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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 61 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
    I came here to say that I was VERY skeptical of this recipe. I have an old fashioned eggplant Parmesan recipe that I love so so much but it’s so messy to make and it takes forever to fry all the eggplant. This is a quick alternative that is not only easy to make but also tastes amazing. I am so glad I found and tried this recipe out!

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing. I can’t believe how easy and delicious this was, without having to deep-fry the eggplant! It was crispy on the outside and tender inside. I used Trader Joe’s brand rice crispies because that’s what I had, and they worked perfectly. This will definitely go in the regular rotation. If you’re having any doubts about making this recipe, don’t–just make it!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it, Nadia! We made this for dinner last night too, and it’s always a hit with our family as well. I would have never thought to try the rice cereal, but I’m glad to know it works! 🙂

  3. I need a redo of this one. The flavor is great, the idea makes sense and the process is simple. I would like to stress the importance of the eggplant slices laying flat in the buttered dish, and also finding the right size eggplant for this recipe. My local grocery store only had big round fat eggplants available, which led to me having to stagger and stack them in the dish. I wasn’t able to get the brilliant crisp this way. Even so, we cleared are plates and enjoyed the flavor. Lesson learned ????

    1. Oh, yes — you definitely need the eggplant slices to lay flat in your pan. If you have very wide, large rounds, just use a bigger dish. Hopefully it will be a bigger success next time! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Just one word: YUMMY! I have made this 3 tines now. We moved to rural Alabama and the nearest Italian restaurant is over 1 hour away. We are really saving money and calories by not eating out. This is my favorite recipe… I only wish I found this recipe 20 years ago.

  5. This is so simple and easy. I did one thing different and salted the eggplant first to draw out moisture, they turned out amazing! Thank you for sharing it.

  6. 5 stars
    My 15 yr old son challenge me that I couldn’t make a meatless meal he would like to eat. So, I made this recipe with pasta. He LOVED it. He is the pickest eater on the face of the earth. So for him to ask for seconds is a big deal. He said that I beat the challenge. Thanks for sharing.

  7. 5 stars
    This is my go-to eggplant Parmesan recipe! Its simply delicious! When I add the cheese at the end I turn on the oven’s broiler and keep a close watch so the cheese gets just slightly browned…yum. Thanks so much for sharing. My 3 year old loves it too!!

  8. 5 stars
    Mouthwatering. I love eggplant and have made this weekly since coming across your recipe a few months back. So easy to make and the best eggplant recipe by far. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi, Brighid! Well, it won’t be Eggplant Parmesan without the Parmesan. 🙂 I’ve never tried it without. I think it would be okay, but it definitely won’t have as much flavor. You’ll also want to use more cornflake crumbs in lieu of the cheese, and probably add some salt since you’ll be missing the salty flavor from the cheese. The texture will also be a bit different, but again — it should technically “work.”

  9. 5 stars
    This was so good!! One of my favorite dishes at my favorite Italian restaurant back home is Cavatelli Melanzane, cavitelli in marinara sauce baked with eggplant and cheese on top. But I have never had success at frying slices of eggplant to make anything as good as that dish. This reminded me of my favorite dish, and was wonderful because it was so easy – no frying – and it turned out flavorful and crispy. I even cut down on the butter and it still turned out crisp and tasty. I think this recipe is great because you can make it a little healthier if you want (less butter and cheese) or more decadent (with more butter, cheese, sauce) depending on what you are looking for. So easy to prepare and even my meat loving husband said it was good! We ate it with a little bit of spaghetti tossed in marinara, and some crushed red pepper sprinkled on top. Thank you for a great recipe! I will be making this again. 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    This has become my go-to eggplant Parmesan recipe for every day. Easy! I do Panko bread crumbs, and only half the butter, and it is still very crispy and delicious, and doesn’t stick to the pan. I also, if I have some handy, put some spinach on top of each round, under the sauce and mozzarella.— extra nutritious!

  11. 5 stars
    This is one of our absolute favorite recipes! My kids (3 and 18 months) demolish it. We pair it with some buttered spaghetti with parmesan or spaghetti with just a little sauce and it is perfect. Easy and delicious. The eggplant crisps perfectly. I follow the recipe to the T every time I make it (I’ve now made it over 20 times probably). Thank you for a delicious recipe! It’s something I crave and I feel like I never make enough.

  12. I have been craving Eggplant Parm. for a long time. My husband doesn’t eat it. I didn’t want to get it from a restaurant. I found your recthe ipe and gave it a try. Wow! It was fabulous. Thank you.

