Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is one of my all-time favorite meals!  Like so many great dishes, there are endless unique ways to prepare it.  Every restaurant and individual has their own twist, and I personally appreciate the variety!  Sometimes you’ll find yourself with fried layers of paper thin eggplant, and other times thick breaded eggplant circles in a single layer.  (There is a local Italian restaurant in my neighborhood that serves theirs up as two large hunks of breaded eggplant with a thick layer of ricotta cheese between the two, all covered in marinara and mozzarella.)

This particular Eggplant Parm is a layered and baked variety that not only tastes amazing but can also easily be made without too much mess or hassle.  It’s perfect as either a weeknight meal, from which you could easily have leftovers, or as a guaranteed crowd pleaser for potlucks and gatherings.  This recipe makes about 8 medium servings. 

Ingredients:

2 Large Eggplants

4 Eggs

3 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs

4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Jars Marinara Sauce Of Choice

2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese – Torn From Slices

1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°

Place two large baking sheets in the oven

Shred the parmesan cheese

Tear the mozzarella slices into small pieces

Combine the two cheeses in a bowl and set aside

Cut the eggplants into circles roughly ½ an inch thick

Crack the eggs into a bowl and lightly scramble them with a fork

Place the bread crumbs in either a bowl or on a plate (You can start with some instead of all if you wish, adding more as you run low)

In assembly line style, dip each eggplant circle into the eggs, then into the breadcrumbs

Remove the baking sheets from the oven

Evenly drizzle half of the olive oil onto the baking sheets (1 tbsp per sheet) then place the breaded eggplant circles on in a single layer

Bake for 15 minutes

Remove the sheets from the oven, drizzle the second half of the olive oil (the other 2 tbsps) on top of the eggplant, flip them all over, and then put back into the oven for another 10 minutes (or until they’re turning golden)

Once the eggplant has been removed from the oven, turn the oven temperature up to 475°

In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, layer the eggplant circles, marinara sauce, then cheeses.  Repeat these layers until the pan is full, ending on a cheese layer

Put the pan back into the oven and bake until the cheese melts and begins to turn golden brown (around 15 minutes)

Let cool slightly for a couple of minutes as it will be extremely hot

Enjoy!

[Leftovers can easily be stored in the refrigerator by simply covering up the cooking dish and storing it in there as is.]

Ingredient recommendations linked!

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