Eggplant Parmesan

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on November 8, 2011

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Before you tell me you hate eggplant and cast off this recipe, hear me out:

I’m not a big eggplant fan either.

I think Eggplant is pretty spongy and bland. In fact, it’s probably one of my least favourite vegetables! 

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Poor ‘lil Eggplant, right? :\

I decided to give Eggplant another shot when I came across this stunning Eggplant Parmesan recipe from Jessica. I knew immediately that I had to try it for myself.

It just looked so darn good…

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This recipe involves breading and baking eggplant slices until crispy. Think of a breaded chicken burger and that’s what the breaded crust reminds me of. It’s perfection.

Mind you, the eggplant itself tastes nothing like chicken and still has a bit of that strange eggplant texture, but I found myself enjoying it none the less!

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The first thing you do is peel the eggplant and slice it into 8-10 pieces about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle each slice liberally with salt and let it stand for 30 minutes or so. The salt draws out the water and the slices will begin to “sweat”- it’s pretty cool! A fun science experiment in the kitchen.

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While the eggplant is working up a sweat, you can also get busy making your batter. I followed Jessica’s batter recipe fairly closely, only I used Whole Wheat Pastry Flour instead of Brown rice flour. If you want it gluten-free use a gluten-free flour and GF breadcrumbs. It takes just a couple minutes to mix together. I’ll also tell you what I would change below.

After 30 minutes, run cold water over the slices to wash off the water and salt and then pat dry with a towel.

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Dip each slice into the batter and then dip it into your breadcrumbs on both sides. The more breadcrumbs the better.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 8-9 mins at 450F on each side until very golden and crispy. The crispier you make them, the better they taste! I used Panko breadcrumbs and they worked great.

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Jessica served her eggplant cutlets over pasta, but I decided to serve it over spinach greens for a lighter option as I wasn’t feeling pasta after all the lasagna we’ve been eating. I topped it with heated pasta sauce and my homemade 5-minute low-fat cheeze sauce!

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It really is a stunning dish. :)

My tips:

  • I really, really love the breaded crust. A++. I am already thinking about what else I could use this crispy batter on! Crispy veggie burgers? Sweet potato chips? Zucchini fries? Tofu?
  • The eggplant itself still has a bit of a spongy texture, but it wasn’t that bad. The awesome texture of the crust really made the eggplant texture less noticeable. If you slice the eggplant thin it’s even less noticeable. It reminded me of a breaded chicken burger, although didn’t taste like one of course.
  • Next time I would definitely add more seasonings as the patties could use a bit more flavour, but with the pasta sauce and cheeze sauce it wasn’t a big issue at all. Next time I would just amp up the seasonings a bit more.
  • I haven’t tested this on Eric yet, but I will update this post when he tries it. He absolutely hates eggplant’s texture, so that will be interesting!
  • I cut the eggplant into rounds, but realized Jessica sliced hers vertically. Vertically probably makes mere sense because you don’t end up with tiny rounds when you get to the end. It’s totally up to you though.
  • The cutlets get soft in the fridge so they must be reheated in the oven. The cutlets do not reheat well in the microwave, trust me I tried!  To reheat: I baked them at 450F for 5 minutes on each side and they re-heated wonderfully and got really crisp.
  • I haven’t tried it yet, but I suspect these cutlets would be awesome in a sandwich or wrap! I’m definitely trying that this week.

 

 

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Eggplant Parmesan

A great way to make eggplant the feature of a fancy looking meal. This dish just tastes so healthy and light!

Lightly adapted from Jessica. 

Yield: 8 servings

  • One large eggplant, peeled and sliced vertically into 8 cutlets
  • 1 c. unsweetened/unflavoured almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour (or other flour of choice)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano*
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley*
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil*
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
  • Pasta sauce of your choice
  • Low-fat 5 minute cheeze sauce (makes 2/3 cup) or Daiya cheese (bake in oven if using Daiya to melt it)
  • Cooked spaghetti or greens, for the base

 

1. Peel and slice eggplant into 8-10 pieces. Sprinkle each slice liberally with salt (maybe about 1/4-1/2 tsp on each?) and spread it around with fingers. Let it stand for 30 minutes while the salt draws out the water.

