These Baked Eggplant Parmesan Rounds are a lighter version of Eggplant Parmesan. Once you try this recipe, you might prefer this over the classic fried version!
There is something about warm weather that makes me want to cook vegetarian meals. I could eat these Baked Eggplant Parmesan Rounds once a week. It doesn’t even bother me that I have to turn my oven on. It’s much better than frying on the stove and also so much healthier.
What ingredients are used in this Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe?
- panko bread crumbs
- parmesan cheese
- mozzarella cheese
- marinara sauce
- fresh basil
Make sure to use Panko breadcrumbs in this recipe. They make the eggplant crisp and light. You will not miss the frying at all.
I bake the eggplant rounds on parchment paper and this insures that there is not a soggy vegetable to be found. I have used Italian bread crumbs and the eggplant is just not the same. Don't get me wrong as it is still good. It's just not great as is the case if you use panko bread crumbs.
The minute Jersey tomatoes hit the farm markets or ripen in my garden; I am making batches upon batches of my roasted tomato sauce. That does not happen until July but in the meantime I use my Easy 25 Minute Marinara Sauce. Both of these sauces are perfect to top the Baked Eggplant Parmesan Rounds. If you want to make it a little heartier, ground beef can be added to the sauce. I prefer the meatless version but my carnivore husband would always choose a meat sauce.
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese goes great on these rounds however I have used shredded Provolone and Asiago cheese too. Most Italian cheeses will be great so feel free to change things up if you'd like to.
Fresh basil can always be found in my kitchen. In the summer I grow my own and have an unlimited supply. During the odd season, I take advantage of the fresh basil from the grocery store and keep the ends in a glass with water on my counter top. I love cooking with and the smell of fresh basil.
Once you try this eggplant, you will want to have leftovers to make sandwiches the next day. I love the eggplant on crispy Italian bread smothered in extra marinara sauce.
Baking eggplant is the way I like to go so I also make a Baked Eggplant Parmesan Casserole. This is a great low- carb and gluten free option. Again there is no messy frying involved.
Where can you buy eggplant?
On many Saturday mornings, I frequent the Collingswood Farmers Market. This time I bought the eggplant from A.T. Buzby Farms. There produce is wonderful and they also have a CSA where their shares can be picked up at the market or at their farms.
Your local farmers market is a great place to get a variety of eggplant. If you don't have a farmers market nearby, most local grocery stores carry at least a few different types of eggplant.
If you have a local farmers market, take advantage of fresh produce for this dinner. I bought the basil at my market too. Farmers markets will not disappoint!
Baked Eggplant Parmesan Rounds
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- Peel the skin of the eggplant if desired (I keep the skin on). Slice the eggplant into ¼ to ½ inch slices. Place them on a large plate and sprinkle them with salt. Allow them to sit for at least 30 minutes for the bitter juices to drain. Rinse and pat the slices dry with a paper towel.
- Preheat the oven to 425º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the breadcrumbs with ½ cup of parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Place the flour in a dish, the eggs in a shallow bowl, and the breadcrumb mixture in another dish.
- Dredge each eggplant slice in flour and then in the eggs, letting the excess drip. Coat with breadcrumb mixture and place them on baking sheet. Brush both sides with a light layer of canola oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown, flipping the slices half- way through baking. Remove eggplant from oven and top with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Reserve some sauce to serve on the side.
- Bake for 1o minutes until cheese is browned and bubbling. Sprinkle with chopped basil before serving.