Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan 1920 2560 Daryl Duarte

Eggplant Parmesan

This recipe takes advantage of another wonderful summer crop – eggplant. I grew up with eggplant parmesan, and we would enjoy the leftovers as the filling for fantastic sandwiches made with crusty Italian bread. My family recipe included breaded and sauteed eggplant, which adds more richness, calories, and work. I have adopted a lighter version of this dish, which relies on oven-roasted eggplant slices. My recipe has a breadcrumb topping and a vegetarian tomato sauce. You can omit the bread crumb topping and have a gluten-free offering, and either way – it is a substantial and delicious vegetarian dish to delight friends and family.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian


For the Tomato Sauce

  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomato
  • 2 6 oz. cans of tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  • 3 large eggplants
  • olive oil as much as needed to coat the surface of each eggplant slice
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ lb mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves chopped

Breadcrumb topping

  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil


To make the tomato sauce

  • Peel and dice the onion. Place the onion into a heavy bottom 4-quart saucepan and add three tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put the lid on the pot (this speeds up the process) and cook gently over medium heat for about 7 minutes, frequently stirring to keep the onions from browning. They are done when the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Mince the garlic and add to the onions. Stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes, uncovered.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Using the paste cans, measure six cans of water into the saucepan. Use a whisk to break up the puree and mix the ingredients evenly.
  • Add the bay leaves, cover, and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to prevent the sauce from sticking. Cook for about 1 ½ hour. Set aside until ready to assemble the casserole.

To prepare the eggplant

  • Slice the eggplant into 1/3-inch slices. Put some olive oil into a low-sided bowl. Lay the slices out on a flat surface, and paint both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil using a pastry brush. Salt and pepper on both sides as well. Place the prepared eggplant on parchment-lined baking sheets which have been lightly oiled and roast at 425 degrees, turning once the bottom starts to brown, after about 20 minutes. After both sides are just browned, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Assemble the casserole

  • Choose a low-sided casserole dish that allows for two or three layers of eggplant. Divide the cheeses and basil by 3 (for three layers) or in half (for two layers).
  • Ladle about one cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of the casserole. Distribute the sauce evenly. Add one layer of eggplant. Then, add one portion of the cheeses and basil and dot the surface generously with tomato sauce. (Don’t cover the eggplant and cheese completely with tomato sauce.) Repeat the layers using the remaining ingredients.
  • Top with seasoned breadcrumbs, and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until it bubbles, and the cheeses are lightly browned on top.
  • Allow to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


Note: You can use a jarred marinara sauce to save a step. If you make the tomato sauce, the recipe is enough for at least two casseroles of eggplant. You want a good balance of all the ingredients, not too much of anything, and not too little. You can adjust the ingredients to your preference after making this casserole a few times.
Keyword eggplant, parmesan
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