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Baked Eggplant Parmesan

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This Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe is lightened up a bit with baked (instead of fried) panko-crusted roasted eggplant, and layered up with a zesty combination of marinara, cheeses and fresh herbs.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

I will be the first to admit that I’m still on the fence about how much I really love eggplant.

But when it comes to eggplant Parmesan, count me in anytime. ♡

Yes, all of those layers of cozy marinara sauce, gooey melted Mozzarella, sweet fresh basil, and of course, lots and lots of freshly-grated Parmesan probably have something to with my love of this eggplant Parm. But I’m also especially partial to the zesty toasted breading used to coat the roasted eggplant rounds in this particular recipe. It’s not authentically Italian (melanzane alla parmigiana in Italy actually doesn’t include any breading for the eggplant), but it’s the delicious American-style version of eggplant Parmesan that I grew up loving. And — bonus — this crispy breading in this recipe is baked instead of deep-fried. And most importantly, super delicious.

Over the years, thousands of our readers have made and loved this baked eggplant Parmesan recipe. So now that eggplant season has begun again here in Barcelona, I thought I would snap some fresh pics and bump this recipe back to the top of the blog for any of you who have yet to give it a try. Trust me, it’s a winner!

baked eggplant parmesan | 1-minute video

Crispy Oven-Fried Panko-Crusted Roasted Eggplant

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients:

To make this baked eggplant Parmesan recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Eggplant: 2 medium fresh eggplants (about 2 pounds), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: Which I recommend briefly toasting on a baking sheet in the oven before adding to the casserole, so that the breadcrumbs are extra-crispy and golden.
  • Seasonings: A mixture of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, fine sea salt and black pepper.
  • Eggs: Which we will use to help bind the breadcrumb mixture to the eggplant rounds.
  • Marinara sauce: Either homemade or store-bought. My original recipe here called for 3 cups (approximately one 25-ounce jar) of marinara, but I typically use a double batch of my homemade recipe which yields closer to 4 cups.
  • Mozzarella cheese: I typically just use shredded mozzarella, but sliced fresh mozzarella balls would be extra-delicious too.
  • Parmesan cheese: The more, the merrier! I recommend grating a generous layer to add in the middle of the casserole. And then don’t forget to also grate or shave extra Parmesan to sprinkle on top of each serving.
  • Fresh basil: The same goes for the fresh basil as for the Parmesan. I recommend a generous layer in the middle of the casserole, plus extra to sprinkle on top of each serving.

How To Make Eggplant Parmesan In The Oven

How To Make Eggplant Parmesan:

Here is a basic overview of the steps for how to make Eggplant Parmesan. Detailed instructions in the recipe below!

  1. Sweat the eggplant (optional). If you have the extra time and would like your eggplant to taste a bit less bitter, I recommend slicing, salting, and letting the eggplant “sweat” out its potentially-bitter juices before adding it to the casserole. Just leave the salted eggplant slices to rest on paper towels for 30-60 minutes, then rinse off the salt with cold water and pat dry.
  2. Toast the Panko (optional). This step is also optional, but if you would like the panko to be more golden and crispy, I recommend spreading it out on a baking sheet and briefly toasting until golden.
  3. Bread the eggplant. To bread the eggplant slices, dip them in an egg wash followed by the seasoned breadcrumb mixture. (I have included a pro tip in the recipe below for how to do this without getting your hands too messy!)  Then bake until the eggplant has softened and is mostly cooked through.
  4. Layer the casserole. Next, we will layer everything up in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish! The basic order for this casserole is: marinara sauce, eggplant, marinara sauce, Mozzarella, Parmesan, basil, eggplant, marinara sauce, and Mozzarella.
  5. Bake. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and starts to turn slightly golden around the edges and the eggplant is cooked to your liking. Sprinkle with extra basil and Parmesan.
  6. Serve. Then dish it up nice and warm…and enjoy!

