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Contest-Winning Eggplant Parmesan

Because my recipe calls for baking the eggplant instead of frying it, unlike most eggplant Parmesan recipes, it’s much healthier! It takes a little extra time, but the Italian flavors and rustic elegance are well worth it. —Laci Hooten, McKinney, Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Bake: 25 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 3 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 jars (4-1/2 ounces each) sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place eggs and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip eggplant in eggs, then coat in crumbs. Place on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake until tender and golden brown, 15-20 minutes, turning once.
  • In a small bowl, combine mushrooms, basil and oregano. In another small bowl, combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  • Spread 1/2 cup sauce into a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with a third of the mushroom mixture, a third of the eggplant, 3/4 cup sauce and a third of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice.
  • Bake, uncovered, until heated through and cheese is melted, 25-30 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 305 calories, 12g fat (5g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 912mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 9g fiber), 18g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • C
    Dec 1, 2019

    I have never been so disappointed in a recipe that I have felt to comment, but here I am now. First, panko is too heavy for this or any eggplant recipe. Next, it was as dry as dirt and way undercooked at 30 minutes. Also, please don't use medium as a descriptor for ingredients. List the weight. Looking for a way to save this 2 hour effort. Drench it in another jar of sauce and cook another 30 minutes?

  • Avierra
    Aug 21, 2019

    Some of the proportions on this are just wrong. It took me 5 eggs and 2 jars of sauce, for one. And pretty much 2/3 of a container of seasoned panko. Prep time is far longer than 40 minutes-- the baking time for the slices was alone well over an hour. Basically, you are not saving any time by baking the slices, and they do not turn out as beautiful as if you pan-fried them in olive oil. I suppose it is healthier, although olive oil is pretty good for you. Anyway, that said, it went together pretty well, and tasted good. I ended up using my used panko crumbs from the breading on top of the casserole.

  • Anne Marie
    Jan 23, 2019

    This recipe sounds lovely but I was wondering weather I could use something else to replace the mushrooms?

  • cossfam
    Nov 5, 2018

    This is so delicious! We love the healthy aspect of not frying as well. I used fresh mushrooms this last time since I had a bunch that needed to be used. I sautéed them in a non stick skillet to soften, then added the herbs. I split this into two 8 x 8 pans so I can freeze one. With that I use a little more sauce on the bottom. I also used one large eggplant instead of three medium and it filled the pans.

  • _nlfPA
    Jun 22, 2018

    I like this much better than frying the eggplant. My husband and I love Eggplant Parmesan but try to avoid fried foods, so this is perfect for u.

  • Katie
    May 31, 2018

    Followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious, I'll definitely make this again. However, I gave this four stars because I think it requires just a few small tweaks - The recipe didn't call for quite enough sauce; next time I'll use about a cup more than it calls for. I also recommend salting the beaten eggs to add a little more flavor to the eggplant slices. I would also go a little hotter with the oven, about 375 should do it. Finally, I also recommend sprinking a little extra parmesan cheese on top before putting this in the oven. Otherwise, it is a great recipe. Thank you so much!

  • suefalk
    May 26, 2018

    A quick, 'short-cut' version that's very good! I also flour my eggplant slices before the egg wash. Then broil the breaded slices on each side for 2 min before assembling. As for salting, soaking, I personally don't (my Italian family will cringe at that :D) if you don't want bitter, make sure you're buying fresh and don't select (overgrown-large.) The striped eggplant is the least bitter.

  • oscodajudy
    May 1, 2018

    No comment left

  • gastonia
    Jan 15, 2018

    Loved baking instead of frying slices. Very good

  • Mary Elaine
    Sep 20, 2017

    I made this dish last night. The 45 min prep time was way underestimated. It took me over 2 hours prep time. I followed the recipe exactly and I agree with some of the comments below. There was not enough sauce so I had to open a second jar and still there was not enough sauce. I should have used 2 full jars. There was too little mozzarella cheese. Next time I would use twice the amount. After I sliced up my second eggplant I realized I was going to have more slices than would fit the dish. It took 3 large cookie sheets to bake each batch for 20 mins. That's an hour of prep time right there. After baking, the slices remained the color of the Panko and never did turn crispy or brown. Next time I would up the oven temp to 400. Come to think of it, next time I will fry the eggplant and skip the hour of baking. I had to use 4 xl eggs instead of 3. Using Panko bread crumbs were fine but I needed double the amount. Once the bread crumbs on the bottom of the plate got wet with eggs it had to be thrown out and started over with a fresh batch of bread crumbs. I agree with another review that I would not call this an award winning dish. I was very satisfied with the taste but it was not worth the 3 hours it took to make.