Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish that combines the hearty flavors of eggplant, marinara sauce, and cheese into a satisfying and comforting meal. While traditionally fried, this baked version offers a healthier twist without compromising on taste or texture. Join us as we explore the step-by-step process of creating a delicious Baked Eggplant Parmesan that’s sure to become a family favorite.


  1. 3 Large Eggplants: Eggplants are the star of this dish, providing a meaty texture and earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with the marinara sauce and cheese. Choose firm and glossy eggplants for the best results, as they will hold their shape well during baking.
  2. 1 Teaspoon Salt (for salting the eggplant): Salting the eggplant helps to draw out excess moisture and bitterness, resulting in a firmer texture and milder flavor. This step is essential for achieving perfectly cooked eggplant slices.
  3. 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour: The flour serves as the first coating for the eggplant slices, helping the breadcrumbs to adhere and creating a crispy outer layer when baked.
  4. 1 Teaspoon Salt (for seasoning the flour): Seasoning the flour ensures that each layer of the eggplant is well-seasoned, enhancing the overall flavor of the dish.
  5. ¼ Teaspoon Pepper: Pepper adds a subtle kick to the flour mixture, balancing the flavors and adding depth to the dish.
  6. 2 Large Eggs: Eggs act as the binding agent for the breadcrumbs, helping them to adhere to the eggplant slices and create a crispy coating when baked.
  7. 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs: Panko breadcrumbs provide a light and airy texture to the coating, resulting in a perfectly crispy crust that contrasts beautifully with the tender eggplant.
  8. 1 Cup Italian-Style Bread Crumbs: Italian-style breadcrumbs are seasoned with herbs and spices, adding a burst of flavor to the coating and enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
  9. 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder: Garlic powder infuses the breadcrumbs with a savory flavor and aroma, complementing the other ingredients in the dish.
  10. 2 Cups Marinara Sauce: Marinara sauce serves as the flavorful base for the dish, providing a rich and tangy tomato sauce that pairs perfectly with the eggplant and cheese.
  11. 8 Ounces Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced: Fresh mozzarella melts beautifully when baked, creating a gooey and creamy layer that envelops the eggplant slices in cheesy goodness.
  12. ¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Basil: Fresh basil adds a pop of color and freshness to the dish, enhancing its visual appeal and infusing each bite with a vibrant herbal flavor.
  13. ½ Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese adds a salty and nutty flavor to the dish, creating a deliciously savory crust when baked.

Preparation Method:

  1. Prepare the Eggplant:
    • Commence the process by cutting the eggplants into slices, each about ¼-inch thick. Arrange these slices in a colander, generously sprinkling them with salt. Allow the eggplant rounds to rest in the colander for approximately 30 minutes, permitting the salt to work its magic by drawing out any surplus moisture residing within the eggplants. This step is crucial as it ensures that the eggplant slices maintain their integrity and texture during the subsequent cooking process.
    • After 30 minutes, rinse the eggplant slices under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  2. Set Up the Breading Station:
  3. For the first bowl, blend together the flour, salt, and pepper, ensuring a balanced seasoning for the eggplant slices. In the second bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly, providing a cohesive mixture for adhering the breading. Finally, in the third bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, Italian-style breadcrumbs, and garlic powder, creating a flavorful and textured coating for the eggplant slices. This systematic setup ensures each slice receives a proper coating, resulting in a perfectly breaded and seasoned eggplant Parmesan.
  1. Bread the Eggplant:
    • Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Dip the floured slices into the beaten eggs, then coat them evenly with the breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere.
  2. Bake the Eggplant:
    • Arrange the coated eggplant slices on a baking sheet, ensuring they are evenly spaced and not overlapping, which allows for even browning and crispiness during baking. Utilizing parchment paper on the baking sheet aids in preventing the eggplant slices from sticking, facilitating easy removal and cleanup afterward.
    • Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
  3. Assemble the Eggplant Parmesan:
    • Apply a delicate coating of marinara sauce to cover the base of a baking dish, ensuring an even distribution across the surface. This foundational layer of sauce provides a flavorful bed for the baked eggplant slices, infusing them with the rich tomato taste that characterizes classic eggplant Parmesan
    • Arrange a layer of baked eggplant slices on top of the sauce, followed by a layer of sliced mozzarella and chopped basil. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of marinara sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top.
  4. Bake Until Bubbly:
    • Return the assembled dish to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  5. Serve and Enjoy:
  6. Once the Baked Eggplant Parmesan is done baking, allow it to cool slightly before serving, giving the flavors a moment to settle and intensify. For an added touch of freshness and aroma, consider embellishing it with sprigs of fragrant basil leaves and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.


In conclusion, Baked Eggplant Parmesan offers all the flavors and textures of the classic dish with a healthier twist. By baking instead of frying the eggplant slices, we’ve created a lighter yet equally delicious version that’s perfect for any occasion. With its crispy coating, gooey cheese, and flavorful marinara sauce, this dish is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates.