Lighter Eggplant Parmesan

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This Lighter Eggplant Parmesan Recipe is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. No breading, no frying, just eggplant, cheese and marinara.

This Lighter Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. No breading, no frying, just eggplant, cheese and marinara.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan

What is eggplant parmesan? Traditionally eggplant parmesan is breaded eggplant that is fried them topped with sauce and cheese before baking. I made this lighter low-carb version by roasting the eggplant in the oven instead and skipping the breadcrumbs altogether. It’s delicious and perfect to make ahead and freeze or send to a friend in need!

This Low-Carb Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. No breading, just eggplant, cheese and marinara.

This is the way my Mom always made Eggplant Parmesan, and I always preferred it this way over the deep fried breaded version. It does take some time to make, but it’s so worth it! The eggplant is layered with sauce and cheese, and almost becomes like a noodle-less eggplant lasagna, it’s so good! It melts right in your mouth with each bite. For best flavor, I always use a good Parmesan cheese or Romano cheese like Locatelli or Reggiano cheese.

Do you take skin off eggplant?

I get asked this question a lot. The skin of the eggplant is actually completely edible and also the most nutritious! The skin is jam packed with antioxidants while the meat of the eggplant is full of fiber and low calorie.

Can you reheat cooked eggplant?

Yes, you can pop leftovers into the microwave in a microwave-safe dish or set the oven to 350F, cover the dish with foil and pop them in until hot and ready.

To Make Ahead and Refrigerate

You can prep Eggplant Parmesan 24 hours in advance before baking. Prepare and refrigerate, tightly wrapping with foil. To bake, cover with foil and bake 400F in the center rack 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer to help thicken the sauce. Remove from oven and let it rest 10 minutes before serving.

To Freeze and Serve

Prepare unbaked Eggplant Parmesan in a freezer to oven safe baking dish or foil dish, cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. There is no need to thaw, bake from frozen in a preheated oven 350F about 1 hour 15 minutes, until heated through. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let it rest 15 minutes before serving.

How To Make Eggplant Parmesan

This Lighter Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. No breading, just eggplant, cheese and marinara.

This Lighter Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. No breading, just eggplant, cheese and marinara.This Lighter Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. No breading, just eggplant, cheese and marinara.This Lighter Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. No breading, just eggplant, cheese and marinara.

More Eggplant Recipes:

This Lighter Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. No breading, just eggplant, cheese and marinara.
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4.78 from 109 votes
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Lighter Eggplant Parmesan

255.5 Cals 20 Protein 18.5 Carbs 12.5 Fats
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Yield: 8 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Italian
This Lighter Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. No breading, just eggplant, cheese and marinara.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds eggplant, 1 large or 2 medium
  • olive oil spray
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces part-skim ricotta, Polly-o is the only brand I use
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-1/2 cups part-skim mozzarella, I used Sargento
  • 4 cups homemade tomato sauce or jarred marinara

Instructions

  • Start by making the sauce if you don't have any already made.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray 2 sheet pans with oil.
  • While the sauce simmers, slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices. Transfer to the prepared pans, it's ok if they overlap slightly. Season with salt. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through until eggplant is golden.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine ricotta, egg, parsley and 1/4 cup of grated cheese.
  • Put 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9x12 baking dish, add 1/3 of eggplant to cover the bottom of the dish. Top with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 3/4 cup of the sauce. Add another layer of eggplant and repeat the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and sauce two more times, reserving the third layer of mozzarella for topping. Finish with 1 1/2 cups of sauce, remaining mozzarella, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of grated cheese.
  • Heat the oven to 400F.
  • Cover with foil and bake until cheese is melted and everything is bubbling, about 40 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
  • Take it out of the oven and let it sit about 10 minutes before cutting.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8th, Calories: 255.5kcal, Carbohydrates: 18.5g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 12.5g, Saturated Fat: 6.5g, Cholesterol: 59.5mg, Sodium: 809mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 9.5g
WW Points Plus: 7
Keywords: baked eggplant parmesan, easy eggplant parmesan, eggplant parm, eggplant parmesan, Lighter Eggplant Parmesan

Photo Credit: Jess Larson

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418 comments

  1. How many people is this supposed to feed? Love the recipe!

  2. Best low fat recipe I’ve ever made! No frying is a plus. This is the second time I’ve made it and it always gets rave reviews. Shared it a number of friends. Love this recipe.

  3. confused ,,, what’s the egg for?

  4. So easy to make!  This is basically Eggplant Lasagne!  So delicious.  There are 4 of us in this house.  Everyone ate as they came home.  When I went to have some for lunch the next day, there was literally a 2”x2” square left in the pan!  I used crushed tomatoes and fresh basil as my sauce.  Everyone said it was the best Eggplant Parm ever!  (Which called for no Parmesan by the way!).  Who needs the breadcrumbs?  Vegetarian and gluten-free – a bonus!  Will definitely be making this often!

  5. I really wanted to love this recipe as I love eggplant. And I have made several recipes from this site and loved them.  But this one didn’t work for me and my family. I followed the recipe exactly and it was overwhelming watery.  We still tried to eat it but felt it lacked flavor. 

  6. Hi there, I’m planning to make this for dinner tonight because it looks so yummy but I am trying to restrict my salt at least a little bit. Do you have to salt the eggplant slices before you bake them?

  7. I made this for dinner, it came out exceptionally well! I didn’t have any ricotta on hand so I used cottage cheese, you couldn’t tell the difference. I also threw in a little fresh basil. 
    Highly recommend this! 

  8. I made this exactly as written, it was delicious! I had just purchased 2 large eggplant at the public market for $1. My husband commented that it was the best vegetarian dish he had ever eaten. Leftovers for another day! Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!

  9. Het lukt niet om de WW punten te koppelen of te delen in de WW App? Hoe doe ik dit?

  10. Should I let eggplant slices sweat for a while before putting them in oven for 20 minutes?

  11. Loved this smooth and gooey delicious easy eggplant Parmesan. Excellent the first  day, fabulous for leftovers. thank God for Gina!! 

  12. This is one of my go to healthy meals. Even my picky SO, who admits to having the pallet of an 8 year old, enjoys it and will eat leftovers (which he NEVER does). 

  13. This was fantastic!!! I only was able to do 2 layers as my eggplants were smaller and I under-estimated how many I needed.  I split it up into 6 meals and plan on freezing.  Simply Excellent 

  14. I included a layer of mushrooms/ricotta and a layer of spinach/ricotta. The results was a very watering dish. I also used skim ricotta. I don’t want to give up on this dish. Where did I go wrong.

    • Mushrooms and spinach are packed with water! Try cooking and draining both before mixing them into the ricotta and baking. Happy bites!

  15. This was delicious! I ended up using a tomato basil sauce and only used 2 cups instead of 4, and it wasn’t soupy. I also sprinkled some salt on the egg plant and covered with paper towel for about 30 minutes before baking as instructed. Will be making again! 

  16. Fantastic, light dish! Totally prefer it without the breading!

  17. Excellent!  I will definitely be making making eggplant Parmesan this way from now on. This was just perfect!  

  18. I made this last night. I salted & seated the eggplant, and also roasted in the oven as instructed with the recipe. It still came out delicious but very soupy! Next time I would make the eggplant slices a little thicker and use less sauce.