These Baked Eggplant Parmesan Rounds are a lighter version of Eggplant Parmesan. These breaded baked eggplant slices make a great eggplant appetizer that you might even prefer 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.
All About Eggplant
Eggplant is a vegetable with lots of nutrition and a very tasty way to make dinner. Eggplant contains:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Eggplant can help to keep out bodies healthy, our hearts strong and out immune systems energized to fight of disease and health issues.
On many Saturday mornings, I frequent the Collingswood Farmers Market. The produce is wonderful and they always have a great selection of eggplant varieties. I love to buy local whenever I can. In the winter, my local supermarket always has a variety of eggplant.
I prefer eggplants on the smaller side because I think they are more flavorful and less bitter. Also look for shiny, unblemished skin. Eggplants should also feel heavy for their size.
Eggplant Cooking Tips
Eggplant can be used in many ways but baking or frying slices of eggplant is one of the most popular. Top them with sauce and cheese for a delicious dinner.
If the eggplants are on the larger side with thick skin, you might want to peel the skin off before cooking.
To eliminate the slight bitterness of eggplant, sprinkle the slices with salt and let them sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse off the salt and dry the slices before cooking.
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!
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.
Tips for Making Baked Eggplant Slices
Bake the eggplant rounds on parchment paper and this ensures that there is not a soggy vegetable to be found.
Use smaller eggplant and slice evenly for quicker, even cooking. Use panko breadcrumbs - 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.
A Great Eggplant Appetizer
These Baked Breaded Eggplant Parm rounds make the perfect appetizer. They are easy to make and serve and taste completely delicious. Top each baked eggplant appetizer round with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil then return to the oven to bake until the cheese melts.
What Type of Sauce Should I Use?
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 so 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. If you are short on time or want to make things easier, your favorite jarred marinara sauce will work great.
What's the Best Cheese for Baked Eggplant Parmesan?
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese are both 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.
Can I Use Dried Basil?
Fresh basil can always be found in my kitchen. In the summer I grow my own and have an unlimited supply. During the off season, I take advantage of the fresh basil from the grocery store and keep the ends in a glass with water on my countertop. I love cooking with and the smell of fresh basil. Dried basil can be substituted but the result is not the same so I recommend fresh basil whenever possible. Feel free to use another herb like parsley too.
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.
Baked Breaded Eggplant Appetizer 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.
More Eggplant Recipes
- Low Carb Eggplant Parmesan Casserole - The Best Keto Eggplant Recipe!
- Eggplant and Halloumi Cheese with Honey Harissa Sauce
- Eggplant and Tomato Relish
- Roasted Baby Eggplant from Slow the Cook Down
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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.
First Published August 2019; Updated May 2021