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Crispy And Easy Fried Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Today, we’re sharing a beloved classic with a delightful twist – our Crispy and Easy Fried Eggplant Parmesan recipe.

Eggplant Parmesan, or Melanzane alla Parmigiana, is a classic Italian dish that embodies the essence of traditional Italian cuisine. Layers of tender eggplant, gooey mozzarella, tangy marinara sauce, and savory Parmesan cheese come together in a symphony of flavors and textures that’s sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

But what sets our recipe apart is its irresistible crispiness. By lightly frying the eggplant slices to golden perfection before assembling the dish, we elevate the texture to a whole new level of indulgence. Each bite is a delightful contrast of crunchy exterior and melt-in-your-mouth goodness inside.

The whole family loves this baked eggplant parmesan recipe.

Crispy And Easy Fried Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Tips for Recipe Success:

  • Choose firm and glossy eggplants with smooth skin for the best results.
  • Salting the eggplant slices helps to remove excess moisture and bitterness.
  • Be sure to press the breadcrumbs firmly onto the eggplant slices for a crispy coating.
  • This recipe calls for Italian bread crumbs but regular dried or Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs can be used instead. 
  • You can use store-bought marinara sauce or make your own for extra flavor. The recipe follows.
  • Fresh mozzarella melts beautifully and adds a creamy texture to the dish.
  • Letting the eggplant parmesan rest for a few minutes before serving allows the flavors to meld together.
Crispy And Easy Fried Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
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Crispy And Easy Fried Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Today, we’re sharing a beloved classic with a delightful twist – our Crispy and Easy Fried Eggplant Parmesan recipe. Eggplant Parmesan, or Melanzane alla Parmigiana, is a classic Italian dish that embodies the essence of traditional Italian cuisine. Layers of tender eggplant, gooey mozzarella, tangy marinara sauce, and savory Parmesan cheese come together in a symphony of flavors and textures that’s sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: budget recipe, Casserole, copycat, easy meals, restaurant recipe
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 635kcal

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Ingredients

  • 2 Large Eggplants sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • Salt
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 Large Eggs beaten
  • 2 Cups Breadcrumbs (preferably Italian seasoning version)
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese grated and divided
  • 4 Cups Marinara Sauce
  • 1 Pound Fresh Mozzarella Cheese sliced
  • Fresh Basil Leaves for garnish
  • Olive Oil for frying

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Place the slices of eggplant in a colander and sprinkle them generously with salt. Let them sit for about 20 minutes to draw out excess moisture. Then, rinse the eggplant slices and pat them dry with paper towels.
    2 Large Eggplants, Salt
  • Set up a breading station with three shallow bowls: one with flour, one with beaten eggs, and one with breadcrumbs mixed with 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
    1 Cup All-Purpose Flour, 4 Large Eggs, 2 Cups Breadcrumbs, 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Dip each eggplant slice first in the flour, then in the beaten eggs, and finally in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the breaded eggplant slices in batches until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
    Olive Oil
  • Once fried, transfer the crispy eggplant slices to a baking pan fitted with a wire rack. This assures that the crispy exterior stays. If you don’t have this, you can use a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil.
  • Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Arrange half of the fried eggplant slices in a single layer on top of the sauce.
    4 Cups Marinara Sauce
  • Sprinkle half of the remaining grated Parmesan cheese over the eggplant slices, then layer half of the mozzarella slices on top.
    1 Pound Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • Repeat the layers with the remaining eggplant slices, marinara sauce, grated Parmesan, and mozzarella.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the eggplant is tender.
  • Let the eggplant parmesan cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and additional grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
    Fresh Basil Leaves

Your Own Private Notes

Notes

Homemade Marinara Sauce

While you can use jarred marinara sauce from the grocery store, or tomato sauce, if you have the time, this recipe is a delightful addition to the eggplant casserole.
It just takes 10 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of cooking to make about 4 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or 4 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional, to balance acidity)

Instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the minced garlic to the saucepan and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
Add the dried oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer uncovered for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and the flavors meld together.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the sauce tastes too acidic, you can add a tablespoon of sugar to balance the flavors.
Once the sauce is ready, you can use it immediately for your eggplant parmesan or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze it for longer storage.

Nutrition

Calories: 635kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 1830mg | Potassium: 1046mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1564IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 703mg | Iron: 6mg

Crispy Fried Eggplant
Crispy Fried Eggplant

How to Make an Eggplant Slice Crispy?

The breadcrumbs coating, combined with frying, creates that desired crispiness. Following these steps will help you achieve perfectly crispy eggplant slices for your recipes, such as eggplant parmesan or crispy eggplant fries.

