Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Total Time
1 hr 45 min
25 min
50 min
This version of the Italian favorite hits all the right cheesy, saucy notes for just a fraction of the calories and fat. Cooking the tomato sauce with shallots and crushed red pepper flakes assures a well-seasoned casserole, and the herb and panko finish keeps the cheesy topping on the lighter side. Eggplant can be bitter, so if time permits, salt the slices on both sides prior to roasting, place them in a colander, and allow to drain a bit of their juices. Rinse and pat dry well before you spray and season the slices for roasting. Then continue as directed. Pair this hearty dish with a bright spinach salad or a classic vegetarian antipasto platter.


Cooking spray

6 spray(s)

Uncooked eggplant

2 pound(s), medium thickness, cut in 1/2-in-thick slices

Table salt

2¾ tsp, divided

Fresh thyme

1 tsp, chopped

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

Extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp


2 large, finely chopped

Crushed red pepper flakes

1 pinch(es)

Canned tomatoes

28 oz, whole plum variety

Part skim ricotta cheese

¾ cup(s)

Fresh basil

¼ cup(s), fresh, chopped

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

6 Tbsp, divided

Panko breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp

Part skim mozzarella cheese

½ cup(s), shredded, divided


  1. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle eggplant slices on both sides with 2 tsp salt. Place eggplant slices in colander to drain a bit of their juices, about 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry well. Generously coat both sides of eggplant with nonstick spray and divide between prepared baking sheets, arranging in even layer. Season with thyme, 1⁄4 tsp salt, and black pepper, pressing so seasonings adhere. Roast, turning slices and rotating pans from top to bottom halfway through, until eggplant is golden brown and very tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add shallots and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1⁄4 tsp salt and bring to boil over high heat, stirring and mashing with wooden spoon to break up tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
  3. In medium bowl, stir ricotta, basil, 1⁄4 cup Parmesan, and remaining 1⁄4 tsp salt. In small bowl, stir breadcrumbs and remaining 2 tbsp Parmesan.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 450°F. Lightly coat 10-inch square baking dish with nonstick spray. Spread 1⁄2 cup sauce in bottom of dish and top with single layer of eggplant. Dot eggplant with 1⁄2 cup ricotta. Top with 1⁄4 cup mozzarella, 10 to 12 slices of eggplant, 1 cup sauce, and remaining 1⁄2 cup ricotta. Top with remaining eggplant, 1⁄4 cup mozzarella, and sauce. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake on upper rack until top is golden and sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing into 6 pieces.
  5. Serving size: 1 piece