Eggplant Parmesan, also known as Eggplant Parmigiana, is a classic Italian dish made from layers of breaded and fried eggplant slices, tomato sauce, and cheese. This dish is a popular vegetarian option and is loved by many. Growing up in an Italian-American household, Eggplant Parmesan was a staple dish in our household. My mom's recipe is still one of my all-time favorites, and I'm excited to share it with you in detail.
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 ½ cups of breadcrumbs
- 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup of milk
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups of tomato sauce
- Olive oil for frying
How To Make It:
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Cut the eggplants into ½-inch slices and sprinkle both sides with salt. Place the slices in a colander and let them sit for 30 minutes to allow excess moisture to drain.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and milk.
- In another shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Dip each eggplant slice into the egg mixture and then coat with the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the mixture onto the eggplant to ensure it sticks.
- Heat ¼ inch of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the eggplant slices until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- In a 9x13-inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom. Add a layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce, then a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of sauce, eggplant slices, and mozzarella cheese until you run out of ingredients, making sure to end with a layer of mozzarella cheese on top.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Let the Eggplant Parmesan rest for 10 minutes before serving.
How To Store It: If you have leftovers, Eggplant Parmesan can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
How To Refrigerate It: To refrigerate, let the Eggplant Parmesan cool to room temperature, then cover the dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator.
How To Reheat It: To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove the plastic wrap or aluminum foil from the baking dish and cover it with foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
Tips To Make It More Delicious:
- Use fresh, ripe tomatoes to make the tomato sauce.
- Use a blend of different cheeses, such as provolone or fontina, for added flavor.
- Add fresh herbs, such as basil or oregano, to the tomato sauce for added freshness.
Is Eggplant Parmesan vegan?
No, it is not vegan, as it contains cheese and eggs.
Can I make Eggplant Parm with gluten-free breadcrumbs?
Yes, you can substitute regular breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs to make this dish gluten-free.
Can I make Eggplant Parmesan ahead of time?
Yes, you can assemble the dish ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. However, keep in mind that the eggplant slices may become soggy if left in the sauce for too long.
Can I freeze Eggplant Parmesan?
Yes, you can freeze Eggplant Parmesan for up to 2-3 months. To freeze, assemble the dish as directed but do not bake. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then place it in the freezer. When ready to bake, let the dish thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking as directed.
Can I make Eggplant Parmesan without frying the eggplant slices?
Yes, you can bake the eggplant slices in the oven instead of frying them. To do so, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the breaded eggplant slices on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway through.
Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for a family dinner or a potluck. With crispy and flavorful eggplant slices, gooey melted cheese, and savory tomato sauce, this dish is sure to impress. Don't be intimidated by the steps involved, as the end result is definitely worth it.