dishes that I know you will love!
Don't forget! If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and give it a rating. I love to hear from each and every one of you! Tag me on Facebook and Instagram as well! It makes my day to see all of your photos of the food you have made.