Recipe: Baked Eggplant Parmesan

It feels like over the last few years the eggplant has gotten a bad rap.  And you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about, thank you very much cellphone emojis.  However, I digress, and will continue on about my post about the eggplant, the VEGETABLE.

The eggplant can be a very divisive dish. It feels like either you hate it or you love it.  I definitely fall into the category of love.  One of my favourite Indian dishes that my mom makes is called “Baingan Bharta”, which is quite similar in texture to Baba Ganoush but with so many more spices and flavour.  It’s probably where my love affair with eggplant began.   Then I discovered eggplant lasagna and eggplant parm, which is why we are gathered here today.

I have been wanting to make eggplant parm at home for quite some time, and now seemed perfect since I’ve been trying to cook more at home and cut down on my meat intake. So here it is.  It’s a super easy recipe, the cooking time is what takes the longest, but I promise, you will not be disappointed.  The quantities below made a full tray which for me ended up being dinner and two additional portions as left overs.

What You Need:
1 small to medium sized egg plant
3-4 eggs
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
Italian seasoning (dried oregano, thyme, basil etc)
4-6 cups of tomato sauce
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 -1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350F
2.  Peel and slice your eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices
3.  Place breadcrumbs in a bowl and add the Italian seasoning.  This will season your eggplant slices when they bake adding extra flavour
4.  Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl
5.  Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs.  Flip the eggplant slice around to make sure its covered really well with the breadcrumbs
6.  On a slightly oiled baking sheet, arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer

Eggplant Parmesan

7.  Bake until the eggplant is golden on the outside – about 25-30 minutes
8.  In a 13×9 inch pan, evenly spread 1 cup of sauce
9.  Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer in the pan, add more sauce and parmesan cheese.  Repeat until you have used all your eggplant slices

Eggplant Parmesan
10.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes
11.  Remove foil and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese
12.  Bake uncovered until cheese is melted – about 10 minutes

I will now make a confession.  I ate HALF THE TRAY on my own for dinner that night.  I just couldn’t get enough. It had all the flavour and texture of lasagna (even better) without the heavy feeling.  Of course I added hot sauce after the fact but if you use a spicy tomato sauce then you’re set.  I would also definitely add more sauce in my layers next time because you want this dish to be saucy, not dry.   Keep a little extra on hand just in case especially when you reheat it the next day.

Eggplant Parmesan

This is the perfect recipe when you feel like something indulgent and comforting but still want to keep it light.  Would love to hear if you try this recipe out and how it turned out for you!

Hooray for the eggplant 😉

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