Authentic Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is about as 100% Italian-American comfort food as you will find.  This is one of those ‘spend-a-few-hours-in-the-kitchen-on-a-Saturday-afternoon’, and make something truly magical.

The eggplant make the perfect vehicle for this cheesy, ooey gooey lasagna of yumminess.

I mean, come on…just look at this:

A large slice of baked eggplant parmesan being pulled from a dish with cheese being pulled.

HOW TO MAKE AUTHENTIC EGGPLANT PARMESAN

And like a lot of really special dishes, this takes a little extra love and care in the kitchen, but it is so worth the time and effort.

Watch us show you how easy it is to make this amazing Authentic Eggplant Parmesan

START WITH THE FRESHEST INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT PARMESAN

Although eggplant parmigiana (or parmesan) is vegetarian, it’s not the type of dish you’d probably want to consume every day for every meal. There is a lot of cheese and the eggplant is fried…but for that ‘special’ occasion dish, it can’t be beat!

We start out with our classic homemade fresh marina. As with so many stellar Italian dishes, the quality of the dish comes down to the quality of the sauce.

Next, breading the eggplant slices and then quickly frying them makes the texture of the dish literally melt-in-your mouth good.

A platter of fried eggplant discs for authentic eggplant parmesan

We love using fresh mozzarella because it delicious and also it melts beautifully.

You can easily purchase a block of fresh mozzarella and slice it yourself. Or, you can use shredded. No matter what, you’re going to love the cheese results.

A baking dish of eggplant parmesan with layers of fresh mozzarella being layered in.

EGGPLANT PARMESAN ORIGINATED IN SOUTHERN ITALY

There is so much to love about this eggplant parmesan. First, and foremost, of course, is the taste.

But you can easily make this in advance and then just simply stick in the oven to bake prior to serving. It also freezes perfectly, too. Just let it thaw, and then bake and serve.

Eggplant Parmesan (Parmigiana di Melanzane, in Italian) has its roots firmly planted in Southern Italy and has been served for many, many generations. Learn more about its delicious origins here.

Authentic eggplant parmesan on a white plate.

EGGPLANT PARM IS QUINTESSENTIAL COMFORT FOOD

Eggplant Parmesan is Italian comfort food at its very best and is perfect for feeding a hungry family or gathering of friends.

And it is absolutely wonderful the next day, too.

Oh, you had me at: Eggplant Parmesan.

Authentic Eggplant Parmesan in a baking white dish.

This is a dish that we feel confident will be one that goes into your regular rotation.

Warm, cheesy and just so incredibly satisfying.

Folks…the time has come to make: Authentic Eggplant Parmesan!

Eggplant Parmesan in a white plate with fresh marinara sauce.

Authentic Eggplant Parmesan

This authentic eggplant Parmesan is pure Italian comfort food in a single dish. The eggplant makes for the perfect vehicle for the gooey mozzarella cheese and homemade marinara sauce. Delicioso!
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 582 kcal
Author: Kris Longwell

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 eggplants
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil for frying, or heat your deep fryer
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 cups homemade marinara sauce
  • 3 cups fresh mozzarella cheese sliced, or grated

Instructions

  1. Prepare the marinara sauce (can be done up to 2 days in advance)

  2. Cut the ends off the eggplant and discard them. Cut each eggplant into 1/4-inch round slices and sprinkle salt over each of the rounds.
  3. Place in a colander for 30 to 40 minutes.

  4. Rinse eggplant rounds under cool water to remove salt. Dry with paper towels.
  5. Meanwhile, spread the flour out on a large platter.
  6. Coat each slice of eggplant with flour and shake off excess. Set aside.
  7. Next, in a deep, heavy saucepan, heat the oil to 350 F, or heat your deep fryer to 350 F. (If you don't have a deep-frying thermometer, the oil will be hot enough when it creates a sheen, and a small piece of bread sizzles when tossed in the oil.)
  8. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs together with 1/2 cup cup of the grated Parmesan cheese, the parsley, and the salt.
  9. Dip the eggplant, a slice at a time, in the egg mixture and let any excess drip off.
  10. Deep-fry the eggplant slices, 3 to 4 at a time, for about 3 minutes, or until they are golden brown and tender.
  11. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to drain and cool.
  12. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  13. Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.

  14. Arrange a layer of eggplant slices over the sauce (they can slightly overlap, if necessary).
  15. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over the eggplant.

  16. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella and 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese over the sauce.
  17. Repeat, layer the eggplant, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese to top the pan.
  18. End with a layer of eggplant and about 1/4 cup marinara sauce spread over the top of it.
  19. Sprinkle a good handful of Parmesan cheese on top of the sauce.
  20. Bake the eggplant for about 50 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned on top (you can place under the broiler for a minute or so to brown the cheese, also). 

