Eggplant Parmesan

A classic Italian baked eggplant Parmesan casserole with fried eggplant slices layered with Mozzarella, Parmesan, basil, and tomato sauce.

  • Yield: Serves 8.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (about 2 large) eggplants
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 lbs of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 cup grated high quality Parmesan cheese
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves

Method

1 Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange one layer in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly with salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting, until all eggplant is in the colander. Weigh down the slices with a couple of plates and let drain for 2 hours. The purpose of this step is to have the eggplant release some of its moisture before cooking.

2 While the eggplant is draining, prepare tomato sauce. Combine tomatoes, garlic and 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to tasted and set aside.

3 When eggplant has drained, press down on it to remove excess water, wipe off the excess salt, and lay the slices out on paper towels to remove all the moisture. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine flour and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Pour beaten eggs into another wide shallow bowl. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in a a half inch of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the beaten egg. Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

4 Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 10x15 inch glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves.

5 Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.

6 Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

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Comments

  1. Colin D. Devroe

    I’m with Grommie here. Eggplant Parmesan is on my Top 5 favorite meals list. And yet, since my Wife does not like it, I’m at a loss. Perhaps I’ll make it for her one night, blindfold her, and not tell her what it is. :)

  2. shuna fish lydon

    Eggplant parmesan is one of my favorite things to make and eat. I spend all day making the sauce and the other half frying the eggplant. But I have never drained the eggplant, I just cook it until quite dark. I do presalt, both sides, and I make sure that oil is really hot.

    It is one of the only things that I make that I do not tire of day after day that it stays around.

    An eggplant well done is something few people who say they dislike eggplant have had. i am all for re-introducing people to pleasure in unlikely places…

  3. cpr

    On this show called Weighing In on Food TV, the Chef Juan-Carlos Cruz taught the participants to pre-bake the egg/breaded eggplant instead of frying before proceeding with the recipe (it was similar to yours), because eggplant as you know soaks up oil like a sponge. Anyway, this Italian group LOVED it and actually said it was better than the other way. Your recipe looks great, but I’m going to try baking the eggplant and see how it turns out. Thanks! cpr (this was his recipe for Eggplant Parmesan : http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_29519,00.html

  4. Jacquelyne

    I think the best thing about this dish is that it tastes like vegetarian lasangna (sp?). That what I tell people they are having and they love it.

  5. Jason

    All I know is that this thing is making the entire house smell like heaven. But the parents won’t let me and my brother have any. It’s ok though.

  6. Angie

    This recipe is great! I even used a bottled sauce spiced up with some garlic. It was soooo good. My boyfriend is super picky, and hates new things, but he loved this!

    I forgot to buy breadcrumbs, so I put some chunks of french bread in the micro, let it cool, and then stuck it in a ziploc. After a minute or two with the rolling pin, I had breadcrumbs SUPER FAST.

    YUM!

  7. Erika

    Thanks for the recipe! I found green garlic (available in spring) at a farmer’s market and used it in the tomato sauce, and it tasted fantastic. Also I didn’t have bread crumbs so I used cornmeal and added some dried spices. I learned how to make eggplant parmesan from my mother, and I will try to convince her to try this recipe!

  8. Joan

    Is it necessary to use a glass baking dish?
    I want to freeze it to give to friends as a neighbor always goes on vacation after planting
    so many of these eggplant. Thanks anyone!!
    Joan

  9. Joan

    Just thought I would let you know; the eggplant
    parmesan came out very well using the foil pans.
    I bought the ones with lids and froze some.
    They also kept well in the frig in these containers for use within a few days.
    Happy 4th.. Joan

  10. Lynn

    I made this with Zucchini instead of eggplant. A friend grew some zucchini that was bigger than an eggplant. I took it to my friend’s house for dinner and it was a HUGE success! Even my husband, a somewhat picky eater, liked it. Most found the zucchini to have a milder flavor than eggplant! I cut my zucchini into 1/2 inch slices so it kept a little of its firmness. That’s the way I like my vegetables though! I will make this again!!!!!

  11. Michael Natkin

    That looks delicious! I do a similar version but I like to put a panko crust on the eggplant and top it with some heirloom tomatoes.

  12. kerri-lynn kelly

    Thank-you! this recipe was a big hit. I was able to make it with tomatoes and eggplant from my first garden (very exciting). Every recipe I have used from your website has been incredible. It has made me a better cook than my mother-in-law!

