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Baked Eggplant Parmesan

white plate with baked eggplant parmesan

This baked eggplant parmesan is the best Italian Sunday dinner. Breaded eggplant slices are baked till crispy, then layered with marinara & cheese for a delicious no fry version of this tasty dish!

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 medium eggplants, approximately 2 pounds total
  • kosher salt (for sweating the eggplants)
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • olive oil spray or olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 ½ cup marinara
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Wash eggplants and slice the ends off of them. Slice eggplants into approximately ½" - 1" inch rounds and lay on a cooling rack or paper towels. Generously salt each side of the eggplant with kosher salt and allow to sit for 1 hour to sweat out any extra bitterness and moisture.
  2. Once eggplants have had time to sweat, rinse them thoroughly with water to remove excess salt and then pat them completely dry.
  3. Preheat oven to 400° and line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
  4. Crack both eggs into a shallow dish or bowl, add the water, and scramble together with a fork or whisk.
  5. In a separate shallow dish or bowl, mix together panko breadcrumbs, italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  6. Working with 1-2 slices at a time, dip the eggplant into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure to allow the excess egg mixture to drip off of the eggplant before transferring to the breadcrumbs. Press breadcrumbs into all sides of the eggplant to make sure they stick properly to form the crust around the entire eggplant slice.
  7. Place breaded eggplant slices on prepared sheet pans. Spray the tops of the eggplant slices with olive oil spray or drizzle them lightly with olive oil. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Sheet pans may need to be rotated on the shelves halfway through baking to ensure all of the slices brown evenly.
  8. In a 9x13 baking dish, spread approximately ½ cup of the marinara over the bottom of the pan. Layer half of the eggplant slices over the top of the marinara. Then spread 1 cup of the marinara over the eggplant and top with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese. Repeat the second layer with the remaining eggplant slices, marinara, and cheeses.
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 375° and bake for 20-30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Equipment

Notes

Make ahead/Freezing:

- Breaded and baked eggplant slices can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen on a sheet pan and transferred to a zip top bag for up to 3 months. Bake slices for 5-10 minutes in the oven to re-crisp them up prior to layering.

 - Eggplant parmesan can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and stored in the fridge prior to baking. Additional cooking time may be needed. 

 - Eggplant parmesan can be layered and wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. To bake, completely thaw the dish before cooking. Additional cooking time may be needed.

Keywords: comfort food, eggplant, italian, marinara, sunday dinner, vegetarian