An easy recipe for healthy and gluten free eggplant Parmesan. No need for frying! This eggplant Parmesan is baked in your oven.
If you like eggplant, you will consider eggplant Parmesan a delicacy. Tender, flavorful eggplant slices coated in a crunchy coating, smothered in marinara sauce and cheese and baked until the cheese is melted. What’s not to like?
I love eggplant. The fact that it’s healthy is just a nice bonus. My mother in law used to make eggplants in tomato sauce. She would coat the eggplant slices in batter, fry them, then simmer in tomato sauce. It was an exquisite dish, but it required a lot of work, especially the frying part.
Why I prefer to make baked eggplant parmesan
Frying eggplants is a challenge, because they tend to absorb ridiculous amounts of oil. One trick my mother in law used was to salt the eggplant rounds prior to frying them. This removes moisture, and allows for crispier eggplants while using less oil. Another step in this complex recipe!
I am a lazy cook. There’s no way I am going to fry eggplants. So in this eggplant Parmesan recipe, I bake the eggplant instead. High heat baking achieves similar results to salting and frying, with much less effort.
You can use breadcrumbs or almond meal – I use almond meal
I use almond meal to coat the eggplant Parmesan. This keeps the dish gluten free and relatively low carb, but you can certainly use the same amount of breadcrumbs if you prefer. It’s best to use coarse almond meal (product link in recipe below) rather than fine almond flour, though if all you have is almond flour, it will work in a pinch.
Should you peel the eggplant?
I don’t. Some people worry that the eggplant skin will give this dish a bitter taste, but I don’t detect any bitter aftertaste. And the dish looks so much prettier with the dark colored eggplant skin! However, if you worry about it, there’s no harm in peeling the eggplant.
What kind of cheese do you use in eggplant parmesan?
Since it’s an Italian dish, it makes sense to use Italian cheese that melts easily when baked. I like to use a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan.
What to serve with eggplant parmesan?
It depends. If you consider it a side dish, serve it with any meat or poultry, such as skin on baked chicken breast or baked meatballs. But eggplant Parmesan can easily serve as a substantial and filling main course, in which case you might want to serve it with a simple salad of tossed greens, or perhaps steamed broccoli.
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days. They actually taste good cold, but you can also reheat them very gently in the microwave on 50% power, or in 350F oven for 10 minutes.
Check out these other great eggplant recipes!
I really like eggplants. They are tasty AND healthy! So I have quite a few eggplant recipes on this blog. A few of my favorites are this very flavorful eggplant casserole, grilled eggplant, and eggplant pizza bites.
- Cooking spray (I use avocado oil)
- 1 large eggplant (1 lb.)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray.
- Slice the unpeeled eggplant into 1/2-inch rounds, discarding the ends. Season the eggplant slices with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- In a small baking dish, whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water. In another baking dish (I used a 8X11-inch dish), add the almond meal.
- Dip each eggplant round in the egg, then dredge in the almond meal. Arrange the coated eggplant slices on the prepared baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray.
- Bake the eggplant until tender, about 20 minutes per side.
- Remove the eggplants from the oven, but keep the oven on. Top each eggplant with marinara sauce, then top with mozzarella and finally with Parmesan.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven. Bake the eggplant until cheese is melted, about 5 more minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.