Baked eggplant parmesan casserole is an easy and healthier way to enjoy a classic Italian dish. It's filled with all of the ingredients that we love in traditional eggplant parmesan, with less fuss. It is a vegetarian dinner that's perfect for a meatless Monday or any day of the week.
This is the best eggplant parmesan recipe ever! If you love classic eggplant parmesan but don't love all of the work that goes along with it, this recipe is for you.
Unlike the traditional version, instead of breaded eggplant slices, crispy bread crumbs are sprinkled onto the eggplant. And the best part is, this eggplant casserole only has to be cooked once. No frying and bread crumbs are optional.
Try these eggplant meatballs, which are also a delicious and easy recipe!
- It's made with a few simple ingredients and in one dish.
- It's a quick and easy recipe that can be on your table in an hour or less!
- Eggplant casserole is a healthy, quick dinner with a low-carb option.
Here is what you will need
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This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.
- Sea Salt
- Bread Crumbs
- Dried Oregano or Italian Seasoning
- Garlic Powder
- Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Marinara Sauce
How to make Eggplant Parmesan casserole
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Step 1. Slice the eggplant
Prepare the eggplant by slicing it into ¼ inch thick rounds.
Step 2. Add sauce
Spread half of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan or an oven-proof casserole dish.
Step 3. Add eggplant slices
Arrange the eggplant rounds in the casserole dish in a single layer while slightly overlapping the slices.
Step 4. Add the crumbs
Sprinkle the top of the eggplant slices with panko breadcrumbs and oregano.
Step 5. Add more sauce and cheese
Top the eggplant with the remaining sauce and cheese. Cover the casserole and place it into the 375-degree f oven; bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
The full list of ingredients to make this recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients, along with ideas for substitutes.
Eggplant - You can use any type of medium to large eggplant to make this wonderful recipe. I like to use globe eggplant which is the traditional purple eggplant or Italian eggplant which looks similar to the globe variety but is smaller in size.
Panko Bread Crumbs - These are crispy and larger than regular breadcrumbs. I like to use panko in this recipe because they add a nice crunch.
An equal amount of regular Italian breadcrumbs can be substituted or you can leave them completely out for a gluten-free eggplant casserole.
Mozzarella Cheese - Fresh mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella cheese is the best cheese to use and shred it or slice it yourself. It's lighter and fresher tasting.
The Tomato Sauce - Here is a recipe for my homemade sauce which doesn't take a long time to make. But if you are in a time crunch, feel free to use a high-quality bottled sauce.
Serve your eggplant casserole garnished with fresh basil and a side of your favorite pasta, garlic bread and a kale caesar salad or a simple spinach salad on the side.
Eggplant casserole can easily be made ahead of time by following the instructions in the recipe, but don't add the cheese. Store the prepared casserole covered in the refrigerator for up to two days.
To cook, bring the casserole to room temperature, sprinkle it with cheese cover it, and bake.
How to store & freeze leftovers
Store leftover eggplant parmesan casserole in the refrigerator for up to three days in an airtight container.
Reheat it in the microwave or the oven at 350 until it is heated through.
Make two batches of eggplant casserole and freeze one without the cheese in a covered freezer container for up to three months.
Thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight and bake according to the recipe instructions just before serving.
Dairy-Free - Replace the cheese with ¼ cup nutritional yeast or dairy-free cheese sprinkled on top or leave the cheese off completely.
Gluten-Free - Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or leave them out completely for a low-carb eggplant parmesan casserole.
- Leave the eggplant skin on, unless it is tough. It is the most nutritious part of the eggplant.
- Fresh mozzarella cheese can be crumbly and difficult to shred, try freezing it for about 30 minutes to firm it up before shredding it.
No, it is not necessary to soak eggplant unless the eggplant is large or has a bitter taste to it.
Yes, it does. Store room-temperature cooked eggplant in the freezer. It can be cooked from frozen or thawed in the refrigerator. The reheated frozen casserole might be a little soggy.
Have you tried these delicious recipes?
- Eggplant Meatballs
- Baked Pasta with Kale and Sausage
- Arugula Salad with Pistachios
- Grilled Chicken Parmesan
Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 1 large or 2 small eggplants
- a pinch of sea salt
- ¼ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs panko
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ cup grated fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 ½ cups marinara sauce
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice the eggplant into thin slices which are about ¼ inch thick.
