Prepare to savor the classic flavors of Italy with our Eggplant Parmesan recipe, where layers of crispy breaded eggplant, rich marinara sauce, and indulgent melted mozzarella cheese come together to create a comforting and satisfying masterpiece. This Italian-inspired entree is a culinary delight that combines the earthy goodness of eggplant with the bold, savory notes of tomato sauce and the creamy allure of melted cheese. Each bite is a harmonious blend of textures and tastes, making it a timeless favorite for both weeknight dinners and special occasions, sure to transport your taste buds to the heart of Italy.
For the Breaded Eggplant:
2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
2 cups breadcrumbs (Italian seasoned breadcrumbs work well)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
Salt and black pepper to taste
Olive oil, for frying
For the Assembly:
2 cups marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)
1. Bread the Eggplant:
In three separate shallow dishes, place the flour in one, whisk the eggs in another, and place the breadcrumbs mixed with a pinch of salt and black pepper in the third.
Dip each eggplant slice first in the flour, then in the beaten eggs, and finally coat them with breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere.
2. Fry the Breaded Eggplant:
In a large skillet, heat about 1/4 inch of olive oil over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the breaded eggplant slices in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
Fry each side for about 2-3 minutes, or until they turn golden brown and crispy. Place the fried slices on paper towels to drain excess oil.
3. Preheat the Oven:
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
4. Assemble the Eggplant Parmesan:
In a baking dish, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom.
Place a layer of fried eggplant slices on top of the sauce.
Sprinkle with a portion of shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.
Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of sauce and a generous amount of cheese on top.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Allow the Eggplant Parmesan to cool slightly before serving. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired.
This Eggplant Parmesan recipe creates layers of crispy breaded eggplant, marinara sauce, and melted mozzarella cheese—a comforting and satisfying Italian-inspired entree that's perfect for a family dinner or special occasion. Enjoy!