Unbreaded Eggplant Parm

Lighter eggplant parmesan in a pasta bowl.

5 from 11 reviews

his recipe for Unbreaded Eggplant Parm requires only 5 ingredients, is gluten free, and is the cheesy Italian comfort food of your dreams.


Units Scale
  • 4 lbs eggplant (about 2-3 large), peeled and sliced 3/4 - 1 inch thick
  • extra virgin olive oil for brushing eggplant (about 1/2 cup or more)
  • salt, for seasoning the eggplant
  • 5 cups tomato sauce (homemade is best)
  • 1 1/4 lbs (20 ounces) freshly grated whole milk mozzarella
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • minced fresh parsley or basil, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper. (You may have enough eggplant to make a 4th pan.)
  2. Brush the eggplant slices lightly with olive oil on both sides, then lay them out in an even layer on the sheet pans.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, then bake until golden brown, rotating the pans as needed, about 15-20 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to flip the eggplant over to the other side and continue cooking for abutter 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Keep an eye on the eggplant as it cooks. Some pieces may brown before the others - remove them and continue cooking.
  4. Lower the oven to 350 degrees and set aside 2 cups of mozzarella and 1/2 cup pecorino Romano.
  5. Ladle about 1/2 cup marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 inch casserole dish, then spread it around to coat.
  6. Place a single, even layer of eggplant over the sauce, then top with another thin layer of sauce and a sprinkling of each cheese.
  7. Continue layering the eggplant with more sauce and more cheese until you’ve used everything up. It's okay if the final layer of eggplant is a bit sparse. Sprinkle the top with the reserved 2 cups mozzarella and 1/2 cup pecorino Romano.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until bubbling and lightly golden on top, about 20 minutes more.
  9. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or basil if desired. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  • To make mozzarella easier to grate, make sure it is very cold. You can even pop it in the freezer for 10-20 minutes to help. The grating attachment on a food processor can make it a lot easier too.
  • Be mindful not to brush the eggplant too liberally with oil. Eggplant absorbs oil really easily, so make sure you're just using a light coating so it doesn't turn out oily. 
  • Keep a close eye on the eggplant as it bakes. Some slices can brown faster than others depending on their thickness and the hot spots in your oven. Remove the pieces as they brown and continue cooking the rest to avoid any burning. 
  • It's essential to wait at least 30 minutes before cutting the eggplant Parm or it will ooze out everywhere and seem watery. It needs time to set up after baking. 
  • This Eggplant Parmesan tastes even better the next day because it has time for all of the flavors to meld together. If you can make it in advance, do it. Bake as normal, then refrigerate, and when you're ready to serve, reheat, covered, at 325 degrees F for about 20 minutes (or until hot throughout).


Keywords: eggplant, parmesan, cheesy, mozzarella, tomato, italian, classic, amalfi coast, baked, healthy, vegetarian