Best Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Possible Recipe Variations:

Want to customize this easy Eggplant Parmesan recipe a bit? Feel free to…

  • Make it spicy: I love sprinkling some crushed red pepper flakes into this casserole to give it a bit of extra heat.
  • Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free Panko. (And as always, double-check that all other ingredients are certified gluten-free too.)
  • Make it faster: If you are in a hurry, you can skip the step of sweating the eggplant and toasting the breadcrumbs. The eggplant may just be a touch more bitter and the breadcrumbs less toasty.
  • Use long eggplant slices: Instead of cutting the eggplant into rounds, you are also welcome to cut it lengthwise into long slices. Then bread, bake and add to the casserole as directed.
  • Use traditional breadcrumbs: If you don’t happen to have Panko breadcrumbs on hand, traditional plain breadcrumbs will also work.

Healthy Eggplant Parmesan Recipe with Basil

More Classic Italian Recipes:

Looking for more classic Italian recipes to try? Here are a few of my faves:

Eggplant Parmesan with Basil

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Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 154 reviews
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 -10 servings 1x


This Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe is made lighter by being baked with a crispy Panko breading, yet still has all of the delicious and comforting flavors of the classic dish!




  1. Sweat the eggplant (optional). If you have extra time and would like to remove some of the bitterness of the eggplant, line a large sheet pan (or two half sheet pans) with paper towels and place the eggplant rounds on the sheet in an even layer. Sprinkle evenly and generously with salt, then let the eggplant rounds rest for 30-60 minutes so that the sometimes-bitter liquids inside can sweat out. Transfer the eggplant rounds to a colander and rinse with cold water to remove the salt, then pat the eggplant dry with a clean paper towels.
  2. Toast the Panko (optional). If you would like your Panko breadcrumbs to be extra crispy and golden, spread them out in an even layer on a sheet pan.  Bake at 400°F for 4 minutes or until golden, then remove the baking sheet and give the Panko a stir.  Bake for another 2-3 minutes or until golden, then remove, stir and set aside.  (The Panko will start to brown quickly, so keep a close eye on it while cooking to ensure that it does not burn.)
  3. Prep the oven and baking sheet(s). Heat oven to 425°F. Line a large sheet pan (or two half sheet pans) with parchment paper, and set aside.
  4. Bread the eggplant. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the Panko breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and (1 teaspoon) fine sea salt and black pepper until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs with 2 tablespoons water. Dip an eggplant round in the egg mixture so that is evenly coated on all sides, then transfer to the breadcrumb mixture and coat on all sides, then place it on the prepared baking sheet.* Repeat with the remaining eggplant rounds until they are all coated and evenly spaced on the baking sheet(s). Bake for 25 minutes, until the eggplant is softened and mostly cooked through.  Transfer baking sheet(s) to a wire rack and set aside.
  5. Layer the casserole. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce evenly across the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Place half of the eggplant in an even-ish layer along the bottom of the dish, topped evenly with 1 cup marinara sauce, 1 cup Mozzarella, all of the Parmesan, and half of the basil, the remaining eggplant, remaining marinara sauce, and the remaining Mozzarella.
  6. Bake. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and starts to turn slightly golden around the edges and the eggplant is cooked to your liking.  Transfer pan to a wire cooling rack and sprinkle with the remaining basil and extra Parmesan.
  7. Serve. Serve warm, garnished with extra Parmesan (and basil, if desired).


Marinara sauce: If using store-bought marinara sauce, you can purchase one (25-ounce) jar which will yield closer to 3 cups, which will still work great for this recipe.  If using homemade, I recommend making a double batch of this marinara sauce recipe.

Pro tip for breading: In order to avoid getting your hands super messy while breading the eggplant rounds, I recommend setting up an assembly line going right to left.  With your right hand, pick up an eggplant round and dip it in the whisked eggs until coated, then transfer with your right hand to the breadcrumb bowl.  With your left hand, gently scoop the breadcrumb mixture on top of the eggplant and press it down lightly so that it is coated on all sides and sticks, then transfer the eggplant with your left hand to the baking sheet.  Or — you can just do all of this with a pair of tongs, whichever works for you!

