The Best Baked Eggplant Parmesan
There’s nothing I love more than taking an old favorite recipe and finding a slightly healthier, easier or less messy take on it. But when I can do all three?! It’s recipe gold! And that’s exactly what this Baked Eggplant Parmesan is—total gold!
Normally, eggplant parmesan is breaded then pan-fried, then popped in the oven to melt with a little cheese. Instead, we’ll simply bread the eggplant slices, then spray with olive oil and bake. They’re a little healthier without being fried in oil, but they don’t lose any of that classic flavor or texture! Plus, they’re WAY faster and more hands off this way. Of course, you’ll need to bread all that eggplant, but you won’t have to stand over the stove frying batch after batch splattering oil everywhere. A total win in my book!
Then we’ll layer those lovely baked eggplant slices in a baking dish with with tomato sauce and mozzarella and toss it back in the oven quickly to melt the cheese!
So ooey-gooey delicious!
Pro tip: I suggest slicing the eggplant very thinly, anywhere between a 1/4 and a 1/2 inch. This ensures that you’ll have the proper breading to eggplant ratio. And they’re also easier to cut through and eat!
- 1 - 1 1/2 lb eggplant
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 1/2 cups white flour
- 5 eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- olive oil spray
- 1 jar tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 lb linguine
- Parmesan for serving
Prep the eggplant: Slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Lay in one layer in a colander (I had to use 2 colanders). Sprinkle with the salt and let them drain for at least 20 minutes. Then rinse well with water and let dry.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Spray 2 baking sheets liberally with olive oil spray. Grab 3 large shallow bowls or 2 plates with rims and a bowl. Put your flour and breadcrumbs in 2 separate bowls/plates, then add your eggs and 2 tablespoons of water to the third bowl. Whisk the eggs together, then line up like this: Flour, Eggs, Breadcrumbs.
One by one, dredge the eggplant slices in the flour, then the eggs, then the breadcrumbs. This part is messy, but using a fork to help flip can be helpful! Place the breaded eggplant slices in one layer on the baking sheets. Then spray liberally again with the olive oil over the top.
Put trays in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the slices over, and swap the top and bottom trays, then bake for another 20 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to boil for your pasta. And cook according to the directions.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and grab an 11 X 13 baking dish. Place a couple spoonfuls of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan and spread around. Place 1 layer of eggplant slices in the dish, then cover each with a dollop of sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. Repeat until all eggplant has been used. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melty!
Add any remaining tomato sauce to your cooked pasta and serve it up!