The Best Eggplant Parmesan

5 from 11 votes
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The ultimate vegetarian-friendly comfort food, this eggplant parmesan is simple to make and an easy way to incorporate more veggies into your meals.

Eggplant parmesan in a baking dish cut into 8 servings

Eggplant parmigiana is a staple dish on the dinner tables of Italy and it’s traveled around the world, delighting vegetarians with its hearty flavor and rich sauce. My eggplant parmesan recipe has no frying required and can be made in advance, making it perfect for meal prepping or as a make-ahead dinner. Plus, it still delivers an incredible taste and plenty of cheesy goodness in a baked version of the classic.

A serving of freshly made eggplant parmesan

Watch the video tutorial

Ingredients

Ingredients for eggplant parmesan
  • Eggplants: I use the classic black-purple eggplant variety.
  • Tomato Puree: You can use store-bought or make your own.
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil
  • Cheese: You will need both mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Also, I always recommend grating the cheese at home rather than buying pre-shredded – it delivers a much stronger, much tastier flavor.
  • Aromatics: Garlic and onion
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Seasonings: Oregano, salt, and black pepper.

How to make eggplant parmesan

Prep the Eggplant: Preheat the oven to 475°F / 240°C.

Slice the eggplants horizontally – I recommend each side have about 7mm thickness. Pat the flesh dry with paper towels to help with the roasting. Then, line a baking tray with parchment paper, then arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer, leaving space between each slice (use several trays if needed). Brush both sides of the eggplant with the olive oil, then cook for 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.

steps to prepare the eggplant for baking

Because of the high oven temperature, the eggplants cook quickly, so keep an eye on them.

Once fully baked, set the eggplant slices aside to allow them to cool slightly.

Placing the oven-baked eggplant slices onto a cooling rack to cool

Cook the Marinara Sauce: Add the diced onions to a frying pan and sauté for a few minutes before adding in the garlic. Cook until the onion has turned translucent and you can smell the aroma of the garlic – 3-5 minutes.

Next, add the crushed tomatoes and tomato juice and stir to combine. Then, add the salt, oregano, and black pepper. Cook on medium-high heat until the homemade marinara sauce thickens (about 30-40 minutes), stirring occassionally so it doesn’t stick.

steps to cook the marinara sauce

Assemble: Set the oven temperature to 350°F/180°C.

In a large baking dish or casserole dish – I use a 9 x 13″ size –  spread a thin layer of the marinara sauce. Then arrange the first layer – add 1/3 of the eggplant slices on top (they can overlap a bit if needed). Top with more marinara sauce, 1/3 of the grated parmesan, and 1/3 of fresh basil leaves.

Repeat this process to arrange 2 more layers – eggplant slices, topped with marinara sauce, followed by parmesan cheese and basil leaves. Then sprinkle all of the mozzarella cheese on top.

Steps for assembling eggplant parmesan

Bake: Bake at 350°F/180°C for 25 minutes or until the mozzarella cheese is melty and bubbly with a golden brown crust.

Rest: Remove the baked eggplant parmesan from the oven. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving hot.

Allowing the freshly baked Eggplant Parmesan to rest before slicing.

Make ahead

  • In The Fridge: Assemble the eggplant parmesan as the recipe instructs, then cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and keep covered in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. It will only keep for a day or two before it starts to lose texture. Then, bake as instructed.
  • In The Freezer: To freeze eggplant parmesan before baking, assemble in the dish and wrap well with plastic wrap or an airtight cover. It’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also freeze eggplant parm after baking – just transfer to an airtight container before freezing.
  • To Reheat: If frozen and not baked, allow your eggplant parmesan to thaw completely in the fridge overnight before cooking – this will reduce the baking time. Bake as the recipe instructs. If you’re reheating leftovers, cover the baking dish with foil. Reheat at 350°F/180°C until the dish has warmed through and the cheese is bubbling.
A serving of Eggplant Parmesan on a white plate.