2. Meanwhile, make your batter by whisking the milk, flour, vinegar, salt, pepper, and seasonings together in a medium sized bowl.

3. After 30 mins, preheat oven to 450F and rinse eggplant with water and pat dry with a towel. Dip each piece into the batter and then into the breadcrumbs on each side. Place on a lined baking sheet.

4. Bake for 8-9 mins at 450F and then flip and bake for another 8-9 minutes watching closely at the end. You want them very crispy and golden! Top with heated pasta sauce and homemade cheeze sauce and serve over a bed of cooked pasta or fresh greens.

5. To reheat: Bake for 5 mins on each side at 450F. They do NOT reheat well in the microwave. Note that cutlets will get soft in the fridge so reheating in the oven is essential to crisp them up again.

Note: Next time I will amp up the seasonings a bit more or try using fresh herbs too.

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Take home message:

If you are an eggplant fan I would guess you will LOVE this recipe.

If you aren’t an eggplant fan, I’d say there’s a chance you could really enjoy it or really hate it. Make at your own risk!

As for me, I will probably make this again and experiment more with the flavours and seasonings. I can already see myself making a curry flavour cutlet with a delicious Indian dish! I’m going to try this in a sandwich for lunch with some pasta sauce and cheeze. It should be good.

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It’s update time!

The winner of my 3-year blogiversary giveaway is #724- Megan… Congrats Megan! I have emailed you to collect your apron wishes and addy. Thanks to everyone for all your kind words on my 3 year blogiversary.

I found out on the weekend that I won “Best Overall Blog” and “Best Veg Blog” in the Foodbuzz Blog Awards! Thank you so much for your votes. It’s thrilling to me that a vegan blog could receive such praise within the food community which is usually dominated by so many animal-based foods. Your support means more to me than you know!!

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

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Nancy Mandzik December 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

my husbands favorite meal is eggplant parm. I ‘m definitely going to try this recipe !!!!

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ZuzannaM April 22, 2012 at 1:46 am

I love this recipe! I made it my own by adding more spice, but it is a keeper. Even my husband loved it. He said he could eat them like chips! So there you have it ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 22, 2012 at 10:16 am

yay!

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Joanne June 16, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Just made this tonight and it was great. I like my eggplant thin, but I made the slices too thin (about 1/4 inch), I will definitely make them a little thicker next time. The coating was amazing. I ended up doubling the spices upon your recommendation. The cheeze sauce was great too!! We made half plain and half with the Daiya Mozzerella and we ended up putting the cheeze sauce on all of them! Thank you for the cheeze sauce recipe! I am allergic to cashews so I always appreciate a non-nut based cheese dip/spread etc! Thank you!

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Megan June 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I’ve been following your blog for a couple months now but this is my first comment. I made this for dinner tonight and wow, it was delish! Quick and easy recipe and the eggplant was crispy and flavorful. Thanks for sharing!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 19, 2012 at 8:38 am

Thank you Megan, glad it was enjoyed!

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Radhika Sarohia August 17, 2012 at 5:28 am

This was very very good and filling, perfect vegan dinner for me
(Only one slight change, I subbed out the flour/bread crumbs for some lower-carb coating material)
Will be making this again soon

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Diana Steadman October 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

I added 1 tsp of dijon mustard to the batter for a nice flavour boost. I have also made this with tofu strips and the kids loved it. Today I am trying it again with tofu but dry frying the tofu before dipping in batter to see what it does to the texture.

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Anne M. October 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I was thinking about using big portobellos with this recipe, do you think that would work well?

Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Im not sure Anne, but it’s an interesting idea. Let me know how it goes if you try it!

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Anne M. October 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm

So I made it with both the portobello caps and the eggplant tonight and both were wonderful. I think the portobello was actually a little better than the eggplant :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 13, 2012 at 8:10 am

Thanks for letting me know! I will have to try that out :)

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Claudia January 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I would love to learn how to cook egg plant. It’s a beautiful vegetable…now, taste is another story, I can’t get my husband to eat it…So, I’m going to try this recipe, I think he will like it if I hide that it’s an eggplant!
Congrats on the award!