  13. Shawn

    I have been looking for a good eggplant parmesan recipe forever. I tried this recipe and it was excellent. I used my own personal recipe for a marinara sauce and used vegetable oil to pan fry the eggplant slices instead of the olive oil but it turned out great. Family (including major carnivores) all loved it. Thanks!!

  14. sally

    The eggplant parmesan recipe on this page, can you make it and not bake in oven but just freeze till you are ready to bake it? If so, how long will it stay in freezer before baking?

  15. seep

    This blew. Salting the Eggplant “generously” made it inedible!
    Beware of how much salt you cure the Eggplant with for I had to throw the entire dish out!!

  16. Doug

    Made this tonight and it was exceptional. best eggplant parm recipe I’ve ever made. I cut the eggplant into rounds instead of lengthwise…just personal preference. I may try the idea about pre-baking the eggplant next time.

  17. velcro

    This was great. I made it for my one year wedding anniversary, my wife and I loved it. I ground up ritz crackers for the batter instead of bread crumbs for a little added flavor.

  18. Adam Johnson

    I made this and found it to be a little bland. I’m not sure I used enough salt, that could have been some of my issue.

    What would folks recommend to spice up a dish like this? I like my food with a little more zip.

  19. Mike

    This is by far the best eggplant parm recipe I have ever tried. My girlfriend loves when I make this, and is very appreciative because she knows it is a labor-intensive recipe. I do not cut the eggplants lengthwise, but rather into 1/4 inch rounds (crosswise). This requires a little more eggplant….but is worth it as it yields lovely layers once assembled. Also, I tend to add a bit more parmigiano reggiano than called for (and don’t you dare use the imitation “parmesean”). The best thing about this dish is that it keeps so well when refrigerated – without getting soggy at all!

  20. Piney

    This was nothing short of fantastic. The only thing I changed was to spruce up the sauce. This is probably one of my all time favorites over the past 65 years.

  21. Sharon

    I understand why you use salt so the eggplant weeps and won’t get soggy. However, I have high blood pressure and shouldn’t use a lot of salt. Once I salt and weight down the eggplant and wait the recommended two hours, can I rinse or wipe the salt off or does that defeat the purpose.

    If you want, you can wipe off any remaining salt. ~Elise

  22. Christina

    I made this last night and it was delicious and held its shape well; however, I was surprised by how much water I had along the edges of the casserole. I think it cooked out of the tomato sauce and the fresh mozzarella.

  23. Tonya

    This is one of my favorite dishes. My modifications are to coat the eggplant slices with a mixture of breadcrumbs and powdered parm (reduces carb content) and then to bake them on cookie sheets at 450 (reduces fat) befor assembling the casserole. Time-consuming but oh-so tasty!

  24. Victoria

    Elise, I am the girl who made your wild mushroom soup for a party of 8. I just made this eggplant parmesan tonight, and it was AMAZING. Thank you so much for another great recipe. I can’t wait to try out everything on your site! Bless your heart for your recipes, they really are something else!

    xxxxx

  25. Steve

    Simply the best eggplant parm recipe I’ve ever tasted. No need to go out to restaurants when you can do this at home. Thanks much.

  26. Judy Krause

    Excellent recipe, but Don’t “generously salt”……..a little will do, and you don’t really need to press and drain for so long.

  27. Maxine

    I have some comments about the recipe “Eggplant Parmesan”.
    I noticed that the recipe did not say to remove the salt from the eggplant and rinse, but I did do that. (I don’t think a person could have ate it without rinsing.) Also, it says to dip the eggplant pieces in the crumbs and then the eggs.
    I didn’t do it that way either. I dipped it in the egg and then the crumbs. I don’t think the other way would have worked either. We didn’t really care for it as it was still very salty tasting.

  28. Ted

    I followed this recipe to the T, useing “generous” salt to help remove moisture in the eggplant. I read and re-read the entire recipe and didn’t see anything about rinsing the salt off, but merely placing the slices on a paper towel to dry. I did that, and wiped each one to remove the salt. The end product was off-the-charts salty — impossible to eat. One bite and I could feel my blood pressure raise, it was THAT salty. Message poster Judy said she rinsed the slices and it was still too salty. The taste of this dish would be excellent if not for the dangerous levels of salt. I’ll try it again, WITHOUT the salt, and try drying the sliced eggplant in an oven set on low. In case I haven’t made my point, anyone doing this recipe should skip the salt entirely.

