This Easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe is made healthier and lighter with baked (instead of fried) panko-crusted eggplant, and served with fresh mozzarella, marinara sauce and fresh basil.
This dish may look fancy and complicated, but in truth it comes together quickly and is perfect for a meatless Monday option or an easy Sunday Supper. It also makes for a great leftovers for lunch. I like to serve it a long a giant salad or over a little bit of pasta.
Everything You Need to Make the Easy Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
- 1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplant
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko crust
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese
Instead of creating a lasagna style hearty dish, I like to stack the lightly breaded eggplant cutlets on top of each other and serve them drizzles with a little marinara, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.
What makes this recipe healthier and lighter?
In this recipe we go light on breading the cutlets. Then we bake the eggplant cutlets instead of frying, and lastly we are minimalist with the cheese—making this a light and healthier version of the true Italian classic Melanzane alla parmigiana
Though, I will admit a sprinkle of fresh Parmigiano Reggiano goes a long way too.
Do you need to salt eggplant before making eggplant parmesan?
Technically you do not have to salt your eggplant. However, I do find that soaking the cut eggplant in salted water for at least 30 minutes before cooking makes the eggplant much less watery or bitter, and the crust less chewy.
Another cooking tip would be to make sure you slice your eggplant cutlets about 1/4 inch thick.
I also like to warm up the sauce. Once the baked eggplant is ready, cover each patty with sauce and a slice of mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven to allow the cheese to melt.
To serve, I like to add basil and then stack the cutlets on top of each other.
Other Recipes You May Like
Easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplants
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- Cut your eggplant into 1/4 inch thick cutlets. Add water to a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Soak the eggplant slices for at least a half hour before cooking.
- Place your eggplant cutlets on a towel to dry off.
- Meanwhile, mix two eggs in a shallow dish. Take another shallow dish and add the panko bread crumbs
- Once dry, dip the eggplant into the egg mixture and then the panko crust dish. Don't worry about covering the eggplant completely. We are looking for a light panko crust dusting.
- Spray a pan sheet with olive oil and place your panko crusted eggplant on the sheet. It's ok if the cutlets lightly touch each other or overlap.
- Bake your cutlets at 325 for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile warm up your marinara sauce, slice your mozzarella cheese and prep your basil.
- Once the eggplant cutlets are cooked, add a dollop of marinara sauce to each cutlet, a sliver of mozzarella cheese and a basil leaf. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- Stack 3 cutlets on top of each other. Serve warm with a side of pasta or salad.
- Slice eggplant 1/4 inch thick. Then soak the slices in a bowl of salted water for at least 30 minutes.
- Pat the eggplant dry. You can also remove the skin.
- Regular bread crumbs work just as well with this recipe
- Try vegan mozzarella cheese for a vegan twist on this meatless meal.
What to serve with baked eggplant parmesan?
p style=”text-align: left;”>Typically I serve a small portion of spaghetti with my baked eggplant parmesan recipe and a large salad of mixed greens in a vinaigrette dressing. Another great choice would be sautéed spinach with garlic. Depends on how healthy you want your eggplant parmesan easy dinner to be.