Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish. You’ll love this version which is gluten free, keto friendly, vegetarian, and low carb. This is so delightfully delicious that you will make it over and over again!
Sliced roasted eggplant topped with a wonderful tomatoey marinara sauce under a delicious blanket of melted cheese! Sigh! This stuff is what dreams are made of! In my mind, really, there is no possible way for you NOT to love this eggplant parmesan recipe.
Unless you just really hate eggplant.
And if you do, it’s only because you have not had this easy eggplant parmesan recipe yet. It’s a TOTAL game changer!
With this eggplant parmesan recipe, you don’t have to worry about all the unnecessary breading or frying like the classic recipe calls for. In fact, this recipe does away with the salting, waiting, and draining step, too.
Eggplant, also known as aubergine or brinjal, is a fruit. If we’re getting technical, it’s actually classified as a berry.
I know, right? Who would have thought!
Did you know that by eating eggplant you can lower your blood pressure? It also contains vitamin E. Eating eggplant can also help reduce inflammation in the body. Eggplant also contains iron, which helps fight anemia. So to me, eggplant is a super food I want in my diet on a regular basis.
What’s the Difference Between Eggplant Parmigiana and Eggplant Parmesan?
You may have heard this dish referred to as both “eggplant parmigiana” and “eggplant parmesan”. So what’s the difference? Is it the same thing?
Pretty much, yeah. But there’s a bit of drama around this dish.
There’s a lot of interesting history around this dish. The first recipe for Eggplant Parmesan originate back to 1837. Some people refer to this recipe as “parmigiana” because it was originally made with parmigiano cheese and Parma is a city in northern Italy where this type of cheese originated. But if you do your research, a lot of people say this dish originated in southern Italy. Italians and Sicilians still argue today as to who truly invented the eggplant parmesan dish. It was also known as a “dish of the poor” because it’s made with simple and readily available ingredients.
Speaking of those readily available ingredients to make this recipe, all you need are the following:
- Olive Oil
- Marinara Sauce
- Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Fresh Basil Leaves
How to Make Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan
You’re only 3 steps away from having this healthy baked eggplant parmesan recipe on your dinner table!
- Step 1- Slice & Grill the Eggplants. Slice the eggplants about 1/2 inch thick. Brush with olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes.
- Step 2 – Layer the Eggplant, Tomato Sauce, and Cheese. Now comes the fun part. Layering the cheese, tomato sauce, and the grilled eggplant slices.
- Step 3- Bake the Eggplants. Bake the dish for 20 minutes. To get that extra golden melted cheese, broil on high for 10 minutes.
Once you pull the dish out of the oven, let it cool for about 5 minutes. Then grab a fork and dig in!
Expert Tips & Tricks For Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan
- Authentic Italian Dish – Eggplant parmigiana originated in Italy and is considered an authentic Italian recipe.
- Healthy – This recipe is a low carb dish that is healthy and high in protein. It’s also a great vegetarian and keto recipe.
- Marinara Sauce – Use your favorite marinara sauce or better yet, make it on your own. Here are some great recipes for Roasted tomato sauce, Quick Cherry Tomato sauce and Instant Pot Marinara Sauce.
- Eggplants – Use large purple eggplants for this recipe that are ripe. Ripe eggplants are firm and have a shiny skin. Make sure to slice the eggplants about 1 cm thick. This will make sure that they still hold their shape after baking. If you tend to get very bitter eggplants where you live, feel free to salt the eggplant with 1 Tablespoon of salt and draining the moisture and bitterness out of it.
- Make Ahead – You can prepare the various pieces, marinara sauce, grilled eggplant, and grated cheese ahead of time and assemble and bake half an hour before serving.
- Leftovers – Save the leftovers in the fridge covered with Saran wrap for up to 2-3 days.
- Freezer Friendly – Can you freeze this eggplant parmesan? YES! Just pull it out of the freezer and thaw on the counter. Once completely thawed, bake and enjoy.
- Pairings – I usually eat this dish by itself, but it goes FAMOUSLY with some pasta or a buttered hunk of gluten free bread. If you’re not gluten free, sourdough is the best with this dish!
If you loved this recipe then give it a star review! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #recipesworthrepeating and #yellowthyme and tagging me @yellowthyme and @recipesworthrepeating.
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- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Eggplant
- 1 cup Marinara Sauce
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 10-15 Fresh Basil Leaves
- Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F
- Slice the eggplant into 1 cm round slices. Brush them with the olive oil.
- Place the eggplant slices on a baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes on one side. Flip and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side.
- In a flat dish, spread a 1/3 of the marinara sauce onto the eggplant.
- Then, place another layer of eggplant slices on the marinara sauce. Top it with a Tablespoon of marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Sandwich it with another eggplant slice. Top with rest of the mozzarella cheese.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 180 C/356 F.
- Broil for 10 minutes until the cheese is slightly brown.
- Take out of the oven, top with shredded basil leaves and serve.