Healthy Baked Eggplant Parmesan – Moms Health

Eggplant Parmesan is considered one of the classics for a perfectly good reason. I had my first taste when I was around 10 years old. By then, I didn’t have a clue that this was a classic. I just knew from the first time I tasted it that it was insanely good. But a few years back, I was able to run down memory lane and then you whipped up this renewed baked eggplant parmesan recipe.

And I’m about to share this recipe with you. So, hang on tight. Before we delve into the good stuff, let’s talk about the basics first.

Healthy Baked Eggplant Parmesan

What Is Eggplant Parmesan?

Eggplant Parmesan can be really fancy but it is originally a comfort food. It’s the kind of food that you would love to eat while sitting with your fiance on movie nights. It’s a combination of all the ingredients many of us love, such as fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, beaten eggs, parmesan cheese, and many more.

In terms of origin, the Eggplant Parmesan is purely Italian. You can think of it as a single-layer casserole that is quite similar to lasagna. But instead of pasta, we have globe eggplant. While eggplant does not seem that enticing, I promise you that you are going to change your mind right away as soon as you get a taste of it.

We haven’t begun with the recipe just yet but let me give an important tip right from the bat. Even just a slice of eggplant can hold a lot of moisture. On top of that, it also absorbs oil like a sponge. That means even though this is a relatively easy recipe, you need to practice caution. Otherwise, you might end up with something that is either too mushy or oily.

Making Eggplant Parmesan A Whole Lot Easier

I can truly say that a great recipe like eggplant parmesan is excellent for beginners at the kitchen. But there are also moments of trial and error. Trust me. You don’t want to say “next time, I’ll just ____”.

No, if there’s a way for you to taste the fruits of your labor a lot faster, then by all means, do it. So, before we dive into the big stuff, I want to leave a major pointer for you guys,

It’s a pretty small tip but it will most certainly make a whole lot of difference in making this classic Italian dish.

What you got to do is to take your breaded eggplant slices and then bake them in the oven. You need to do this right before you assemble them into casserole goodness. Most people will prefer to fry them first hand but don’t do that. By baking them instead, you will be able to avoid the oil absorption issue.

It would also be a good idea to take your large eggplant slices, salt them, and then let them sit for a while. Doing so means that the moisture will be drawn out from the eggplant.

Parmesan Eggplant Full Recipe

I know this is something that we’ve all been waiting for; the bonafide classic eggplant parmesan recipe:

I’ve given off some tips in the earlier section but here are some more tips that you will most definitely find useful throughout your experience.

  • Make sure to bake the casserole the day before. Before serving it, you need to bake it again at 350 degrees F. Preparing your eggplant parmesan this way will ensure that you won’t need extra time during the preparation process.
  • Store it for leftovers. Just like many casseroles, eggplant parmesan can be stored at the fridge for days. It lets you serve this dish several days in a row. It’s one of the family favorites of course. So, everyone will surely be thrilled.

Okay so now we can start. Let us talk about time first. How long should it take before you can serve these crispy baked eggplant parmesan goodies?

Preparation Time: 60 Mins

Cook Time: 70 Mins

Eggplant Preparation: 60 Mins

What Are The Ingredients?

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/4 pounds raw eggplant
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Egg mixture
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Tomato paste

How To Make Eggplant Parmesan

Everything starts with preparing the eggplant.

The first thing you got to do is to make different slices of eggplant. They should be 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick rounds. Take a rack and then lay the eggplant slices there as they are topped over by a rimmed sheet pan.

Both sides of the eggplant should be sprinkled with salt. Let your eggplant rounds sit and release moisture for roughly 1 to 2 hours.

Now while you leave these eggplant rounds for the meantime, we can move forward to the more exciting part: Making the chunky tomato sauce.

Take one tablespoon of olive oil and then heat it in a 4-quart saucepan on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and then allow it to cook for about 1 minute until it becomes fragrant and golden brown.

After that, it is time to add the tomatoes as well as their juices into the mix. Increase the heat a bit so that it will start to simmer. After that, we need to go back to basics and lower the heat. Allow it to simmer like that for about 15 minutes.

