I know that Eggplant Parm elicits strong feelings in some people. You either like it or you don’t. If you don’t like it, may I suggest checking out my Chicken Parm recipe? It’s similar in construction and my family loves it maybe a bit more than eggplant parm. Still, we try to eat a meatless meal once a week usually on Fridays and this is one I know they’ll eat.
I love eggplant parm – its such comfort food to me.
It is a great meatless meal, and I’m always astounded at how the eggplant takes the place of meat in terms of meatiness, or substance, in a dish.
This is really an assembly dish, and once you get the hang of it you can make it in 15 minutes. The one point of debate I’ve had with others is that they don’t like this dish if the eggplant gets too soggy. A really easy way to avoid this is to salt it before you start breading it. I lay all the slices in a colander with a big handful of kosher salt covering it. Then I put some weight on it to help extract the water.
My weight of choice was a heavy terra cotta planter (#reallife):
Once you’ve rinsed your eggplant from the salt, its time for the standard flour-eggwash-breading assembly line. Be sure to heat up your canola oil in a large fry pan before you start.
It might seem like a lot of work, but it goes very fast and really gives the dish its decadence.
Once you’ve fried all of the eggplant slices, you layer it in your baking dish, with a layer of sauce on the bottom.
And…that’s pretty much it. The hard work is over. Just pour the rest of the sauce on top and layer slices of mozzarella. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and browned.
Hope your family loves this dish as much as mine! (ps even the babies loved it!)
Happy Eating, xoxo Katie
Easy Eggplant Parm (printer version here):
2 eggplants, sliced 1 inch thick
½ cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
¼ canola oil + more for frying
2 jars of good quality marinara sauce (we love Rao’s)
1 large package of sliced fresh mozzarella (enough to have 9 slices)
Slice eggplant and lay in a colander in layers, generously salting eat layer to draw out water.
When each layer is sliced place a plastic plate or container on top and lay something heavy such as tin cans or a heavy bowl on top. This will help draw out more water. Wait 15 minutes, then rinse well.
While the eggplant is being salted, lay out three trays or plates. Put the flour on one plate, the eggs on a second, and the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and a pinch of salt mixed together on a third.
Preheat oven to 350.
Warm up ¼ cup of Canola oil in a large frying pan on medium heat.
Working in an assembly line fashion, take a slice of eggplant, press it in the flour plate, then the egg plate, then the breadcrumbs/parm mixture. Then place into the hot oil. When the pan is filled, flip the eggplant rounds starting with the first one you put in the pan. It should look golden brown. If not, let it cook for a little longer. When both sides are golden, remove eggplant slices and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt while still warm.
Keep working until you’ve breaded and fried all of the eggplant slices.
In a large 9 x 13 inch pan, pour a thin layer of the marinara sauce to prevent the eggplant from sticking to the pan. Then layer in the fried eggplant in slices until dish is full. Then pour the rest of the marinara sauce on top. Lay slices of fresh mozzarella on top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until mozzarella is melted on top.
Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve over favorite cooked pasta.