This post was last updated on October 27, 2014 to include new images.
Anytime Dustin comes in from the garden with a fresh eggplant, I know exactly what I want to do with it.
Two words: Eggplant. Parmesan.
Need I say more?
Well, I suppose I should say easy baked eggplant parmesan.
I can’t think of Eggplant Parmesan without reminiscing about this little Italian restaurant called La Trattoria my family used to frequent in Ventura, California. Not sure why I loved it so much, but the Eggplant Parmigiana was what I ordered every time.
And we ate there a lot.
It’s weird to think of me as a little kid liking eggplant, now that I think about it. And brussel sprouts, too, while we’re on that topic. Guess I’ve always been a weird little foodie.
Surprisingly, I don’t cook with eggplant that often, even though I love it.
After making this super easy Eggplant Parmesan, though, I think it’s time to change that.
This meal is really tasty. And really easy, too.
If you don’t already, I really recommend using freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh mozzarella for this meal. You won’t be disappointed.
In fact, I’m pretty certain you will be super happy.
If you have the time, I totally recommend you use this simple tomato sauce with this easy baked eggplant parmesan. If you haven’t tried making your own tomato sauce, I think it’s one of the best things that has ever happened to my cooking.
It’s like the best thing ever, seriously.
Some people like to sprinkle the raw eggplant slices with kosher salt and let it sit for about an hour prior to cooking. This process is said to release the bitter-tasting juices from the eggplant. Personally, I haven’t found it necessary, but feel free to do this step if you’d like. Just lay the slices out on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Let sit for approximately one hour and then rinse and pat dry.
Such a delicious vegetarian meal. Yum!
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into ¼-inch to ½-inch slices
- 2 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. dried thyme
- 1 tbsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 2-4 tbsp. olive oil for frying
- 1-2 cups simple tomato sauce
- ⅔ cup grated Parmesan, divided
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a shallow dish, combine the kosher salt, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper.
- Heat 1 tbsp. of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Dredge each eggplant slice in the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer 2-5 eggplant slices at a time to the hot pan, depending on size. Try not to overcrowd the slices. Cook until golden brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side. Add more olive oil as needed to keep from sticking. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices.
- Place browned eggplant on a dish lined with paper towels.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lay the largest eggplant slice onto the baking sheet. Gently spoon about 2-3 tbsp. tomato sauce over the eggplant until coated. Place sliced mozzarella evenly over the tomato sauce. Sprinkle grated parmesan over the layer. Place the second largest eggplant slice next and repeat steps for the tomato sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle parmesan over the top layer. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, tomato sauce, parmesan and mozzarella. See pics above for more on this, if needed.
- Bake until just beginning to brown, approximately 15-20 minutes.