This is a slightly different twist on the old standard eggplant Parmesan. By peeling and sweating the eggplant you eliminate the bitterness and the panko bread crumbs add a nice crunch to the crust. Freezes so well!

Recipe Summary

prep:
1 hr
cook:
55 mins
additional:
40 mins
total:
2 hrs 35 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray an 11x13-inch baking dish and 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

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  • Place eggplant slices on racks over the sink or paper towels and sprinkle both sides of slices lightly with salt. Let eggplant drain for 30 minutes, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Place eggplant slices on prepared baking sheets.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until eggplant is soft, about 15 minutes.

  • Pour beaten eggs into a shallow bowl; combine panko bread crumbs with Italian seasoning in a separate shallow bowl. Dip eggplant into beaten egg and press into panko crumbs to coat. Place breaded eggplant back on the baking sheets and spray the slices with cooking spray.

  • Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler.

  • Broil eggplant slices until tops are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes; remove slices, turn, and spray other sides with cooking spray. Broil until golden brown 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove eggplant and turn oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook and stir onion and garlic until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in prepared pasta sauce and remove from heat.

  • Spread 1/3 of the pasta sauce into bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with half the eggplant slices, half the Italian cheese blend, and half the Parmesan cheese. Spread another 1/3 of the sauce over the layers; layer the remaining eggplant, remaining pasta sauce, Italian cheese blend, and Parmesan cheese.

  • Bake casserole in the 350 degree oven until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

Cook's Note:

If you are freezing for another day, stop after step 8 and cover tightly. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts

350 calories; protein 15.8g 32% DV; carbohydrates 35g 11% DV; fat 18.8g 29% DV; cholesterol 120.7mg 40% DV; sodium 1524.2mg 61% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (137)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/13/2012
FABULOUS! If you're a bit intimidated by all the steps, just use a jarred sauce (Mezzetta is very good), but whatever you do, don't skip a step in preparing the eggplant. Especially be sure to use panko bread crumbs as directed. They're a bit bigger and crunchier. Haven't tried freezing because we ate it all! Thanks so much for an excellent recipe! Read More
(79)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
01/19/2015
This recipe could achieve true greatness with a few IMPORTANT adjustments: 1) DO NOT cook the eggplant slices before coating in egg and breadcrumbs. 2) Dip in seasoned flour FIRST as follows: After sweating the eggplant slices, dip in seasoned flour on both sides, and THEN dip in egg, and THEN in breadcrumbs. Continue as directed. Now, the key to any Italian red sauce recipe is the red sauce. You need a solid marinara to make this perfect, not a crummy jarred sauce. You're gonna go through all this work only to smother your delicious, crunchy eggplant with a jar of Ragu??? No way. Master a basic marinara and you can have it ready while the eggplant is sweating. Read More
(99)
190 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 139
  • 4 star values: 36
  • 3 star values: 9
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 3 stars
01/18/2015
This recipe could achieve true greatness with a few IMPORTANT adjustments: 1) DO NOT cook the eggplant slices before coating in egg and breadcrumbs. 2) Dip in seasoned flour FIRST as follows: After sweating the eggplant slices, dip in seasoned flour on both sides, and THEN dip in egg, and THEN in breadcrumbs. Continue as directed. Now, the key to any Italian red sauce recipe is the red sauce. You need a solid marinara to make this perfect, not a crummy jarred sauce. You're gonna go through all this work only to smother your delicious, crunchy eggplant with a jar of Ragu??? No way. Master a basic marinara and you can have it ready while the eggplant is sweating. Read More
(99)
Rating: 5 stars
08/12/2012
FABULOUS! If you're a bit intimidated by all the steps, just use a jarred sauce (Mezzetta is very good), but whatever you do, don't skip a step in preparing the eggplant. Especially be sure to use panko bread crumbs as directed. They're a bit bigger and crunchier. Haven't tried freezing because we ate it all! Thanks so much for an excellent recipe! Read More
(79)
Rating: 5 stars
09/04/2012
I changed a few things. I fried my eggplant first dipping in flour then egg and then Italian bread crumbs. Read More
(57)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/30/2012
Even though it is healthier (not fried) it is still crispy & delicious! Leave plenty of time for prep - quite a bit of work for a week night. I sub'd fresh mozzarella for the shredded Italian cheese. This is a beautiful brightly colored dish that presents well and The (Meat) King loved it! Read More
(36)
Rating: 5 stars
07/13/2014
This is an excellent tasty recipe! The way to keep the crunch is to put the prepared eggplant on a baking sheet and just top each slice with a little sauce and the cheese, instead of layering it and smothering it in sauce and cheese. That way the bottom stays crunchy. Try slicing it 1/2 thick instead of 1/4 inch and baking the slices a little longer before putting on the sauce so it cooks all the way through. I put thinly sliced mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce and a nice sprinkling of Asiago cheese to give it more flavor an a little kick. Oh so good! Thanks for posting. Read More
(29)
Rating: 5 stars
10/17/2013
So my husband (who "hates" eggplant) was out and I decided to treat my daughter and myself to a dish we rarely eat and I found this less-fattening version. Wow! I followed exactly except that I already had chopped onions and green peppers which we use in everything so sauteed those for the sauce. Amazing. Panko is a great sub for regular breadcrumbs. Son and hubby came home and both LOVED IT! I love that it's not fried. No bad fats no need for salt except what was in the sauce. Next time I'll use my homemade sauce. So glad to bring eggplant to the whole family! Kudos to Mama Smith! Read More
(18)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/18/2015
I followed the suggestions of others of tossing uncooked eggplant slices in flour, then dipping in egg, then into breadcrumbs. I also made extra and just parcooked them until slightly browned, let cool, then put into the freezer on the baking sheets and into a freezer bag once frozen. Now I can just bake them up the next time we want them. I also didn't bake them with the sauce. I just kept the broiler on and melted some parmesean on each slice, plated them and topped with hot tomato sauce. This way they stayed super crunchy. My husband who supposedly hates eggplant parm ate two servings. Whoot! Read More
(17)
Rating: 3 stars
04/04/2015
This was okay. I say that because I was not blown away by it based on the amount of work it required. I guess I don't see the point in doing all the steps to ensure a crispy breading when you are just going to cover it all in sauce and cheese. It had a good taste overall but no one noticed that the eggplant or breading tasted any different than how I would usually make it. I did brown up some mild Italian sausage and added it to the sauce which added a lot of additional flavor. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
08/12/2012
AWESOME....A bit more work but well worth it. =o) Read More
(6)
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