Baked Eggplant Parmesan

I used a different sauce recipe, but ahhhh this turned out SO good
This Baked Eggplant Parmesan is Italian comfort food with the familiar marinara and cheese layers baked between slices of perfectly oven-roasted eggplant slices. It’s a lighter take on the classic recipe because instead of frying the eggplant, I bake the eggplant. Serve it with a side salad and breaded chicken for a delicious meal!

The great thing about this recipe is that there’s no deep frying involved. Baking the eggplant at a high temperature with the panko breadcrumbs still gives you a fantastic crispy factor while keeping the eggplant tender on the inside. It’s low-fat twist on a favorite Italian comfort food that I know everyone will love!

For Marinara Sauce
1 sweet onion large diced
3 garlic cloves sliced
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
For the Baked Eggplant
2 eggplants sliced into 1/2 inche circles
2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup parmesan shredded
3 eggs
½ cup all purpose flour
For Assembly
2 ¼ cups low moisture mozzarella

Make the Marinara
In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, sweat the onions for about 4 minutes, add garlic, and cook until lightly golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.
Prepare the Eggplant
Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet lined with a clean towel, salt the eggplant generously then apply another clean paper towel on top of the eggplant; let it rest for 45 minutes. Then use the paper towels to pat dry and remove the excess salt and moisture.
Preheat oven to 400°F, lightly grease a baking sheet. Combine bread crumbs, olive oil and parmesan cheese in one bowl. Beat eggs in a separate bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. Place flour in a third bowl.
Toss the eggplant with the flour, then dip into the egg wash, and then into the breadcrumbs, making sure to press the breadcrumbs onto the eggplant firmly. Place onto the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining slices. Bake until the eggplant coating is browned, about 30-35 minutes.
Assemble the Eggplant Parmesan
Apply enough marinara to cover the bottom of a casserole dish, place half of the eggplant on top of the marinara. Spoon another layer of marinara over the top followed by ¾ cup mozzarella. Apply the remaining eggplant on top of the cheese followed by the remaining marinara and one remaining cheese.
Lower oven temperature to 375°F. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese has lightly browned, about 20 more minutes. Broil for 2-3 minutes if necessary.
Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve with fresh herbs, if desired.