My grandmother’s easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious vegetarian dinner that only requires 15 minutes of prep! This recipe simplifies the classic Italian dish for a quick-prep, kid-friendly weeknight meal!
Certain recipes just taste like home, and this eggplant Parmesan is definitely one of those dinners. It’s like a warm hug or an instant transport back to my childhood table. I can almost close my eyes and see it: my 13-year-old self just walked in the door from soccer practice, Dad just came home from work, and Mom is scurrying around the kitchen to get us all fed, bathed, and in bed for the night. The aroma alone takes me back to those happy memories!
When Aunt Barbara recently passed along my grandmother’s old recipe box (which is a vintage-looking tin classic!), I spent hours pouring over all of her recipes. One that instantly jumped out at me was the handwritten Baked Eggplant Parmesan on a weathered piece of yellow legal paper. As I mentioned, this is a meal that my own mom served us throughout my youth, and I suppose she received the recipe from her mom.
I do a lot of cooking for my own family these days, but Eggplant Parmesan wasn’t one of my go-to’s…until now. I think that I put off making the dish for a variety of reasons:
(1) it seemed too complicated and hands-on (I don’t have the time or energy to stand over a frying pan flipping individual slices of eggplant at this point in my life);
(2) it’s a vegetarian meal, so I automatically assumed that the 4 meat-loving boys in my house would turn their noses up at the humble eggplant; and
(3) there was no way that any generic Eggplant Parmesan recipe could live up to the memories of my mom’s homemade specialty.
So imagine my delight when I came across the very recipe that my mom had used 30-plus years ago! Even better? It’s BAKED in the oven, which means I spend about 15 minutes preparing the meal and that’s it! No frying pan, no flipping at the stove, and so darn easy! The outside of the eggplant still gets crispy and flavorful (thanks to a buttered dish), but there’s no extra effort on my part.
But the true test came when I served this meal to my boys. Eggplant is definitely not a staple vegetable in this house (although we did attempt growing it in our garden one year), so I honestly wasn’t sure whether or not this dinner would be well received.
You guys!!! My kids LOVED my Grandma’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan! All 3 of them eyed it suspiciously at first, but after one bite they were sold. Casey announced that it’s delicious because “it tastes like pizza,” and from there we were off and running! I enjoy my Eggplant Parmesan with a salad on the side, while the boys love their carbs in the form of a side of pasta and marinara. Rest assured, this is an easy vegetarian dinner that satisfies even the pickiest meat-loving men! My grandma would be so proud…
Grandma's Baked Eggplant Parmesan
My grandmother's easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious vegetarian dinner that only requires 15 minutes of prep! This recipe simplifies the classic Italian dish for a quick-prep, kid-friendly weeknight meal!
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup corn flake crumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Dash of pepper
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 2 ounces 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pour melted butter into a 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Set aside.
- Place egg in a shallow dish. Set aside.
- In a separate shallow dish, combine corn flake 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 prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes; turn slices and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Pour marinara sauce over eggplant and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 3 more minutes, or until cheese is just melted.
My boys love this dish when it's served with pasta and additional marinara sauce on the side!