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Easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan (No Dredging, No Frying)

This Easy Eggplant Parmesan recipe skips the traditional dredging and frying, offering a healthier and simpler alternative that's just as tasty!

If you're looking for a delicious and easy-to-make Italian dish, look no further than this Easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan.

This recipe skips the traditional dredging and frying of the eggplant, making it a healthier and simpler alternative while still delivering all the classic flavors you love.

Whether enjoyed plain or paired with tomato sauce, these tasty bites disappear quickly in our home, often straight from the baking sheet. Made with tender eggplant, zesty marinara sauce, and creamy mozzarella cheese, this dish is bound to become a family favorite.

How to Shop for Eggplant

If you’re planning to make this recipe, selecting the right eggplant is key. Here are some pointers on how to shop for it:

  1. Look for a vegetable with smooth, shiny skin that is uniform in color and feels heavy for its size.
  2. You want the flesh to feel firm. If you notice any soft spots, it means the eggplant is starting to spoil.
  3. Smaller eggplants tend to be sweeter, less bitter, and have thinner skin and fewer seeds.
  4. To check for ripeness, lightly press your finger against the skin – if it leaves a faint imprint, the eggplant is ripe and ready to be used.

Should you peel eggplant before cooking?

Nope, peeling eggplant before cooking isn’t necessary. Its skin is totally edible and tends to soften as it cooks, so you can often skip the peeling step in many recipes. However, if you’ve got picky eaters or you’re dealing with larger eggplants, it might be a good idea to peel them. As eggplants get bigger, their skin can get tough and bitter.

How to Slice Eggplant for Eggplant Parmesan

Cut the eggplant into rounds about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Remember, they won’t be perfectly uniform due to the eggplant’s shape, but try to keep the thickness as even as possible for even cooking.

To make slicing easier, cut off the leafy end of the eggplant only after you’re done slicing it. This way, you’ll have more surface area to hold onto as you slice, making the process less slippery and more manageable.

How to Make this Dish Family-Friendly

This Easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan is a hit with the whole family! Our kids can’t get enough of it and always clean their plates.

Don’t worry if you have picky eaters at home – you can still make this dish work for everyone. With a bit of creativity and teamwork, it’ll become a family favorite in no time. Give these tips a try:

  1. Get your kids involved in picking out the eggplant at the grocery store. Remember, smaller ones are better as they tend to be less bitter.
  2. Peel the eggplant before cooking it if the taste/texture of the eggplant peel is a source of picky-eater pushback.
  3. This recipe provides a fantastic chance to involve your family in the kitchen. Let them help by egg washing the eggplant (kids usually enjoy this) and adding tomato sauce and cheese at the end.
  4. If there’s any resistance regarding the eggplant, serve it with a small side of pasta OR allow them to pick the side dish you serve it with and encourage a 50/50 split. This can make them feel included and more likely to eat it.

Freezing Leftovers for Future Meals

If you’ve got plenty of eggplant left over as the season winds down, or if you’re just planning ahead for quick meals, freezing it is easy and just as tasty!

To maintain the dish’s delicious flavor and texture, it’s best not to add sauce, cheese, and basil until after thawing and reheating. You can freeze your eggplant for 2 to 3 months, and whether you use Option 1 or 2 to freeze it, you can pull out just as many slices as you need at a time.

Option 1: Allow eggplant to cool completely. Lay slices on a baking sheet and place baking sheet in the freezer until each slice freezes, approximately 2 hours. Once the eggplant is frozen, you can transfer it to a freezer-safe container or baggie.

Option 2: Allow eggplant to cool completely. Place parchment paper between slices of eggplant so they do not stick together. Wrap and transfer to a freezer-safe container or baggie.

To Thaw: How you thaw the eggplant slices is just as important as how you prepare and freeze them. To thaw, place it in the refrigerator overnight.

Our Top Tips:

  1. When selecting your eggplant, aim for smaller ones as they’re sweeter, while larger ones can be a bit bitter.
  2. Keep the thickness of each slice consistent to ensure they cook evenly.
  3. This recipe can be served as a main dish. For a heartier meal, add a side like a small slice of sourdough bread, pasta or a salad.
  4. If you can’t find breadcrumbs with simple, FfL-friendly ingredients, opt for a cereal with minimally processed ingredients (like an FfL-friendly version of Corn Flakes) and crush them at home for that crispy, tasty texture.
  5. Choose a tasty marinara sauce – Rao’s brand is great and has no added sugars. You can also whip up your own with a homemade marinara recipe.
  6. For an extra pop of flavor, top with fresh basil!

How to “Reinvent” Your Leftover Easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan:

In next to no time, you can whip up a different, yet delicious meal.

  • Add it to a hoagie roll to make an Eggplant Parmesan sandwich.
  • Chop it up and toss it in scrambled eggs.
  • Put it on top of a homemade pizza.

Did you make this recipe?

If you make this Easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe, we would love to hear how it turned out! Leave a comment below sharing what your friends and family thought of it. We love hearing from you and your ideas inspire us all! Don’t forget to tag @fullforlifegal on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! 🌟

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Easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan (No Dredging, No Frying)


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Ingredients

Scale

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 & 1/2 cups panko
  • 1 jar tomato sauce
  • 6 ounces mozzarella or Parmesan cheese

Optional Addition:

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and cover an extra-large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Trim the leafy end and slice the eggplant crosswise into circles, approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Using a basting brush, apply the egg mixture onto each eggplant slice. Sprinkle panko evenly over the eggwashed eggplant slices.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven. Top each eggplant slice that you will be eating immediately with about a tablespoon of tomato sauce and evenly sprinkle cheese over them. Any eggplant that you plan on storing as leftovers can be removed from the sheet pan at this time and placed someone to cool.
  6. Return the eggplant to the oven and roast for an additional 4 minutes, until soft and golden. For a browned, bubbly cheese, broil for 2 minutes. Remove eggplant from heat and top with chopped basil (optional). Serve immediately.

Storage

  1. Allow the eggplant slices too cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
  2. Dress eggplant with sauce and cheese at the time of reheating to prevent eggplant from getting soggy.

Notes

How can I make these gluten-free? To make these gluten-free, use gluten-free panko or bread crumbs.

Always check for FfL-friendly ingredients.

We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Category: Recipes
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Hi beautiFULL, We’re Pam & Kalie

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