Crispy pieces of meaty eggplant are topped with marina sauce and smothered with cheese in this easy sheet pan eggplant parmesan. It’s much easier than frying the eggplant and a bit lighter, too!
Eggplant parmesan is one of my favorite dishes on the planet. Seriously! I love a good vegetarian meal and eggplant is such a great meat substitute because it has a nice meaty quality and mild flavor allowing it to take on whatever flavors you pair it with.
During August and September we always have an abundance of eggplant from our garden. It’s one of our best crops! So you better believe there’s a lot of eggplant on our dinner menus.
Eggplant parmesan isn’t something I typically order at restaurants because it’s usually oily, soggy, and the eggplant is unrecognizable. I used to pan-fry my eggplant parmesan, but who wants to stand over the stove and get splattered with oil? Not me!
Easy Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan
I love sheet pan meals for the hands-off time. It takes a bit of time for the eggplant to cook and crisp up, but the oven does all of the work. Which means you can use the free time to whip up a yummy pasta dish to go alongside.
The only “work” involved here is breading the eggplant. And I’ll be the first to admit, I kind of hate this part. However, by slicing the eggplant lengthwise into slices (vs rounds), you get less slices overall, but with more surface area. So you ultimately have less pieces to bread.
For the breading we have the typical suspects – flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. I prefer using panko in lieu of traditional breadcrumbs as they crisp up much nicer. Season up the panko with a flavorful mix of spices and parmesan cheese. The seasoned breadcrumbs make all the difference in how delicious your eggplant parmesan will be!
The trick to getting the eggplant crispy is to preheat the baking sheet while the oven preheats. Just pop it into the oven before you turn the oven on and let it get nice and hot. Then we drizzle it with oil before adding the breaded eggplant and popping it back in the oven. Flip it once through cooking and once it’s nice and crisp you’re ready to top with sauce and cheese.
To keep things simple, I go with jarred marinara sauce. Feel free to use whatever your favorite is (I highly recommend Rao’s) or homemade. I love using fresh mozzarella for the cheese because it has the ooey gooey melting quality, but regular mozzarella will work just fine too.
In my opinion, eggplant parmesan is best served with some type of pasta. You can keep it simple and toss spaghetti with tomato sauce. However, I tend to prefer non-tomato sauce pastas when I have any type of dish that already includes tomato sauce. I love serving it with my lemon pepper pasta, which I’ll share soon!
In the meantime I highly recommend this 5-ingredient garlicky green bean pasta which is super simple and tasty alongside the eggplant!
Crispy pieces of meaty eggplant are topped with marina sauce and smothered with cheese in this easy sheet pan eggplant parmesan. It's much easier than frying the eggplant and a bit lighter, too!
- ½ Cup All-Purpose Flour gluten-free works too!
- 2 Eggs beaten with a tablespoon of water
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 ½ Cups Panko Bread Crumbs (gluten-free works too!
- ½ Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¾ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¾ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 Medium Eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 -thick slices
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Jar Marina Sauce Rao’s is the best!
- 16 oz. Fresh Mozzarella sliced
- Fresh Basil & Black Pepper for garnish
Place a large baking sheet* in the cold oven and then preheat the oven to 425º.
Lay out 3 shallow dishes to build the breading for the eggplant. Add the flour to one and season with salt and pepper. Add the beaten eggs to another and season with salt and pepper.
To the third dish, add the panko, parmesan and spices. Mix well.
Coat the eggplant by first dipping in flour and shaking off the excess and then cover it in the egg. Allow the excess egg to drip off before going into the breadcrumbs. Press the breadcrumbs into each side of the eggplant to ensure an even and thick coating. Place the breaded eggplant onto a plate or baking sheet.
Continue with all of the eggplant slices until all are breaded.
Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and drizzle it evenly with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Arrange the eggplant on the baking sheet and pop it in the oven.
Allow the eggplant to roast for 20 minutes and then pull the baking sheet out, flip the eggplant, and drizzle the remaining oil onto the baking sheet. I drizzle the oil in between the eggplant slices and then just give the pan a little shake for it to get evenly distributed. Continue cooking the eggplant for another 15 minutes or until it’s nice a golden.
Top each slice evenly with tomato sauce and about 2 slices of the mozzarella. Pop it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is just melted and bubbly. Avoid browning the fresh mozzarella as it tends to lose it’s gooey-melty quality when it browns.
*Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may need to use 2.
*The breaded and baked eggplant can be frozen (without sauce and cheese). Simply lay out on a baking sheet and allow to freeze solid before transferring to a freezer bag for longer storage.