Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

baked eggplant parmesan

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The eggplant harvest this year has been extraordinary. That makes me happy because it is one of my favorite vegetables – although technically I guess it is a fruit but whatever it is I do enjoy eating it. One of my favorite meals is eggplant parmesan but when prepared the way most of us know it, there is a lot of fat. I wanted to explore a lighter way to make this dinner while still keeping all the things that make it good – the crunch and of course, the cheese. I came up with an easy baked eggplant parmesan recipe. It does take a little bit of time but the end result is worth it.

baked eggplant parmesan

Table of Contents

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Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Serves 2 with leftovers

1 large Italian Eggplant
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups panko break crumbs
1 tsp salt
2 eggs mixed with 1 TBS water
cooking spray
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
For the Tomato Sauce
4 large tomatoes
1 TBS olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1 TBS sugar
1 tsp salt
1 TBS basil
1/4 cup pesto

Preheat oven to 325° on convect if you have it. If you don’t preheat oven to 375°
Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray

baked eggplant parmesan
Trim and slice the eggplant into even slices about 1/4″ thick
Set up a breading station with a plate for the flour mixed with the salt, a bowl for the the egg and water and another plate for the panko.
Dip each eggplant slice into the flour, then the egg, then the panko.

baked eggplant parmesan
When well coated with breadcrumbs place on the prepared baking sheet.
Spray the top of the eggplant slices with a little bit of cooking spray.

baked eggplant parmesan
Bake in the preheated oven for half an hour. Turn the slices and bake for another half hour or until the eggplant slices are soft on the inside and cooked through.
While the eggplant is cooking make the tomato sauce.
Blanch the tomatoes to remove the skins
Cut the tomatoes into quarters and reserve the seeds and juice to a bowl
Cut the meat of the tomato into small pieces
Strain the bowl of juice to remove the seeds
Mince or press the garlic
Place a large, heavy bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When warm add the garlic and let cook for a few minutes – do not let brown.

baked eggplant parmesan
Add the tomato pieces and the tomato juice.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer to reduce the liquid.
Add the sugar and salt to taste.
Add the basil.
When most of the liquid has been evaporated either crush with a potato masher or use an immersion blender to crush the tomatoes.

baked eggplant parmesan

Remove from the heat
When the eggplant is done cooking remove from the oven and distribute the mozzarella cheese over the slice. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

baked eggplant parmesan
While the cheese is melting get your plates for serving.
If using the pesto spread 1/2 of the pesto on the plate, then add some of the tomato sauce, add three pieces of eggplant.

baked eggplant parmesan

Top with more sauce

How Was it?

Oh. It was amazing. I’ll be making this baked eggplant parmesan again next week. I just have to wait for more tomatoes to ripen. The eggplant was soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The homemade sauce was fresh tasting and the pesto added another whole layer of flavor. We both loved it.

More Eggplant Recipes:

Pasta with Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini

Eggplant Pizza

Chilean Sea Bass with Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes

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