May 16, 2016

Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan

Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan is my favorite eggplant recipe that is made by baking breaded eggplant slices on a sheet pan until perfectly golden and then topping them with robust tomato sauce and lots of melty mozzarella cheese.

Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan is my favorite eggplant recipe that is made by baking breaded eggplant slices on a sheet pan until perfectly golden and then topping them with robust tomato sauce and lots of melty mozzarella cheese.

In the spirit of full disclosure, this recipe is already on my blog.  Kind of.  Back in 2012 I posted a recipe for Eggplant Parmesan that is very similar to this one.  Over the years, I've made eggplant again and again and, over the years, I've adapted the recipe and cooking method just a bit.

The whole idea is the same.  For both recipes, I use a sheet pan to cook the eggplant as opposed to frying it.  I never feel like I am sacrificing the taste by baking instead of frying and the eggplant comes out of the oven with the breading beautifully golden and crisp, just how I like it!

So, what's different?  Well, the seasonings have changed a little.  Not much, but just tweaked a bit.  And now I like to use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular.  (Again, in full disclosure, either would work, I just prefer the panko.)

Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan is my favorite eggplant recipe that is made by baking breaded eggplant slices on a sheet pan until perfectly golden and then topping them with robust tomato sauce and lots of melty mozzarella cheese.

Then, there's the way I choose to finish off the eggplant.  You know, all that delish tomato sauce and melty cheese that makes eggplant parmesan eggplant parmesan.  I used to put the sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Read the post and you'll see how enthusiastic I was about that method.

My new method goes the old school route and piles all of the tomato sauce and cheesy goodness on top of the eggplant.  I've discovered that when I go with this 'usual' method some of the cheese falls down onto the hot pan and makes these uber tasty, crispy, irresistable cheese bits.  Those little cheese crisps are now officially my favorite part of eggplant parm.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for almost burnt cheese.

All of that taken into account, plus the fact that the photos on my old post sucked needed updating, I decided it was cool to go ahead with the new and improved epplant parmesan recipe here on the blog.  Now, the question of the day is, how do you make your eggplant?



Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan

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Ingredients
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1 (25 ounce) jar tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • julienned fresh basil, optional

Instructions
  1. Spread the sliced eggplant in a single layer onto paper towels. Generously salt the eggplant and let it sit for 15 minutes. Flip the eggplant, salt the other side, and let sit for another 15 minutes.  Rince the eggplant with water and pat dry with clean paper towels. (This process will draw out the excess moisture and bitterness from the eggplant.  I have seen some skip this step entirely.)
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Combine the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, dried basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder in a shallow dish.  In a separate dish, lightly beat the eggs with the water.
  3. Dip the eggplant slices in the egg and then the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the breadcumbs onto the eggplant to evenly coat both sides.
  4. Drizzle a foil-lined sheet pan with the olive oil and spread it around to cover the whole pan.  Place the breaded eggplant in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, flip the slices, then bake for an additional 10 minutes on the other side. Spoon sauce onto each slice and top with shredded cheese.  Return to the oven and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.  Top with fresh basil right before serving.

Notes
  • Depending on the size of your eggplant, you may need to use more or less egg and/or breadcrumb mixture.
  • If I have some of my homemade sauce on hand, you know I'm using it instead of jarred!


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