A simpler version of eggplant Parmesan (Parmigiano) prepared without frying and without compromising on flavor. Slices of eggplant are roasted then layered with a quick homemade tomato sauce and cheese. It's absolutely delicious!
I love eggplant and I have a few recipes already on the blog that are simple, delicious, and make a fantastic vegetarian side or light meal. But this one, well this one is one of my favorites. How can you go wrong with anything that involves cheese?
You start off with two firm eggplants about 12-inches in size. The eggplants are sliced into ½-inch rounds, brushed with oil, then roasted just until tender. I usually get ten slices per eggplant.
Using two tablespoons of oil per eggplant should be perfect. You don’t want the eggplant slices drenched. Just brush on enough oil to lightly coat each side. If you need more than stated, use a little more. Common sense is a great thing.
While the eggplants are roasting, make the sauce. You can find the recipe for my quick tomato sauce here. Of course, you could use a good jarred sauce. I mean, if you must. Just know that if making your own, you will get an incredibly delicious sauce in about 30 minutes and that includes simmering time. I encourage you to give it a try. You could also make a double batch of sauce and freeze half so you’ll have it when you want to make roasted eggplant Parmesan again - because you will.
I use mozzarella and Romano cheese instead of Parmesan because I like the saltiness it brings to the dish. As for the mozzarella, I find using the block and slicing it is preferable than using pre-grated. I don’t use fresh mozzarella in this dish, you know, the soft mushy kind. In fact, I don’t recommend using fresh here because the cheese will be too soft and melt into cream rather than the cheesy stringy texture we all know and love. Again, it’s up to you. Recipes are just a guideline. You're the master of your kitchen.
I’ve seen these made on a baking sheet where each stack is evenly spaced out. I use a casserole and fit the slices in. One eggplant on the bottom and one on top. Sprinkle the cheese all over. When it’s baked, the cheese melts just enough to keep all the stacks connected with little puddles of sauce surrounding each one. I just like this presentation better. Either way, it’s easy to serve because you don’t have to cut into the eggplant.
Roasted Eggplant Parmesan is super delicious and can be served as a side with a side of pasta. Serve two or three stacks per person as a meal. But who am I to tell you how much to eat? It’s a personal thing.
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- 2 large firm eggplants ends removed, sliced into ½” slices
- ¼ cup olive oil*
Quick Tomato Sauce:
Layers and Topping:
- 8 ounces mozzarella sliced or shredded
- 1 cup or so grated Romano or Parmesan**
- Handful of fresh basil leaves whole or torn
Prepare the eggplant:
- Preheat oven 425°
- Line two baking sheets with parchment. Arrange the eggplant slices evenly on baking sheet. I line it from small to big of each eggplant which makes it easier to pair into stacks.
- Brush (don’t drizzle) each slice with olive oil. Flip and brush other side. There should be enough oil for this amount of eggplant. If you feel it needs a little more, add an extra tablespoon. Lightly sprinkle with salt.
- Roast in oven for 15 minutes. Flip them over, and roast for another 10 to 15 until softened and slightly charred.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce:
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions in the olive oil for about 10 minutes. The onions should be soft and just golden.
- Add in the garlic and cook for a minute or two being careful not to brown.
- Stir in the salt, garlic powder, sugar, and pepper.
- Then slowly add in the crushed tomatoes.
- Cook for about ten minutes stirring occasionally.
- Tear up the basil leaves and add to sauce. Stir it up and simmer for another ten minutes.
- Reduce oven to 350°
- In a large casserole, evenly spread some of tomato sauce on bottom of casserole to lightly cover.
- Place half of the eggplant on the bottom of the casserole dish. You can squeeze them in there.
- Spoon sauce over each slice. Half is used for this layer.
- Sprinkle on all of the basil over. I put a leaf over each stack or a sprinkle over each. You may not use all of the basil. If you don’t, use the rest for garnish after it’s baked.
- Sprinkle with half of the grated cheese.
- Place half of the mozzarella on top of each stack.
- Repeat placing same-sized eggplant slices over each stack, then sauce, then cheeses ending with the mozzarella.
- Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes until bubbly and golden.
- Let it rest until warm. You don’t want to eat this when it’s too hot. It actually tastes better warm or even room temperature than hot.
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