  21. Let the pan sit for 30 to 40 minutes until cool enough to serve.
  22. Cut into slices and serve with warm marinara sauce and grated Parmesan on the side.

Recipe Video

22 Comments

  • Wow. Love the way you captured that gooey cheese. Which would be my family’s favorite part of this dish. The aroma alone makes this worth making. Makes such a taste difference to make homemade sauce too. Love those little details that all add up to a super tasty eggplant parm.

  • Oh goodness gracious. Eggplant parm is hands down one of my most fave dishes EVER. My husband doesn’t like eggplant, but he’ll gobble up an eggplant parm without issue. I usually keep it for dinner throughout the cooler months, but I’m so tempted to rock this recipe SOON. Gorgeous photos, too. I’ve avoided blogging my recipe because by the time it’s ready I’m hangry, impatient, and can’t get good shots. Haha. Well done, fellas!

  • Well, as an Italian – Italian (no hyphen) I want to grab that pan and run with it, hide, and eat it all. My heavens it should be outlawed how good that looks. We love all of the ingredients but in combination — whew!! They pack quite the punch. BTW, do you have any left??

  • You had my heart at fried eggplant. I need a stack of this right now! That pull shot you started with is mouthwatering! My partner LOVES eggplant so I’ll have to try this out for him

  • Love that opening cheese pull photo! Eggplant Parm is one of my favorite dishes. A Sunday dinner staple in my Italian family. I often prefer it to lasagna! Who can resist that wonderful fried eggplant and all of that gorgeous cheese? Such a comfort food classic.

  • Wow, is this dish ever stunning. I have never made eggplant Parmesan as I’m not a huge eggplant fan but the way I’m droolong over your photos, I’ve fotta fry some up and try this baby out. It looks fresh, delicious and the perfect entree for Italian night!

  • Oh my goodness. My mouth is watering at the sight of that ooey gooey cheesy slice coming out of the pan. I have never had eggplant parmigiana and now I really feel like I’m missing out. I can’t believe you even make the marinara from scratch! Amazing!

  • Oh I wish I COULD eat eggplant parm everyday! It has eggplant, a veggie, in it – that makes it ok, right? 😛 You’re so right though, you need the freshest ingredients for the best results – that mozzarella looks divine… as does the whole dish! Growing up my dad used to grow SO many eggplants and I remember our kitchen table full of sliced eggplant rounds salted and sweating all of the time for breaded and pan fried eggplant rounds. Sometimes they’d make it to parm, but a lot of the time they were just put in sandwiches! Thanks for such a great recipe!

    • Hi Tracy! I could live on eggplant parm, but probably wouldn’t live too long! One of those spectacular ‘special occasion’ meals…and it IS vegetarian!! xo Kris & Wesley

  • Holy God! I’m in love with this eggplant parmesan. I’m not even an eggplant fan, but — HELLO? Deep fried and slathered with mozzarella, pecorino and your homemade marinara? I’m on board. Just tell me what time dinner is and I’m bringing the wine… I love your personalities on the video and am wishing, (fingers crossed) that you were my next door neighbors — that would be a hoot!

    • Thank you, Lisa!! We would have BLAST if we were neighbors!! We just moved to Texas (Dallas) from New Jersey. If you are EVER in Big D, let’s get together and have some good eating’!! And thank you for your kinds words…we REALLY appreciate (and this eggplant parm is so sinfully delicious!). xo

  • I have yet to make this at home. It took years before I even liked eggplant…but I sure do now. This is a great casserole to feed a hungry crowd for sure. Perfect as an entertaining dish.

    • Thanks, Gloria! We got on the eggplant bandwagon a little late, too, but boy are we making up for it now. We really love this recipe and hope you give it a try! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • This recipe is off the hook so very good the best love your recipes and you make it so easy to follow thank you I am becoming a better cook your homemade Marinara Sauce is to die for thanks again on to the next recipe

    • Yay!!! You just made our day!! Thank you so very much and we really do love this eggplant parm, and it wouldn’t be what it is without that freshly made marinara. Sounds like you are doing absolutely fantastic in the kitchen!!! Keep us posted!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • Just a quick question Kris. I have never seen an eggplant recipe like this with the skins left on. Is that really correct?? Do they soften up enough? Otherwise looks great and will have to make real soon.
    My regards to the Loon..thanks

    • Hi Mitch! Yes, they soften completely. No need to peel. And if you sprinkle salt on the rounds before you quick fry them, it pulls out some of the bitterness, as well as some of the liquid and helps them to fry more quickly and absorb very little oil. This is one of our favorite dishes. Let me know how it turns out and if you have any other questions. Best, Kris (and the Loon).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *