**Eggplant Parmesan With Marinara Sauce**

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Are you craving a delicious and comforting Italian dish? Look no further than this mouthwatering recipe for Eggplant Parmesan with Marinara Sauce. The perfect harmony of crispy breaded eggplant slices, gooey melted cheese, and tangy marinara sauce will have you coming back for seconds. Whether you’re a vegetarian, trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, or simply seeking a new addition to your dinner rotation, this Eggplant Parmesan will not disappoint. Get ready to indulge in layers of flavor and experience a taste of Italy right in your own kitchen. Eggplant Parmesan with Marinara Sauce is a delicious and comforting dish that is perfect for both vegetarians and meat lovers alike. Made with layers of breaded and baked eggplant slices, marinara sauce, and melted cheese, this dish is a crowd-pleaser that is easy to make at home. Whether you’re looking for a hearty main course or a flavorful side dish, Eggplant Parmesan is a versatile option that never fails to satisfy. In this article, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of making this delectable dish, as well as provide some tips, variations, and information on its health benefits.

9. **Eggplant Parmesan With Marinara Sauce**


Gather Ingredients

Before you start cooking, gather all the necessary ingredients for Eggplant Parmesan. You’ll need fresh eggplants, garlic cloves, onions, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and your preferred spices and seasonings. Make sure to choose eggplants that are firm, shiny, and with a vibrant purple color, as these are signs of freshness.

Preheat Oven

Preheating the oven is an important step in ensuring that your Eggplant Parmesan cooks evenly and thoroughly. Set your oven to 375°F (190°C) and allow it to heat up while you prepare the other components of the dish.

Slice Eggplant

Slice the eggplant into rounds of about half an inch thick. You can peel the skin if desired, but leaving it on adds a nice texture to the final dish. Place the eggplant slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside.

Salt Eggplant

Sprinkle salt over the eggplant slices and let them sit for about 30 minutes. This will help draw out excess moisture from the eggplant, resulting in a firmer texture when cooked.

Prepare Breading Station

Set up a breading station with three separate bowls. In the first bowl, place some all-purpose flour. In the second bowl, beat a couple of eggs. In the third bowl, combine breadcrumbs with your preferred seasonings, such as Italian herbs, garlic powder, and grated parmesan cheese.

Bread Eggplant Slices

Take each salted eggplant slice and pat it dry with a paper towel. Dip the slice into the flour, ensuring it is coated evenly. Shake off any excess flour and dip it into the beaten eggs. Finally, coat the slice in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing down gently to ensure the breadcrumbs adhere. Repeat this process with all the eggplant slices.

Making Marinara Sauce

Saute Garlic and Onions

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic cloves and diced onions to the pan and sauté until they become fragrant and translucent. The aroma of sautéing garlic and onions will fill your kitchen with a delightful scent.

Add Tomato Paste

Once the garlic and onions are cooked, add tomato paste to the pan. Stir well to combine and cook it for a minute or two. Tomato paste adds concentrated flavor to the marinara sauce.

Pour Crushed Tomatoes

Pour crushed tomatoes into the saucepan and stir to combine. The crushed tomatoes will create a rich and chunky base for the marinara sauce. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and your choice of dried herbs, such as basil, oregano, and thyme.

Season and Simmer

Bring the marinara sauce to a gentle simmer and let it cook for about 20-30 minutes. This simmering process allows the flavors to meld together and intensify. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Assembling the Dish

Layer Eggplant and Marinara Sauce

Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange a single layer of breaded eggplant slices on top of the sauce. The sauce not only adds flavor but also prevents the eggplant from sticking to the bottom of the dish.

Add Mozzarella Cheese

Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese over the eggplant slices. The melted mozzarella cheese creates a gooey and indulgent layer that complements the crispy eggplant perfectly.

Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese

Grate some parmesan cheese over the mozzarella layer. The sharp and salty flavor of the parmesan adds a delicious depth to the dish.

Repeat Layers

Repeat the layering process with another layer of marinara sauce, eggplant slices, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese. Depending on the size of your baking dish, you can create two or three layers.

Top with Sauce and Cheese

For the final layer, top the dish with a generous amount of marinara sauce, followed by a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese. This layer will create a beautiful and flavorful topping for your Eggplant Parmesan.

Baking Process

Cover with Foil

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. This will help trap the heat and steam, allowing the eggplant to cook evenly and retain moisture during the initial baking process.

Bake in Preheated Oven

Place the covered baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. The eggplant slices will become tender, and the cheese will melt into a golden and bubbly crust.

Remove Foil and Bake Further

After 30 minutes, remove the foil from the baking dish. This will expose the top layer of cheese, allowing it to brown and develop a slightly crispy texture. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Let it Rest

Once the Eggplant Parmesan is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting time allows the flavors to settle and the layers to firm up, making it easier to serve and enjoy.

9. **Eggplant Parmesan With Marinara Sauce**

Serving and Enjoying

Garnish with Fresh Basil

Before serving, garnish your Eggplant Parmesan with fresh basil leaves. The vibrant green color and aromatic flavor of the basil add a refreshing touch to the dish. Plus, it looks beautiful and appetizing!

