Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables to work with because it’s so versatile, but I didn’t always know how to cook or bake with it. I have always loved eggplant parmesan but never knew how to make it.
After trying and tweaking tons of eggplant parmesan recipes, this is the absolute best version and a definite must-try. My friends and family request pretty much every time they come over. Here’s how to make it.
How to Make Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- Prepare the eggplant. Cut the eggplants into ½ inch slices. While you’re doing this, preheat your oven to 350℉.
- Prepare the egg dip and dredging mixture. Add the eggs and a pinch of salt to a small bowl and beat lightly. For the dredging mixture, mix together your bread crumbs (I use Panko), dried basil and garlic powder.
- Dip the eggplant in the egg drip and then the dredging mixture.
- Prepare the baking sheet. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the eggplant slices on the sheet and spray with olive oil spray.
- Bake. Bake the eggplant for 20-25 minutes. This should be long enough for it to cook without making it mushy. Set aside once it’s done.
- Prepare the baking dish. Pour ¼ of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 7×11 inch baking dish.
- Layer. Layer the baking dish with ⅓ of eggplant, ¼ marinara sauce, ⅓ shredded mozzarella cheese, and ⅓ grated Parmesan cheese.
- Repeat. Repeat the layers twice.
- Bake. Bake in the preheated oven for an additional 25-30 minutes.
- Serve. Sprinkle with extra grated Parmesan and (optionally) fresh basil leaves before serving warm.
Quick Tips On How to Prepare the Eggplant
If you’re not used to cooking with eggplant, then you may be wondering if there’s anything special you need to know about when it comes to preparing it for baking. Here are some tips:
- First things first, when shopping for eggplant, make sure you’re buying firm produce. No soft spots allowed. If you’re using eggplant from your fridge or garden that has a few soft areas, then you can still use it in a pinch as long as you make sure to cut out the softer spots.
- Remove any stems and leaves.
- Trim off the tops and bottoms from each of your eggplants.
- Cut the eggplant into slices (the thickness will depend on the recipe).
- Consider adding a generous amount of salt to your eggplant slices and letting them sit for 15-20 minutes; this will help to draw out excess moisture before cooking.
What Goes Well with Baked Eggplant Parmesan?
Wondering what else can be served alongside your baked eggplant Parmesan? Here are just a few of my favorite dishes to pair with this recipe:
- Homemade meatballs and garlic bread
- Grilled zucchini (or your preferred grilled veggie)
- Fresh garden salads
Can I Freeze This Baked Eggplant Parmesan Dish?
If you’re planning on freezing your baked eggplant Parmesan, I would recommend doing so before you bake it. The reason being is that once you bake the eggplant for a second time along with all of the cheese and marinara sauce, you’re going to end up losing a lot of texture when you thaw it out.
Instead, you’re better off to assemble the dish as described in the recipe directions before wrapping it tightly with foil. You can freeze the eggplant for up to 3 months like this. When you’re ready to serve it, just thaw it out and bake as per usual.
(You may also like: OMG-worthy Eggplant Lasagna)Print
Rustic (and Easy) Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 1x
- 3 medium eggplants, cut into ½ -inch slices
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
- 1 jar (28 ounces) marinara sauce
- fresh basil leaves (optional)
- olive oil spray
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add the eggs and pinch of salt to bowl and beat lightly.
- Add the panko bread crumbs, dried basil and garlic powder to another bowl and mix to combine.
- Dip the eggplant slices in eggs then coat in panko bread crumbs.
- Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Spray with olive oil.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Pour a ¼ of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 7×11 inch baking dish.
- Layer with a third of the eggplant, a quarter of the marinara sauce, a third of the mozzarella and a third of the parmesan cheese.
- Repeat layers twice.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven.
- Sprinkle with extra grated Parmesan (if using) and fresh basil leaves and serve.