Authentic Eggplant Parmesan

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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:

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

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.

A platter of fried eggplant discs for authentic eggplant parmesan

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.

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

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.

Authentic eggplant parmesan on a white plate.

 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!).

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 this classic baked Italian-American favorite! 

Eggplant Parmesan in a white plate with fresh marinara sauce.

Authentic Eggplant Parmesan on a white plate

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!
5 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: best eggplant parm, fried eggplant parmesan recipe, how to make eggplant parmesan
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 420kcal

Equipment

  • 10"x10" baking dish, or 9"x13" baking dish

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 866mg | Potassium: 402mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 748IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 544mg | Iron: 3mg
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54 Comments

    • Hi Lorraine! This makes us so happy! Isn’t it true? We have family members who swore up and down they would never like anything with eggplant in it…and then we served this. Boy, did they change their tune! LOL! So so happy you had success with the recipe and thank YOU SO much for sharing and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Thank you both, for this wonderful, authentic slice of delicious heaven! I have made this so many times and use my homemade, favorite sauce! It’s always a hit and my kids and family want the recipe, Shhhh!

    • Hi Shirley! We hope you love it and please keep up posted! We’re working on a cookbook! It’s a slow, arduous process, but we’re working on it! Thank you for your support! That means so much to us! Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times for my family, friends and neighbours. They love it and we love it. It always taste the best with our home grown eggplant from our garden. I also love watching your prep video. Thank you for sharing.
    Mary-Lou from Canada

    • Hi, Mary-Lou from Canada! (We LOVE Canada, btw!). We are so so thrilled you are having such great success with the eggplant parm recipe! And woo! With homegrown eggplant must be AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing and for the GREAT review. That truly means the world to us! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • I have a quick question. Do I coat the eggplant slices back with the flour after dipping it in the egg mixture before frying them?

    • Hi Roberto, no need to add the slices back into the flour after dipping them in the egg mixture. They’re ready for a quick flash fry at this point! Let us know if you have any other questions and how it turns out!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • Super excited to try this! We are overrun with eggplants from our garden this year. Could the eggplant be fried in extra virgin olive oil?

    • Hi Teresa!! We think you’ll love it, especially with home grown eggplant!! Sure, you can fry them with EVOO! That will work just fine. Let us know how it turns out and what you think of it! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Made your recipe for sauce last night and made your recipe for eggplant parm today. We had it for dinner tonight and I was a bit leary because every recipe I’ve ever tried uses breadcrumbs, but I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it! I thought it was crispier and lighter and you could really taste the flavor of the eggplant!! It was not greasy at all and didn’t get soggy! Love it and will be making again…Thank you

    • Hi Diane!! That is so wonderful to hear! We are thrilled you enjoyed the eggplant parm recipe! We really love the texture, too. Thank you again so much for letting us know!!! Stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • I have only one question…do you have a cookbook?
    Made the fresh marinara sauce Thursday afternoon.
    Prepped the eggplant Parmigiana yesterday…hummm…made a nice mess so I decided if this was not the most incredible eggplant I wouldn’t repeat the recipe. And I love to cook but the recipe was different than what I was raised in. (100% Italian)
    First bite…heaven in a 9×13…absolutely delicious. The buttery flavor of the eggplant compares to no other recipe. Thank you the great recipe!!!! My printer is working overtime this afternoon.

    • Hi Mary! We take that as a HUGE compliment coming from you!! We are so thrilled you enjoyed the eggplant parm and thank you so so much for letting us know! And…we’re in discussions with a publisher on starting a cookbook! Coming soon!! Best, Kris & Wesley

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