Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

If a dish has the word parmesan in the title, it’s almost guaranteed to be wonderful. Eggplant parmesan is certainly no exception. Though it is quite the labor of love, the result is more than worth the effort.

Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Parmesan

To make this process easier, break the recipe down into steps and begin to prepare a day or so before you plan on serving the dish. About 36 hours ahead of time, I make my marinara and I salt/cover my sliced un-cooked eggplant with paper towels. Then on the day of, you can focus on frying your eggplant and assembly. Trust me when I say that following the process this way makes for a much more relaxed experience, especially if you’re preparing this meal for guests.

Eggplant is in season currently in Florida so locating a few good ones shouldn’t be an issue. Rollin’ Oats is stocked with eggplant right now, along with everything else that you’ll need to make this recipe. The best part about sourcing ingredients from them is the quality and care they take in providing premium, organic products that are often local. What’s not to love about that?

Perhaps the most important yet most simple step of making eggplant parmesan is allowing ample time for it to cool before slicing and serving. Absolutely no one wants to eat a serving of piping hot and mushy eggplant. Allowing it to cool ensures a lasagna-like form for each piece.

Eggplant Parmesan with fresh parmesan and basil

Eggplant Parmesan

Abby Allen-Leach
When prepared properly (patience included), eggplant parmesan is the poster child for luscious comfort food. In my opinion, the key to this recipe rests in two aspects: salting the sliced eggplant and allowing it to rest for an ample amount of time pre-breading/cooking and allowing the the dish to cool for at atleast 30-40 minutes before slicing and serving.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 people



  • 2 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 onion Peeled and sliced in half
  • 3 garlic cloves Fresh, minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine Something you would drink
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • parmesan rinds
  • 1 tbsp salt plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp black pepper plus more, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • orange peel approximately 3", to balance the acidity



  • Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion halves and cook until beginning to brown (8-10 minutes).
    Onion halves
  • Add in minced garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring here and there, until fragrant (1-2 minutes).
    Garlic and crushed red pepper in
  • Mix in tomato paste, salt and pepper and cook stirring occasionally until tomato paste begins to darken, 2-3 minutes. Add in bay leaves.
    Tomato paste added
  • Pour in wine and deglaze pan.
    Deglazing with wine
  • Then, carefully dump in both cans of tomatoes and toss in parmesan rinds and orange peel. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium low and allow sauce to reduce and cook until onion is soft and sauce is quite flavorful - 1.5-2 hours. Add more salt as needed. Remove and discard bay leaves, orange peel, parmesan rinds and remnants of onion. Season as needed.
    Parm and orange peel added


  • Set a wire rack inside a baking sheet and line it with paper towels. Layer eggplant slices single file and salt liberally. Repeat eggplant layering with paper towels. Allow to sit for at least a couple of hours and up to one whole day.
    Sliced eggplant
  • After eggplant slices have rested, combine panko, one cup parmesan, dried oregano and a couple of pinches of salt in a food processor and pulse until well combined.
    The panko-parm mixture
  • One at a time, dredge eggplant slices in flower, egg (allowing excess to drip, and then coat well all over in bread crumb mixture.
    Dipping in the panko mixture
  • Set slices on a wire rack single file.
    Dredged eggplant
  • Add vegetable/olive oil to a large pot or dutch oven and heat over medium-high. Cook dredged eggplant pieces a few at a time until golden brown (3-5 minutes).
    Eggplant frying
  • Remove from oil and add to paper towel-topped plate. Press with more paper towels gently to absorb oil. Repeat with remaining slices of eggplant.
    Fried eggplant slices

Eggplant Parmesan Assembly

  • Pre-heat oven to 350. In a casserole dish, disperse one cup of marinara, followed by a single layer of fried eggplant slices, more marinara and then 1/3 cup of the cheese mixture.
    Layering the parm
  • Repeat steps starting with eggplant slices, sauce and then finishing with cheese layer until you run out of eggplant - I usually get three layers, but it all depends on your dish.
    Eggplant parm prior to hitting the oven
  • Cover with foil and bake for 50-60 minutes. Remove foil and increase oven to 425F.
    Before the second bake
  • Top with torn fresh mozzarella and bake for another 20 minutes - cheese should be golden on top.
    Eggplant parm after the second bake
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30-40 minutes before slicing to ensure lasagna-like slices. Serve garnished with grated parmesan and fresh basil.
    Eggplant Parmesan with fresh parmesan and basil
Keyword Abby Allen Recipes, Dinner Recipe, Eggplant Parmesan, Vegetarian
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