This keto eggplant parmesan is made with a coating of almond flour. There's no need for frying! This flavorful dish is baked in your oven.
Ready in about an hour, it's wonderful as a side dish, but it's also substantial enough to serve as a meatless main course.
If you like eggplant, I think you'll consider this recipe a delicacy. Tender, flavorful eggplant slices coated in a crunchy coating, smothered in marinara sauce and cheese, then baked until the cheese is melted. What's not to like?
I love eggplant. In fact, it's one of my favorite vegetables. My mother-in-law used to make eggplants in tomato sauce. She would coat the eggplant slices in batter, fry them, then simmer them in tomato sauce. It was an exquisite dish, but it required a lot of work, especially the frying part. That's why I prefer to bake the eggplant slices instead of frying them.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make keto eggplant parmesan. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Cooking spray: I use avocado oil. This oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point, making it an ideal cooking oil.
Eggplant: You can leave it unpeeled. It looks prettier this way.
To season the eggplant: Salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
For the coating: Egg and almond meal.
To top the dish: Marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella, and grated parmesan.
Chopped parsley: Used mostly for garnish, so you can skip it if you don't have any on hand. It does make the dish look prettier, though.
Using the oven instead of frying the eggplant makes this a very easy recipe. The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
You start by seasoning eggplant slices with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Next, dip them in a beaten egg and dredge them in almond meal.
Spray them with oil and bake for about 20 minutes at 425°F.
Top with marinara sauce and cheese, and bake a few more minutes to heat through and melt the cheese. Then garnish with parsley and serve.
When I make this recipe, I bake the eggplant slices instead of frying them. Frying eggplants is a challenge because they tend to absorb ridiculous amounts of oil.
One trick is 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!
But I am a lazy cook. There's no way I am going to fry eggplants. So in this recipe, I bake them instead. High-heat baking achieves similar results to salting and frying, with much less effort.
Frequently asked questions
You can if you don't mind the carbs/gluten. The nutrition info will obviously change.
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.
Since this is an Italian dish, it makes sense to use an Italian cheese that melts easily when baked. I like to use a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan. Another good cheese that can replace the mozzarella is provolone.
The best way to vary this recipe is to add seasonings. In addition to salt, pepper, and garlic powder, you can use dried oregano and onion powder.
You can also use shredded provolone cheese instead of shredded mozzarella.
You can keep the 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 a 350F oven for 10 minutes.
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Keto Eggplant Parmesan
- Cooking spray (I use avocado oil)
- 1 large eggplant (1 lb.)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ cups almond meal
- ½ cup marinara sauce (I use Rao's)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup dry-grated Parmesan (not coarsely shredded)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with high-heat-resistant parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray.
- Slice the unpeeled eggplant into ½-inch rounds, discarding the ends. Season the eggplant slices with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water. In another shallow bowl, 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 them 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, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven. Bake the eggplant until cheese is melted, about 5 more minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.