Recipe updates: When updating this recipe in the spring of 2020, I have included recommendations for toasting the Panko (to make it extra golden and crispy), I have added garlic powder to the seasoning, and have increased the recommended amount of marinara sauce and basil used.

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401 comments on “Baked Eggplant Parmesan”

  1. This was phenomenal. Loved it and I have to say that every extra hint and Added step was worth it. Thank you for sharing this, I’ve added to my monthly rotation for the family and shared with my sisters.

  2. My first attempt at eggplant parmesan and it turned out great!

  3. Fantastic recipe! I made this and ate it for dinner. The next day I thought about it all day and could hardly wait to have it again for dinner that night. This is one of my most favorites!

  4. Great and delicious and the recipe was so easy to follow….

  5. Is there nutrition I updated for this recipe?

  6. Just tried this recipe. I loved how perfectly the eggplant “fritters” came out and telling balance of the sauce and cheese. Very tasty and the family loved it.

  7. Just made this last night and my boyfriend and i LOVED it. he said it was one of the best eggplant parms he’s ever had. only issue i had was with the panko after dipping in egg – maybe i should’ve soaked the eggplant slices longer in the egg so that more panko would stick to them? anyone have tips?

  8. This recipe is a awesome! The eggplant was crispy and tasted ‘fried’. Only thing I’d do nwxt time is add more marinara.

  9. Love this!!! I have made this several times for my family and it’s always a hit!

  10. Great recipe! Really easy and my family loved it.

  11. I was so looking forward to this recipe. Unfortunately I found the slices were too thick, I think the recipe should be 1/4 inch not half inch… some of the proportions just seemed off as well, I ran out of tomato sauce. This is my favorite food blog and I cook from it at least once a week, but this recipe was just a bit off for me. I recommending slicing the eggplant very thin!

  12. I love this recipe! It is so delicious I decided to make a double batch and put it in the freezer. I’m adding this to my favorites.

  13. Can we make it without egg?

  14. Ali,
    It’s my favorite vegetable, and I can eat it any way, this way in Parmesan, sliced battered and fried, stewed, in a homemade antipasto and many more. Thanks. I’ll try this one. It’s been a long time since I’ve made it.

  15. This turned out amazing! Followed the extra tips too. I had one large round eggplant, so I made two stacks of three layers, which worked perfect for my husband and I. We shared one and I put the other in the freezer for another night! He said it was the best Eggplant Parmesan he ever had, as he usually doesn’t care for it. ?

  16. Made this last night and so delicious. A couple updates I’d suggest needed is the “prep time” estimate. Definitely took more than 15 minutes to: sweat the eggplant, brown the panko, coat and bake the eggplant and make the marinara. I’d suggest updating the prep to 1:15 minutes at least. Also not clear what temperature to bake the assembled eggplant at…the 400 used to cook the eggplant? I thought that seemed high and did 350 for 40 minutes. Look forward to making again! Thank you for all your delicious recipes. We’ve been making flour tortillas the last few weeks. Easy and delicious.

  17. We are a huge eggplant lover but most of the times, We cook Indian curries using them. I am going to try this recipe for sure.

  18. First time making eggplant parm and this recipe turned out beautifully and tasted excellent. I made minor adjustments with spices and cheese levels (to personal preference) but otherwise this is a great recipe!

  19. I lightly coated the eggplant with flour before the egg dip, it makes it stick better.

  20. I am going to try,sounds great.

  21. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe I’m inspired by you.

  22. I forgot to bake the eggplant before putting it all together. No idea how this is going to taste after it cooks but if it doesn’t taste good this time it will the next time. It’s baking in the oven now. ??

    • Omg how did it come out? I just did the exact same mistake rn XD

    • So glad you commented on this! I almost did the same because it isn’t really mentioned in the directions. So thanks for the warning and I hope yours came out okay.

  23. Wow. Looks so yummy!! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  24. Tasty, love eggplant !

  25. This looks so delicious! Can’t wait to make it this week.

  26. This looks amazing! Love the idea of an eggplant lasagna to switch things up a bit. Will definitely be keeping this one on hand for a dinner recipe I can keep in the freezer too.

