Easy Steps to Make Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Baked Eggplant Parmesan is a delightful twist on the classic Italian dish, offering a healthier alternative to its traditionally fried counterpart. This version captures the essence of comfort food, combining tender slices of eggplant with a vibrant tomato sauce, all smothered in a generous layer of melted cheese and baked to perfection. It’s a dish that doesn’t just satisfy the palate but also warms the soul, making it perfect for a cozy family dinner or a vegetarian main course that impresses at any gathering. Whether you’re an eggplant lover or trying it for the first time, Baked Eggplant Parmesan is bound to become a favorite in your recipe collection.



The journey to perfecting my Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe was one of experimentation and discovery. Growing up in a family where traditional Italian cooking was cherished, I was eager to create a version of Eggplant Parmesan that was not only delicious but also fit into a more health-conscious lifestyle. The first time I served it at a family dinner, the reaction was unanimous—everyone loved the lighter feel of the baked eggplant without sacrificing the rich, comforting flavors they adored.

This dish has since become a symbol of how tradition and innovation can come together on the dinner table, offering a meal that’s both nourishing and deeply satisfying. It’s a testament to the power of food to bring people together, sparking conversations about healthy eating without compromising on taste.

Why You’ll Love Baked Eggplant Parmesan

  • Healthier Option: Baked instead of fried, reducing the dish’s overall fat content.
  • Rich and Flavorful: Layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, and cheese create a symphony of flavors.
  • Versatile: Can be served as a main dish or a side, pairing beautifully with pasta, salad, or crusty bread.
  • Meal Prep Friendly: Great for making ahead and reheating, making weekday meals a breeze.

Ingredients Notes For Baked Eggplant Parmesan

  • Eggplant: Medium-sized eggplants are sliced and lightly salted to draw out moisture and reduce bitterness.
  • Breadcrumbs: For a crispy coating. Use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs for extra flavor, or panko for a lighter crust.
  • Cheese: A combination of mozzarella for meltiness and Parmesan for a sharp, salty bite.
  • Tomato Sauce: Use your favorite marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, oregano, and basil enhance the Italian flavors.

Recipe Steps

  1. Prep the Eggplant: Slice the eggplant, salt the slices, and let them sit for about 30 minutes to draw out moisture. Pat dry.
  2. Bread the Eggplant: Dip the eggplant slices in flour, beaten eggs, and then breadcrumbs.
  3. Bake: Arrange the coated slices on a baking sheet and bake until golden.
  4. Layer: In a baking dish, layer the baked eggplant with tomato sauce and cheeses, ending with a cheese layer on top.
  5. Bake Again: Bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  6. Serve: Let it cool slightly before serving to allow the layers to set.

Storage Options

  • Refrigerate: Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Assemble the dish without baking, wrap tightly, and freeze. Bake from frozen, adding extra time as needed.


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Easy Steps to Make Baked Eggplant Parmesan


For the Eggplant:

  • Eggplants: 2 medium, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • Salt: to sweat the eggplant slices
  • Parmesan cheese: 1/2 cup, grated (mixed into breadcrumbs)
  • Breadcrumbs: 2 cups (Italian seasoned or add 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning to plain breadcrumbs)
  • Olive oil: for brushing the baking sheets
  • Eggs: 2, beaten

For Layering:

  • Marinara sauce: 3 cups (homemade or store-bought)
  • Mozzarella cheese: 2 cups, shredded
  • Parmesan cheese: 1 cup, grated
  • Fresh basil: a handful, chopped (for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper: to taste


  1. Prep the Eggplant:
    • Place eggplant slices in a single layer on paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with salt and let them sit for about 30 minutes to sweat out bitterness. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly with more paper towels.
  2. Preheat Oven and Prepare Baking Sheets:
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Brush two baking sheets with olive oil or line them with parchment paper for easier cleanup.
  3. Bread the Eggplant:
    • Dip each eggplant slice into the beaten eggs, then dredge in the breadcrumb-Parmesan mixture, pressing the crumbs onto both sides of the eggplant. Place the coated slices on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer.
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the eggplant is golden and beginning to crisp.
  4. Layer the Casserole:
    • Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer half of the baked eggplant slices over the sauce. Cover with more marinara sauce, then sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
    • Repeat the layers with the remaining eggplant, marinara sauce, and cheeses. Season each layer with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bake:
    • Cover the dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
  6. Garnish and Serve:
    • Let the baked Eggplant Parmesan rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh basil.
  • Author: Maria

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