This baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe is a gluten-free variation of parmigiana di melanzane. There is no need to dredge in flour or breadcrumbs. The eggplant slices are grilled instead of frying before layering with tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and baked to perfection! This classic Italian dish just got a lot easier to make with this healthy variation while still being delicious!
8ouncesmozzarella cheesewhole-milk, grated, separated, about 225 grams
5tablespoonsparmesan cheesegrated, separated, about 15 grams
2 sprigsbasilto garnish
Prep the eggplant:
Wash and pat dry your nightshades. Slice eggplants into ¼ inch thick rounds with a sharp knife.
Place the slices of eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Toss together. Place colander over a bowl and allow 30 minutes for the salt to draw out the excess moisture from the sliced eggplant.
Then, place a clean kitchen towel on the countertop. Remove the eggplant slices from the colander and place them on the tea towel. Gently pat dry the top with another tea towel. Paper towels can also be used.
Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush the pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Grill sliced eggplants until tender, about 3-5 minutes per side. Set aside to cool.
Assemble la parmigiana:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the oven grate in the center of the oven.
Spread ¼ cup of tomato sauce at the base of an oval or square baking dish (2-2½ quart size/2 Liters).
Cover with a layer of eggplant slices. In total, there are four eggplant layers.
Cover with a layer of mozzarella cheese (1.75 ounces/50 grams), 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese, and 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce. Repeat these layers two more times.
Once the final top layer of eggplant is placed in the dish, spread ½ cup of tomato sauce evenly over the top.
Cover with a layer of mozzarella cheese (2.5 ounces/75 grams) and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.
Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish with hand torn fresh basil leaves.
Serve and enjoy!
Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
Salting and placing the eggplant in a colander helps remove some excess moisture and allows the bitter juices to drain away; do not skip this step. Toss them around once or twice so that the liquid drains.
If possible, use freshly grated mozzarella and parmesan. It really does make a difference.
Allowing the casserole to rest for about 10 minutes before serving allows flavors of the dish to come together. It also makes it easier to slice.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used.