Baking instead of frying makes the flavor of the eggplant the star of the show in this lighten-up, easy-to-make Eggplant Parmesan.
Eggplant Parmesan wasn’t always one of my favorite things. Sure, it smelled wonderful and looked like a savory plate of Italian heaven, but whenever I had the opportunity to sample it, all I could taste was breading and oil. I knew there had to be a better way, so I started making my own version, baking the eggplant slices first instead of frying them. Surprise, surprise – not only is it delicious, but it actually allows the flavor of the eggplant to be the star of the show! If your family is anything like mine, this will become an immediate favorite at the dinner table. Bonus: It’s super easy to make and easy on the budget too.
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- 2 large eggplant sliced 3/8" - 1/2" thick
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/3 cup milk 1% low-fat
- 1 1/2 cups homemade breadcrumbs or boxed Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or 1/2 teaspoon each dried basil & oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 cups homemade or canned spaghetti sauce
- 6 oz mozzarella cheese part skim milk, grated
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. Sweat the 1/2" slices by sprinkling with sea salt and letting sit for 30 min. Rinse and use a paper towel to pat dry.
Preheat oven to 450° F. Coat 2 large baking sheets lightly with 1 tablespoon olive oil each. (I usually cover them with parchment and coat the parchment, but you don't have to do that.)
Mix bread crumbs, 1/2 the Parmesan, Italian Seasoning, and paprika together and put into a gallon size Ziploc bag. (This is just for ease of preparation - you can also put it in a flat-bottomed bowl.)
Whisk eggs and milk together in a separate bowl. Dip eggplant slices first into beaten eggs, and then coat with breading mixture.
Place coated eggplant slices on prepared baking and bake for 8-9 minutes at 450°. Flip them over and bake an additional 7- 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350°.
In a 9x13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Layer eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan cheeses.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.