  13. 5 stars
    2 medium eggplants came in my CSA box. What to do? Searched and found your Grandma’s recipe. No cornflakes?! Subbed cornmeal, a dash of sugar, salt and pepper. Perfect! Will make again! Thanks so much!

  14. 5 stars
    I’m making this for the second time! Both times I used Italian bread crumbs with wonderful results. Since my eggplant was so big, I ended up putting the slices into two separate, small baking dishes (doubled the melted butter and the amounts of marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese). I found that the one egg and and amount of breading covered all slices without needing to double that. I did not peel the eggplant, however, because we like the skin! I’m serving it with garlic Texas toast, a Caesar salad, and a fresh berry salad (strawberries/blueberries/blackberries). And my kitchen smells amazing – just like it did the last time I made your delicious recipe! Thanks so much for sharing it!

    1. Thanks so much for your helpful comments, Mary Catherine. I’m so glad that you enjoy this meal. The menu sounds delicious!

  15. 5 stars
    This recipe worked out great! I was drawn to it for two reasons. One, for several years, fried food is an enemy to my stomach, so baked ANYTHING that tastes like fried is a win in my book! Second, I’ve recently been following a low FODMAP diet, and this fits the bill! (And it’s gluten free, also, which is great for those who need it). Crazy how some of the simplest old fashioned recipes Are the best! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. That’s amazing, MaryAnne! I’m so glad that it satisfied your cravings and fit with your dietary concerns as well. Thanks for letting me know!

    2. To be more clear about corn flakes: “Corn is naturally gluten free. …Sadly, for those who enjoy that cereal, malt flavoring contains gluten in the form of barley,1 which places Corn Flakes on the “no” list for people who have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.”

  16. Hi There
    I will be making this recipe this weekend. My only concern is the corn flakes. I want the crunch, that’s for sure, but there’s just no corn flakes in this house and to buy a whole box for just a 1/2 cup seems decadent. OTOH I do have Honey Nut Cheerios. Would that work? I also have pretzels and potato chips. Would that work or would they not hold up under the baking process? I read one of the previous posts that said the breadcrumbs made it soggy. What about Panko? That’s way more crunchy than regular breadcrumbs.
    Thanks.

    1. Hi, Kazy! Of those options you mention, I would go with the Panko breadcrumbs. I’ve heard from other readers that they’ve had good success with the Panko. Enjoy! 🙂

      1. No worries, my wife says she loves corn flakes and would eat them, so I went out and bought a box and I can’t wait to try it and taste that crunch. Thanks for the quick replies. Will be preparing it today and baking tomorrow. Let you know how it turns out.

  17. 5 stars
    I honestly do not like eggplant very much but saw a beautiful one at the farmer’s market and couldn’t resist. I knew eggplant parm was my best bet but didn’t want a giant, soggy casserole dish full of it. This recipe was PERFECT — bright, not too heavy, easy, a small portion size for two people. I’ve now bought another eggplant to make it again tonight! Thanks so much for such a simple but tasty recipe!

    1. This makes me so happy, Jane! I’m glad that you’ve found an eggplant recipe that you can enjoy. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a note! 🙂

  18. 5 stars
    Delicious!! This is usually my selection when eating out at Italian restaurants. I can now make this easy recipe at home. Thank you so much, Hope to try more of your recipes.

  19. 5 stars
    Wow! You really knocked it out of the park with this one, Blair! The flavors and texture were outstanding! My husband really raved about it, and it went so well with Cacio e Pepe. I did not peel the eggplant as we like the skin–I just clean it very well. Used Panko instead of corn flakes since I don’t buy corn flakes. I think one thing that can really increase the great texture is to cook it in an enamel or metal pan. It’s a great idea to cook in the butter like that, flip halfway through, then put sauce and cheese on at the last minute–it really makes for an excellent texture and flavor, not at all soggy. Topped it off with some smoked mozzarella which has more flavor than just plain mozzarella. Excellent dish, and easier and quicker than it appears! Will definitely be making this again–many times!

    1. Thanks, Norma! I’m so glad that you gave this one a try. It has been a favorite for my whole life! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to come back here and leave such a helpful review, too. Happy New Year!

  20. 5 stars
    This was by far the best eggplant recipe I’ve ever tried. I made it exactly as written and the corn flakes do make them deliciously crunchy and peeling them makes a huge difference! This is definitely my go to recipe from now on. Thank you for posting!

  21. 5 stars
    Just made this recipe for myself and my daughter. Not only was it easy and fast, it was SUPER delicious! This recipe is a keeper. Thank you so much for sharing it!