This Parmigiana di Melanzane or No Fry Eggplant Parmesan is definitely part of our top 5 decadent Italian dishes. If you haven’t tried it before, your time has come.
Living here in Italy helped us learn how to make a Perfect Eggplant Parmesan from scratch and enjoy its simplicity. Makes a perfect special occasion starter or main course. Try it out for Valentine's dinner!
It is like lasagna, without the pasta layers, which are replaced with delicious eggplant slices.
If you are trying to keep the carbs away, are on a keto diet but not worrying much about the calories, and want a healthier version, this is for you.
In Italy, this is usually served as a primi piatti or appetizer, followed by the main dish. We like it so much that we just have a big piece and make it our main dish.
This recipe is made from scratch, but it’s easy to prepare. First, we’ll roast the eggplant slices instead of frying them. Then we’ll assemble the dish and bake it.
- Vegan mozzarella cheese
- Vegan parmesan
- Olive oil extra-virgin
- Coarse sea salt
- Marinara sauce (store-bought or check our)
- kosher salt
See quantities and full instructions in the recipe card.
Optional and strongly suggested: fresh basil!
How to Make an Eggplant Parmesan (Parmigiana di Melanzane)?
To make your baked eggplant parmesan first look for firm Eggplants. As you are going to slice them, you want to make sure you have fresh tight eggplants.
Baking the eggplant. Prepare a baking dish (optionally with baking sheets, or parchment paper). Make eggplant slices and throw some coarse salt on top, so it takes away their bitterness.
Prepare the tomato sauce recipe by chopping the onion and garlic finely. Stir fry them in olive oil and let them simmer for 30-45 minutes until thick.
Remove the extra coarse salt. Dry the eggplants with a tablecloth or paper towels. Oil a tray put them on it with a splash of extra virgin oil, and bake them in the oven.
Assemble: Place a layer of the marinara sauce, followed by a layer of baked eggplant slices, salt, and pepper, followed by mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese, until you run out of ingredients. Top with this 5 Minutes Vegan Parmesan
Bake until the vegan cheese is melted and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Ready!
It is not the easiest dish to make, but it is easy enough to take it on for any given day dinner when you have more than one to two hours and want to make something extra special.
It is like making lasagna but with fewer ingredients. The Lasagna sheets will be replaced by the baked eggplant sheets, which need a little treatment before achieving the desired consistency.
You need your baked eggplant sheets, your tomato sauce, and your vegan cheeses (you can use regular mozzarella and parmesan if Vegetarian), both Vegan and Vegetarian versions work well. Then you assemble it and put it in the oven. Here is our 5-minutes Vegan Parmesan Recipe.
Although we love eating the eggplant parm, out of the oven, our favorite Sunday decadent treat, is room-temperature eggplant parmesan!
If you are asking yourself, what happened with the breading?
Italian Parmesan is not breaded (no bread crumbs!), that is an American creation, and it adds a step and doesn't add flavor here.
This No-fry Eggplant parmesan recipe is healthier than most American eggplant Parmesans and is delicious and traditional. We live in Italy and have had our fair share of Eggplant Parmesans. The only non-traditional aspects here are: skipping the frying step, and if you choose the vegan cheeses option, that would be a second one.
You usually make the standard version of frying the eggplant sheets, but I am super happy with a healthier one where I grill them.
More Italian recipes inspiration
- 5 Minutes Vegan Pesto
- Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- Saffron Risotto (Risotto alla Milanese)
- Cacio e Peppe Spaghetti
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Recipe: No-Fry Eggplant Parmesan
- Wash and slice the eggplants very thinly with a sharp knife, or even better if you have a mandolin, the layers should be a little less than ⅛ inch (2 mm).3 eggplants
- Prepare the eggplant. Lay the slices on a tray or colander where they can drain and put the coarse sea salt over. The salt will make the eggplant “sweat” and lose some water and bitterness. Let them rest for one hour.3 eggplants, 1 ounce coarse sea salt
- Pre-heat the oven at 400ºF (about 200ºC).
- Prepare the tomato sauce by chopping the onion and garlic finely. Stir fry them in olive oil for a minute and add the tomato puree. Let it simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.32 ounces organic tomato sauce, 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons olive oil extra-virgin
- Remove eggplant's excess salt. Wash the eggplants from the extra coarse salt. Then, dry them with a tablecloth. Oil a tray and put them on it with a splash of extra virgin oil. Put them in the oven and grill for 10-15 minutes.3 eggplants, 1 tablespoon olive oil extra-virgin
- Shred your vegan mozzarella cheese or grind it with and shredder (in case you are not using shredded mozzarela cheese).1 pound vegan mozzarella cheese
- Season tomato sauce. Go back to your tomato sauce and add the basil leaves, sugar, salt, and pepper and take them out of the heat.1 cup basil leaves, 1 tablespoon fine salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Remove from oven. Take the eggplant out of the oven and prepare the tray where you are going to assemble the dish.
- Prepare baking tray. Put some oil on the bottom of a deep tray.2 tablespoons olive oil extra-virgin
- Assemble. Place a layer of tomato sauce, followed by a layer of grilled eggplant, salt, and pepper, followed by mozzarella and parmesan.3 eggplants, 1 pound vegan mozzarella cheese, 32 ounces organic tomato sauce, 5 ounces vegan parmesan cheese
- Repeat until you fill the pan, making sure you finish with a layer of tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese to ensure it looks well grilled.
- Bake in the oven keeping the 400ºF (about 200ºC) for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest about 10 minutes before serving.
Top it with some basil leaves.
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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