eggplant parmesan on a plate with a fork

Best Baked Eggplant Parmesan with Italian Sausage Sauce

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 1 hour
  • total_time Total Time: 2 hour 20 minutes
  • yield Yield: 8-9 1x
  • category Category: Pasta
  • method Method: Oven
  • cuisine Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


The Best Baked Eggplant Parmesan – a lighter version of the Italian classic. Baked crispy eggplant slices smothered in cheese and a mushroom sausage marinara sauce for the ultimate comfort food you’ll want to have for dinner at least once a week! 



  • 2 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4” to 1/2″ slices
  • salt
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free panko
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffon
  • 68 whole basil leaves

Mushroom Sausage Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups baby bella mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 lb. ground sausage (I use jimmy dean, natural)
  • 2 jars of marinara sauce (use different brands for variety of flavor)


Prepare Eggplant:

  1. Slice eggplant into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices or coins.
  2. Place eggplant on a paper towel lined baking sheet.
  3. Lightly salt eggplant slices. Let sit for at least one hour, or longer if you have time. The salt will draw the water out of the eggplant.
  4. Pat eggplant dry with a paper towel and gently rub excess salt off.

Mushroom Sausage Sauce:

  1. Heat a large saucepan to medium high heat.
  2. Add avocado oil to the pan along with onion. Saute until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Next, add in garlic. Saute for 30 seconds, stirring the entire time.
  4. Then add in mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are slightly browned, about 4-6 minutes, stirring throughout.
  5. Once mushrooms are browned add in your ground italian sausage. Cook until sausage is browned, about 5 minutes, chopping up with a wooden spoon to make the pieces smaller. Then add in marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Set aside.

Coat Eggplant:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. To a flat bowl add egg whites that are beaten. Set aside.
  3. To a medium flat bowl add panko, garlic powder, basil, oregano and parsley. Mix gently.
  4. Working one at a time, dredge both sides of eggplant in egg white mixture and then coat in the panko mixture. Place onto a baking sheet in an even layer. Continue process until all eggplant are coated.
  5. Bake eggplant slices for 20 minutes, flipping half way through.

Prepare Eggplant Parmesan:

  1. Now that your sauce is done and eggplant is done. It’s time to assemble.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of sausage pasta sauce to the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish. Spread out evenly. Layer half of the eggplant slices on the sauce. Top each eggplant slice with 3 tablespoons of sauce, 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese, a pinch of parmesan and 1 whole basil leaf.
  3. Place remaining eggplant slices on top and cover with remaining sauce and cheese.
  4. Bake uncovered in 400°F oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  5. Garnish with chiffon basil and serve.


  • Serving Size: 1 eggplant parmesan stack
  • Calories: 384
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 759 mg
  • Fat: 22 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Protein: 22 g
  • Cholesterol: 43 mg

Keywords: baked eggplant parmesan, easy eggplant parmigiana