Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

light (baked not fried) eggplant parmesan

★★★★★ 7
a recipe by
Malinda Coletta
North Providence, RI

Most often eggplant parm is fried eggplant. We bake ours and try not to add toooo much cheese to keep it figure-friendly. Also a MUST do, is use D.O.P. certified San Marzano tomatoes from Italy - NOT San Marzano tomatoes STYLE tomatoes grown here in the states. LOOK for the D.O.P certified stamp. I'm not one for brands this is the ONE exception!!!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Eggplant Parmesan is always rich in flavor, but it can also be high in fast since the eggplant is fried. In this recipe, the eggplant bakes with a bread crumb crust before it's layered with San Marzano tomatoes and cheese. It's made with far less fat, but not lacking at all in flavor. You really taste the Parmesan cheese flavor throughout. Believe us, you won't miss frying the eggplant at all. Less fat means you can go back for seconds (it's so good you'll want to).

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★★ 7
serves 12
prep time 45 Min
cook time 20 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For light (baked not fried) eggplant parmesan

  • 5 lb
  • 3
  • seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/8 - 1/4 c
  • 1 can
    San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/8 c
    olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp
    oregano, dried
  • cooking spray
  • Parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • salt

How To Make light (baked not fried) eggplant parmesan

  • Olive oil, oregano, and salt added to canned tomatoes.
    To the one can of San Marzano tomatoes, add olive oil, oregano, and salt to taste. If your can of tomatoes is whole or chopped use a blender, or food processor to make into a smooth sauce. Set aside. You do not cook this - trust me it gives the parmesan a FRESH tomato taste!
  • Bread crumbs and eggs in two bowls.
    Fill one dish with seasoned bread crumbs; fill another one with the eggs and water beaten.
  • Cutting eggplant into sections.
    Start to cut your eggplant. I do not peel mine as we like the flavor of the skin of the Japanese eggplant, if using the Italian style eggplant you may want to peel. (Japanese eggplant is banana-shaped - Italian style is more bulb-shaped). Slice eggplant into 4-inch sections.
  • Cutting eggplant into slices.
    Turn on its side so the round part is facing down and then cut in 1/2 inch slices - you now have a sort of rectangle piece of eggplant NOT a round slice. I do this because it makes it easier to layer.
  • Baking sheets sprayed with non-stick spray.
    Spray 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray.
  • Eggplant slice dipped into egg.
    Place eggplant in egg wash.
  • Eggplant slice dipped into bread crumbs.
    Then into bread crumbs; shake off excess.
  • Coated eggplant slices on baking sheet.
    Fill one tray.
  • Spraying eggplant with non-stick spray.
    Spray the battered eggplant with cooking spray.
  • Baking eggplant in the oven.
    Place into pre heated 450F oven on the bottom rack. Repeat for tray two rotate bottom tray to the top. If you have not finished slicing eggplant you can do this while you are waiting for the top rack to finish cooking. No more than 10 mins for each sheet.
  • Tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
    In a 13 x 9 glass baking dish, lightly coat the bottom with the tomato sauce.
  • Layer of eggplant on top of sauce.
    Start by adding a layer of eggplant.
  • Cheese layer added on top of the eggplant.
    Next add a layer of Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and a bit of salt if you think it needs it.
  • Repeating the layering process.
    Repeat starting with the tomato again, but layer the eggplant going in the opposite direction as the layer before. If you are doing this while the eggplant is cooking in the oven you will save a ton of time! Also keep in mind I do not put a ton of cheese in the layers as we are trying to keep this full flavor - lower calories!
  • Cheese added to the top of the eggplant.
    Once ALL the eggplant is in the dish cover with the remaing tomato sauce and a generous helping of the Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
  • Cheese baked until golden brown.
    Put in the 450F oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is brown.
  • A slice of Eggplant Parmesean on a plate with sauce.
    With the leftovers, I portion out into single servings and place in small freezer bags - grab and go for lunches!