This dish 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 makes the perfect vehicle for this cheesy, ooey gooey lasagna of yumminess. And it can also be made in advance, and then baked an hour or so before serving! I mean, come on…just look at this:
How to Make 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.
We really do believe that you will think the is the best eggplant parmesan recipe there is! Okay, we’re a little biased, but, still…wait until you make it!
Watch us show you how easy it is to make this amazing Authentic Eggplant Parmesan
The Ingredients You Will Need
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 beaten!
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.
This fried eggplant parmesan recipe produces a dish that is so comforting and classic all at the same time.
We love using fresh mozzarella because it delicious and also 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.
The Origins of the Dish
There is so much to love about this classic dish. 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.
The recipe (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.
What to Serve With the Dish
Talk about 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.
It’s a very filling dish, so all we recommend is a nice salad, maybe our Classic Caesar Salad, a crusty loaf of bread, and a bottle of red (or white, whatever you prefer!).
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 this classic baked Italian-American favorite!
Authentic Eggplant Parmesan
- 10"x10" baking dish, or 9"x13" baking dish
- 2 medium eggplants
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- cups vegetable oil for frying, or heat your deep fryer
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley fresh, chopped
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 4 cups homemade marinara sauce
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese fresh, sliced, or grated
- Prepare the marinara sauce (can be done up to 2 days in advance)
- 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.
- Place in a colander for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Rinse eggplant rounds under cool water to remove salt. Dry with paper towels.
- Meanwhile, spread the flour out on a large platter.
- Coat each slice of eggplant with flour and shake off excess. Set aside.
- 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.)
- In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs together with ½ cup of the grated Parmesan cheese, the parsley, and the salt.
- Dip the eggplant, a slice at a time, in the egg mixture and let any excess drip off.
- Deep-fry the eggplant slices, 3 to 4 at a time, for about 3 minutes, or until they are golden brown and tender.
- Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to drain and cool.
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce over the bottom of a large baking dish.
- Arrange a layer of eggplant slices over the sauce (they can slightly overlap, if necessary).
- Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over the eggplant.
- Sprinkle ½ cup of the mozzarella and 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese over the sauce.
- Repeat, layer the eggplant, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese to top the pan.
- End with a layer of eggplant and about ¼ cup marinara sauce spread over the top of it.
- Sprinkle a good handful of Parmesan cheese on top of the sauce.
- 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).
- Let the pan sit for 30 to 40 minutes until cool enough to serve.
- Cut into slices and serve with warm marinara sauce and grated Parmesan on the side.