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Rachel May 17, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Did you ever end up trying this recipe again? I am making it right now, and I am a bit scared. I’ve never cared for eggplant, but my daughter wants to try it!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

Hi Rachel, I haven’t actually – but you just reminded me to! It’s probably my fav way to enjoy eggplant :)

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Lisa August 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm

I just tried this recipe tonight and it was amazing! Even my meat loving man couldn’t get enough. Love the salt tip to remove water. Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm

So glad you enjoyed it Lisa!

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Mary Marshall August 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Great recipe! The batter and breadcrumbs are a great base for anything you want to bake up all nice and crispy (zucchini, pickles, cauliflower)

I followed your advice and added more spices to both the batter AND the breadcrumbs. I also blotted the eggplant cutlets many times with paper towels to really get them dried out. The texture came out great (and I don’t usually like eggplant!)

I was trying to use up the fresh veggies I got in my CSA from the Farmer’s Market this week, so I actually paired this recipe with your Tomato Basil Cream sauce. I made these eggplant cutlets, then put the sauce over them. Delicious!

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Reyna August 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Found your site for the first time and made this tonight. Had not had eggplant parmesan since I went dairy free. And this recipe is spectacular!! My eggplant wasn’t too big so I halved the batter recipe but kept the salt to 1/2 tsp. Used Daiya Mozzarella shreds and Wegman’s Pomodoro Sauce. Amazing!!

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sweetnbake.com August 10, 2013 at 8:48 am

I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth
enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made
good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever
before.

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Christina H September 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I made these this tonight for four meat eaters and they loved it! I served it over spaghetti squash, made a homemade tomato sauce with tomatoes from my garden, and topped with your cheese sauce. I also took your advice and added more spices (I basically just doubled the spices besides the salt). Thanks again for another great meal! :)

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Christine October 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Baked half of the eggplant per the recipe, fried half the eggplant (as a test- I admittedly was worried about the crisp factor from the oven). Both were AWESOME! Made some eggplant parm heroes with homemade marinara, baguette, and teese vegan mozzarella. So good. I think I’ll omit the “cheese” next time- it really didn’t need it.

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ElShi January 14, 2014 at 9:45 pm

This was delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe.

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Jason April 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Awesome recipe, bumped up the spices a little, like you suggested. This was our, (my wife and I) first time ever having eggplant. I got frustrated at the baking in the oven part, just would not brown, even after 15 minutes on one side. Needless to say frying is the way to go! Great recipe, decently a keeper!

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Tracey April 30, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Made these tonight and they were a huge hit with my hubby….and me too! I did fry mine though as last time I tried to make a baked eggplant it was too tough. But frying them up made them scrumptious! I even made your cheezy sauce to go on top and a side of spaghetti squash. Oh my! It’s going in my recipe box for sure!

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Pee June 26, 2014 at 9:29 am

Eggplant (or aubergine, as we call it in Ireland!) is amazing when roasted, otherwise I am immensely creeped out by the weird spongy texture!

I wrote a recipe for roasted aubergine and walnut salsa- it’s ridiculously easy and delicious and entirely vegan. YAY! The link is below if anybody is interested!
creepygreens.com/roasted-aubergine-walnut-salsa-spicy-fried-chickpeas/

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Lisa August 19, 2014 at 5:22 am

I gave these a try yesterday and I loved it! I love eggplants in general, but til now I didn’t think of the option of baking them..great idea! Thank you!

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NDGSusan August 19, 2014 at 7:14 am

This Eggplant ‘Parmezan’ was perfect! So delish that my omnivore husband had no desire to add ‘real’ cheese. He raved about it so much that we had the leftovers the next day! Five and a half stars!
I served it with whole grain fettuccine, home made tomato sauce and your Cheeze sauce.
Will be serving it next time we have guests. And I won’t tell them it’s vegan.

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Susan August 25, 2014 at 4:41 pm

I am in the midst of making this recipe and it has been a terrible experience so far. The “breading” has fallen off the veggies and is sticking to the foil (you did not specify what to line the pan with), and I just tried a piece of it and it is the blandest thing I have ever tasted. Please taste-test your recipe before you post it! I now will have to figure out what to make for my family to eat with extremely short notice.

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Jen September 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

I stumbled upon this a few weeks ago and pinned it… and finally just made it tonight. Not only did the salt trick work fantastically, but the breading was AWESOME! My husband is not always too keen on not having “real” (his words, not mine) protein at dinner, but he devoured this tonight, as did my kiddos! Thanks Thanks Thanks :D

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Rita October 14, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Made this tonight! Delicious! Fed 4 boys :)) how about using batter for chile relleno dish? Lentils for filling?

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Crystal November 5, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Congrats on your awards! Love your book. This is my first time trying one of your recipes. Liked the breading on the eggplant but is there a way to eliminate salting the eggplants. I rinsed the salt off but found the eggplants to be very salty still after baking. What did I do wrong? But overall the eggplants tasted good.

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Phyllis February 18, 2015 at 10:38 pm

Different eggplant varieties taste very different. For a less bitter, milder (maybe some would even describe it as a slightly sweet flavor) try Ping Tung or Rosita eggplant, probably will need to get it at a farmers market or grow it yourself. If you don’t like the soft-gooey texture of eggplant, instead of using salt to draw out the moisture and bitterness, try sun drying it for about 3 hours on a hot day or in the oven at 140 for about an hour. It will give the eggplant a texture more like mushrooms or some people say it’s like veal.

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Sarah March 19, 2015 at 1:56 pm

I´m making them right now!! Just tasted a slice and loved the softness and flavorfulness

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Susan April 2, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Awesome recipe! I re-heated the leftovers in the toaster oven and it was even better. I think I’ll cook in the toaster oven in the future – much crispier. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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Barbara September 3, 2015 at 6:50 pm

I made the eggplant parm tonight and it was good. Some issues though – I cut it into 8 cutest as the recipe suggests (hadn’t read the blog first) and the pieces were really thick. The batter was also VERY thick, even though I thinned it out with more soy milk (what I had on hand). Could there be a misprint in the recipe? I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free white flour blend, which usually works well.
The cheese sauce was delicious – better than other nutritional yeast- based cheese sauces that I’ve tried.

I put pasta and cheese sauce on all of the cutlets and hope that I can reheat them like that – I noticed that the recipe seems to reheat just the eggplant…

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Taylor Parker January 20, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Wow! That Eggplant Parmesan dish looks incredible. A bunch of Italian restaurants in my town offer this dish, and I was thinking about taking my mom to dinner to try them out! I’m not the biggest fan of Italian food, but my mom is. It’s always fun to go out and spend time together; so I’m really looking forward to it!

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Dave June 9, 2016 at 6:10 am

Adding some powdered Arrowroot to breading mixture
Really adds more crisp/crunch to the texture.

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Anne August 12, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Just made this and dove into it, is is so delicious and satisfying! Eggplant parm is one of the things I really miss from the old days, so this is truly a gift, and thank you, Angela. The next time I make it I will endeavor to slice the eggplant as thinly as possible, for maximum crunch and also to cut down on the baking time. ( I got the eggplant in my CSA in mid-August and it’s still pretty hot to have the oven on at 450.) This recipe rocks, it is super filling and yummy, and not hard at all to make. Another time I might slice the eggplant into strips and serve it as eggplant fries with marinara dipping sauce, skip the cheese altogether (although it too is superb.) Hooray!

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amber October 15, 2016 at 9:44 pm

Made this recipe, this totally kicked ass. Used fresh parsley and basil since they were hanging around waiting to be used. Delish! One of my favorite for guests coming over.

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Ranee Franti December 10, 2016 at 5:40 am

Hi Angela! How are you? I always love your recipe and whenever I can make me free I prepare your beautiful dishes. Your recipe attract me. Now I read your recipe and it is awesome. I decide tonight I’ll make Eggplant Parmesan. Before some some days I made it but it was not so good. Now I make sure that I’ll make it happily. After cooking I’ll share it to your blog page. Thank you for share this.

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Marianne June 29, 2017 at 4:36 pm

This was fantastic and super easy. Changed it up a little but came out great.

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