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My grandmother’s easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe is a delicious vegetarian dinner with just 15 minutes of prep! This recipe simplifies the classic Italian dish for a quick-prep, family-friendly weeknight meal. Serve it with a side of spaghetti, a simple green salad, and a basket of garlic bread.

Overhead image of the best eggplant parmesan recipe on a tray on a wooden table.

How to Make Baked Eggplant Parmesan | 1-Minute Video

Certain recipes just taste like home, and this simple eggplant parmesan is definitely one of those dinners. It’s an instant transport back to my childhood table. When my aunt recently passed along my grandmother’s old recipe box, I spent hours pouring over all of her recipes. One that instantly jumped out at me was the handwritten Baked Eggplant Parmesan recipe on a weathered piece of yellow legal paper. It’s a dish that I grew up on, and I’ve continued to serve the flavorful meal to my own family as well!

Close up side shot of a tray of the best baked eggplant parmesan recipe.

What is Eggplant Parmesan?

Eggplant Parmesan is a traditional Italian meal comprised of shallow- or deep-fried slices of eggplant, layered with cheese and tomato sauce, and then baked in the oven. Called parmigiana, parmigiana di melanzane, or melanzane alla parmigiana in Italian, the dish is thought to have originated in the Southern regions of Campania and Sicily.

You might be familiar with other variations that include veal or chicken (like our favorite Chicken Parm). Either way, the popular dinner has been adapted over generations, and Americanized by families like ours. This particular quick and easy eggplant parmesan recipe is a meal that busy moms can prepare without too much fuss. Instead of frying the eggplant in a skillet, we let the oven do the work. It’s baked — not fried — but you don’t lose any of that delicious flavor!

Pouring melted butter in a baking dish.

Preparing the Eggplant for Eggplant Parm

To peel, or not to peel? To salt, or not to salt? Before you get started, let’s discuss the best way to prepare the eggplant for this dish. First, when shopping for an eggplant, look for a vegetable with smooth, shiny skin that’s uniform in color and heavy for its size. To test for ripeness, lightly press a finger against the skin. If it leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ripe. Smaller eggplants tend to be sweeter, less bitter, and have thinner skin and fewer seeds.

Process shot showing how to make baked eggplant parmesan.

Do you peel eggplant before cooking?

The vegetable’s skin is completely edible and tends to soften as it cooks, so in many recipes it’s fine to leave the skin on. That said, I recommend peeling the eggplant for eggplant parmesan. As an eggplant grows larger, the skin can become tough and bitter — something that I prefer to avoid.

How to Cut Eggplant for Eggplant Parmesan

Slice the vegetable cross-wise into ¾-inch thick rounds. The rounds will vary in diameter since the eggplant is not a uniform cylinder, but try to keep the thickness of each slice uniform so that they cook in the same amount of time.

Do you need to salt eggplant before making Eggplant Parmesan?

No, as I said — we’re keeping this recipe quick and easy! Salting the raw eggplant is a helpful tool to achieve smooth and creamy eggplant. If you’d like to do so here, that’s totally fine — it won’t hurt. By not salting the vegetable, it retains its shape more and has a slightly firmer texture. That works for me, so I skip the step of salting.

Eggplant rounds breaded in a baking dish.

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for the best baked eggplant parmesan recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Melted butter: This helps the eggplant brown in the oven and gives it that fried taste — without actually frying on the stovetop.
  • Corn Flakes cereal crumbs: you can crush your own cereal at home or purchase a box of Corn Flakes crumbs. This “secret” ingredient helps to give the eggplant that crispy, flavorful fried taste and texture. While some readers have reported success substituting with panko breadcrumbs, I find that Corn Flakes have a unique sweet-and-savory flavor, as well as a super-crunchy texture, that yields the best results.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: a can of pre-grated Parmesan is a great shortcut, or feel free to grate your own from a wedge if you prefer.
  • Salt and pepper: flavor!
  • Eggplant: pick a small eggplant for the best flavor.
  • Egg: helps the breading adhere to the eggplant.
  • Marinara sauce: a jar of store-bought marinara (such as Rao’s brand) works well, or you can make your own using this recipe.
  • Mozzarella cheese: use pre-shredded mozzarella for a shortcut, but a sliced ball of fresh mozzarella would also be great!
Sprinkling mozzarella over eggplant.

How to Make Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Since this eggplant parmesan recipe is baked in the oven, you’ll just spend about 15 minutes preparing the meal and that’s it! No frying in batches, no flipping at the stove, and so darn easy! The outside of the eggplant still gets crispy and flavorful before the sauce and cheese is added on top (thanks to a buttered dish), so you won’t end up with a soggy vegetable.

