Eggplant Parmesan (baked, not fried!)


I’m baaaack!  Many apologies for not posting in such a long time, I was having major computer issues… But, I’m back and have collected many, many recipes in the last 2 months!  I’m jumping back in with eggplant parmesan since I made that for dinner today.  The difference between the recipe below and most others is that I didn’t fry the eggplant slices- instead I baked them.   The best part is, I think it actually tastes better this way!  Also, I like adding spinach to it.  Making the eggplant slices is time-consuming, so I tend to make 2 trays at a time and freeze/keep one of the trays before baking for another day- the quantities in the recipe below reflects this double recipe.

Ingredients

3 eggplants (2-3 lbs), cut into 1/2-inch thick round slices
salt (to sprinkle on top)z
~1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup liquid egg whites (I used the carton egg whites, but you can mix ~6 egg whites with 2 tbsp water if you want)
3 cups breadcrumbs
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 tbsp dried parsely
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
olive oil (to coat the foil and spray on top of the slices)
12 cups tomato sauce (I used either arrabiatta or marinara)
6 oz fresh baby spinach
12 oz fontina cheese, grated
12 oz mozzarella cheese, grated


Directions

1.  Sprinkle salt on both sides of each eggplant slice and lay the eggplant slices in a single layer.  Let them sit for ~1 hour.  After an hour, rinse them well with cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel (very important!).

2.  Put the flour in a plate so that it’s easier to dredge the eggplant slices.  Dredging is where you “drag” the slice through the flour (essentially thinly coat it) and then shake off the excess.


3.  Pour the egg whites in a bowl with a wide bottom so that it’s easier to coat the eggplant slices.

4.  Prepare the breadcrumbs by mixing them with oregano, thyme, parsley, and black pepper in a large bowl.   Place ~1/2 cup of this mix in a plate at a time so that it’s easier to coat the eggplant slices.

5.  Set up the oven rack to bake (instead of fry) the eggplant slices.  I do this by pulling out one of the oven racks and covering it in foil.  Then spray oil on top so that the slices don’t stick.  Preheat the oven to 400 F.


5.  Prepare each of the eggplant slices by doing the following:

  • Step 1: Dredge both sides in the flour and shake off the excess.
  • Step 2: Dip both sides in the egg white wash and shake off the excess.
  • Step 3: Coat both sides with breadcrumbs and shake off the excess.
  • Step 4: Place in a single layer on a foil covered oven tray.  Spray lightly on top with oil.

6.  Bake at 400 F for 12 mins.  Flip and bake for an additional 10 mins.


7.  Set up 2 9×13-inch baking trays with layers as follows (instructions and quantities are per pan):

  • Layer 1: Spread 2 cups of sauce on the bottom
  • Layer 2: Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer.
  • Layer 3: Spread 2 cups of sauce on the eggplant slices.
  • Layer 4: Sprinkle half of each cheese on top.
  • Layer 5: Spread 3 oz of spinach leaves on top (this will look puffy, but it’s okay since it will wilt as it cooks).
  • Layer 6: Arrange another layer of eggplant slices in a single layer.
  • Layer 7: Spread 2 cups of sauce on the eggplant slices.
  • Layer 8: Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

8. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 400 F for 30 min.  Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 5 mins to allow the cheese to brown slightly.

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3 thoughts on “Eggplant Parmesan (baked, not fried!)

  1. Pretty easy recipe…just takes a while to prep the eggplant (as edgyveggiebytes states). I added rosemary to the breadcrumbs b/c I have an infinite supply of dried rosemary! If you like rosemary, it adds a nice flavor to the eggplant. I cut the cheese by about 1/2 that the recipe calls for in my recipe and yet felt that there was still enough cheese.
    I like the addition of spinach!

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