Eggplant parmesan is delicious, but the traditional version of this dish baked in a casserole pan can be quite labor intensive. I created these quick and easy Eggplant Parmesan Rounds, which is a simple and healthy spin on traditional eggplant parmesan.
Made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, eggplant, and basil, it's a nutritious and tasty dinner that's can be made on a busy weeknight. This recipe is also a great option if you're making eggplant parmesan for one or two people since you can easily adjust the portion size.
Weeknight eggplant parmesan
On weeknight, I want an easy eggplant recipe that I could whip up quickly, yet would still have the delicious flavors and textures I love in eggplant parm.
Instead of creating layers in a baking pan, this recipe allows you to make individual servings, with each slice of eggplant topped with fresh tomato, a slice of fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil.
To keep that crunchy texture, I lightly coated the eggplant slices in a panko/parmesan mixture and pan-fried them in a bit of oil before popping them into the oven to melt the cheese and fully cook the eggplant.
If you want to bake the breaded eggplant instead of frying, you can do that as well, I have instructions for both methods.
Either way, these eggplant parmesan rounds make a great vegetarian dinner!
Related recipe: Chicken and Spinach Lasagna
Sweating the eggplant
Although this dish comes together very quickly, it does require some prep ahead of time. In order to soften the texture of the eggplant and ensure that it doesn't taste bitter, you need to "sweat" the eggplant.
No, the eggplant doesn't need to go for a run.
"Sweating" just means sprinkling the eggplant slices with salt and letting them sit for a while (at least 30 minutes, but up to several hours) until little beads of moisture form. Then wipe off the beads of moisture with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel.
The good part is that you can let the eggplant sweat for up to 8-10 hours, so you can easily let it sit while you go to work for the day. Just place it in the fridge if letting it sweat for that long.
Related recipe: Italian Wedding Soup
- 2 small/medium eggplants or 1 large eggplant
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs (or use almond flour breadcrumbs for a low-carb eggplant parm)
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- olive oil, for cooking
- 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced (or ½ cup marinara sauce)
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
Related recipe: Italian Chopped Salad
Step 1: Slice eggplant into ½-inch thick slices. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant with salt and place on a rack over a baking sheet or on a cutting board. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes (up to 8 hours, but preferably under 2 hours).
Step 2: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or to 425F if baking instead of frying the eggplant). Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper
Step 3: Slice mozzarella into 8 slices, approximately ¼-inch thick.
Step 4: Beat two eggs and place in a bowl.
Step 5: In a separate bowl, stir together panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and salt.
Step 6: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Take each eggplant slice, dip in egg, and then dip in the panko mixture. Fry in skillet approximately 2-3 minutes on each side, or until breadcrumbs are browned. (You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet.)
If you prefer to bake the breaded eggplant instead of frying it, place the breaded eggplant on the baking sheet with parchment paper and bake at 425F for 25 minutes. Don't forget to lower the oven to 350F once the breaded eggplant is baked.
Step 7: After sautéing, place eggplant slices onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Top each eggplant slice with a slice of tomato and then a slice of mozzarella. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese.
Step 8: Bake for 15 minutes at 350F, or until cheese is melted/bubbly and eggplant is tender. Serve immediately, topped with a piece of fresh basil.
Related recipe: Authentic Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Eggplant parmesan for one or two
This is a perfect recipe to make if you're craving eggplant parmesan, but you're only cooking for one (or two). Just cut the recipe down to as many slices as you'd like.
Healthy low-carb eggplant parmesan
This is a great dinner idea for someone who is on a lower carb diet. These eggplant rounds are coated in breadcrumbs, but you can do a light layer. You can also substitute them with almond flour breadcrumbs, or skip the breading step and just bake the eggplant with fresh tomato and cheese.
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Eggplant Parmesan Rounds
- 2 eggplant small/medium (or 1 large eggplant)
- olive oil for cooking (optional - see notes)
- 2 eggs beaten in a bowl
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs or skip or use almond flour breadcrumbs for a low-carb eggplant parmesan
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus extra for sweating eggplant
- 2 ripe tomatoes sliced (or ½ cup marinara sauce)
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella thinly sliced (or 2 cups shredded mozzarella)
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- Slice eggplant into ½-inch thick slices. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant with kosher salt and place on a rack over a baking sheet. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes (up to two hours). Wipe the water beads off with a clean paper towel or kitchen towel.
- Preheat oven to 350F (or 425F if baking the breaded eggplant - see notes). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, stir together panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Take each eggplant slice, dip in egg, and then dip in the breadcrumb mixture. Sauté in skillet approximately 2-3 minutes on each side, or until breadcrumbs are browned. (You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet.)If you want to bake the eggplant instead of frying, read the notes.
- After sautéing or baking the breaded eggplant, place eggplant slices onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Top each eggplant slice with a slice of tomato (or a spoonful of marinara sauce) and then a slice of mozzarella. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted/bubbly and eggplant is tender. Serve immediately, topped with a piece of fresh basil.
Sunday 12th of September 2021
Yum! We added a layer of fresh basil leaves from our garden. Will make again! Thank you for sharing!