  1. Pour melted butter into an 11 x 7-inch dish.
  2. Prepare egg in one shallow bowl and Corn Flake breading mixture in a separate shallow bowl.
  3. Peel and slice eggplant.
  4. Dip each slice of eggplant in the egg, and then coat with the crumb mixture.
  5. Arrange the breaded eggplant slices in the buttered dish.
  6. Bake in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Flip the eggplant slices, then continue baking for 15 more minutes.
  8. Add marinara sauce on top, sprinkle with mozzarella, and bake for 3-5 more minutes (until the cheese melts).
  9. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or fresh basil leaves, if desired.
Overhead shot of a platter of baked eggplant parmesan recipe on a wooden table with a loaf of bread on the side.

What to Serve with Quick and Easy Eggplant Parmesan

This Italian-inspired dish is best when served with a side of pasta and extra marinara sauce. Don’t forget the garlic bread, breadsticks, or focaccia, too!

Looking to add some more veggies to the meal? Try a simple green salad with red wine vinaigrette, a Caesar salad, fennel salad with apples and creamy cider dressing, sauteed spinach with garlic, Garlic and Parmesan Cauliflower Mash or 2-ingredient Italian sugar snap peas.

Side shot of eggplant parmesan on a plate with a side of spaghetti.

Storage

This dish is best when served warm, immediately from the oven. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but the eggplant will get soggy as it sits. I love to reheat the leftover eggplant in the microwave or in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes, and then add it to a hoagie roll to make an Eggplant Parmesan sandwich. Delicious!

I do not recommend freezing baked eggplant parmesan, as the high water content in the vegetable yields a mushy, soggy dish when thawed.

Square side shot of a platter of baked eggplant parmesan garnished with fresh parsley and basil.

Tips for the Best Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

  • Look for a small eggplant, which tends to have the sweetest flavor. Large eggplants tend to be a bit more bitter.
  • This dish serves 2-3 people as an entrée. You might be able to stretch it to serve 4 people if you’re also offering a heartier side dish like pasta. If you’re feeding a bigger family, I recommend using 2 eggplants, doubling all of the other ingredients, and baking the eggplant in a 9 x 13-inch dish or on a larger rimmed baking sheet.
  • Corn Flakes are the best option for breaded eggplant. You can substitute with panko bread crumbs, but they are definitely not as crispy and they’re lacking the flavor that you get from the crushed cereal.
  • Use the best quality, most flavorful marinara sauce. I recommend Rao’s brand sauce, which does not include any added sugar. If you prefer to make your own sauce, try this easy marinara recipe.
  • Garnish with herbs like fresh parsley or fresh basil if you have some on hand!
The best baked eggplant parmesan recipe served on a vintage platter on a dinner table.

More Italian Recipes to Try

Overhead image of the best eggplant parmesan recipe on a tray on a wooden table.

Grandma’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan

4.99 from 58 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings 2 – 4 people
Calories 262.9 kcal
My grandmother's easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious vegetarian dinner with just 15 minutes of prep!

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ cup Corn Flakes cereal crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Pour melted butter into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  • Place egg in a shallow dish. Set aside.
  • In a separate shallow dish, combine Corn Flakes crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • Peel eggplant and cut into ¾-inch thick slices. Dip each slice in egg and coat with crumb mixture. Place in a single layer in the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 20 minutes; flip the slices over, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Pour marinara sauce over eggplant and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 3-5 more minutes, or until cheese is melts.

Video

Notes

  • Look for a small eggplant, which tends to have the sweetest flavor.
  • This dish serves 2-3 people as an entrée. You might be able to stretch it to serve 4 people if you’re also offering a heartier side dish like pasta. If you’re feeding a bigger family, I recommend using 2 eggplants, doubling all of the other ingredients, and baking the eggplant in a 9 x 13-inch dish or on a larger rimmed baking sheet.
  • Corn Flakes are the best option for breaded eggplant. You can substitute with panko breadcrumbs, but they are definitely not as crispy and they’re lacking the flavor that you get from the crushed cereal.
  • Use the best quality, most flavorful marinara sauce. I recommend Rao’s brand sauce, which does not include any added sugar. If you prefer to make your own sauce, try this easy marinara recipe.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or basil if you have some on hand!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of recipeCalories: 262.9kcalCarbohydrates: 21.6gProtein: 10.4gFat: 16.1gSaturated Fat: 8.5gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 792.2mgFiber: 3.9gSugar: 4.6g
Keyword: baked eggplant parmesan, baked eggplant parmesan recipe, Eggplant parmesan, simple eggplant parmesan
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in June, 2017. The photos were updated in December, 2021.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is the best eggplant parmesan I’ve had and soooo easy to make. Even my picky eater asked for more. Definitely keeping this recipe! Thank you for sharing!

