Baked Eggplant Parmesan


Eggplant Parmesan, Lightened Up!


Eggplant parmesan is hands down one of my favorite dishes. However, I don't always love how I feel after eating a fried dish. I like to bake foods that are traditionally fried, in order to lighten them up and prevent that heavy, greasy feeling that can sometimes accompany a fried meal (check out my Baked Buffalo Cauliflower and my Easy, Cheesy, Baked Jalapeño Poppers for some other examples of fried foods that have been tried, tested and vetted in the oven). I love this dish because it is so versatile and makes for a great #mealprep item, since it makes a large amount. It's vegetarian and can easily be made gluten free or dairy free with a few, simple swaps (swapping the breadcrumbs for gluten free breadcrumbs and swapping the cheese for a dairy free alternative). And the best part? It is absolutely delicious!


Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes


Ingredients (yields about 18 pieces or 6 servings):

2 large eggplant (about 16 oz each)

1 1/2 C whole wheat breadcrumbs, unseasoned

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

3 eggs, scrambled, raw

1/4 C oil (I like to use avocado oil)

12 oz mozzarella cheese (shredded or fresh)

50 oz tomato sauce (about 2 25-oz jars - I like to use Rao's brand or use my own homemade tomato sauce)

Nonstick cooking spray


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Wash eggplant, pat dry with paper towel and slice into ~1/2 inch thick slices (there should be about 18 slices)

3. Combine breadcrumbs and spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder) in a medium bowl.

4. Spray large casserole dishes (you will likely need at least 3 for this recipe) with nonstick cooking spray. Dip each eggplant slice into the eggs to coat, then dip in the breadcrumb mixture and place in casserole dish. Repeat until all eggplant slices are breaded and placed in a casserole dish.

5. Drizzle about half of the oil over eggplant slices. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, flip eggplant slices with a spatula and drizzle remaining oil over eggplant slices. Add more oil if needed, depending on the amount of slices the eggplant yields. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy (*oven times may vary).

6. Remove from oven. Pour sauce over eggplant. Top with cheese (if using fresh mozzarella, cut into slices to cover each slice of eggplant).

7. Bake in oven until cheese is melted and sauce is hot, about 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!


*Please Note: If you are swapping traditional whole wheat breadcrumbs for gluten free breadcrumbs due to a need to avoid all potential sources of cross contact, such as in the case of celiac disease, I recommend using certified gluten free products for all other ingredients, including spices and tomato sauce.


Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (1 serving = approximately 3 slices eggplant parmesan)

Calories 475 calories, Total Fat 26 g, Saturated Fat 9 g, Cholesterol 138 mg, Carbohydrates 39 g, Fiber 10 g, Protein 24 g, Sodium 1270 mg, Calcium 427 mg

*Note: Analysis uses whole milk cheese and sauce from a jar. Nutrient content, including calories, total fat, saturated fat and sodium content, will vary depending on ingredients used.


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