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Contest-Winning Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Contest-Winning Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Because my recipe calls for baking the eggplant instead of frying it, it’s much healthier! The prep time is a little longer than for some recipes, but the Italian flavors and rustic elegance are well worth it. —Laci Hooten, McKinney, Texas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Cook: 25 min. YIELD:8 servings


  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2-1/2 cups panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
  • 3 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 jars (4-1/2 ounces each) sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place eggs and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip eggplant in eggs, then coat in crumbs. Place on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake 15-20 minutes or until tender and golden brown, turning once.
  • 2. In a small bowl, combine mushrooms, basil and oregano. In another small bowl, combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  • 3. Spread 1/2 cup sauce into a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with a third of the mushroom mixture, a third of the eggplant, 3/4 cup sauce and a third of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice.
  • 4. Bake, uncovered, at 350° 25-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving: 305 calories, 12g fat (5g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 912mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 9g fiber), 18g protein.

Reviews for Contest-Winning Eggplant Parmesan

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AllisonO User ID: 7446023 254448
Reviewed Sep. 21, 2016

"This was delicious! My husband, who prefers to have meat as part of every meal, even went back for seconds! The only changes I made were to use plain breadcrumbs instead of Panko, and to eliminate the mushrooms. I used a chunky garden veggie-style spaghetti sauce which I thought made a great difference in both texture and flavor.

The eggplant stayed crisp, even after baking in the combined dish with the sauce; the flavor was excellent; and it was hearty enough to not taste like a meatless dish. The little extra time it takes to bake the breaded eggplant slices first is well worth the effort."

djmcclimon User ID: 8470923 254426
Reviewed Sep. 21, 2016

"Did not enjoy this recipe. I have other eggplant recipes my husband & I like better."

pschube User ID: 2658481 245591
Reviewed Mar. 17, 2016

"Delicious! I love eggplant parmesan and this is a nice sized recipe. I doubled the sauce and omitted the mushrooms."

MaritaK User ID: 5082743 118539
Reviewed Sep. 11, 2014

"I LOVE this recipe! I have made eggplant parm before, frying the eggplant, and didn't like it because it soaked up too much oil. This was SO good! I salted the PEELED eggplant slices to reduce the bitterness and put them into a colander for 20 min. Then I dipped the slices in flour, egg, and panko crumbs, and baked them on sprayed cookie sheets for 20 minutes, turning after 10. I chopped the mushrooms, and fresh basil, and oregano, and layered all ingredients. I used 32 oz. of sauce, 28 oz. wasn't enough. We had the leftovers the next day, and it actually tasted even better! Definitely a keeper!!"

gucci65 User ID: 7131119 192749
Reviewed Sep. 8, 2014

"Needed to use more eggs. Needed more sauce. Mushrooms made it watery. Did not add any flavor to this dish. Also using Italian seasoned bread crumbs neede to be used in this recipe."

candy91 User ID: 7479042 212721
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2014

"Please pardon me for my frankness, but this is not a prize winning recipe. First of all, the ingredients as listed are not correct. I cut up 3 eggplants and ended up with too many slices for recipe. Also, I used 5 eggs to dip the eggplant slices and had to use more than the 2 1/2 cups of Panko. The real kicker was that after spending hours making this recipe, it ended up not having enough sauce and was extremely dry as Donald indicated below. Unfortunately, I didn't read the reviews below before making it.

Very disappointed with this recipe."

iwillia13 User ID: 7889198 197569
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2014

"I grew up in an Italian family and learned from my grandmother to always after slicing the eggplant to soak it in water with salt to get the bitterness from it, or extra strong tase, then lay on towels to dry, then start your recipe. Also, there are male and female eggplants and if you look at the bottom of the eggplant the one's with the smaller tan patch are the males and the larger the females, thus more seeds."

Donald VZ User ID: 3723870 133967
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2014

"I used (2) jars of spaghetti sauce. I followed the recipe and yet it was dry. Would not make again."

daisey5 User ID: 146806 180827
Reviewed Aug. 31, 2014

"I also peeled the eggplant and added a little bit of garlic. It was very good."

SLAinSC User ID: 7958923 124412
Reviewed Aug. 27, 2014

"First time cooking eggplant Parmesan. Loved it! I split the recipe into 2?8x8 casseroles to make one with mushrooms and another without. I also used Korean eggplant (tender and milder flavor, in my opinion). My 14 year old had seconds. :)"

Helensdaughter User ID: 5484824 195781
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2014

"I used a homegrown large eggplant so only made 2 layers - same ingredients/quantities - and it was outstanding! The eggplant was just picked and nice and firm. I used portabella mushrooms (canned) and I used Parmesan cheese flakes with the mozzarella. This is a wonderful entree to serve with crusty bread and red wine. Such fabulous flavor. The kids loved it, too!"