  29. Elise

    Hmm. I’m thinking that the word “generously” may be throwing some people off. Just sprinkle with salt. Wipe off the excess before layering. I’ve adjusted the recipe.

  30. Ray

    I rinsed the eggplant thoroughly three times after salting, each time covering the eggplant slices in a large bowl for a minute and then draining.
    I then set the slices on double sheets of paper towels on both sides for a half hour to dry them. The recipe was not salty and tasted great.

  31. Jennifer

    I have never made this before, but it was a huge sucess. My husband raved about it. I thought it was probably the best I have ever tasted. I substituted regulay mozzarella for the fresh to cut down on moisture, and it worked great. Definitly a keeper!!

  32. Peg

    I just sliced an eggplant up into round pieces and put with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. I’m baking it right now.
    Then I thought to look online for how others did it. I know I should have done that first, however,I was rushing to get it done.
    I did not bread or fry them first or salt and drain them first. Is it going to come out terrible because I didn’t do that first? I am on a weight loss program and I have high blood pressure so I didn’t want to use the salt and I can’t have bread. What do you think?

  33. Athina

    This recipe looks basically like my eggplant parm recipe. recently someone told me they were surprised that I didn’t peel my eggplant- and said “isn’t it bitter?” I have never peeled my eggplant, Elise what are your thoughts on that? Is it traditional to keep the skin on? Do you notice a difference in flavor? I always thought the skin imparted a nice flavor.

    I’ve never peeled the eggplant either for this dish. Sometimes the peel can be a little tough, so I can see why someone might want to peel it. ~Elise

  34. Athina

    Just a follow up on my last comment- I just wanted to say that I love the idea that this is made with an uncooked sauce- I will guess that it gives this dish a fresher, lighter flavor…With the richness of the eggplant and cheese- I’m sure it is a lovely contrast. I will try this! I have made several of your recipes, all with great success!
    Also, For those of you who are opting to use jarred sauce, please don’t- the sauce in this recipe looks effortless to make- and quite frankly, it does make a big difference to make your own sauce.

  35. GH

    I made this recipe & went a little light on the salt when salting the eggplants. I did not rinse the eggplants, but I squeezed out each layer & then wiped off the excess salt with a paper towel. Though this recipe prep was a bit labor intensive with breading & frying the eggplants, it was well worth it. Be sure to slice the eggplant thin enough.

  36. MJ

    Gonna make this for superbowl sunday (have some vegetarians). Is it ok to make ahead and freeze or will the sauce make the eggplant too soggy?

  37. Mar

    This might be a stupid question, but do you peel the eggplant first or is the skin left on?

    You can leave the peel on. If you think the peel is going to be too thick and tough though you can remove it. ~Elise

  38. Mar

    Thanks Elise, I made this last night (with the peel on). I did a couple of mods though, I cooked my tomato sauce with some red wine (yummy) and I didn’t have as much mozzarella as I had orignially thought, so I did about 1/3 of the cheese with muenster because it was soft and white and in my fridge. It came out great, everyone loved it and couldn’t believe there wasn’t any meat in it.

  39. Beth

    I made two batches of this recipe in quick succession; the second one was better by far, as I was able to adjust the amount of salt used. I was afraid of going overboard with the salt in the tomato sauce & would have found it helpful to have had a more exact amount of salt suggested. I too had the problem someone mentioned of the first batch having lots of watery juice around the sides… should the tomatoes be (at least partially) drained? should the mozzarella be squeezed a bit? I think I’ll try these things next time. Otherwise, excellent recipe!! :-)

  40. Janet

    I baked the eggplant slices first to reduce the fat. I lightly brush a dab of oil on both sides and throw in oven, saves time and fat. I then take out and follow the recipe, it turns out great.

  41. BOB

    When I egg wash & flour or bread crumb vegs, fish, chicken, I found a simple tasty addition to the dish. I add pancake mix to the flour or bread crumbs. I was cooking dinner one night & ran short of flour. It was too late to go the market. I added the mix to the flour I had left & made the eggplant parmesan.
    My guests asked what I added to the recipe that made it taste so great. They badgered me for a while but I finally had to tell them.
    My recipe that night included flour & breadcrumbs & baking the coated eggplant.

