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The Best Eggplant Parmesan

 The Best Eggplant Parmesan
“Truly delicious! I love eggplant and have many recipes, but this one's my favorite. The cheeses and seasonings make this dish unforgettable.” —Dottie Kilpatrick, Wilmington, North Carolina
16 ServingsPrep: 1-1/4 hours Bake: 35 min. + standing

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup pitted ripe olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • EGGPLANT:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 small eggplants (about 1 pound each), peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • CHEESE:
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cartons (15 ounces each) ricotta cheese
  • 1-1/4 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves or 2 tablespoons dried basil

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The Best Eggplant Parmesan (continued)

Ingredients (continued)

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 cups (32 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

  • In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook garlic in oil 1 minute. Stir
  • in tomatoes, olives, basil, capers, pepper flakes and pepper. Bring
  • to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 45-60 minutes or until
  • thickened.
  • Meanwhile, for eggplant, place flour and eggs in separate shallow
  • bowls. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic powder and
  • oregano. Dip eggplant in flour, eggs, then bread crumb mixture.
  • In a large skillet, cook eggplant in batches in oil for 5 minutes on
  • each side or until tender. Drain on paper towels. In a large bowl,
  • combine the eggs, ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, basil and
  • pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. In each of two greased 13x9-in. baking
  • dishes, layer 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce, four eggplant slices, 1 cup
  • ricotta mixture and 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers.
  • Sprinkle each with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, 35-40
  • minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Yield:
  • 2 casseroles (8 servings each).
Nutritional Facts: 1 piece equals 562 calories, 38 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 138 mg cholesterol, 778 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 29 g protein.
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