- 4 Japanese eggplants, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4-1 cup marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup basil leaves, torn
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
This healthier and simplified version of eggplant Parmesan is a perfect fit for an easy weeknight meal.
You could use regular eggplants for this recipe, rather than Japanese eggplants, but you would need to salt them 20-30 minutes before.
Technique tip: Scoring the eggplant ensures the halves are fully cooked and seasoned all the waythough.
Swap option: Play with the cheese combinations. Pecorino would work great or smoked mozzarella for a more robust flavor.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.2.
Arrange the halved eggplants, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season with the kosher salt. Roast them for about 15 minutes until tender.3.
Remove the eggplants from the oven. Divide the marinara over the eggplant. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly on each eggplant half. In a small bowl, mix together the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Top the eggplant halves with the crumb mixture, then return to the oven for about 12-15 minutes until brown and bubbly.