Baked Eggplant Parmesan
This Baked Eggplant Parmesan will become your new favourite weeknight dish! With tender breaded eggplant and loads of melty vegan cheese, it’s impossible to resist.
Traditional Eggplant Parmesan is made by frying the slices of eggplant on the stovetop. This is delicious, but let’s be real: it’s not always practical for a weeknight. My baked Eggplant Parmesan skips the frying; instead, we bake the eggplant. It still takes the same amount of time, but instead of being standing-at-the-stovetop time, it’s completely hands-off.
This means you can prep for the next steps of the recipe, get your Eggplant Parmesan assembled sooner, and dinner is on the table that much faster. (Or you can use the time to scroll through your Instagram feed. Sometimes I do that too!)
Of course, the other thing that separates traditional Eggplant Parmesan from this version is the cheese—there’s lots of cheese in Eggplant Parm, which is what makes it so indulgent. Luckily, there are amazing vegan cheeses on the market today, so you can still get all that cheesiness, but without the dairy.
So put it all together—the tender breaded eggplant, flavourful tomato sauce, and vegan cheese—and you’ve got a delectable dinner that’s fancy enough for a special occasion, but easy enough for a weeknight. And because it’s vegan and gluten-free everyone can eat it. I think that’s a win!
Notes on Ingredients
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
- Eggplants – You want globe eggplants here—they’re the most common variety at the grocery store and farmer’s markets and the best option for this Baked Eggplant Parmesan.
- Gluten-free flour – Use all-purpose flour if you’re not on a gluten-free diet.
- Nut milk – Or any unsweetened, unflavored plant milk you have on hand.
- Garlic powder
- Sea salt & ground black pepper
- Breadcrumbs – Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or regular, depending on your dietary preferences.
- Tomato sauce –I like to use my homemade roasted garlic tomato sauce.
- Fresh vegan mozzarella – If you can’t find vegan fresh mozzarella, shredded vegan mozzarella is just fine.
- Vegan Parmesan cheese – Or use my homemade vegan Parmesan.
What Should I Look for When Buying an Eggplant?
When you’re buying an eggplant, look for one that’s firm and feels heavy for its size. Eggplants should be glossy, without any soft spots or bruises and the stems should be green and fresh looking. If the eggplant looks dull in appearance, then it may have been sitting at the grocery store for too long.
How to Make Baked Eggplant Parmesan
This Baked Eggplant Parmesan is great for making ahead, too. You can bake the eggplant slices a day or two in advance, or even assemble the whole recipe and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to heat and serve.
- Prepare. Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
- Salt the eggplant. Grease or line a baking sheet with a silicone mat. Arrange the eggplant slices on the sheet and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. After 10 minutes, use paper towels to wipe off the salt and dry the eggplant.
- Set up a dredging station. Place the flour in one bowl, the plant milk in another, and the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a third bowl, all lined up next to each other.
- Dredge the eggplant. Dip the eggplant slices into the flour, followed by the milk. Shake off any excess, then coat both sides in the breadcrumb mixture. Place the coated eggplant on the baking sheet.
- Bake. Place the pan in the oven and bake the eggplant for 20 minutes, flipping once at the halfway point.
- Assemble. Spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of a rectangular baking dish. Add a layer of eggplant slices, then top each with tomato sauce and vegan mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layering until you’ve used all of the ingredients, then add vegan Parmesan on top.
- Bake. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, then broil until the cheese turns golden brown. Let the Eggplant Parmesan cool slightly, then top with basil and serve.
Tips for Success
Here are some easy tips to help you make sure your Baked Eggplant Parmesan turns out perfect!
- Don’t skip the salting. Be sure to allow the eggplant to sit with salt on it for 10 minutes; this will help draw out the moisture and make the slices crisper when baking.
- Wait for the basil. Add the basil at the end, just before serving, to get the best aroma and flavor. Basil doesn’t hold up well to high heat, so it’s best reserved as a garnish.
- Use the best tomato sauce you can find. I like homemade, but if you don’t have time to make it from scratch, use a high-quality store-bought brand.
Want to switch things up with this easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe? You can! Here are some ideas.
- Add some sautéed vegetables like mushrooms or peppers to make your dinner even more filling.
- If you want to add some heat to the dish, add in some crushed red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne powder to the tomato sauce!
- Try adding in some minced garlic and herbs, such as oregano or thyme.
This Baked Eggplant Parmesan is delicious served with a side of warm vegan garlic bread and a simple green salad. Or serve it restaurant-style with a side of pasta!
How to Store Leftovers
Leftover Eggplant Parmesan can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat it in the oven at 350ºF or in the microwave until it’s warmed through.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Yes, this dish can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container. When ready to enjoy again, thaw it overnight in the fridge and bake according to the instructions above.
More Eggplant Recipes
Enjoy friends! If you make this Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- 2 medium eggplants, about 13 ounces, sliced
- 1/2 cup gluten free flour
- 2 eggs, beaten, or 1/2 cup nut milk for vegan
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- sea salt & ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, gluten free if necessary
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 8-12 ounces small fresh mozzarella balls, cut into as many round slices as your eggplant slices (regular or vegan slices)
- handful vegetarian parmesan cheese
- handful basil, chopped
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- On a greased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat, place the eggplant slices down and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. This well help to remove the moisture allow it to crisp up more while baking.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then wipe the salt and released moisture off.
- Place the flour in a bowl, the eggs in a bowl, and the breadcrumbs in a bowl beside each other for a dredging station. Add in the garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper into the breadcrumbs and stir to combine.
- Dip the eggplants into flour, then the egg mixture, shake off excess, and then coat both sides in the breadcrumbs mix, then place of cookie sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flipping once at the halfway mark.
- Remove from oven. In a 9 x13, or 8 x 11 baking dish, spread ½ cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Cover the bottom of the dish with eggplant slices, then top each with some tomato sauce, and a small slice of mozzarella cheese on top until the entire bottom of the dish is covered.
- Follow with another layer of eggplant, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. Sprinkle with some vegetarian parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, then broil until cheese turns golden brown. Remove from oven and top with basil. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
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