I’m back in the kitchen and it feels so good! Now that our kitchen renovation is complete, I plan on posting many more “dishes” here on Jane’s Dish. Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite Italian meals – health-ified baked eggplant parmesan.
First, I love a tasty meatless meal. I’ve never been a vegetarian – and I don’t plan on becoming one anytime soon! – but handling and trimming raw meat is my least favorite part of cooking. Second, I love Italian food. Needless to say, this meal is a winner.
And in my humble opinion, this recipe is just as good as Olive Garden’s eggplant parmesan that comes in at a whopping 750 calories per serving. Yes, that’s just calories in the eggplant entree – without the pasta or the heavily-dressed salad…or the 6 buttered bread sticks you know you’ll eat if you step inside the OG. 🙂
Eggplant by itself is only 130 calories for a 1.25 lb. piece of fruit. (Did you know eggplant was a fruit? Before today, I would have put money on the fact it was a vegetable!) This recipe bakes the eggplant at a high enough temperature that you get the same flavor as it’s fried calorie-bomb counterpart. Plus, eggplant parmesan can also be a budget-friendly dish when you find eggplant on sale, like these beauties that I found for .59 cents each.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 large eggplant (1.25 to 1.5 lbs)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup skim milk (or almond milk)
- 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- 1 block mozzarella cheese (8 oz.)
- Topping: 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. garlic powder
Nutrition Information (Calculated with MyFitnessPal): 325 calories, 32g carbs, 15g sugar, 14g fat, 20g protein, 3g fiber
1. Preheat the oven to 400. Wash and dry the eggplant. Cut the eggplant into round slice about a quarter inch thick. Keep the slices consistent so all the pieces cook the same.
2. Mix together the egg and milk. (You can see below, I added a sprinkle of Italian seasoning to the mixture as well.) Measure out the bread crumbs and pour them into a separate bowl.
3. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg mixture and coat on both sides. Then, dip the egg-coated eggplant into the breadcrumbs and coat on both sides. Line up all the breaded eggplant slices on a greased (or sprayed with Pam) baking sheet.
4. Drizzle 1 TBSP of olive oil over the eggplant and bake for 40 minutes at 400. Make sure to flip the eggplant over at 20 minutes. You want the eggplant to be soft in the middle and have a slight crunch on the outside.
5. Once the eggplant is cooked, kick the oven down to 350. Pull out a casserole dish and layer the bottom with marinara sauce. Add a layer of eggplant. Cover with 1/2 cup of cheese.
5. Repeat with layers of eggplant, marinara sauce and cheese until all of the ingredients are used up. Top the dish with 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning and 1 tsp. garlic powder. Bake for 20-30 minutes in oven at 350 until cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.
Here is a picture of 1/6 of the dish. You can see the serving size is big! 🙂
Enjoy this dish right away with a heaping serving of vegetables (to compliment the “fruit” dish, of course). 🙂
Also, to break up the cooking time for this dish on a busy week night, I bake the breaded eggplant ahead of time and store in the fridge until I’m ready to bake with the cheese and sauce. I haven’t found a big difference in the texture when I break this recipe up over the course of a day or two, so don’t be afraid to make it ahead of time.
Also, growing eggplant is on my to-do list. Have you ever had success with eggplant in the garden?