When the tomato sauce has been prepared, don’t forget to preheat the oven to 425°F. Take 1 1/2 cups of the breadcrumbs with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and then set it up in a shallow bowl.

I also need you to set up your station so that you’ll be able to take one bowl, fill it with flour, beaten eggs in another bowl, and then the breadcrumb cheese mixture in another.

And now it’s time to take out two sheet pans. After that, you can take one tablespoon of olive oil and then spread it on the sheet pans.

By now, you may have noticed that the eggplant rounds have been wet due to the excess drip of the moisture when you marinated them with salt. The next step would be to pat them dry using a single layer of paper towel.

You are going to enjoy the next part for sure. You need to dredge the eggplant rounds into the flour. It’s my personal preference to dip them as well in egg wash right after. But wait hold on.

There is one more thing you need to do: you need to dredge the eggplant rounds into the breadcrumb Parmesan cheese mixture. If need be, you can go ahead and add more dry breadcrumbs.

Afterward, you need to place your eggplant rounds into your oiled sheet pans so you can organize them in a single layer. This will create a great texture for your crispy eggplant recipe.

Bake the Eggplant Rounds

The hard part is now over (you have got to admit though that it was a little fun). Now what comes next is placing your little eggplant rounds into the oven. Leave them to cook at 425°F. 18 to 20 minutes would be a good estimation for this.

You still need to pay attention for it to reach halfway point since this would be the time when you need to flip the eggplant slices over. Wait for them to be golden brown and fork-tender. When it does, you can take them out of the oven and leave them to cool. It needs to be cool enough for you to touch them.

Assembling the Casserole

You need to set out your 9 x 13-inch casserole pan now. Pour 1 cup of the tomato sauce at the bottom of the casserole pan. Now that the tomato sauce is set in place, you can take your eggplant rounds and then set them on top of the single-layer tomato sauce.

But again, let me remind you, that the eggplant rounds need to be cool enough first. You don’t have to leave them to cool for a long time but just make sure that you don’t burn yourself in the process of preparing this wonderful meal.

If you are finished setting the eggplant rounds, it’s time to go get your sliced mozzarella and then layer them over the eggplants. To top it off, you can sprinkle 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese.

There’s going to be a lot of eggplant rounds left from the last time you touched it. So, just take the rest of those eggplant rounds and then layer them on top of the casserole dish that you have already whipped up so far. At this point, you just need to repeat the steps that I told you about. Pour the tomato sauce on top of the eggplant rounds, and then layer it with mozzarella. Afterward, you can sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese.

Just keep on going until you have used up all of your eggplant rounds.

It’s Time for Baking

This is the exciting part. You’ve already done the more excruciating work, now you can just sit back and relax while your casserole pan turns into the delicious meal that you’ve been wanting all day long.

You can go back to your oven and turn the heat down to 350°F. Now, you can start baking your casserole. Just keep the lid open for now. You would want it open until the cheese starts to melt.

The process will take about 35 minutes. Don’t worry. You will know for sure if it’s time to take the dish from the oven. You just need to watch for the casserole to turn bubbly around the edges. When that happens, you can turn off the oven and leave the dish to cool down a bit. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Afterward, you can serve and enjoy your hard work.

How Can I Make My Eggplant Parmesan Extra Special?

There’s always room for improvement. That’s something I really stand by. So, if there are some of you here who are wondering if there is any way to make the casserole any more delicious, I am certainly proud of each and every one of you.

Here are some pointers on how to take your eggplant parmesan up a notch.

  • The quality of the sauce can really make a whole lot of difference in your byproduct. I highly recommend using the San Marzano Tomato Sauce. It’s one of the best store-bought sauces out there. If you have a personal recipe of your own, that can work too.
  • If you can make the ingredients gluten-free, then that would really be perfect. After all, eggplant parmesan can really hold a lot of calories. Making your ingredients gluten-free will give you a delicious and healthy meal.

There is some gluten-free flour that you can use. You can also buy some store-bought gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Or if you are a little bit on the experimental side, then you can whip up your own using a couple of organic products.

