We’re all about good food that’s good for you. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy; it can be simple, tasty, and wholesome. In this blog post, we’re bringing you a classic recipe made vegetarian, without eggs. It’s a comforting dish that’s perfect for any day of the week—Eggplant Parmesan. Trust me; this one will have you craving veggies like never before. So, let’s dive into this easy and tasty egg-free version of this Italian favorite. Grab your apron and let’s get cooking.
Related: Keto Casserole Recipes
Tips to help you make the best Eggplant Parmesan (Eggplant Parmigiana)
Choose the Right Eggplants:
Look for firm and glossy eggplants without blemishes or soft spots. Smaller eggplants often have fewer seeds and tend to be less bitter.
Salt and Drain:
After slicing the eggplant, generously salt both sides of each slice. This helps draw out excess moisture and reduces bitterness. Let them sit for about 30 minutes, then rinse and pat them dry with paper towels.
Use Fresh Ingredients:
Opt for fresh and high-quality ingredients, especially when it comes to the marinara sauce and cheeses. Homemade tomato sauce can elevate the dish’s flavor.
When coating the eggplant slices in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs, make sure each step is well-coated. This ensures a crispy texture when frying.
Fry with Care:
Heat the oil to the right temperature (around 350°F or 175°C) before frying the eggplant. Overcrowding the pan can lower the oil temperature and result in soggy slices. Fry in batches if necessary.
Drain Excess Oil:
Place the fried eggplant slices on paper towels to remove excess oil. This prevents the dish from becoming greasy.
When assembling the dish, layer the fried eggplant with sauce and cheese evenly. Start with a thin layer of sauce at the bottom of the baking dish to prevent sticking.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves before baking or serving. Basil adds a burst of freshness and aroma to the dish.
Use high-quality mozzarella and Parmesan cheese for the best flavor and melting quality. Freshly grated Parmesan provides a richer taste.
Be cautious not to overbake the Eggplant Parmesan. Once the cheese is golden and bubbly, it’s ready. Overbaking can cause the dish to become dry.
Rest Before Serving:
Allow the dish to rest for a few minutes after baking. This helps the flavors meld together and makes it easier to slice and serve.
Eggplant Parmesan is best enjoyed hot and fresh from the oven. Serve it with a side of spaghetti, a salad, or crusty bread for a complete meal.
Eggplant Parmesan Recipe: A Slice of Italian Comfort
- 1 Baking Dish
- 1 Skillet or Frying Pan
- 1 Baking Sheet
- 1 Knife and Cutting Board
- 3 Mixing Bowls
- 1 Spatula or Tongs
- 1 Paper Towels
- 1 Oven
- 2 pcs Eggplants medium sized
- 2 cup Mariana Sauce
- 2 cup Mozzarella Cheese shredded
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
- 1 cup All purpose flour
- ½ cup Plant-based milk such as almond milk or soy milk
- 2 cup Breadcrumbs
- Basil leaves for garnish
- Olive oil for frying
- Salt as per taste
- Pepper as per taste
Prep the Eggplant:
- Slice the eggplants into 1/2-inch thick rounds.
- Sprinkle each slice with salt and let them sit for 30 minutes to remove excess moisture.
- Pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towels.
Prepare a Dredging Station:
- In one bowl, place the flour.
- In another bowl, combine the plant-based milk with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- In a third bowl, add the breadcrumbs.
Coat and Fry:
- Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, shaking off any excess.
- Dip it into the plant-based milk mixture.
- Coat it with breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs onto the slice to adhere.
Fry with Care:
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Fry the breaded eggplant slices until golden brown on both sides, then drain on paper towels.
Layer and Bake:
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a baking dish, spread a layer of marinara sauce.
- Place a layer of fried eggplant slices over the sauce.
- Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with a generous cheese topping.
Bake to Perfection:
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
Serve and Enjoy:
- Let it cool slightly, garnish with fresh basil leaves, and serve hot.
1. Can I skip the salting step for the eggplant slices?
While salting the eggplant is optional, it’s recommended to reduce bitterness and remove excess moisture. If you’re short on time, you can skip this step, but it may affect the overall texture and taste slightly.
2. Can I make Eggplant Parmesan ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare Eggplant Parmesan in advance. Assemble the dish but don’t bake it. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, bake it until heated through and the cheese is bubbly.
3. Can I make it vegan?
Absolutely! You can make a vegan version by using dairy-free mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Also, instead of eggs, dip the eggplant slices in a plant-based milk (like almond or soy milk) before coating with breadcrumbs.
4. Can I bake Eggplant Parmesan instead of frying it?
Yes, you can bake the coated eggplant slices on a baking sheet with a little olive oil until they are crispy. Then, layer them with sauce and cheese in the baking dish and bake until the cheese is melted.
5. What can I serve with Eggplant Parmesan?
Eggplant Parmesan pairs wonderfully with a side of spaghetti or other pasta, a green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, or some garlic bread. It’s a versatile dish that complements various sides for a satisfying meal.