Perfect Eggplant Parmesan

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Do you love Eggplant Parmesan? If so, this blog post is for you! Also, don't forget to pair it with the most epic garlic bread. It's a game changer! In this post, we'll share our favorite recipe for the classic Italian dish. Eggplant Parmesan is a great meal for any occasion, and it's easy to make at home. So, what are you waiting for? Follow our simple recipe and enjoy a delicious meal tonight!

While the eggplant has now taken many forms, like the eggplant panzanella and the eggplant rollatini, you know some recipes, the classics, are near and dear to your heart!! The ones that always bring you back to some fun event years ago. Well... Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favs for that very reason!

Prepared eggplant parmesan in ceramic baking dish sitting on a countertop surrounded by a ceramic plate and two drinking glasses.

Why I Love This Recipe

Eggplant Parmesan and Chicken Parmesan were the first 2 recipes I ever made!

I made them on repeat for WEEKS in college and subjected my tennis teammates to eggplant parmesan dinners for months on end! This was one of the first recipes I ever made for my college boyfriend (now husband) and I can never get enough. I mean, how could you go wrong with breaded eggplant (or chicken) piled high with tomato sauce, 3 kinds of cheese and fresh basil? It's basically everything I look for in life all baked into one giant skillet.

Prepared eggplant layered with marinara sauce and cheese topped with fresh basil leaves.

It's also one of my favorites because it makes exceptional leftovers. My absolute favorite way to jazz this up for leftovers (and trick Thomas into thinking I made something new) is to take out a few spoonfuls of the eggplant parm, chop it up into bite sized pieces and toss it into some freshly cooked pasta. I mean, if that's not your new favorite way to get down with leftovers than I don't know what to say.

Who knew that making eggplant parmesan could be so easy? With just a few simple ingredients and some easy to follow instructions, you can make a dish that is sure to impress. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and give it a try! I guarantee you'll be blown away by how delicious this recipe is.

Ingredients

Eggplant parmesan recipe visual ingredients such as parmesan cheese, fontina cheese, mozzarella cheese, basil, whole milk, eggs, eggplant, thyme, oregano, marinara sauce, breadcrumbs, vegetable oil
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Eggplant
  • Eggs
  • Whole Milk
  • Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • Dried Oregano
  • Thyme Leaves
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Mozzarella Cheese 
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Fontina Cheese
  • Fresh Basil

*For a full list of ingredients and instructions please see recipe card below

How to Make This Recipe

A bowl of sliced eggplant

Step 1: Slice the eggplant into thin slices.

A dish of breadcrumbs alongside and a dish of egg wash.

Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk and set aside. In another bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, oregano and thyme and stir to combine.

Sliced eggplant coated in breadcrumb mixture on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper

Step 3: Dip the eggplant slices into the egg mixture, making sure to coat both sides. Following the egg mixture, dip the eggplant into the bread crumb herb mixture on both sides.

Cooked eggplant on sheet pan beneath a layer of paper towel

Step 4: In a large skillet, add about ⅓ cup of the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the breaded eggplant slices a few at a time and fry on both sides until golden brown. Once golden, remove from the oil and let rest on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

A baking dish of cooked eggplant beneath a coating of marinara sauce

Step 5: In a 9 by 13-inch baking dish spoon about ¼ of the marinara sauce on the bottom. Top with a layer of the fried eggplant.

A baking dish of eggplant, marinara sauce, and topped with mozzarella cheese, fontina cheese, parmesan cheese, and fresh basil leaves

Step 6: Top with about ⅓ of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle about ¼ of the Parmesan and fontina cheeses. Top with a layer of torn basil leaves. Spoon sauce and repeat the layering 2 more times to make 3-4 layers. End with the remaining mozzarella.

How to Store Eggplant Parmesan

This Eggplant Parmesan recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days kept in an airtight container. Or, if you prefer, you can freeze this meal for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat it, thaw completely and bake as directed.

