I never met an eggplant parm I didn’t like. No but really… who wouldn’t love a vegetable that’s breaded, fried, and covered in sauce with copious amounts of cheese? The best part is that you can either eat the eggplant parm by itself in a dish, or you can throw it on a sandwich. Its perfect for vegetarians (and non-vegetarians) who can't each chicken parm.
I've been eating eggplant parm since I was a little kid and it never let me down. You can easily multiply this recipe and make a big batch for dinner. Then you'll have a bunch of leftovers for lunch (or even a snack) throughout the week.
- 2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthwise (about 1/4 inch thick) (See Notes)Line a baking sheet with a single layer of paper towel, and then place as many eggplant slices on the paper towel that will comfortably fit without overlapping. Season with a generous pinch of salt, then cover the eggplant slices with a paper towel. Then add another level of eggplant on top of the paper towel, season with salt, and then cover again with paper towel. Repeat these steps until all the eggplant slices are stacked.
- 4 large eggs, whisked
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- Neutral oil for frying, or olive oil/olive oil spray for baking
- 4 to 6 cups tomato sauce (about 1 to 1/2 quarts)
- 4 cups low moistures mozzarella, grated
- Freshly grated parmigiana
- Basil for garnishing
- Line a baking sheet with a single layer of paper towel, and then place as many eggplant slices on the paper towel that will comfortably fit without overlapping. Season with a generous pinch of salt, then cover the eggplant slices with a paper towel. Then add another level of eggplant on top of the paper towel, season with salt, and then cover again with paper towel. Repeat these steps until all the eggplant slices are stacked.
- Once stacked, let the eggplant rest for 15 to 20 minutes to draw out as much moisture as possible. After the time has passed, remove the eggplant slices making sure you pat each slice completely dry.
- If you're baking your eggplant, preheat your oven to 425º, otherwise follow step 5.
- Set up a dredging station with your eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg, and then dredge in the breadcrumbs (See Notes).
- FRYING EGGPLANT: Heat a 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy bottom high-wall skillet. Once the oil is hot and shimmering (about 350º), fry the eggplant in batches until they're golden brown and crispy (about 1 to 3 minutes per side, depending on thickness). Once done, transfer to a paper towel lined baking sheet, season with salt, and set aside.
- BAKING EGGPLANT: Carefully place the breaded eggplant on the baking sheets lined with a wire rack (See Notes). Spray with olive oil spray, and bake until golden brown and crispy (about 15 to 20 minutes depending on thickness). Once the eggplant are cooked, remove them from the oven and set aside.
- Lower, or preheat your oven temperature to 350º
- Cover the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with an even layer of tomato sauce (about 1/2 to 1 cup of sauce). Arrange the eggplant on top of the sauce in a single layer. Top the eggplant with tomato sauce, copious amounts of mozzarella, and freshly grated parmigiana. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, mozz, and parm (See Notes)
- Once you completed all the layers, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake at 350º for 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, let the eggplant parm rest for 10 minutes otherwise it might be watery.
- Using a Mandoline will help get even cuts. If you're baking in a rectangle/square baking dish, cut the eggplant lengthwise so they're long slices. If you're baking in a round dish, cut the eggplant from front to back so you have round slices.
- Flour is optional. If you decide/want to use flour, dredge the eggplant in the flour before you dip them in the eggs.
- If you don't have a wire rack, line the baking sheet with parchment paper. However, you'll want to flip the eggplant halfway through cooking.
- Depending on the size of your baking dish, and how thick you cut the eggplant, you will need to eyeball how much sauce and mozz to add to each layer. Add enough so it's not dry, but don't add to much to where you won't have enough sauce and/or mozz for later layers.