This Lighter Eggplant Parmesan Recipe 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 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
More Eggplant Recipes:
Lighter Eggplant Parmesan
- 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
- 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.
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Photo Credit: Jess Larson