  42. Colleen Crump

    I tried making this in a 9×5 dish and it was a little soupy. I also added 2 cloves of garlic to the sauce to make it more flavorful. I will def. make again, but I think I will use jarred spaghetti sauce. I also cut back on the amount of mozz cheese to 1 lb and it was fine.

  43. Tina

    This was delicious, but absolutely way too watery. I followed the recipe exactly – I think next time I’ll drain the tomatoes before making the sauce. Great flavor, though – I just need to figure out how to minimize the water!

  44. Betsy

    I made this dish for dinner last night, and it was heavenly. Kudos especially to the sauce recipe. I blended two cans of diced tomatoes, about 1/3 cup or less of olive oil, basil, garlic powder (I didn’t have any fresh garlic), and a little Italian seasoning. This produced the most delicious sauce I think I have ever tasted. My husband concurred. I added some salt and pepper to taste once I had poured the sauce out of the blender into a bowl. The fried eggplant was really good, but my husband and I both felt that the sauce was really the highlight!

  45. Baba Ghanouj

    I love the advice of “sweating” the eggplant slices. I just made a batch and would also probably suggest giving the fresh mozzarella a squeeze in cheesecloth and also slicing the eggplant a bit thinner than a quarter inch. They seemed to fry up a bit better that way. Lastly, I think too much cheese is always better than too little.

  46. South Texas

    I used crushed tomatoes instead of whole peeled. I also added chopped basil to the sauce.

    Next time I think I will bake the eggplant instead of frying it.

    I did not add salt to the eggplant at all, but I did add parmesan to the bread crumbs.

    It is in the oven right now.

  47. Denise

    Just pulled this out of the oven! The aroma is divine. I used fresh eggplants and basil from our garden. Can’t wait for that first bite!

  48. Kelly

    Be careful with the hot olive oil. The oil splattered me quite abit and burned me. I really think that med. heat for olive oil is too high of heat. Next time I will prebake my
    eggplant, much healthier.

  49. Maia

    I am surprised that the recipe says to flour the eggplant first and then dip in egg. The other recipes I’ve seen are the other way around. I did some of each way – and the ones where the egg is second looked more like tempura. Did anyone else try flouring the eggplant first and then dipping in egg as the recipe dictates?

  50. Dori

    I decided to dip in flour/breadcrumbs, then egg, then more plain breadcrumbs. I did a couple the way it said, and yeah, seemed weird like tempura.

    It worked out well this way, and they were a nice golden-brown, but I am not worried about carbs…

    It did seem a bit heavy on the oiliness in the end, so I may try the baking idea next time.

    Also about the salt, YES, you need to salt them, maybe a 1/4 tsp per slice (just an estimate), and then keep on layering, but this is NOT REGULAR SALT. It’s Kosher salt. It wipes off more easily in the end, and does the job of removing water without totally penetrating the salt into the eggplant. Happy cooking!

  51. AARONS MOMMY!

    At a first glance this recipe seemed hard a little, work but, delicious as a mommy I am always lookin for healthy food to give my son did it for him n he loved it also substituted sauce with ragu sauce for the full serving of veggies very very GOOD everyone loved it thanks!
    CHICAGO, IL

  52. Jimmy from New York

    Shouldn’t the eggplant be dredged in the egg FIRST and then the flour/breadcrumbs?

    The recipe says, “When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the beaten egg.”

    Actually, usually when you coat something for frying you dredge first in flour, then in egg, then in breadcrumbs. The flour gives the egg something to hold onto. So, yes, the instructions are correct. First flour, then egg. Of course if you want to try it the other way around, go for it. ~Elise

  53. emilie

    I followed this recipe exactly, and it was marvelous. People who normally loathe eggplant Loved it! Even my super-picky 1-year-old had 3 helpings of the cheesy goodness. Several folks asked for the recipe, so your website will be getting some extra traffic from the pure deliciousness of this fabulous dish. :) THANKS!!!

  54. john

    Are you sure you apply the breading first THEN the egg? I have never heard of this and assume it’s a typo.

