Okay, THIS recipe has been anticipated and requested by so many that I had to get it up for you guys (and it was a great excuse to have it for dinner)! It’s seriously one of my favorite meals and even my meat-loving brother loves it! You can’t go wrong here!
Eggplant is one of those things that is hard to get just right. You have to get the bitterness out of it, but you don’t want it chewy or soggy. You have to find that sweet spot, right in the middle. Really it was a trial and error thing for me, but this recipe has it perfected, I swear by it!
You want to start this recipe by preheating your oven to 400°F and cutting your eggplant in 1/4-1/2″ thick pieces.
Once you’ve cut the eggplant, it’s time to get the bitterness that eggplant has out of it. You do this by using anything that will allow some airflow, like a cooling rack or even a colander, and generously covering both sides of the eggplant slices with salt and letting that sit for about 10-15 minutes.
Then, you’ll notice they have gotten a bit spongy, so to counter that you need to rinse them of all the salt, then press the excess water out. You can do this by laying down a cloth, putting the rinsed slices down on it, either folding the cloth other or using another cloth, cover the top of them and lay something heavy over the top (just as you would when pressing out tofu) to press the water out (I have an old marble cutting board that I use, but a thick book or something alike will do fine). Let that sit for another 10 minutes or so.
Now it’s time to bread up the eggplant and cook them. In one bowl, add the flour. In another, put the non-dairy milk (Unsweetened almond milk taste the best in my opinion, but any will work). Then in the last bowl, mix the bread crumbs and seasonings. Make sure your bread crumbs don’t contain milk. I used Panko bread crumbs here. They seem to be the easiest to find without the added milk. In that same order, dip the eggplant slices into each bowl, then lay on a baking sheet.
Now would be a good time to cook your noodles and warm the pasta sauce/marinara. I personally prefer marinara, but any pasta sauce will do. The less sugar in the sauce, the better though.
Put those breaded bad boys in the preheated oven for about 5-10 minutes, or until slightly browned. While that is baking, heat up some oil on medium-high in a pan. Once the oil is heated and the eggplant is browned slightly, pull some of the eggplant pieces and fry them up for just a minute or two. This just really gives them a good crisp. You can just bake them through, if you’d like to keep it healthier, but this truly gives them a great crunch.
You’ll likely have to do this in batches unless you are only making a few or have an insanely large skillet, but don’t worry. You only have to fry them for a minute on each side to get them crispy. You can throw the cooked ones back in the oven to keep them warm while you bake the other batch(es), if you’re concerned.
Once all your eggplant slices are cooked and fried and your noodles and sauce is ready, all you have left to do is put it together and top with some vegan parmesan and devour this delicious meal! You could also add some nutritional yeast for a little extra “cheesy” flavor and nutrients, if you’d like!
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan RECIPE
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6 servings
- 1 Eggplant
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1.5 cups non-dairy milk
- 2-2 1/2 cups vegan bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 lb spaghetti noodles, or noodles of your choice
- 24 oz marinara sauce, or pasta sauce of your choice
- Vegan Parmesan for topping
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Cut eggplant in 1/4-1/2″ pieces
- Lay eggplant slices on a cooling rack and salt both sides of each piece generously with salt and let sit for 10-15 minutes
- Rinse salt off eggplant and lay on a cloth, cover the eggplant with another cloth and lay something heavy on top to press out the excess water. Let sit for another 10 minutes
- Put the flour in one bowl and the non-dairy milk in another. Mix the bread crumbs, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning in another bowl.
- Dip each eggplant slice into the flour first, then the milk, then the bread crumb mix and lay on a baking sheet
- Bake breaded eggplant slices for about 10 minutes, or until just slightly browned
- Cook noodles and warm marinara/pasta sauce
- Heat oil over medium-high heat
- Fry each slice of eggplant for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until crispy.
- Plate up the cooked noodles, eggplant, and sauce and top with vegan Parmesan and ENJOY!