Serve with Pasta or Salad

Eggplant Parmesan can be enjoyed on its own as a main dish, but it also pairs well with pasta or a side salad. The combination of rich and cheesy eggplant with pasta or fresh greens creates a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

Pair with Your Preferred Beverage

To complete your dining experience, pair your Eggplant Parmesan with your preferred beverage. Whether it’s a glass of red wine, a cold beer, or a refreshing glass of iced tea, find a drink that complements the flavors and enhances your enjoyment of the dish.

Tips and Variations

Choosing the Right Eggplant

When selecting eggplants for Eggplant Parmesan, choose ones that are firm, shiny, and with a vibrant purple color. Avoid eggplants that have soft spots or wrinkled skin, as these are signs of age or spoilage.

Making a Vegetarian Version

Eggplant Parmesan is naturally a vegetarian dish, but for an even healthier twist, you can make it vegan by replacing the cheese with vegan alternatives or nutritional yeast. These substitutes will still provide a cheesy flavor and texture without the dairy.

Adding Meat or Protein

If you’re craving a heartier version of Eggplant Parmesan, you can add some ground meat, such as beef, chicken, or turkey, to the marinara sauce. Alternatively, you can top the dish with cooked sausage or prosciutto for added protein and flavor.

Experimenting with Different Cheeses

While mozzarella and parmesan are classic choices for Eggplant Parmesan, feel free to experiment with different cheeses. Try using provolone, fontina, or a mix of different cheeses to create unique flavor combinations and textures.

Adding Other Veggies or Herbs

Feel free to get creative and add other vegetables or herbs to your Eggplant Parmesan. Sautéed mushrooms, sliced bell peppers, or wilted spinach can all be delicious additions that enhance the overall flavor and nutritional profile of the dish.

Making Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan

If you have a gluten intolerance or prefer a gluten-free diet, you can easily make Eggplant Parmesan without using regular breadcrumbs. Opt for gluten-free breadcrumbs made from cornmeal or gluten-free grains, or try using almond meal or crushed rice cakes as an alternative coating.

Health Benefits

Rich in Nutrients

Eggplant is a nutrient-dense vegetable that is low in calories but high in essential vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Incorporating eggplant into your diet can contribute to overall health and well-being.

Provides Dietary Fiber

Eating foods high in dietary fiber, such as eggplant, can promote digestive health and prevent constipation. Fiber also helps control blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol, and aids in weight management.

Contains Antioxidants

Eggplant contains antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give it its deep purple color. These antioxidants help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Potential Anti-Cancer Properties

Some studies suggest that the compounds found in eggplant, such as chlorogenic acid and nasunin, may have anti-cancer properties. These compounds have been observed to inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells and promote cell death.

Storage and Reheating


If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Eggplant Parmesan can be enjoyed as a quick and delicious reheated meal during the week.


To freeze Eggplant Parmesan, allow it to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or tightly wrapped in aluminum foil. Frozen Eggplant Parmesan can be stored for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Reheating in the Oven

To reheat Eggplant Parmesan in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the frozen or refrigerated dish in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is bubbly.

Reheating in the Microwave

To reheat a single serving of Eggplant Parmesan, place it in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through. Stir gently halfway through to ensure even reheating.

History and Variations

Origin and Italian Influence

Eggplant Parmesan, also known as Melanzane alla Parmigiana, originates from Southern Italy. It has become a beloved Italian-American dish, often associated with classic Italian cuisine. The combination of eggplant, marinara sauce, and cheese is a testament to the simple yet flavorful cooking style of Italian cuisine.

Regional and Cultural Variations

While Eggplant Parmesan is typically made with breaded and fried eggplant slices, variations exist among different regions in Italy and around the world. Some recipes call for unpeeled eggplant, while others layer the eggplant with fresh tomato slices or add ingredients like mushrooms, ham, or ricotta cheese.

Eggplant Parmesan vs. Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant Parmesan and Eggplant Lasagna are similar dishes that both feature breaded eggplant slices layered with marinara sauce and cheese. The key difference lies in the presence of pasta sheets in Eggplant Lasagna, which adds an extra layer of texture and richness to the dish.

Eggplant Parmesan in Modern Cuisine

Eggplant Parmesan has evolved over time and has become a popular dish in modern cuisine. Chefs and home cooks alike experiment with different ingredients, techniques, and presentations to put their own twist on this classic recipe. From adding unique spices and vegetables to using creative plating techniques, Eggplant Parmesan continues to be a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit individual taste preferences.


Eggplant Parmesan with Marinara Sauce is a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed by everyone. With its layers of breaded eggplant, flavorful marinara sauce, and melted cheese, this dish offers a satisfying combination of textures and flavors. It is easy to make at home and can be customized to suit various dietary preferences and taste preferences. Whether you’re a vegetarian, a meat lover, or simply a fan of Italian cuisine, Eggplant Parmesan is a dish that will always delight your taste buds. So grab some fresh eggplant, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy this comforting and mouthwatering dish!