Baked Eggplant Parmesan

By Rena Awada |

Delicious Baked Eggplant Parmesan is easy to make with layers of crispy eggplant, marinara sauce, and cheese. A crowd-pleasing vegetarian Italian classic you’ll make again and again!

eggplant parmesan in a baking dish

A saucy Italian meal just always seems to hit the spot, don’t you think? This vegetarian Baked Eggplant Parmesan is total comfort food that’s simple to make with familiar flavors that both kids and adults love.

With layers of crisp eggplant, a flavorful marinara sauce, and plenty of melted cheese, you just can’t go wrong. We love serving this for parties, potlucks, and family gatherings. And everyone always comes back for seconds! It is hearty, comforting, easy, delicious, and packed with texture and flavor.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Super satisfying: This dish is incredibly delicious, comforting, and filling. It’s sure to become a family favorite!
  • Packed with nutrients: Eggplant is a high-fiber, low-calorie food that is rich in nutrients and comes with many potential health benefits. Eggplants are a simple and delicious addition to any healthy diet.  
  • Completely vegetarian: If you’re looking for a hearty meatless dinner, this is definitely the meal to try! There’s so much deliciousness in this recipe, you’ll never miss the meat!
Layers of crispy eggplant, sauce and cheese in a white dish.

Ingredients needed to make this Eggplant Parmesan

  • Eggplant: The star ingredient of this dish, you’ll need 1 extra large eggplant or 2 medium.
  • Kosher salt & pepper: To add flavor to the eggplant.
  • All-purpose flour: Adds to the crispiness of the eggplant.
  • Garlic salt: Any delicious Italian meal is sure to be flavored with garlic!
  • Eggs: Two large eggs are needed for dredging the eggplant slices.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: Because the flakes are larger than regular breadcrumbs, they will provide more texture and crunch to the eggplant. Highly recommend!
  • Marinara sauce: The sauce is what makes this recipe really come together. Use any favorite brand. We like to look for a brand that has no added sugar. Pizza sauce also works great.
  • Cheese: This eggplant parmesan recipe uses mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. For the best flavor and melting, we recommend grating the cheese yourself.
  • Fresh parsley: We like to sprinkle some fresh herbs over the finished dish for color. Substitute with basil, if preferred.
Ingredients for eggplant parm divided into small portions.

How to make this vegetarian eggplant recipe

Prep: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Season the eggplant rounds with salt and pepper on both sides.

Prepare for dredging: In a shallow dish combine the flour with the garlic salt. In a second dish beat the eggs, and have a third dish with the breadcrumbs.

Coat eggplant: Dredge the eggplant into the flour to coat both sides, then dip into the beaten eggs, allowing the excess to drip off. Next, evenly coat each round with the panko breadcrumbs. 

Bake eggplant: Lay the coated eggplant rounds into the prepared sheet pan and spray with cooking oil spray. Bake for 22-25 minutes, flipping halfway until eggplant is golden and crispy.

Sliced eggplant coated in breadcrumbs.

Assemble the dish: Meanwhile, in a large oven dish, spread 1/3 of the marinara sauce. Once the baked eggplant is ready, arrange half of the rounds into the prepared baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the marinara sauce, sprinkle with 1/2 of the mozzarella, and all the parmesan. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, finishing with a layer of mozzarella.

Assembling sliced eggplant with marinara in a dish.

Cook: Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

Serve: Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!

Baked eggplant parmesan garnished with fresh parsley.

Tips for recipe success

  • Choose eggplant with smooth, shiny skin that is heavy for their size. Smaller eggplant tends to be sweeter and less bitter as well.
  • Slice the eggplant into similar-sized slices for even cooking. About 1/4-inch thick slices are perfect for this recipe.
  • Let it rest. After the eggplant parm has baked, before serving, let the dish sit for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the eggplant to firm up and all of the ingredients to set.
square image of eggplant parmesan layered with melted cheese

Frequently asked questions

Do you have to peel the eggplant?

There is no need to peel the skin of an eggplant, especially if it will be cooked through completely. The skin of an eggplant is completely edible, and once it’s baked you won’t even notice it.

Can you make this baked eggplant parmesan ahead of time?

Prepare the recipe without baking. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to two days. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator, remove the wrap, and bake according to recipe instructions.

Should I cover eggplant parmesan while it’s baking?

You shouldn’t have to cover the dish, the eggplant is precooked, so the completed recipe only needs to be baked for 15 minutes.

What’s best to serve with this meal?

We like to serve this with an Italian Salad or a Caesar salad. You could also whip up a simple green salad. Simply, toss mixed greens with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Feel free to add toppings to your salad such as red onion, cherry tomatoes, and croutons. Just don’t forget the crusty garlic bread!

close up baked eggplant parmesan

Storage, freezing, and reheating

  • Storing leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to about 3 days. You can rewarm in the oven or pop individual servings in the microwave and reheat in 30-second intervals.
  • Freezing: Prepare eggplant parmesan in a freezer-safe baking dish without baking. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, followed by foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw in the refrigerator. Bake according to recipe instructions.
top view of baked eggplant parmesan in a white dish

More delicious Italian recipes to try

Baked eggplant Parmesan in a white casserole dish.

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eggplant parmesan in a baking dish

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Delicious Baked Eggplant Parmesan is easy to make with layers of crispy eggplant, marinara sauce, and cheese. A crowd pleasing vegetarian Italian classic you’ll make again and again!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 333kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 1 extra large or 2 medium eggplants sliced into 1/4”-thick rounds
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara or pizza sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Season the eggplant rounds with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Prepare your station: in a shallow dish combine the flour with the garlic salt. In a second dish beat the eggs, and have a third dish with the breadcrumbs.
  • Dredge the eggplant into the flour to coat both sides, then dip into the beaten eggs, allowing the excess to drip off. Next, evenly coat each round with the panko breadcrumbs.
  • Lay the coated eggplant rounds into the prepared sheet pan and spray with cooking oil spray. Bake for 22-25 minutes, flipping halfway until eggplant is golden and crispy.
  • Meanwhile, in a large oven dish, spread 1/3 of the marinara sauce.
  • Once the baked eggplant is ready, arrange half of the rounds into the prepared baking dish.
  • Top with 1/3 of the marinara sauce, sprinkle with 1/2 of the mozzarella, and all the parmesan.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients, finishing with a layer of mozzarella.
  • Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Notes

Storage, freezing, and reheating

  • Storing leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to about 3 days. You can rewarm in the oven or pop individual servings in the microwave and reheat in 30-second intervals.
  • Freezing: Prepare eggplant parmesan in a freezer-safe baking dish without baking. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, followed by foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw in the refrigerator. Bake according to recipe instructions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 1949mg | Potassium: 496mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 647IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 288mg | Iron: 3mg
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