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Eggplant Parmesan is no longer confined to the four walls of a restaurant. You can make a great eggplant parmesan in your own home, with minimal effort.
One great thing about this particular classic Italian recipe is that the eggplant is not fried, it’s baked, making it a tad more healthy and helps cuts down on the prep and cooking time quite a bit.
This is a very special recipe I grew up with that my mother made for my dad as it was one of his favorite recipes. If anyone wanted to make my dad happy, they only had to make him this recipe!
Eggplant is a summer vegetable that many people grow in their gardens, myself included (except for this last year). The problem is most of us don’t really know what to do with it once we pick it.
It always sounds so impressive to say, “I am growing eggplant this year”, people think you must be some real chef to grow those pretty black/purple night shade veggies. However, this particular recipe for our version of eggplant Parmesan is very easy and simple.
When I had asked mom for the recipe, she had to write it out because she only ever knew it from memory since she learned it straight from my dad’s mother who was from Italy.
Is Eggplant Parmesan Easy to Make?
If eggplant parmesan wasn’t easy to make, I wouldn’t have it on my site! So, yes it is easy. Much easier than people would think, especially the way I make it without the frying.
While my mother would fry the slices (similar to my fried eggplant cutlets recipe but without the cheese), I slice the eggplant and then coat the slices with the breading, and bake them at a high temperature until crispy.
Then I proceed with layering them like normal.
Is Eggplant Parm a Main Dish or a Side Dish?
This recipe makes a great stand alone dish as a main meal, or use it to compliment another Italian recipe such as lasagna, my popular breaded chicken breasts or some homemade fresh pasta thanks to electric pasta makers like the one I have and write about.
In our house, we made this recipe when we had special occasions like Christmas or special guests from out of town. It was always a treat, and I hope it is just as appreciated in your household as well.
As for additional sides, try some cooked Italian green beans, and Italian bread.
- 1 medium peeld eggplant sliced into 1/4" slices
- 1 egg beaten in a bowl
- 1 cup white flour (more as needed)
- dash salt and pepper
- 6-8 cups pasta sauce
- olive oil
Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/4 inch thin slices if not done already. (learn to prepare eggplant here).
Mix the salt and pepper seasoning with the flour and put in large bowl or plate.
Dip each slice into the egg then into the seasoned flour.
Spray baking sheets with oil and lay eggplant slices on them.
Drizzle and then spread olive oil over the eggplant for a thin coating.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until crispy on edges.
Remove from oven and turn it down to 350.
Spread pasta sauce on bottom of baking dish.
Place a layer of eggplant slices on the layer of sauce, then spread another layer of sauce on top of the eggplant.
Then sprinkle a good amount of parmesan cheese on top and repeat until full.
Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through and you can see bubbles coming up to the top.
Remove foil for the last 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit for 15 or 20 minutes before serving.
Sprinkle extra cheese on top just prior to serving.
TIP #1: Always end the last layer with sauce then cheese.
TIP #2: Set aside some sauce for serving at the table. Some like a lot of sauce and some don't, so it's good to have it available.
TIP #3: To prevent tin foil from sticking to the food when in the oven, use toothpicks to prop up the foil on each corner and in the middle.
TIP #4: Sprinkling cheese on top just before serving gives a nicer presentation.