Eggplant Parmesan

This dish is one of my go-to vegetarian meals when I am planning on having company over. I have cooked it for several years, but it wasn’t until the last year or so that I got it down to what is now my favorite version. My husband and kids love this recipe, as well as many of my friends who have tried it. It is an excellent meal for Lent during days of abstinence from meat. Let’s get started!

Eggplant ParmesanDSC_0128

You will need:

  • 2 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 1 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cups of your favorite pasta sauce (I use a tomato basil one from the jar for this recipe. Feel free to go homemade if you have a great recipe you love!)
  • 1-2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • canola or olive oil spray
  • 1lb pasta of choice (I used rigatoni- it’s one of my favorites with eggplant.)

Preheat the oven to 450*F and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick circles. Some will be larger than others in diameter, and that’s perfectly fine. Brush with olive oil on both sides, and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until grill marks are set. Do not cook until soft. You want these to stay mostly firm.

 

Once the eggplant is grilled, set aside on a plate and get the breading mixture together. Add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, basil, oregano, and salt into a bowl and mix together. Scramble the two eggs plus milk in a separate bowl. Dip the eggplant into the egg mixture, enough to coat both sides, and then place into the bowl of the breadcrumb mix. Coat the eggplant with the breadcrumb mix generously, making sure to cover as much of the eggplant slice as possible. Set on the sheet pan and repeat this process until all slices of eggplant are coated.

 

Next, spray the eggplant slices with canola or olive oil. Place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes at 450*F. Once the 25 minutes is up, the eggplant will be nice and golden brown. Go ahead and top each slice with a generous spoonful of sauce, and then top it with about 2 Tbsp of cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. *Side note: during the eggplant baking process, start the pasta water with about 10 minutes left in the initial 25 minute baking time. This will give enough time for the water to come to a boil, and for your pasta to cook while the eggplant is finishing off during the 5-7 minute cheese melting process.

 

Once your pasta is finished, toss it with 1-2 cups of the pasta sauce. Serve the eggplant parmesan alongside the pasta. No knife necessary-just a fork and an appetite for something delicious is all you’ll need!

DSC_0128

Everyone in my family loves this recipe. I used to wonder what was missing from my eggplant parm, and come to find out, the step I take to grill it beforehand really makes a huge difference. It adds a ton of flavor and really makes the eggplant stand out. I have been cooking a lot more due to my Lenten commitment of not getting takeout or fast food. It is very welcomed, and something I think I will stick to even after these 40 days are up.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do. There are usually zero leftovers after I make it, and I hope it is the same for you! If you end up making this recipe, please leave some feedback on how it turned out.

As always, thank you for your support.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Mark 1:12-15

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