How To Make Eggplant Parmesan Recipe Oven Simple

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Eggplant parmesan is a vegetarian (and sometimes vegan-adaptable) classic that’s both comforting and impressive. Layers of golden-fried eggplant smothered in rich tomato sauce and melted cheese create a symphony of textures and flavors. This recipe breaks down the process into easy-to-follow steps, ensuring your eggplant parmesan turns out crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and bursting with cheesy goodness.

Why This Recipe is the Best

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Baked Eggplant Parmesan

This recipe goes beyond basic to create an eggplant parmesan that’s truly unforgettable. Here’s what sets it apart:

Crispy, Not Soggy: Salting and pre-baking the eggplant slices removes excess moisture, preventing a soggy finished dish.

  • Flavorful Breading: We use a combination of panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese for a light and crispy coating with a cheesy punch.
  • Homemade Marinara: While store-bought sauce can work in a pinch, our homemade marinara adds depth and freshness to the dish.
  • Gooey Cheese Pulls: A blend of mozzarella and parmesan cheese creates those irresistible, stretchy cheese pulls everyone loves.

  • Ingredients

    For the Eggplant:

    1 large globe eggplant (about 1.5 pounds)

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil spray

  • For the Marinara:

    1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • For the Assembly:

    1 (16-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

  • Directions

    Prepare the Eggplant:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Arrange the slices on a large baking sheet and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Let them sit for 30 minutes to draw out excess moisture.
    3. Rinse the eggplant slices thoroughly under cold running water to remove the salt. Pat them dry with paper towels.

    Bread the Eggplant:

    1. Set up three shallow dishes: one with flour, one with beaten eggs, and one with the panko breadcrumbs mixed with parmesan cheese.
    2. Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, then dip it in the beaten eggs, and finally coat it generously with the panko-parmesan mixture.

    Cook the Eggplant:

    1. Lightly coat a large skillet or griddle with olive oil spray and heat over medium heat.
    2. Working in batches, fry the breaded eggplant slices for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels as you cook the remaining slices.

    Make the Marinara:

    1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
    2. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This allows the flavors to meld.

    Assemble the Eggplant Parmesan:

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
    2. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with a single layer of breaded eggplant slices.
    3. Dollop spoonfuls of ricotta cheese over the eggplant, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
    4. Repeat the layering process with remaining marinara sauce, eggplant slices, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.
    5. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
    6. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges are golden brown.