Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 65 min. + standing Bake: 30 min.
This vegan eggplant Parmesan is a lighter, baked version of the classic comfort food dish. It's made with layers of roasted eggplant slices and plant-based cheese.

Updated: Mar. 22, 2024

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! 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 that deserves a spot in your vegan meal plan.

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.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients

How To A Make Vegan Eggplant Parmesan ingredientsTMB Studio

  • Eggplant
  • Sea salt
  • Almond milk
  • All-purpose flour
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Dried basil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Dried oregano
  • Marinara sauce
  • Mozzarella-flavored cheese
  • Dairy-free Parmesan-flavored cheese
  • Optional: Hot cooked spaghetti and torn fresh basil

Directions

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 a smooth, shiny eggplant that’s on the smaller side and feels heavy. Smaller eggplants tend to have thinner skin and fewer seeds.

Step 2: Dredge the eggplant

dredge the eggplantTMB Studio

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

bake the eggplantTMB Studio

Place the eggplant slices on greased baking sheets. Bake until the breading is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes, turning once.

Step 4: Assemble the vegan eggplant Parmesan

Assemble vegan eggplant ParmesanTMB Studio

In a greased 13×9-inch 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

Vegan Eggplant ParmesanTMB Studio

Bake, uncovered, until the Parmesan cheese is melted, 30 to 35 minutes. If desired, serve with spaghetti and top with chopped basil.

How do you store leftover eggplant Parmesan?

Leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat the vegan eggplant Parmesan in the microwave or oven.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Tips

How do you make gluten-free eggplant Parmesan?

To make gluten-free vegan 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 do you 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, thoroughly pat dry.

What do you serve with vegan eggplant Parmesan?

Serve vegan eggplant Parmesan with a side of spaghetti or penne pasta, crusty French bread, vegan salad or roasted vegetables.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

Prep Time 65 min
Cook Time 30 min
Yield 12 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplant, 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

Directions

  1. Place eggplant in a colander; sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°. Rinse eggplant slices; pat dry with paper towels. In a shallow bowl, combine almond milk and flour; combine bread crumbs, dried basil, Italian seasoning and oregano in another shallow bowl. Dip eggplant into milk mixture, then coat with crumbs, patting to help adhere. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake until breading is golden brown, 35-40 minutes, turning once.
  3. In a greased 13x9-in. baking dish, layer half each of the eggplant, marinara and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, until Parmesan cheese is melted, 30-35 minutes. If desired, serve with spaghetti; top with basil.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 242 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 739mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 7g fiber), 5g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 fat.