      1. 5 stars
        What a great recipe. The best eggplant Parmesan recipe I have ever used. And didnt have to fry anything! Those corn flake bread crumbs really are a game changer. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks. Have tried abt 3 other recipes and was abt to give up. Great recipe! Used gluten free bread crumbs but worked great.

    1. Yay! I’m glad that you found a winner, Shelley! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to come back here and leave a note.

  3. 5 stars
    I usually fry my eggplant and then simmer on stove with marinara sauce, seasonings — this sounds so much better ! And healthier too by baking it! Thanks for sharing your Grandma’s recipe with us ! I will try it soon and let you know !

  4. 5 stars
    My husband loves eggplant Parmesan and your recipe did not disappoint. Thank you for sharing grandmas delicious recipe, it’s a keeper.

    1. 5 stars
      So easy and delicious. I used this as a side to Italian sausage. I have a picky husband and toddler so I don’t make eggplant parm as a main dish. This is perfect and easy for a side for them or main for me.

      1. Thank you, Shelby! I often do the same, since the boys in my house prefer a meat or pasta dish as the entree. 🙂

  5. Made this yesterday. If I got to choose my last meal on earth, it would be eggplant parm! I am cooking for just myself these days, and I had a lot of breaded slices left before I made the actual casserole. I cooled them and froze them in small portions. Not sure how they will stand up once thawed, but thought i would give it a try. Thanks for this recipe!

    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it, Sally. I hope it holds up okay in the freezer. I always worry that it will get soggy. Let me know! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Legitimately, I never ever comment on recipe pages, but this one was SOOOOO GOOOOD. OMIGODD. So easy, so simple, so quick, so DELICIOUUUUUSSSSSZZZZZXNSKAFVNFALSJN

    Thank you for this XD I highly recommend this recipe. Also I’m pretty sure this is gluten free then, right? We also had spaghetti sqash spaghetti with it, it makes a good addition. 😀

    1. Thanks, Eric! I’m so glad that you liked the meal, and I appreciate you taking the time to leave a note. This dish is not gluten-free, since Corn Flakes is not a gluten-free cereal. Thanks again!

  7. 5 stars
    I am making this for guests tonight, and I love how simple the recipe is. I have a question: can I prepare the eggplant during the day and put it in the oven tonight?

  8. Can I use olive oil instead of butter? How might this affect the crispness/outcome? Excited to try this!

    1. Hi, Gianna! Yes, I think the olive oil would work fine. It shouldn’t impact the crispiness, but it will give the dish a different flavor.

  9. 5 stars
    This was excellent. I used the RAOs sauce which is my favorite jar brand. I did substitute panko for cornflakes, but it was perfect! Will make this again!

  10. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Getting away from frying! I wonder if this would work in the crockpot?? Thanks

    1. Hi, Lisa! I hope you enjoy it! I don’t think this would work well in the slow cooker, because I worry that it will get soggy instead of crispy.

  11. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for posting an eggplant recipe. This really couldn’t be any easier or more delicious. You took one of my favorite dishes and made it better. I will never bother with frying the eggplant again. I’ve used your recipe 3 times this growing season. Everyone loves the results.

  12. 5 stars
    This has become my husbands favorite meal.
    Easy to make and delicious.
    Thanks so much for this recipe.
    Will be trying others as well.

  13. Have an abundance of eggplant in my garden. Family loved this recipe. No leftovers and I even doubled the recipe for five people. Also made my own marinara sauce with tomatoes from my garden.

  14. 5 stars
    Easy, fast and delish! Thank you Blair. Before I read your recipe I was going to make my own bread crumbs. Then my Mom gave me Panko; then I saw your cornflake addition! Next time I will try that – I use corn flakes for a sweet potato pie recipe – deellish also! The panko turned out crunchy as I followed your recipe – sans the cornflakes. Thank you! Will check out your website for other yummy delights! From Toronto, enjoy! Aura

  15. 5 stars
    With the exception of my son who doesn’t like melted cheese (separated at birth, maybe?), We all loved this recipe. It was easy to throw together and definitely tasted as good as anything I could get in a restaurant. I love that there is no drying involved. We had two large eggplants and 6 mouths to feed, so I tripled the recipe. I cooked the eggplant in two 9×12 glass pans, but then I layered them together into one when adding the sauce and cheese. Worked brilliantly and I just had the leftovers for brunch this morning.