Opt for young, firm eggplants with smooth, shiny skin. Avoid eggplants that feel soft or have wrinkled skin, as they may be overripe and have a mushy texture.

Slice the eggplant into uniform thickness, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. This ensures even cooking and crispiness.

Salt and Drain. Sprinkle salt over the eggplant slices and let them sit for about 20-30 minutes. This helps draw out excess moisture, which can make the eggplant soggy when cooked. After salting, rinse the slices under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.

Dredge in Flour, Egg, and Breadcrumbs. Set up a breading station with three shallow bowls: one with all-purpose flour, one with beaten eggs, and one with breadcrumbs (preferably seasoned). Dip each eggplant slice first in flour, then in the beaten egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere.

Fry in Hot Oil. Heat oil (vegetable or olive oil) in a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the breaded eggplant slices in batches until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan, as this can cause the slices to steam rather than fry, resulting in a less crispy texture.

Once fried, transfer the crispy eggplant slices to a baking pan fitted with a wire rack. This assures that the crispy exterior stays. If you don’t have this, you can use a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil.

Vegetarian Eggplant Parmesan

Vegetarian Recipes

Both the eggplant parmesan recipe and the homemade marinara sauce recipe provided are vegetarian. They don’t contain any meat or meat-based products. They are perfect options for those following a vegetarian diet or for anyone looking for delicious meat-free meal ideas.

How long does eggplant parm last in fridge?

When properly stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, eggplant parmesan can last for about 3 to 5 days. However, it’s important to note that the texture may change slightly over time, and the dish may become softer as it sits in the fridge.

Make sure to let it cool completely before storing it, and always use clean utensils when serving to prevent contamination. Additionally, if you notice any signs of spoilage, such as an off smell or mold growth, discard the dish immediately.

How to reheat eggplant parm?

To reheat eggplant parmesan, you can follow these steps for best results:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

If the eggplant parmesan is not already in an oven-safe dish, transfer it to one. You can use the original baking dish if it’s oven-safe or transfer individual servings to smaller dishes.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil to prevent the cheese from drying out while reheating.

Place the covered dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the eggplant parm is heated through. If the dish was refrigerated, it may take a few extra minutes to heat all the way through.

Remove Foil and Broil: If you prefer a crispier top, remove the foil during the last few minutes of reheating and broil the eggplant parmesan for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

To ensure the eggplant parmesan is heated to the desired temperature, you can use a food thermometer to check that it has reached an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).

Reheating eggplant parmesan in the oven helps maintain its crispy texture and prevents it from becoming soggy. Enjoy your delicious leftovers.

baked eggplant parmesan recipe

Homemade Marinara Sauce

While you can use jarred marinara sauce from the grocery store, or tomato sauce, if you have the time, this recipe is a delightful addition to the eggplant casserole.

It just takes 10 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of cooking to make about 4 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or 4 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional, to balance acidity)

Instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the minced garlic to the saucepan and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.

Add the dried oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer uncovered for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and the flavors meld together.

Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the sauce tastes too acidic, you can add a tablespoon of sugar to balance the flavors.

Once the sauce is ready, you can use it immediately for your eggplant parmesan or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze it for longer storage.

What to serve with this eggplant recipe?

Eggplant parmesan is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of sides and accompaniments.

Salad: A crisp green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing complements the richness of eggplant parmesan. You can also add some cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives for extra freshness.

Pasta: Serve the eggplant parmesan alongside a bed of cooked pasta, such as spaghetti or penne, tossed with marinara sauce. This creates a hearty and satisfying meal.

Garlic Bread: Crusty garlic bread is a classic side dish that goes perfectly with eggplant parmesan. You can make your own or pick up a loaf from your local bakery.

Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, complement the flavors of the eggplant dish while adding color and texture to the meal.

Breadsticks: Serve some warm breadsticks on the side for dipping into marinara sauce. They’re perfect for mopping up any leftover sauce from the eggplant parmesan.

Quinoa or Couscous: For a lighter alternative to pasta, serve the eggplant parmesan with quinoa or couscous. These grains add a nutty flavor and a protein boost to the meal.

Antipasto Platter: Create an antipasto platter with a selection of cured meats, cheeses, olives, and marinated vegetables. It’s a great way to start the meal and add some variety to the table.

Feel free to mix and match these options based on your preferences and dietary restrictions. With its rich flavors and comforting textures, eggplant parmesan is sure to be the star of any meal!

AboutVictoria

You can find Victoria crocheting, quilting, and creating recipes. She has cooked in restaurants for over 20 years, including many larger parties. In her professional career, she has worked in management in a wide variety of businesses including higher education as a dean of a division. All the while attending college part-time to achieve her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in e-learning.

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