Easy Eggplant Parmesan: You Will Not Miss The Meat!

For easy Eggplant Parmesan, slice eggplants, coat in egg and breadcrumbs, fry until browned, layer in a dish with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella, top with parmesan, and bake. This dish is flavorful, and filling, and doesn’t make you miss the meat.

This easy eggplant parmesan is so good and so easy to make. And the best part, it is so hearty that you will not miss the meat.

Never had eggplant? Well, you are in for a pleasant surprise.

Eggplant parmesan is awesome. My husband puts out a vegetable garden every spring.

Except for one year. Read about that here.

I always like to add something different each year. One year we did snow peas

I wanted to try growing eggplant. We had moderate success. 

I tried frying it like I do my zucchini. But then I found a recipe for eggplant parmesan. 

I like lasagna and this was similar. I tweaked it to our liking and it was a hit!

I decided to make some for my co-workers to try. Needless to say, it was a hit there as well.

Many had never had it before. I gave the recipe and eggplant to one co-worker. 

She made it for her husband and thereafter was making it at least once a week. He liked it very much!

The next year I had many ask me if I had any eggplant. Sadly,  our crop of eggplant didn’t do as well that year.

What is Eggplant?

Eggplant is a vegetable that grows in a variety of shapes sizes and colors. The most common variety in the United States is the globe and Italian.

Tear-shaped with glossy purplish-black skin. Eggplant flesh is smooth.

Its numerous seeds are small, soft, and edible, along with the rest of it, and do not have to be removed. Its thin skin is also edible, so it does not have to be peeled.

Because of the eggplant’s texture and bulk, it is often used as a meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian recipes. Eggplant will absorb the flavor of whatever it’s cooked with, thereby enhancing the flavors

What Does Eggplant Taste Like?

The taste of eggplant is similar to summer squash. The taste can be slightly bitter but rinsing, draining, and adding salt before cooking eggplant may alleviate this.

I wanted to try it as I had heard that it tasted like zucchini and I love fried zucchini. The taste was close but in my opinion, fried zucchini is better. 

But eggplant parmesan is a different story. I love eggplant made this way!

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients for Eggplant Parmesan

  • 2 medium eggplant
  • 4 cups spaghetti sauce (my favorite is Prego with fresh mushrooms)
  • 3 cups bread crumbs, plain or Italian
  • 12 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Oil for frying

Directions for Easy Eggplant Parmesan

Peel and slice the eggplant. You don’t have to peel the eggplant, that step is optional.

Slice the eggplant as evenly as you can. Even slices mean even cooking. 

You don’t want some slices to overcook before the other slices get tender. Dip eggplant into beaten egg and then into bread crumbs.

Fry in a skillet with oil until brown. This only takes about a minute. 

They brown quickly. Turn and brown the other side.

Don’t overcrowd the slices in the skillet. Brown about 3 at a time. 

Place fried eggplant on a plate covered with paper towels to drain. Cover the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish with 1 cup spaghetti sauce.

Place 6 fried eggplant into the pan. Top each eggplant with a slice of mozzarella cheese.

Cover with spaghetti sauce and sprinkle with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, eggplant, mozzarella cheese, sauce, and the rest of the parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle the top with the grated mozzarella cheese and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes.

I have to be honest here. I do not care for parmesan cheese and usually omit it.

But then it isn’t eggplant parmesan is it? Can I call it eggplant lasagna?

What would you call it without the parmesan cheese? But then most people like parmesan cheese. 

I just happen to be one of those who doesn’t.

My Final Thoughts

  • Eggplant Parmesan is a hearty vegetarian dish that can be just as satisfying as meat-based meals, similar to how a well-made mushroom stroganoff can replace beef stroganoff without losing the richness of the dish.
  • It is accessible for home cooks of all skill levels, much like the straightforwardness of making a classic grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Baking the eggplant instead of frying it offers a healthier alternative while still achieving a crispy texture, akin to baking sweet potato fries instead of deep-frying them.
  • The dish layers eggplant with tomato sauce and cheese, creating a comforting and flavorful meal reminiscent of the classic lasagna’s layered structure but with eggplant as the star ingredient.
  • Serving the eggplant parmesan with sides like a fresh salad or garlic bread offers a complete meal similar to how spaghetti and meatballs might be served with a side of garlic knots and a Caesar salad.

There are many ways to cook this wonderful vegetable. Bake it in the oven, stirfry, mash it into a dip, roast, stuff it, grill it and add it to pasta.

There are many possibilities but my favorite way is, of course, eggplant parmesan. The eggplant absorbs the sauce, becomes tender, and develops a rich complex flavor.

A great vegetable to use as a meat substitute in vegan recipes because of its texture and bulk. A fresh eggplant has tender skin so there is no need to peel it. 

The reason I peeled mine in this recipe was due to the age of the eggplant. Remember, the fresher the eggplant the more tender the skin.

The small seeds are edible which makes the vegetable easy to work with. You could make your sauce from scratch but I am all for easy. 

Nothing says you can’t make something taste great just because you took the easy way. Give this easy eggplant recipe a try.

I would love to hear about your experience. Leave me a comment below.

And as always, have a wonderful day!

FAQ: Easy Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Q1: What ingredients are needed for easy eggplant parmesan?

  • The recipe calls for eggplant, spaghetti sauce, breadcrumbs, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, an egg, and oil for frying​
  • You can adjust the types of cheese and sauce based on your preference to personalize the dish​

Q2: What are the basic steps to make easy eggplant parmesan?

  • The process involves slicing the eggplant, dipping the slices in beaten egg and breadcrumbs, frying them, and then layering them in a baking dish with spaghetti sauce and cheese, followed by baking​
  • You have the option to peel the eggplant or leave the skin on, depending on your preference and the freshness of the eggplant​

Q3: Can I make any substitutions in the eggplant parmesan recipe if I don’t like parmesan cheese?

  • Yes, if parmesan isn’t to your liking, you might substitute it with another cheese that you prefer, or omit it altogether, although this changes the traditional flavor profile of the dish​
  • The recipe is quite flexible, allowing for variations such as using different types of cheese or adding other vegetables​

Q4: Is there a way to make the eggplant parmesan healthier?

  • Baking the eggplant slices instead of frying them can reduce the amount of oil used, making the dish healthier​
  • You can also use low-fat cheeses and increase the proportion of tomato sauce to cheese to decrease the overall calorie count​

Q5: What are some good side dishes to serve with eggplant parmesan?

  • A fresh salad or steamed vegetables pair well with eggplant parmesan, providing a light, nutritious balance to the meal​
  • Garlic bread or a simple pasta side can complement the flavors in the eggplant parmesan, making for a more filling meal​

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