- Spread half of the sauce in an oven-proof casserole dish.
- Arrange the eggplant slices in the casserole dish, overlapping them and not stacking them.
- Sprinkle the top of the eggplant slices with sea salt, oregano, garlic powder and panko.
- Top the eggplant with the remaining sauce and the cheese,
- Cover the eggplant and bake it at 375 for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cover from the casserole and bake 10 minutes longer.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
Check out more of our plant based recipes here!
Love eggplant parm and this easy version is a winner!
Camilla @ Culinary Adventures says
I love eggplant parmesan! I can't wait to try this version. Thanks for sharing.
Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorites! I can't wait to try this!
I hope you like it!
Jas @All that's Jas says
Such a classic Italian dish and so delicious! I love the simplicity of it.
Eileen Kelly says
I am obsessed with eggplant! Love your recipe and I am looking forward to making it for the family!
I hope you like it Eileen!
Jolene Martinelli says
I love eggplant, and that this is baked instead of fried, can't wait to give it a try!
I hope you like it Jolene!
Pure Italian comfort food! Love that it's baked. It's perfect to make two pans too! One for now, one for later.
Can we use regular Italian bread crumbs instead of the panko?
Yes, Melissa you can use regular breadcrumbs.
My husband loved this dish and he already wants it again!
I'm glad he enjoyed it Jamie!
I love eggplant parm. This is a great way to enjoy it at home without having to spend a lot of money in a restaurant! It turned out perfectly, thanks for the fabulous recipe!
Just had to come back and add that my family keeps requesting this - it's that good! And what a great way to get some extra veggies into them. 🙂
Jenni LeBaron says
I love how flexible this is for planning ahead! The fact that you can freeze a batch of this and stick the other one in the fridge for two days before baking it makes meal prep for the week so easy! Love a good eggplant dish and would be thrilled to ass this to the mix.
Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen says
This looks so delicious! Always a fan of chicken parm, so this will be a great meat free alternative to try out!
Veena Azmanov says
This recipe looks easy, full of flavor and loaded with so much goodness. Its the best way I could convince my kids to have egg plant
kelly anthony says
I love that is this a healthier version of eggplant parm! One of my faves. This sounds just as delicious 🙂
I really love eggplant parm -- but always feel like I have to treat it as an indulgence. Not anymore! 😀 Can't wait to give this recipe a try!
Marisa Franca Stewart says
We love eggplant parmesan but don't make it often because it is high in calories. But you've solved the problem for us. We get the taste of one of our favorite dishes minus the calories. I'm pinning the recipe to make next week. Thank you for the valuable tips too.
Nicoletta De Angelis Nardelli says
We like eggplant dishes very much, mostly in the summer when it's in season and tastes so delicious.
Jessica (Swanky Recipes) says
I always make chicken parmesan but last year I had the most amazing eggplant parmesan from an Italian restaurant in New Orleans. My sister is coming into town and I might just have to make this for her to see if it rivals the restaurant we tried together! All these ingredients sound incredibly flavorful together!
Looks delicious! Pinning!
I love that this isn't breaded. My husband and I have been watching our diet lately, and breading is something we don't need. Still looks indulgent and delish without it!
Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. This casserole is a great make ahead dinner or to serve along side pasta to add some extra veggies. I love that you can freeze it too!
Baked eggplant is one of my favorite things to make! So easy and I love how soft and melty the eggplant gets as it bakes. I usually use ricotta cheese but I'm going to try this version with mozzarella; I know my kids will love the 'stringy' cheese when it comes hot out of the oven!
I'm obsessed with eggplants lately. They are amazing veggies. So healthy and so perfect paired with cheese. I love this recipe. It's perfect family dinner. EASY and delicious. I'm so making this.
Hey so I made the vegan version of this and it was pretty awesome! I used a cashew parm “cheese” topping. And that was just perfect for me. Great tip about freezing. I had no idea you could freeze eggplant. Next time I make this dish I’ll double and freeze one for later.
I'm glad you liked it Cindy and I bet it was great with the cashew parm cheese!
Soooo DELISH! Made it with GF flour and it was perfect!
I'm glad you like it Alyssa! I assume you mean gluten-free bread crumbs, because there is no flour in this recipe
This is such a winning recipe. I mean freezer friendly that tastes so good! Can't wait to make an extra batch of this for Meatless Monday.