    As I mentioned in an earlier comment, it is first the breading, THEN the egg, as written. It is not a typo. The recipe comes from a New York Times article about a woman named Alda Fuortes de Nitto, who prepares her eggplant parmesan this way. Quote the article, by Gabrielle Hamilton, “She first flours and bread-crumbs each eggplant slice, and then dips it in egg before sliding the eggplant into hot olive oil to fry. The chef in me longs to sharpen her knife, buy her a new one, use a cutting board to get uniform, perfect eggplant slices and to dip the slices in egg before the breadcrumbs. But the daughter-in-law in me follows Alda, who has been making it this way for 50 or more years.” ~Elise

  55. Meagan

    This recipe produces a VERY tasty Eggplant Parmesan. I cook the sause on the stovetop, uncovered, for a long time, so that the final product isn’t watery. I dip the eggplant slices in egg first and breadcrumbs last – breadcrumbs then egg works fine. Salting the eggplant slices is critical. I use a mesh collander and make layers of eggplant, placing about a spoon-full of salt between each layer. I then place a heavy stack of plates on top of the eggplant layers and let it rest in the sink for at least two hours. When done soaking, just wipe the salt off – it will not be too salty. If you are worried about too much salt, you can run each slice under the tap to quickly rinse. Either way, dry the slices off with paper towels. Thanks for the recipe, Elise. I will be making this recipe for a potluck on Thursday.

  56. Lisa

    I made this tonight and the flavor was wonderful, but I didn’t like the sauce; it was far too liquid-y (is that even a word?). Next time I will follow the basics of the recipe, but make my sauce much thicker.

  57. Novelismo

    Perhaps this business of the breading and then frying process can be replaced by just sauteeing the slices in olive oil? — or pan grilling the slices so they brown a bit? Or even with grilling lices of eggplant just thick enough so they won’t fall apart when they’re browned? If the flavor of Italian crumbs seems essential, couldn’t a few crumbs be strewn into one of the layers to soak up some oil? And can’t we find a recipe for Eggplant Imam Bayildi?

  58. Peter

    I made this last night and I agree, it was labor intensive. I followed the flour-then-egg-then-fry instructions (it seemed odd to me initially too). However, I did not cure the eggplants long enough (time constraints) and I ended up with water on the sides of the pan. I would dab the corners with paper towels to soak up the excess water. I did this twice and put the casserole back into the oven. I believe the water is from the eggplants and the homemade tomato sauce (which I crushed and drained). Overall, my wife and brother loved it (they didn’t see the excess water, only tasted a great final product). Elise, thank you. Making this firsthand makes me appreciate eggplant parm more (first time I had the courage to make it).

  59. Parmasan

    This recipe is good, but I added a bottle of spagetti souce for more taste, which made it more flavored. I served with white rice. The only thing what I didn’t like is the lot of oil, which made the food little greasy. But overall it was a very nice dinner.

  60. Dining on eggplant parm now

    I made this recipe for the second time and got better results by using more than a couple of plates to weight the eggplant slices. In fact, it was five small plates plus my smallest cast iron skillet. I got rid of a ton of water from the slices. Also, I forgot to buy flour and so went entirely with Contadina Italian style breadcrumbs. And Safeway/Domincks has a pasta sauce with whole cloves of garlic and no added sugar. I ran that through the blender and made my base sauce.

  61. Christie B

    The recipe was delicious! It did take a while (specially since the eggplants need to sit for 2 hrs, which I recommend, they really do drain a lot of liquid), but it was well worth it! The basil was a great touch, thought it would be to strong, but after cooking was great! It is definitely a keeper…

  62. zombiemommy

    I bake mine at 450-475 for about 8 minutes each side in an olived oiled cookie sheet…

    This dish RARELY has leftovers! Which is good because its not a QUICK to fix dish..

  63. Jenn

    It is hard not to like this recipe since there is so much cheese involved.

    It was really simple to make and even the most picky eater should love it

  64. anna lucia trimble

    Has anyone ever heard of pickled eggplant that sort of cure in a crock with weights on the top? After the eggplant has been drained of all its juices, which is about a 2 week process, the eggplant can be used in sandwiches or salad. My aunt used to make it. No recipe left behind. Need to know the spices and exact procedure. Help if any Italian grandmas know!

