Melanzane alla Parmigiana (Eggplant Parmesan)


Melanzane alla parmigiana is a classic Italian dish from Sicily that's often simply referred to as "parmigiana" by Sicilian locals. The richness and depth of flavor you get from this authentic version is well worth the extra effort. Serve eggplant Parmesan with nothing more than crusty bread and a green salad.

close up view of a slice of Melanzane alla Parmigiana (Eggplant Parmesan) with melted cheese on top, on a white plate with a red background
Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 5 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 55 mins


  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed

  • 6 eggplants, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

  • 1 bunch fresh basil

  • salt to taste

  • 1 ⅓ cups tomato puree (passata)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 18 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, drained and sliced

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, or to taste

  • 4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Pour 2 cups oil (or amount needed for a depth of 1 inch) into a deep skillet; heat over medium heat.

  2. Pat eggplant slices dry with a paper towel. Set aside 4 whole basil leaves; chop remaining leaves.

  3. Fry eggplant in batches in hot oil until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer eggplant to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon; season with salt.

  4. Simmer passata, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic cloves, 4 basil leaves, and a pinch salt in a saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard garlic cloves.

  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking dish.

  6. Layer ingredients in the baking dish in the following order as many times as possible: fried eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, oregano, Parmesan cheese, and basil leaves. End with a layer of mozzarella and a drizzle of remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven until heated through and cheeses are melted, about 40 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before slicing.


Be sure to dry eggplant slices well in Step 2. Too much water will soften the fried eggplant and produce too much liquid in the finished dish.

If the mozzarella is too soft and watery, slice it and let it drain in a colander for 10 minutes. You can use scamorza cheese instead of fresh mozzarella. It's a bit drier but just as tasty.

To Make Ahead:

Complete Steps 1 through 4 and Step 6, then cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. The eggplant will soak up more sauce this way, and the finished dish will be tastier.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

506 Calories
29g Fat
37g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 506
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 16g 81%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 453mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 19g 69%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 20mg 100%
Calcium 791mg 61%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 1432mg 30%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love