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This recipe for Eggplant Parmesan uses the high heat of the oven for crispy breaded eggplant without the mess of a deep fryer. Add my 10-minute quick tomato sauce or your favorite jarred sauce and lots of mozzarella for a delicious homemade Italian dinner.

Eggplant parmesan in a white baking dish.

A good plate of Eggplant Parm can soothe anyone on a bad day. There is zero loss of joy between this version and regular Chicken Parmesan, so feel free to indulge your inner vegetarian often.

If you have an extra 10 minutes, you can easily make your own homemade tomato sauce (it’s written right into the recipe). For the days you just can’t be bothered, though, a 32-ounce jar of store-bought sauce makes a nice stand-in.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled eggplant parmesan ingredients in bowls.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Eggplant: Salting eggplant removes excess liquid and some of the bitterness. Today’s eggplants are bred for mildness, thought, so it’s not as important as it used to be. Peeling the eggplant is optional and up to you, too.
  • Sauce: Make my 10-minute quick tomato sauce (recipe below) or sub your favorite brand of store-bought sauce. For this recipe, buy a 32-ounce jar.
  • Sugar: Even a teaspoon is too much for some people. If you don’t like the sound of sugar in your meat sauce, please leave it out. In my family, people add ¼ cup.
  • Bread crumbs: Homemade bread crumbs are delicious, but store-bought are fine too (especially panko).

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Toss the eggplant with 1 tablespoon salt and let it drain in a colander for about 40 minutes.
Sliced eggplant in a silver colander being drained into a small clear bowl.
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add garlic cloves and sauté until browned, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove garlic and discard.
Browning sliced garlic in a skillet with oil.
  1. Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sugar (if using), basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until flavors have blended, about 10 minutes.
Tomato sauce cooking in a black skillet.
  1. Adjust two oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions, and place a rimmed baking sheet on each rack. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread drained eggplant over paper towels. Wipe away as much salt as possible and press firmly on each slice to remove as much liquid as possible.
Eggplant slices being dried.
  1. In a large zipper-top plastic bag, add flour. In a second shallow dish, add eggs and beat lightly. In a third shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, 1 cup Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Working with about 8 eggplant slices at a time, add them to the bag with the flour. Seal and shake until thoroughly coated. Remove from bag, shake off any excess flour, and dip into eggs.
Slices of eggplant being dipped in flour, egg, and shaved parmesan.
  1. Remove from eggs, allowing any excess to drop off, and dredge evenly in the breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere. Lay the breaded eggplant on a wire rack and repeat with remaining eggplant rounds.
Slices of eggplant on a cooking rack.
  1. Remove preheated baking sheets from the oven. Pour 3 tablespoons of oil onto each sheet, tilting to coat the sheets evenly. Spread breaded eggplant in a single layer over the preheated, oiled sheets. Bake until the eggplant is well browned and crisp on the first side, about 20 minutes. Flip the eggplant slices over. Switch and rotate the baking sheets, and continue to bake until the second side is browned, about 10 minutes longer.
Slices of eggplant on a sliver baking sheet.
  1. In the bottom of a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish, spread 1 cup tomato sauce. Shingle half of the eggplant slices over the tomato sauce. Distribute 1 more cup of the sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella.
Slices of eggplant in a white baking dish.
  1. Shingle the remaining eggplant in the dish and dot with another cup of the sauce, leaving the majority of the eggplant exposed so that it will remain crisp. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese and the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.
Eggplant parmesan in a white baking dish.
  1. Place the dish on the lower-middle rack of the oven. Bake until cheese is bubbling and well browned, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the basil over the top and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Pass the remaining 1 cup tomato sauce and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese separately.
Eggplant parmesan in a white baking dish.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 8 generous servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The tomato sauce can be made several days ahead of time, but the Eggplant Parmesan is best enjoyed the day you make it (unless you freeze it).
  • Freezer:  Freeze the dish before the final baking stage. To freeze, assemble the casserole but do not bake; wrap tightly with aluminum foil and freeze, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed.
  • Meat sauce: Try my favorite homemade meat sauce instead of the quick tomato sauce.
  • Ricotta cheese: Dot the eggplant with fresh ricotta cheese (in addition to the mozzarella and Parmesan, obviously). You can easily make your own homemade ricotta with milk, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt.

Recipe FAQs

Do you leave the skin on for Eggplant Parmesan?

Because eggplant skin is soft and edible, it’s fine to leave it on for Eggplant Parmesan. I like the way it looks with the skin on, but you can peel the eggplant if you prefer.

How do you make eggplant that isn’t soggy?

Eggplant cooks up soggy because it contains so much water. To combat the sogginess, we salt the eggplant for 40 minutes which draws out excess water. This makes the eggplant both firmer and more flavorful.

