Authentic Eggplant Parmesan {A Meatless Monday Recipe

Authentic Eggplant Parmesan {A Meatless Monday Recipe

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David and I are always drawn to Italian dishes for Meatless Monday. This Monday was no different. We decided that I would make authentic eggplant parmesan.

I hadn’t made authentic eggplant parmesan in a really long time but I knew it would be very bloggable. A recipe that perhaps you would like to make at home. But somehow in my eagerness to make this dish, I forgot how time-consuming this dish is to make.

The preparation takes a little while and there is also a lot of clean up afterward. So I will warn you in advance, this recipe is best prepared on the weekend, versus during the week. Nonetheless, it will be good. It always is and if you like to cook, you will enjoy making it as I do.

Authentic eggplant parmesan starts with fried eggplant slices breaded in flavorful Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, then layered in marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and baked to a golden brown.

Eggplant parmesan starts with fried eggplant, breaded seasoned breadcrumbs, layered in marinara, topped with mozzarella and parmesan, and baked golden brown | TheMountainKitchen.com

How To Make Authentic Eggplant Parmesan

Wash eggplant, slice, and salt heavily and place in a strainer for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Click HERE to find out about salting eggplants. You can choose not to do this step, but salting the slices will help them not absorb so much oil during the frying process.

breading station for eggplant slices

Meanwhile, make a breading station for the eggplant to be battered before frying. You’ll need three plates or shallow bowls:

  1. In the first dish, combine the breadcrumbs, ¼ cup Parmesan, oregano, basil, and cayenne.
  2. Crack the eggs and lightly beat them in a second dish.
  3. Add the flour to a third dish.

After the 30 minute salting, rinse the salt off the eggplant. Blot the rinsed eggplant slices with a paper towel to dry them.

Coat each eggplant slice in the flour, shaking off any excess flour. Next, dip each slice into the egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture.

Set coated eggplant aside on a plate. Let the eggplant sit for at least ten minutes so that the batter will adhere to the slices better when frying.

frying eggplant in pan

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add the eggplant to the pan. Fry two to four slices at a time. Do not overcrowd the pan or the eggplant will become soggy.

Cook until golden brown on both sides; about 3 to 5 minutes. Place the eggplant slices on a plate lined with paper towels to allow the excess oil to drain off before adding to the baking dish.

fried eggplant draining on paper towel

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a ladle, spread out enough tomato sauce onto the bottom of a baking dish for each eggplant slice to lay on top of. Place each eggplant slice onto the sauce. Top each eggplant slice with a little more sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

broiling eggplant parmesan inside oven

I usually speed up the cheese browning, by turning on the broiler for the last few minutes, until that mozzarella is golden.

authentic eggplant parmesan

There are no shortcuts when it comes to certain dishes, but I promise, this Authentic Eggplant Parmesan is totally worth the time and clean up. Just plan ahead and do it on the weekend when you have more time!

broiling eggplant parmesan
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Authentic Eggplant Parmesan

Authentic Eggplant parmesan starts with fried eggplant, breaded seasoned breadcrumbs, layered in marinara, with mozzarella and parmesan; baked golden brown.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Meatless Monday, Vegetarian
Keyword Authentic, Chicken Parmesan, eggplant
Prep Time 55 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 387kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant average size
  • 1 ½ cups plain breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups prepared tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese shredded or sliced

Instructions

  • Wash eggplant, slice, and salt heavily and place in a strainer for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, make a breading station for the eggplant to be battered before frying. You’ll need three plates or shallow bowls:
    Dish One: Combine breadcrumbs, ¼ cup Parmesan, oregano, basil, and cayenne.
    Dish Two: Crack the eggs and lightly beat.
    Dish Three: Add the flour.
  • After the 30 minute salting, rinse the salt off the eggplant. Blot the rinsed eggplant slices with a paper towel to dry them.
    Coat each eggplant slice in the flour, shaking off any excess flour. Next, dip each slice into the egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture.
    Set coated eggplant aside on a plate. Let the eggplant sit for at least ten minutes so that the batter will adhere to the slices better when frying.
  • Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add the eggplant to the pan. Fry two to four slices at a time. Do not overcrowd the pan or the eggplant will become soggy.
  • Cook until golden on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Place them on a paper towel in a plate to allow excess oil to drain before adding to the baking dish.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Using a ladle, spread out enough tomato sauce onto the bottom of a baking dish for each eggplant slice to lay on top of. Place each eggplant slice onto the sauce. Top each eggplant slice with a little more sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Notes

Click HERE to find out about salting eggplants. You can choose not to do this step, but salting the slices will help them not absorb so much oil during the frying process.
I usually speed up the cheese browning, by turning on the broiler for the last few minutes, until that mozzarella is golden.

Nutrition

Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 958mg | Potassium: 586mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 790IU | Vitamin C: 7.4mg | Calcium: 343mg | Iron: 4.2mg
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