Serving suggestions

  • Salad: The rich flavors of this classic Italian dish go great with green salads, or Mediterranean-style Greek or Italian salads to complete.
  • Bread: All that leftover tomato sauce is best enjoyed with bread. So try it with crusty garlic bread, Italian focaccia, or a cheesy pull-apart bread for even more cheesy goodness.
  • Pasta: Because this recipe has no pasta in it, you might find a small portion of fresh noodles make the perfect pairing! Try it with potato gnocchi, a rustic aglio et olio, or a pasta salad.
  • Grilled Veggies: Pair the juiciness of the eggplant with other grilled veggies for a dinner packed with goodness. It goes great with broccolini, zucchini, grilled portobello mushrooms, and grilled romaine lettuce – perfect for adding extra flavor and crunch.

If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

The Best Eggplant Parmesan

5 from 11 votes
By: Samira
The ultimate vegetarian-friendly comfort food, this eggplant parmesan is so easy to make and an easy way to incorporate more veggies into your meals.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • Baking dish 9×13"

Ingredients 
 

  • 3 lb eggplants (5 medium or 3 large)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (for brushing and baking the eggplant slice)

Marinara sauce

  • 2.5 cups tomato puree
  • 1.5 cups crushed tomatoes (1 can of 14 oz)
  • 5.3 oz onion (1 cup diced/2 small onions)
  • 1 oz garlic (4 small cloves/1 Tbsp minced)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Layers

  • 7 oz mozzarella cheese (2 cups shredded)
  • 3 oz parmesan cheese (2 cups grated)
  • 1.5 cups basil leaves stems removed

Instructions 

Prepare the eggplant

  • Preheat the oven to 475ºF/240ºC.
  • Slice your eggplants horizontally – I recommend each side have about 7mm thickness. Pat the flesh dry with paper towels to help with the roasting.
    Line a baking tray with parchment paper, then arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer, leaving space between each slice. User several trays if needed. Brush both sides of the eggplant with the olive oil.
  • Cook at 475ºF/240ºC for 35-40 minutes until tender and golden brown, flipping halfway through. (You can prepare the marinara while the eggplant cooks.)
    Once fully baked, set the eggplant slices aside to allow them to cool slightly.

Cook the marinara sauce

  • Add the diced onions to a frying pan and sauté for a few minutes before adding the minced garlic. Cook until the onion has turned translucent and you can smell the aroma of the garlic – about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato juice, stirring to combine. Add the salt, oregano, and black pepper. Cook on medium-high heat until the marinara thickens (about 30-40 minutes), stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick.

Assemble the eggplant parmesan

  • Set the oven temperature to 350°F/180°C.
  • In a large baking dish or casserole dish – I use a 9 x 13" size – spread a bit of the marinara sauce.
    Then arrange the first layer – add 1/3 of the eggplant slices on top (they can overlap a bit if needed). Top with more marinara sauce, 1/3 of the grated parmesan, and 1/3 of fresh basil leaves.
  • Repeat this process to arrange 2 more layers – eggplant slices, topped with marinara sauce, followed by parmesan cheese and basil leaves.
    Then sprinkle all of the mozzarella cheese on top.

Bake

  • Bake at 350°F/180°C for 25 minutes or until the mozzarella cheese is melty and bubbly with a golden brown crust.
  • Remove the baked eggplant parmesan from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

To Make Ahead: Assemble as the recipe instructs, then cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and keep covered in the fridge until ready to cook (1-2 days). Then, bake as instructed.
To Freeze: To freeze eggplant parmesan before baking, assemble in the dish and wrap well with plastic wrap or an airtight cover. It’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the dish after baking – transfer it to an airtight container before freezing.
To Reheat: If frozen, allow your eggplant parmesan to thaw completely in the fridge overnight before cooking – this will reduce the baking time. Bake as the recipe instructs if the dish isn’t baked. If you’re reheating leftovers, cover the baking dish with foil and reheat at 350°F/180°C until the dish has warmed through and the cheese is bubbling.
Check the blog post for serving suggestions!
Course: Main
Cuisine: European, Italian
Freezer friendly: 3 Months
Shelf life: 1-2 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 415mg, Potassium: 977mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 1059IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 320mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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