The recipe and photography for this post was provided by Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.
Eggplant Parmesan is one of those classic Italian dishes you crave year-round but don’t necessarily want to prepare on a weeknight. This version is extra-simple – requiring just 7 ingredients and about 40 minutes – but delivers all the flavors and comfort of the original.
Instead of deep frying, this recipe calls for quickly searing breaded, sliced eggplant in a heavy pan, then layering the crispy eggplant with jarred pasta sauce and sliced mozzarella cheese (in the same pan) before baking for a quick 20 minutes. Many recipes will suggest salting the eggplant and allowing it to rest for at least 60 minutes to remove bitterness. I’ve found this isn’t necessary, especially when using smaller eggplants. Salting is an optional step; skipping it saves a lot of time.
- Total time:
- 2 small-medium eggplants (about 1 ½ - 2 lbs. total)*
- 1 egg
- ⅔ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 1 jar Heinen’s Organic Italian Herb Pasta Sauce
- 6 slices of Heinen’s mozzarella cheese
- Cooked pasta
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Trim the ends off of the eggplants and peel. Slice the eggplants into ¾-inch slices. You should have about 12-14 slices.
- Whisk the egg in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg, then toss gently in the breadcrumb mixture until completely coated. Transfer eggplant to a sheet pan until all are coated.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet or pan over medium heat. Once hot, add half of the eggplant (or as many slices as will fit in a single layer). Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Transfer to a sheet pan. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to the pan and continue with the remaining eggplant slices. Set all cooked eggplant aside. Remove the pan from heat and once cool enough to handle, wipe out any remaining breadcrumbs.
- Pour ¼ of the pasta sauce into the pan. Return half of the eggplant slices to the pan in a single layer. Top with ¼ of the pasta sauce and half of the cheese. Spoon more pasta sauce over the tops, then layer on the remaining eggplant slices, followed by sauce and remaining cheese. Pour any remaining sauce around the eggplant.
- Transfer pan to oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling around the edges and cheese begins to brown slightly. Serve over pasta, with extra grated parmesan cheese.
*Larger or older eggplants may benefit from a sprinkling of salt before breading to reduce bitterness. After slicing, place them in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to stand for 30-60 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.