  65. Travis

    This is the recipe I used a couple of months ago to make my first eggplant parmesan. I’ve made it maybe three or four times since then (it’s a crowd pleaser) but I would give EVERYONE the following advice:

    1) SALTING
    Salting the eggplant to remove moisture is very standard for eggplant. Some people also put plates on top of them in the colander in order to force more moisture out. One time I overdid this and ended up flattening them (not a good thing).

    You are definitely supposed to wipe the salt off, especially when you put as much on it as I do. I actually let my slices drain for a couple of hours before I wipe them. I normally just use wet paper towels to gently wipe all excess salt off. Trust me, you don’t want moist eggplant when you go to fry it. It turns into a disgusting soggy mess.

    I went to a restaurant once and the eggplant I ordered tasted awful. It was obvious the cook didn’t both to drain the eggplant at all.

    2) BREADING
    Dip the eggplant into the egg first and then the bread crumbs. I believe this recipe has that part a little backwards. If you do it the way the recipe calls for (bread then egg) you’re just making scrambled eggs around your slices when you put it in the pan.

    Also consider dredging it a second time before putting it in the plan in order to make the bread a little thicker. When I only dip it in the egg and bread once I find that the slices don’t really get as crispy as I like. I’m a vegetarian, so I like my eggplant breaded almost like fried chicken. I consider eggplant the meat of vegetarians since it can easily substitute meat in many Italian recipes. ;)

    3) FRYING
    Be considerate of how long you leave them in the pan. They will absorb a lot of the oil if you do, and soggy eggplant is just not very yummy.

    4) “SIDES”
    Try serving them on top of a little bit of spaghetti. This is normally how I see it served in restaurants and whatnot. It makes it look like more of a meal. Garlic bread never hurts, either.

    Happy cooking! :D

    -Travis

  66. Helen

    Absolutely the best Eggplant Parmesan recipe I have ever tasted in 60 years. Takes a little time to fry the eggplant & drain but well worth the effort.

  67. Jenny

    From an Italian-American who adores eggplant, trust me, this recipe is the one. I, like others who commented, thought that it was odd to dip the eggplant in the beaten egg mixture last. I’ve always done the breading step in reverse (i.e. egg, then breadcrumbs). But I trust this site and decided to try it a different way. Wow. The eggplant fried beautifully. It turned out better than any time I’d ever made it in the past. You will NOT end up with scrambled eggs around your eggplant. So, my advice is to trust the recipe and bread it first, then dip it in egg.

    Also- yes, this recipe can end up being watery. For me, this is not a problem. I just poured off the excess water from the baking dish. The watery-ness does not take away from this recipe, in my opinion.

  68. Louise

    I haven’t seen anyone comment about another, simpler cooking method. I dredge eggplant slices in flour, then egg, then seasoned breadcrumbs (author is correct that flour helps egg stick, but you DO need the breadcrumbs as the final layer). Using a spritz bottle with olive oil, I spray one side, then instead of frying or baking, I broil the slices about 6 inches from heat, then turn over, spritz again, and broil the other side. Takes about 5-10 minutes per side. Get a nice golden brown without all that oil soaking in. Assemble as usual. I also NEVER salt/drain my eggplant and never have had it send so much water that it ruins the dish. This is my Mom’s recipe and it is excellent frozen as well. I usually bake it halfway, then freeze. Thaw and bake the rest of the way.

  69. Sophie

    I’ve begun dating a vegetarian, and he LOVES eggplants. So, I made this last week for dinner but with one change. Instead of blending up my own pasta sauce, I just bought a jar of really yummy pasta sauce. Anyway, it was a huge hit. I sent him home with the leftovers and he couldn’t stop raving about it. I’m a die-hard carnivore so I thought it would be really challenging to prioritize vegetarian meals but it wasn’t. We were both stuffed and happy. Thank you!

  70. Maureen

    I couldn’t eat all that basil if my life depended on it. I add a pinch or two of frozen basil (not dried) to my sauce and that is enough for me!

  71. Demetra

    The best way to make sure you have a prefect eggplant parmesan is to sprinkle the eggplant slices with a little salt and then grill them for a few minutes. This also adds to the taste of the final dish with the smokey taste.
    I agree you should go easy on the basil. another way i do it is to brush them with pesto before grilling. Yummy….

  72. Stephanie Witt

    This eggplant recipe is AWESOME!!!!! My husband loves it and he says it gets better every time I make it. My daughter even eats it!!! Today is his Birthday so I will be making it for dinner tonight…after all it is his favorite! So good.

