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
- 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
- 6–8 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)
- Slice eggplant into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices or coins.
- Place eggplant on a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- 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.
- Pat eggplant dry with a paper towel and gently rub excess salt off.
Mushroom Sausage Sauce:
- Heat a large saucepan to medium high heat.
- Add avocado oil to the pan along with onion. Saute until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add in garlic. Saute for 30 seconds, stirring the entire time.
- Then add in mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are slightly browned, about 4-6 minutes, stirring throughout.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- To a flat bowl add egg whites that are beaten. Set aside.
- To a medium flat bowl add panko, garlic powder, basil, oregano and parsley. Mix gently.
- 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.
- Bake eggplant slices for 20 minutes, flipping half way through.
Prepare Eggplant Parmesan:
- Now that your sauce is done and eggplant is done. It’s time to assemble.
- 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.
- Place remaining eggplant slices on top and cover with remaining sauce and cheese.
- Bake uncovered in 400°F oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
- 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
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