Italian Baked Eggplant with Parmesan (Parmigiana di Melanzane)

4.7
(25)

Eggplant parmigiana or eggplant Parmesan is one of the most popular and iconic vegetarian Italian dishes and this recipe is straight from Italy. Use ripe eggplant without seeds and salt them for 1 hour to remove the bitterness.

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Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 5 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds large eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices

  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt, or as needed

  • 5 cups vegetable oil for frying

  • 2 tablespoons flour for dredging

Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, halved

  • 3 (15 ounce) cans tomato puree

  • 8 leaves fresh basil leaves, halved

  • salt to taste

  • 1 ½ (16 ounce) packages fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

  • 2 ½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Place a single layer of eggplant slices in a colander sitting on a plate and sprinkle with coarse salt. Cover with a second layer and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant. Place a plate on top and add a weight to put pressure on the eggplant slices. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

  2. Rinse eggplant slices under running cold water to wash off all the salt. Pat dry on all sides with paper towels.

  3. Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge eggplant slices in flour on both sides and add to the hot oil, working in batches. Deep fry eggplant until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

  4. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook garlic and onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomato puree, 4 basil leaves, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until sauce starts to thicken, about 20 minutes. Remove sauce from heat. Discard garlic and stir in remaining 4 leaves basil.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  6. Spread a layer of tomato sauce over the bottom of a baking dish. Cover with a single layer of eggplant slices. Top with more sauce, mozzarella slices, and Parmesan cheese. Continue making layers, a total of 3 to 5, finishing with tomato sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven until heated through and bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 20 minutes before serving.

    close up view of a slice of Italian Baked Eggplant with Parmesan garnished with fresh basil on a white plate
    Magda

Cook's Notes:

Make sure eggplants are dried well, otherwise they won't get crisp while frying and will instead soak up the oil like a sponge.

Eggplant Parmigiana tastes even better heated up the following day.

Use tomato passata if you can find it. Substitute scamorza cheese for the mozzarella if preferred.

Editor's Notes:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of salt. The actual amount of salt consumed will vary.

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)

592 Calories
39g Fat
31g Carbs
35g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 592
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 39g 49%
Saturated Fat 15g 77%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Sodium 3313mg 144%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 35g
Vitamin C 22mg 111%
Calcium 995mg 77%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 1223mg 26%

* 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.

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