  73. Mary

    Used this recipe as a touchstone to make eggplant parmesan for my toddler tonight; she found an eggplant at the local grocery and wanted to try it. Used ground Townhouse Italian seasoned flatbread crackers and organic mushrooms, had to use jarred spaghetti sauce and layer it in a heavy covered pan on the stove (oven doesn’t work) but she and I both loved it. Served with a Mediterranean chicken mix (using vegetarian chick’n strips) and it was a big hit!

  74. Margaret

    This recipe sounds wonderful, but makes so much. Can the leftovers be frozened.

    I haven’t frozen this so don’t know how well it freezes. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  75. Jeanne

    Very delicious – we used our homegrown eggplants and basil. I picked it because it had so much fresh basil – and we love basil! Since we like meat I added another layer – I sauteed garlic, onions, green peppers, bison meat and added fresh oregano, mushrooms and a little tomato sauce. The bison meat is good because it has very little fat. I added that after the mozarella layer.

  76. Lex

    I have to disagree with the majority here. While there are several good elements to this recipe, I felt there was way too much cheese. This amount of mozzarella overwhelms the eggplant making the dish taste very bland. I would recommend using shredded mozzarella sparingly. Also, if you use seasoned breadcrumbs and a flavorful sauce, the basil leaves (which for me added a funky texture and did not complement the dish) are not necessary.

  77. Amanda

    Hi, I was just wondering, for those of you who bake the eggplant instead of frying before assembleing this dish could you tell me how long and at what temp you bake for?? Thank-you!

  78. Will Adams

    Eggplant parmesan is one of my wife’s favorite meals and she requested it for her birthday. I’d never made it before so I thought I’d try this recipe. Wow!! It was really wonderful. In my wife’s words, “It’s absolutely delicious!” It did take some time to prep and assemble but it was well worth it and made for a wonderful birthday meal! Thank you!

  79. Patricia

    I have never before taken the moisture out if my eggplant. I usually dip in eggs then bread crumbs and bake and have never been disappointed. I followed the recipe and find the Eggplant very very salty. Unless the salt is masked by the sauce and cheese I will never follow this or any other recipe that recommends salting the eggplant. I am very dis-satisfied. I am making for company and do not now have time to start over.

  80. Verena

    I didn’t have time to salt and wait 2 hours so I sliced, squished each slice by pressing with my hand using a paper towel. The results were perfect!

    I used bottled organic sauce and veggie parm (can’t have lactose)

    I also pre-steamed asparagus and added that to the dish

    I only baked for 20 minutes.

    My husband and I both loved it! Vegan and gluten free too!

    Next time I’ll try the oven baking method for less oil

    Thanks!

  81. Allie

    A++++++ this is by far the best eggplant parm I have ever had! I added lean ground beef and used vegetable oil instead of olive for frying the eggplant, it was absolutely fantastic!

  82. Dan

    I tried this recepie and it was tasty as all get out yet it was incredibly watery. Turns out I probably should have drained the canned tomatoes… Ooops. I’m not what some may consider a master chef so I come onto sites like this for help on cooking. I guess since the recepies’ author went on a dissertation about taking the moisture out of the eggplant, they could have said something about the tomatoes… Again, I’m not Gordon Ramsay so these things aren’t always obvious to me when I read off recepies on the Internet.

  83. Drew Lahat

    A friend of ours has breast cancer and asked for friends to help with meals… we went by this recipe, and she said it was the best Eggplant Parmesan she’s ever had!

    My notes:
    SERVINGS: All the eggplant parmesan recipes out there call out for huge servings amount. I cut it by half which was fine. You’ll still need almost a whole can of tomatoes, though.

    INGREDIENTS: Deep-frying with premium olive oil seems like using up such a huge amount of oil (maybe it’s because I usually never deep-fry anything). I ended up using olive oil for the tomato sauce and canola oil for the frying.
    Also, they should add up paper towels to the recipe because we went through almost a whole roll :-)

    LABOR: This is a labor-intensive recipe. Me and my gf are no experts, but together it took us 1-1.5 hours excluding the baking.

    FRYING: I like the idea of baking the eggplant instead of deep-frying, will try it next time.

    BREADING: I think bread, then egg doesn’t make sense. The idea for flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs is interesting, though.