Tips and Tricks

  • Layering your eggplant. One of the crucial steps in this recipe is to make sure you're layering your eggplant correctly when assembling in your baking dish. When arranging your eggplant, make sure to slightly overlap each piece to ensure layering when served.
  • Wait. When removed from the oven, make sure to let your eggplant parmesan rest for up to 30 minutes. This will allow it time to cool and prevent a messy transfer from dish to plate.

FAQs

Should I Peel My Eggplant for This Recipe?

The peel on an eggplant is totally edible! However, if you prefer to peel them, that is completely fine too.

Why Is My Eggplant Parmesan Soggy?

You could be using too much marinara sauce. When assembling all the parts of this recipe in your baking dish, make sure to use thin layers of sauce- a little goes a long way!

Pairs Well With

If you tried this recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting today!

Eggplant Parmesan from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Perfect Eggplant Parmesan

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 5 votes
Eggplant Parmesan is a great meal for any occasion, and it’s easy to make at home. So, what are you waiting for? Follow our simple recipe and enjoy a delicious meal tonight!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 jars marinara sauce
  • 2 large eggplant
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 4 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Vegetable oil for frying, as needed, about 1 ½ to 2 cups
  • 1 ½ pounds mozzarella cheese cut into thin slices
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound fontina cheese shredded
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil

Instructions
 

  • Slice the eggplant into thin slices.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk and set aside. In another bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, oregano and thyme and stir to combine.
  • Dip the eggplant slices into the egg mixture, making sure to coat both sides. Following the egg mixture, dip the eggplant into the bread crumb herb mixture on both sides.
  • In a large skillet, add about ⅓ cup of the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the breaded eggplant slices a few at a time and fry on both sides until golden brown. Once golden, remove from the oil and let rest on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Continue this process with the remaining eggplant slices, making sure to add extra oil if needed.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To assemble

  • In a 9 by 13-inch baking dish or large cast iron skillet, spoon about ¼ of the marinara sauce on the bottom. Top with a layer of the fried eggplant; the eggplant slices can overlap slightly. Top with about ⅓ of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle about ¼ of the Parmesan and fontina cheeses. Top with a layer of torn basil leaves. Spoon sauce and repeat the layering 2 more times to make 3-4 layers. End with the remaining mozzarella. Carefully press the layers down firmly into the dish once assembled. Place the dish in the top part of the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes. For extra browning, put the dish under the broiler for a minute or two just before serving to get an extra brown cheesy top.
  • Serve with extra basil on top.

Notes

Tips and Tricks
  • Layering your eggplant. One of the crucial steps in this recipe is to make sure you're layering your eggplant correctly when assembling in your baking dish. When arranging your eggplant, make sure to slightly overlap each piece to ensure layering when served.
  • Wait. When removed from the oven, make sure to let your eggplant parmesan rest for up to 30 minutes. This will allow it time to cool and prevent a messy transfer from dish to plate.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 1052kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 322mg | Sodium: 2049mg | Potassium: 723mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1880IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 1257mg | Iron: 6mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking

28 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m not an eggplant fan but my hubby LOVES it! We’ve had some eggplant sitting around from our CSA and I decided to see if Gaby had any good eggplant recipes! Y’all MAKE THIS! Even if you’re like me and don’t care for eggplant! It’s delicious! The recipe is easy and straightforward, besides frying the eggplant which I did in the electric skillet to do more at once it came together quickly!
    We halved the recipe bc it’s just the 2 of us and still have lots of leftovers! I plan to make this for family this fall!

    1. just make it up to the point of baking, and bake off when you're ready to eat! I wouldn't do it more than 10ish hours ahead of time

  2. Love this recipe! I've made it 5 times and everyone who tries it raves!!! Question: can you make it a day ahead and then bake it the next day? Or would that make the eggplant soggy? I've frozen it with great results, which seems pretty similar. Just wasn't sure if it could be preassembled.

  3. Looks amazing! I noticed you didn't have to salt the eggplants ahead of time to draw the bitterness out. Did you find that that wasn't necessary? I've had many failed attempts with eggplants. They either turned out salty or bitter. How do you pick your eggplants?? Nice and firm?

    1. nice and firm and correct, I don't salt them ahead of time. I've never found them to be bitter after cooking this way 🙂

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