Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious and amazing veggie side dish. Don't turn away when you hear the word eggplant. We will teach you all of the hidden tricks about Eggplant Parmesan and you'll be surprised at how easy it is to make.

how to make eggplant parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Have you tasted Eggplant Parmesan at a restaurant? It is so delicious and one of our favorite vegetable dishes. But to actually shop for one at the store seemed daunting.

While shopping in the produce section at the grocery store, we never really gave eggplant a second glance. But those days are gone. We love eggplant in this easy and tasty recipe of Eggplant Parmesan.

My husband and I went on a cruise in March with his family. One night, they brought us this delicious eggplant Parmesan. I thought it would be a good appetizer (it seemed kind of small), but with the delicious cheeses and sauce, it filled us right up.

I had never bought an eggplant before, and I didn’t even know where to find it! But, with the delicious Eggplant Parmesan I had on the cruise, I was determined to make it happen.

It was so easy, and the taste was out of this world delicious! So, if you’re afraid to cook eggplant, don’t worry. It’s a lot easier than it looks.

what is eggplant and is it healthy?

Eggplant is a vegetable from the nightshade family. Other nightshade vegetables include bell peppers and tomatoes. Globe or American eggplant is the variety you see most often and are familiar with.

They are a large pear shaped vegetable with a deep purple skin. Their flesh is a creamy white color.

Eggplants are very healthy. They are high in fiber, loaded with nutrients, and low in calories. A lot of their nutrients are found in their skin.  So it’s the perfect veggie for any diet.

Eggplants are available year round, but their prime season is from August through October.

how to pick an eggplant

Picking a good eggplant is really quite simple. When you pick it up, you want it to feel heavy for its size. Look for a nice even and shiny skin tone. No discoloration on it.

At the end of the eggplant, you should see a green cap. The green cap on top is a sign of freshness. Some will even have a green stem.

You can test for ripeness by applying pressure with your finger on the eggplant. If it bounces back, then it’s ripe. If it doesn’t bounce back, then it needs a few more days to ripen.

do you have to peel the eggplant?

Every recipe with eggplant will vary slightly on how to prepare it and whether or not you should peel it. How you cook it will often determine whether to peel it or leave the skin on.

Eggplant skin is edible. The skin on larger eggplants can be tough. If the eggplant is smaller and tender, the healthy skin can be left on.

If you are frying or braising the eggplant, you can definitely leave the skin on. If baking, peel the skin and then slice or cube the eggplant (or whatever your recipe calls for).

what does sweating an eggplant mean?

Recipes with eggplant will often have you sweat the eggplant first. It’s not a big deal and usually doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to 1 hour. The length of time will often vary with each recipe.

Eggplant holds a lot of water. When you sweat the eggplant, it will result in a tender and more flavorful tasting eggplant.

Sweating the eggplant is a process where you literally help the eggplant release some of the water it is holding onto. It also has a tough skin and a bitter taste. The sweating process will give it a better flavor.

After you slice your eggplant into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices, sprinkle each side with salt. You can let it sweat out over a strainer. For our eggplant Parmesan recipe, we soak it in water with salt.

After 20 minutes you will rinse the salt off and pat the eggplant dry. Then proceed with your recipe. Salted eggplant is less chewy. If the skin is left on, it’s not as tough and easier to chew because of the sweating.

fun add-ins for this eggplant parmesan recipe

You can be so creative with our Eggplant Parmesan recipe. We love to add in other ingredients. Some of our readers have also suggested some fun add-ins too.

  • Mushrooms – We love adding in fresh sauteed mushrooms.
  • Ricotta Cheese – You can never have enough cheese, and ricotta cheese adds a little extra flavor.
  • Zucchini – We added diced zucchini, it’s a great way to sneak in more veggies.
  • Onions – Diced and cooked onions add so much flavor.
  • Crushed Garlic and Basil Croutons – One of our readers used this in place of the seasoned bread crumbs. YUM!

how to make eggplant Parmesan

  1. Peel the eggplant. Cut into 1/4 inch slices. Salt each slice on both sides and then let them sit in water for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the water from the slices and rinse under cool water. Pat dry.
  3. Beat eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Place bread crumbs in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Dip each eggplant slice in the eggs, and then dredge in the bread crumbs.
  6. Place on a baking sheet and cook in the oven at 450 degrees for 5 minutes, flip over and cook 5 more minutes.
  7. Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees.
  8. In a separate 9 x 13 inch baking dish, spread 1 cup of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the pan. Layer with half of the eggplant slices.
  9. Add another cup of spaghetti sauce to the top of the eggplant slices. Top with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and 1 cup or mozzarella cheese.
  10. Repeat with the second layer of eggplant slices, then sauce and cheese.
  11. Top with fresh chopped basil leaves.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cheese starts to turn golden.

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Other Healthy Side Dishes

Serves: 6

Eggplant Parmesan

The layers of eggplant, cheese, and sauce, in this dish make a delicious, filling meal!

30 minPrep Time

45 minCook Time

1 hr, 15 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants (peeled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce (divided)
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (divided)
  • 4 fresh basil leaves (chopped)

Instructions

  1. Peel and cut eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices. Salt the slices, and let them soak in water for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the eggplant, and rinse with cold water to remove the salt. Pat dry.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Beat eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Place breadcrumbs in another small bowl.
  6. Dip each slice in egg, then dredge it in bread crumbs. Place each slice on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes on one side, flip them over, and bake for 5 minutes more.
  7. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
  8. In a 9 x 13 inch pan, spread 1 cup of spaghetti sauce. Layer with half of the eggplant slices.
  9. On top, add another cup of sauce, spreading it evenly over the eggplant. Top that with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese.
  10. Repeat with a second layer of eggplant, sauce, and cheeses.
  11. Top with basil leaves.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cheese starts to turn golden.
Cuisine: Italian | Recipe Type: Main Dish
7.8.0.1
249
https://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe/eggplant-parmesan/

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scoop of eggplant parmesan from baking dish

 

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19 Responses to “Eggplant Parmesan”

  1. Briana
    I had never had eggplant and my husband said he didn't like it, however, this recipe was a huge hit. He has been asking for the link to this page to share with his foodie friends. The breading on the eggplant (I crushed up garlic and basil flavored croutons) and the two cheeses melted in your mouth. Definitely a repeater in this house!
      • Sorry but I'm still confused by this. The point of covering the eggplant in salt is to draw out the water and lower the water content in the eggplant. This recipe says to cover in salt and then to actually soak in water. That to me means that you will be making the eggplant soggy and adding to the water content thus making the addition of salt unnecessary? Just to recheck - must the eggplant actually be soaked in water or is the instruction to cover in salt and leave out for the water to drain away? Just double checking cause it sounds wrong and contradictory to everything else that I've read. Many thanks. Kim
        • Hi Kim - I completely immersed the eggplant in salted water and it worked for me. The eggplant was definitely not soggy - but you can adjust the recipe however you'd like, this is just the way I did it - we'd love to hear how it turns out if you try it a different way! Thanks, Steph
  2. Jene' forney
    I want to make this for a friend who recently had a baby and has her hands full at home. I want to be able to freeze it so she can just heat in the oven and serve. Any suggesions? Cook the eggplant, make layers, then freeze? Any ideas for reheating/cooking through from frozen state?
  3. This was the first time for me... never cooked an eggplant lasagna before. And it's exactly as you said: a lot easier than it looks! And beautiful, and really delicious! My family (Italian husband and two sons) loved it. Just follow the recipe, and you'll be greatly surprised. The texture was perfect! Thank you, this was a hit! Definitely will make it again.

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