Simple Eggplant Parmesan
This Simple Eggplant Parmesan recipe does away with deep frying. The eggplant has a satisfying, meaty texture, and its umami flavor is front and center. Not only does ditching the fry oil save hundreds of calories, but it also makes this a quick and easy dinner to make — and clean up — on a weeknight.
The homemade sauce, a simple sauté of onions, garlic, basil, and tomatoes, is thick; it’s more of a topping than a sauce. At first, I thought the recipe called for way too much onion, but once the dish was baked, I found that they added excellent flavor. I cooked them a little bit longer than suggested to make them really soft and slightly caramelized. It’s worth the effort to make the sauce, but if you’re crunched for time, you could substitute a chunky premade sauce and still get results that will please your whole family.
Serve one or two slices of eggplant parmesan per person, with an arugula salad or roasted peppers. Leftovers? They’ll taste just as good cold, like an antipasto. Or, serve a slice atop a piece of whole grain toast for a hearty crostini. And, this eggplant parmesan also freezes well. Arrange leftovers on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and freeze until solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe container until ready to use.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 large eggplant, cut into 8 approx. ½-inch thick slices (about 2¼ lbs.)
- ½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt), divided use
- 4 tsp. olive oil, divided use
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil, divided use
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided use
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Here are your instructions:
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Lightly coat medium baking sheet with spray. Set aside.
Place eggplant slices on paper towels. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp. salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.
While eggplant is sitting, heat 2 tsp. oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
Add garlic, cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, ¼ cup basil, remaining ¼ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; gently boil for 10 to 12 minutes. If sauce becomes dry, add 1 to 2 Tbsp. water. Remove from heat. Set aside.
Pat eggplant dry. Place on prepared baking sheet. Brush with remaining 2 tsp. oil and sprinkle with remaining ½ tsp. Italian seasoning. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until tender but not mushy.
Preheat broiler on high.
Top each eggplant slice evenly with tomato mixture, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Return to oven for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. basil before serving.