  • You may want to avoid having the eggplant undercooked. There are cases wherein the eggplants are too thickly-cut. It can be really tough to get them just right when this happens. So, you may want to maintain a cut of 1/2 inches for each of your eggplant rounds.
  • You don’t need to peel the eggplant before cooking. Eggplant skin is completely edible and adds a healthier side to your cooking.

I really do hope that you enjoyed all the tips that I’ve shared with you today in terms of preparing your very first eggplant parmesan. It can seem a bit complicated at first. But on your third or fourth tries, things will definitely start to become easy.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up wanting to share with the community your own tips on how to make top-notch eggplant parmesan. Know that the comment section will always welcome you with whatever feedback or message you have for me as well as the entire community.

Healthy Baked Eggplant Parmesan - Moms Health

Healthy Baked Eggplant Parmesan - Moms Health
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/4 pounds raw eggplant
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Egg mixture
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Tomato paste

Instructions

    1. Slice the eggplant (into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick rounds)

    2. Sprinkle with salt and let the eggplant sit and release moisture for 1 to 2 hours.

    3. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add minced garlic and allow it to cook for about 1 minute until golden brown. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.

    4. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Take 1 1/2 cups of the breadcrumbs with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and then set it up in a shallow bowl.

    5. Pat the eggplant dry using a single layer of paper towel.

    6. Dredge the eggplant rounds into the flour. It's my personal preference to dip them as well in egg wash right after.

    Dredge the eggplant rounds into the breadcrumb Parmesan cheese mixture.

    7. Place your eggplant rounds into the oiled sheet pans so you can organize them in a single layer.

    8. Leave them to cook in the oven at 425°F. 18 to 20 minutes.

    9. Pay attention for it to reach halfway point since this would be the time when you need to flip the eggplant slices over.

    10. Wait for them to be golden brown and fork-tender. When it does, you can take them out of the oven and leave them to cool.

    11. Assemble the casserole in a 9 x 13-inch casserole pan. Pour 1 cup of the tomato sauce at the bottom of the casserole pan.

    12. Put the eggplant slices on top of the tomato sauce.

    13. Get your sliced mozzarella and layer over the eggplants. To top it off, you can sprinkle 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese.

    14. Take the rest of those eggplant rounds and then layer them on top of the casserole dish that you have already whipped up so far.

    15. Repeat the steps with tomato sauce and a layer of mozzarella and sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese.

Notes

  • Make sure to bake the casserole the day before. Before serving it, you need to bake it again at 350 degrees F. Preparing your eggplant parmesan this way will ensure that you won't need extra time during the preparation process.
  • Save this recipe to your Pinterest board for later!

    Healthy Baked Eggplant Parmesan - Moms Health

    Healthy Baked Eggplant Parmesan - Moms Health

    Eggplant Parmesan is considered one of the classics for a perfectly good reason. I had my first taste when I was around 10 years old. By then, I didn't have a clue that this was a classic. I just knew from the first time I tasted it that it was insanely good. But a few years back, I was able to run down memory lane and then you whipped up this renewed baked eggplant parmesan recipe.

    Ingredients

    • What Is Eggplant Parmesan?
    • Making Eggplant Parmesan A Whole Lot Easier
    • Parmesan Eggplant Full Recipe
    • What Are The Ingredients?
    • How To Make Eggplant Parmesan
    • Bake the Eggplant Rounds
    • Assembling the Casserole
    • It’s Time for Baking
    • How Can I Make My Eggplant Parmesan Extra Special?
    • Healthy Baked Eggplant Parmesan – Moms Health

    Instructions

    1. Choose any Healthy Baked Eggplant Parmesan from the post that you like
    2. Click on the link below the photo to get the full recipes and instructions.
    3. Try the best Healthy Baked Eggplant Parmesan and share your photo under my pin on Pinterest!

    Sharing is caring!

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published.

    Skip to Recipe
    Give WEIGHT WATCHERS DIET a try with a 14-day Meal Plan!GET IT NOW!
    +
    Scroll to Top