  27. Super

  28. What oven temp?

  29. Love this recipe!! Will be my go-to eggplant parm.

  30. Love this recipe… one of my favorites! Made it last night, posted on FB and had “raves”

  31. They ate the whole pan! It was a side dish! Yes, I toasted the Panko to golden brown and let the eggplant sweat for 60 min. Used my own marinara sauce recipe.

  32. Made this tonight for my family, along with your marinara sauce. It was my first attempt at such a dish, and they loved it! They said I should have made 2 batches. Thank you so much! This recipe is a keeper. Will definitely be making this again :)

  33. This looks and sounds much better than it was. It needed more marinara sauce and the eggplant and panko coating was very soggy. We soaked the egg plant in salt, rinsed and dried before making and toasted the panko prior to baking the whole dish.

  34. I would not change anything about this recipe. I do make my own sauce and let it cook low and slow all day. My family loves this and it will definitely be one of our regulars.

  35. Wow so this recipe took a helluva long time .. I didn’t cut corners, made my own sauce with FRESH tomatoes and I was super disappointed. The entire process of browning the Panko and then coating the eggplant was for nothing ,,, once the sauce and cheese is added it becomes mushy and the breadcrumbs absorbed the sauce! I love most of your recipes but since I invested half my day in making this I wanted to share my honest opinion . Will
    not make this one again . I will keep the leftovers due to the time , love of cooking and energy invested but for those attempting to try this one I would find another .

  36. My first eggplant parmesan and it was really good.Thank you.

  37. I’ve made this recipe last month. I used processed ground beef in the last dish.

  38. Second time making this. It is SO delicious. While it is time consuming if you follow all the directions I promise it will worth it. First time I made it I added yellow squash and zucchini because I only had one eggplant. It turned out really good so added those again this time. Waiting for it to cool a bit and then will enjoy!!! This recipe is a keeper!

  39. U didn’t say to bake it on what?
    350 or more, also do we need to cover it with aluminum foil or not?

  40. Delicious recipe and very easy to follow! My partner loved it, too!

  41. I’m going to make tomorrow. No ricotta in this recipe? Have you ever made it with? Also, can I assemble a day ahead of time or will it get too mushy?

  42. Words cannot describe how delicious this was tonight!!!!!! This was my first time ever making eggplant parm and the taste was so satisfying. Super impressed with the flavor and aroma. I used basil straight from my garden. Looking forward to making this again sometime next week!!!

  43. Made this tonight and it was fabulous. A bit of work but worth the effort. My husband normally doesn’t eat eggplant but loved this recipe. The eggplant held up nicely and didn’t get mushy like many other recipes. Used homegrown eggplant and marinara sauce made from fresh tomatoes. Didn’t toast the panko but didn’t need to bc it toasted up nicely when I cooked the eggplant. Did substitute Romano for the Parmesan only bc I don’t like Parmesan cheese.

  44. This was my first time to try this recipe. I added some lean ground beef to the marinara sauce because I wanted the added protein. It was fantastic! And I agree
    The extra steps and tips were worth the time involved.

  45. 425 seems too hot re toasting eggplant with the egg wash and panko.Browned too quickly. Turned temp down to 350

  46. Made tonight and my bf said it was the best eggplant parm he ever ate. Wow. I followed recipe exactly except I did not toast the Pablo and I also added fresh oregano from the garden. Thank you for this recipe. Is a keeper for sure!

  47. Everyone from the high schooler to the kindergartener just loved it. Delicious!

  48. Baking the eggplant instead of frying is the best idea ever. Less clean up. The taste was delicious

  49. This was so delicious and perfect for a cold fall night. It takes a bit as I made my own marinara sauce but so worth the time and effort. Probably the best eggplant parmesan I have ever had! I wouldn’t hesitate to cook this for friends and family.
    Thank you!

  50. Turns out yummy cheesy and full of flavor, added fresh garlic to sauce and extra cheese and basil