The Best Chicken Parmesan

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More Italian favorites

Eggplant parmesan in a white baking dish.

Eggplant Parmesan

This recipe for Eggplant Parmesan uses the high heat of the oven for crispy breaded eggplant without the mess of a deep fryer. Add my 10-minute quick tomato sauce or your favorite jarred sauce and lots of mozzarella for a delicious homemade Italian dinner.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
salting time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Calories 437

Ingredients 

For the eggplant:

  • 2 large eggplants 2 pounds, sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds (see note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon Salt

For the sauce (see note 2):

  • 3 tbsp olive
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar optional (see note 3)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Eggplant Parmesan:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 cups bread crumbs or panko (see note 4)
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese grated (3 ounces)
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese shredded (8 ounces)
  • 10 fresh basil leaves for garnish, optional

Instructions 

To salt the eggplant:

  • Toss the eggplant with 1 tablespoon salt and let it drain in a colander for about 40 minutes.

To make the sauce (see note 2):

  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add garlic cloves and sauté until browned, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove garlic and discard.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sugar (if using), basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until flavors have blended, about 10 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Keep warm over low-heat until serving time, or cool completely and store covered in the refrigerator.

To make the Eggplant Parmesan:

  • Adjust two oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions, and place a rimmed baking sheet on each rack. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread drained eggplant over paper towels. Wipe away as much salt as possible and press firmly on each slice to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • In a large zipper-top plastic bag, add flour. In a second shallow dish, add eggs and beat lightly. In a third shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, 1 cup Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper).
  • Working with about 8 eggplant slices at a time, add them to the bag with the flour. Seal and shake until thoroughly coated. Remove from bag, shake off any excess flour, and dip into eggs.
  • Remove from eggs, allowing any excess to drop off, and dredge evenly in the breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere. Lay the breaded eggplant on a wire rack and repeat with remaining eggplant rounds.
  • Remove preheated baking sheets from the oven. Pour 3 tablespoons of oil onto each sheet, tilting to coat the sheets evenly. Spread breaded eggplant in a single layer over the preheated, oiled sheets.
  • Bake until the eggplant is well browned and crisp on the first side, about 20 minutes. Flip the eggplant slices over. Switch and rotate the baking sheets, and continue to bake until the second side is browned, about 10 minutes longer.
  • In the bottom of a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish, spread 1 cup tomato sauce. Shingle half of the eggplant slices over the tomato sauce. Distribute 1 more cup of the sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella.
  • Shingle the remaining eggplant in the dish and dot with another cup of the sauce, leaving the majority of the eggplant exposed so that it will remain crisp. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese and the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.
  • Place the dish on the lower-middle rack of the oven. Bake until cheese is bubbling and well browned, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the basil over the top and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Pass the remaining 1 cup tomato sauce and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese separately.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Eggplant: Salting eggplant removes excess liquid and some of the bitterness. Today’s eggplants are bred for mildness, thought, so it’s not as important as it used to be. Peeling the eggplant is optional and up to you, too.
  2. Sauce: Make my 10-minute quick tomato sauce (recipe below) or sub your favorite brand of store-bought sauce. For this recipe, buy a 32-ounce jar.
  3. Sugar: Even a teaspoon is too much for some people. If you don’t like the sound of sugar in your meat sauce, please leave it out. In my family, people add ¼ cup.
  4. Bread crumbs: Homemade bread crumbs are delicious, but store-bought are fine too (especially panko).
  5. Yield: This recipe makes 8 generous servings.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Make ahead: The tomato sauce can be made several days ahead of time, but the Eggplant Parmesan is best enjoyed the day you make it (unless you freeze it).
  8. Freezer:  Freeze the dish before the final baking stage. To freeze, assemble the casserole but do not bake; wrap tightly with aluminum foil and freeze, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 437kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 21gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 1649mgPotassium: 780mgFiber: 8gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 695IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 417mgIron: 5mg
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Comments

  1. Loved this. Light and crisp. Mad it with a good store bought sauce. Will try the home made version next time.5 stars

  2. This is really the best eggplant parm recipe and it’s fun to make. The easy homemade sauce and oven-frying take it to another level. I’ve made it 3 times already and will make it one a family vacation coming up soon for the whole extended family.5 stars

  3. Excellent recipe. My husband doesn’t like eggplant parmigiana in restaurants, and I’ve never made it before. He loved this recipe. I just heard him talking to his daughter on the phone about it and how much he liked it!5 stars

  4. Great recipe!
    A few suggestions:
    1) I baked the eggplant on parchment paper instead.
    2) 4 cup of bread crumbs is excessive. Suggest 1.5 cups bread crumbs to 1 cup Parmesan.
    3) The only oil I used was a few table spoons of light olive oil to sauté the garlic.5 stars