Rich, creamy, decadent, healthy… Words often unmatched in regards to delicious recipes!
But envision this: Lightly breaded and baked, not fried, eggplant topped with the fresh flavors of tomato sauce and fresh basil. And not to forget, a rich, gooey melted cheese layered much like a casserole!
Really, we think delicious should not be sacrificed with the main goal of weight loss in mind. This is the very reason behind this eggplant parmesan recipe creation, which makes tackling cravings while reaching health goals all pastable!
Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
Yield: 8 servings
Nutrition per serving: 280 calories, 10 g fat, 14 g protein, 35 g total carb, 6 g fiber
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total time: 80 minutes
• 2 medium eggplants, sliced into 1/4 inch round discs
• 1 Tbsp salt
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup flour
• 1 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
• 1, 25-ounce jar marinara sauce
• 2 cups reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
• A handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional for garnish)
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Optional: Add eggplant slices to a large colander in the sink. Salt both sides of eggplant slices, allowing the liquid to drain for about an hour. Salting the eggplant helps prevent becoming too soft.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 1 large baking sheet, 2 as needed, with cooking spray or a touch of olive oil. Also lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch casserole dish and set aside.
3. Line 3 small dishes beside one another. In the first dish, add flour. In the second dish, whisk together the eggs until yolks and whites are combined. In the third dish, add the Italian breadcrumbs.
4. One at a time, dip eggplant slice into the flour until coated. Follow with the egg then bread crumbs. Place coated eggplant slices on a baking sheet, making sure they are lined in an even, single layer and not overlapping.
5. Bake eggplant in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping each slice halfway at 10 minutes. The eggplant should be golden in color.
6. In the greased 11 x 8-inch baking dish, evenly spread 1/3 of the tomato sauce into the bottom.
7. Layer with half of the baked eggplant slices then top with another 1/3 of the sauce and 1/2 of each cheese. Add the final layer of eggplant, tomato sauce, and cheeses.
8. Bake uncovered in the 400°F oven for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden in color. Feel free to broil for a few more minutes until cheese is slightly toasty, watching carefully to prevent overcooking or burning.
9. Allow to set for 5 minutes, garnish with freshly chopped basil leaves, and serve.
Bonus Tips for Simple & Healthy Eggplant Parmesan
Can the recipe be made ahead of time? What are other ways to make healthy eggplant parmesan? How can any leftover eggplant be used? Read on to find these answers!
Can the eggplant parmesan recipe be prepared ahead of time?
Yes! This is a great recipe to prep ahead of time, especially when busy weeks run you out of the kitchen and to a drive-thru.
Simply prepare eggplant parmigiana up to step eight outlined above. Allow the casserole to completely cool, wrap the dish tightly, then freeze. It can also be set in the fridge for two days in advance.
To reheat, place the frozen casserole into a 350°F oven. Cook, covered, for an hour then take off the foil. Continue to bake until fully cooked through and cheese is golden and bubbly.
What are other ways to make healthy eggplant parm?
There are several tweaks and tips to make healthy eggplant parm, including:
• Use only the egg white to lower overall fat content.
• Purchase marinara sauce without added sugar or prepare a homemade version for the ultimate ingredient control.
• Bulk the eggplant parm with sauteed veggies such as zucchini, bell pepper, and mushroom.
• Omit the breadcrumbs entirely for a low-carb dish.
Oops! I bought too much eggplant. How else can I enjoy it?
Eggplant is much more than a nutritious nightshade, as it is highly versatile and can be used in many dishes.
Use leftover eggplant for yet another parmesan that can be frozen and enjoyed at a later date. Or consider making these delicious eggplant recipes, including low-carb pizzas and roasted eggplant pita pockets.
• Eggplant pizzas: Calories and carbohydrate intake naturally decline with eggplant mini pizzas. Have a pizza party with endless options, including buffalo chicken and Cajun-inspired flavors.
• Eggplant chips: Follow the eggplant parmesan recipe up to step five. Instead of adding to the casserole, enjoy the eggplant "chips" for a low-carb snack. Feel free to experiment with herbs and spices, including red pepper flakes for a touch of heat.
• Roasted eggplant pita pockets: Roast eggplant and chickpeas with garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. Add to a pita and top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, and tzatziki sauce.
• Stuffed eggplants: Cut eggplant in half, hollow out the centers, then bake in a 350°F oven for about 12 minutes. Stuff with various toppings, such as ground chicken and veggies, then layer with tomato sauce and cheese. Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
• Eggplant ancient grain salad: Combine eggplant, zucchini, and other veggies with barley, rice, or other preferred grain. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper then toss to coat.
Really, the options are endless! What creative ways will you prepare leftover eggplant?