How to Make Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
This vegan eggplant Parmesan is a lighter, baked version of the classic comfort food dish, made with layers of roasted eggplant slices and plant-based cheese.
Many of us grew up eating eggplant Parmesan, one of the most hearty and satisfying meals around. But when your diet restricts the original recipe, what do you do? Eat this version! This vegan eggplant Parmesan is dairy-free, egg-free and full of flavor, and comes together with just two easy swaps. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
How do you make eggplant Parmesan without the cheese?
Simply substitute your favorite vegan cheese in place of the cow’s milk mozzarella cheese and Parmesan. For additional nutty and cheesy flavor, top with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is packed with plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals. The savory flavor from the nutritional yeast, plus the vegan cheese melted over the breaded eggplant, makes for a creamy dish.
Interested in vegan meal planning? Serve this for dinner on Meatless Monday, then have leftovers for lunch the following day.
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
- 2 large eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
- 3 cups shredded dairy-free mozzarella-flavored cheese
- 1 cup shredded dairy-free Parmesan-flavored cheese
- Optional: Hot cooked spaghetti and torn fresh basil
Step 1: Prepare the eggplant
Place the sliced eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse eggplant slices and pat dry with paper towels.
Editor’s Tip: Choose an eggplant that is smooth, shiny, on the smaller side and feels heavy. Smaller eggplants tend to have thinner skin and fewer seeds.
Step 2: Dredge the eggplant
In a shallow bowl, combine the almond milk (or any nondairy milk you prefer) and flour. In another shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, dried basil, Italian seasoning and oregano. Dip the eggplant into the milk mixture, then into the crumb mixture, patting to help the coating adhere.
Step 3: Bake the eggplant
Place the eggplant slices on greased baking sheets. Bake until the breading is golden brown, 35-40 minutes, turning once.
Step 4: Assemble the vegan eggplant Parmesan
In a greased 13×9-in. baking dish, layer half of the eggplant, half of the marinara, and half of the dairy-free mozzarella-flavored cheese. Repeat, adding another layer of each. Sprinkle with dairy-free Parmesan-flavored cheese.
Step 5: Bake and enjoy
Bake, uncovered, until the Parmesan cheese is melted, 30-35 minutes. If desired, serve with spaghetti and top with chopped basil.
Tips for Making Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
How to make gluten-free eggplant Parmesan
To make vegan gluten-free eggplant Parmesan, replace the all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free flour blend and replace the panko bread crumbs with gluten-free bread crumbs.
What to do if the eggplant is soggy
To keep the eggplant from getting soggy, make sure to salt it at the beginning to draw out excess moisture. After you rinse off the salt, throughly pat dry.
How to store leftover eggplant Parmesan
Leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat the eggplant Parm in the microwave or oven.
What to serve with vegan eggplant Parmesan
Serve vegan eggplant Parmesan with a side of spaghetti, crusty French bread, vegan salad or roasted vegetables.