Betty216 User ID: 7174390 119059
Reviewed Aug. 23, 2014

"My grandmother used to grow eggplant as a garden flower - never knew how good they were until I starting cooking. But my version is peeled eggplant-and fried, always good I'm anxious to try it baked. And yes we used to salt it and press it. No more now."

cocoacatandbrady User ID: 1762973 119053
Reviewed Aug. 23, 2014

"made it and it was delicious. LOVED baking the eggplant, not as messy."

Marykauhi User ID: 6011692 119052
Reviewed Aug. 23, 2014

"I also used a trick my Italian friend told me about. When slicing eggplant lightly salt and layer between paper towels and weigh down for several hours. This draws some of the water out of the eggplant and makes it firmer and less mushy."

Nicelady73 User ID: 7658859 195789
Reviewed Aug. 23, 2014

"Love it"

ahmom User ID: 3426126 119050
Reviewed Jun. 4, 2014

"Tasty but the panco sucked up the sauce."

kbaird81 User ID: 5788618 194231
Reviewed Apr. 8, 2014

"After reading the reviews, I made a couple of adjustments and this turned out awesome. I used italian seasoned panko, fresh baby bella mushrooms and threw in some fresh spinach. Also increased the amount of sauce. I will definitely make this more often."

jodie63a User ID: 3943826 179907
Reviewed Mar. 18, 2014

"This really didn't take any longer than frying the eggplant does. I made it as directed except I peeled the eggplant. It definitely needed more sauce and seasoning as it was rather bland but it was good enough that I'll jazz it up and try it again."

Igraine32 User ID: 7006585 186085
Reviewed Jan. 27, 2014

"This was good. Not spectacular. I did add more seasoning to the mushrooms. I didn't find this bland, but I don't know maybe I was just missing meat. Trying to do more vegetarian recipes. One thing is that I bought 24 oz sauce. Never saw 28 oz. So parts of mine were dry, which was ok cause it was crunchy from the panko. Next time I'd get the 36 oz and probably use the whole thing."

Ritabug User ID: 6174189 212720
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2014

"I liked the flavor of this eggplant parmesan. My family did not care for this one because the eggplant peels were tough"

Sneakipete User ID: 871990 150937
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2013

"A little light on seasoning, but overall very good! Given that other responders mentioned that panko took longer to brown, I flipped the slices and brushed the panko-coated tops lightly with olive oil then placed under the broiler. Worked well."

connietasteofhome User ID: 5784033 195773
Reviewed Oct. 10, 2012


akargus User ID: 3773433 119048
Reviewed Jan. 29, 2012

"For being a contest winning recipe I expected a better result. The Panko does take longer to brown than listed in the recipe. If I do make this again, I would use more sauce and amp up the oregano and other spices."

KatandSing User ID: 5956648 118536
Reviewed Dec. 2, 2011

"This was delicious!"

4food User ID: 3719946 150936
Reviewed Sep. 6, 2011

"My family doesn't like mushrooms, so substituted chunks of chicken for the mushrooms but otherwise followed the recipe. Family LOVED it!"

andij68 User ID: 336620 118535
Reviewed Aug. 23, 2011

"This was my first experience with eggplant. My family liked it for the most part. The panko took longer to brown than the time listed in the recipe, so we at a little late, but it was good. Oh, I left out the mushrooms since we don't like those, was still a good dinner with a salad"

Mattcancook User ID: 5777040 133965
Reviewed Jul. 31, 2011

"The only changes that I made to the recipe were homemade sauce and using "flavored" panko crumbs. Family and friends liked it very much."

marytompkin User ID: 406010 135898
Reviewed Jul. 30, 2011

"Easy, healthy and my family loved it!"

cherstad User ID: 2390261 197568
Reviewed Jul. 26, 2011

"This was my first experience cooking with eggplant. The recipe caught my eye and I decided to give it a try. While the prep time was quite lengthy, the end result was very delicious. The panko bread crumbs provided a very crunchy breading, and the layers of sauce and cheese made this a hearty, comforting dish. I plan to make this again on occasion!"

BKerns123 User ID: 4839300 195785
Reviewed Jul. 26, 2011

"Made this meatless dish last night and my son and I loved it. The panko gives it a nice light crispiness."

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Wine Pairings

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.