Out of all the ‘parms,’ eggplant parmesan is probably my least favorite (woah, wait a minute…). Veal would have to be number one and chicken is a very close second. Now don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying I don’t like eggplant parm. It’s delicious despite its fierce competition. Constantly being overshadowed by its two big brothers—it must be tough.
How to Prep Eggplant
Proper eggplant prep is the most critical aspect of good eggplant parmesan. It’s the difference between crispy and tender versus spongy and tasting like you’re actually eating a vegetable. Slice eggplant into thin ¼ inch thick slices.
Sprinkle a little salt on both sides and lay slices on a flat surface to dry out for 30-45 minutes. The salt will extract the water and help dry the eggplant out, making it the perfect texture.
How to Make Easy Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant parm is made using the same basic process as chicken parmesan. Once you’ve prepped the eggplant slices you can simply dredge them in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs and fry in a skillet until they’re golden and crispy. This is where the magic of olive oil comes in—it adds so much flavor to the dish. Don’t substitute for any other oil.
The secret to really good eggplant parm is adding lots of parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs mixture. They don’t call it eggplant parmesan for nothing. My only shameless ‘shortcut’—I always use store-bought marinara for simplicity. It’s one less thing to worry about when preparing a recipe with several moving parts.
I’ll leave you with one final note. Use plenty of mozzarella cheese to top it all off. I’m talking about a solid layer of cheese that completely covers the sauce and eggplant. Perfetto.Print
Easy and delicious eggplant Parmesan loaded with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and served over pasta.
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4 thick slices
- 1 1/2 cups dry, unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1 cup (for breading), plus 1/4 cup (for topping) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 8 ounce bag shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cups pasta sauce
- 1 pound spaghetti or linguine (optional)
- salt to taste
- Cut the eggplant into 1/4 thick slices and place on a cooling rack or paper towel. Sprinkle each side with a little salt to draw out the liquid and bitterness. Let air dry for at least 30-45 minutes. Press down with a paper towel when the 30 minutes is up to remove any remaining moisture.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Combine bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs, on a pie plate and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and water and set aside. On another plate, spread the flour.
- Coat the eggplant with the flour and shake off the excess. Dip in the egg mixture and then coat with the bread crumb mixture, patting with your fingers to make the crumbs stick.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and sauté until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove eggplant and set on a plate.
- Lightly oil a 13 inch baking dish and layer bottom with 1 cup of pasta sauce. Arrange the eggplant in two rows over the sauce, slightly overlapping them. Cover with the remaining cup of pasta sauce and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Top with the full bag of mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes and turn oven up to 400° F.
- While eggplant is baking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta al dente. Serve eggplant over pasta.
Keywords: Eggplant Parmesan, eggplant recipes