Looking for a special, home cooked meal that you can make ahead and pop in the oven on a busy evening? My Baked Eggplant Parmesan is perfect for those busy nights leading up to Christmas when you have family coming in town and you need to feed a crowd, but don’t want to be fussing with dinner when they walk in the door. Make this eggplant dish earlier in the day or even the day before. It is a welcome alternative to the ever-popular lasagna and since it’s vegetarian it will suit everyone’s tastes. I plan to make this next weekend when my family comes in town to watch Elizabeth dance in the Nutcracker. I’ll cook up a couple of simple pizzas for my nephews too. This dish comes together quite quickly and is always a crowd pleaser. My kids even love it. I commonly make it ahead for time crunched weeknights when the girls have after school activities. I put it together in the afternoon and when we get home from swimming or dance class, I just put it in the oven. At only 171 calories per slice, it’s a much healthier version than traditional fried eggplant parm. Andy often brings home eggplant from his wholesale produce market and this is one of my favorite ways to cook it up. If you haven’t noticed, I make a lot of Italian dishes. I can’t help it, it’s in my blood. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 Large Eggplant
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Panko or Bread Crumbs
- 2 tsp. Dried Basil
- 2 tsp. Dried Oregano
- Marinara (Store bought or My Recipe)
- Shredded Mozzarella
Turn on the broiler of your oven. Place eggs in small bowl, scramble. Combine parmesan, panko, basil and oregano in another small bowl and stir to combine. Slice eggplant into thin circles (the thinner, the better). Spray one or two cookie sheets or jelly roll pans with nonstick cooking spray. Using a fork or your fingers, dip each piece of eggplant first in the egg, coating each side. Then dip it into the panko mixture and turn over coating both sides of each piece of eggplant. Use a spoon to cover with the breadcrumbs if needed.
One at a time transfer each piece of eggplant to your baking sheet. Once you’ve done this with each piece of eggplant, place them in the oven. Keep an eye on them and flip when the top is browned (about 10 minutes on each side.) Remove from oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 13 x 9 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon some of the marinara sauce into the casserole dish and spread around to cover the bottom. One by one, place each piece of eggplant in the baking dish. I usually overlap the edges a bit. Cover with enough marinara sauce to ensure each piece of eggplant has sauce on it. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese (as much as you like). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until cheese is melty and sauce is bubbly. Makes about 6 to 8 servings.
Serve with whole wheat pasta, extra sauce, parmesan and red pepper flakes. I also usually serve this with a side salad or green vegetable. The red and green would make a beautiful holiday plate. Here I sautéed zucchini slices with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. It was delicious.
Nutritional Facts: (Per 1 Slice)
Fat: 6.3 g
Carbs: 21.7 g
Fiber: 3.9 g
Sugars: 5.3 g
Protein: 7.7 g
Vitamin A: 8.3%
Vitamin C: 8%