Eggplant Parmigiana

Eggplant Parm is one of my all-time favorites meals. My aunts and mom all make amazing versions of this iconic Italian-American dish, so there’s a lot to live up to. I’m  very proud of my vegan attempt – it was absolutely delicious, even without the eggs and cheese!

Nutritional yeast takes the place of Parmesan cheese in this recipe, but feel free to use any vegan Parmesan alternative you’d like. I suggest that you do this on a weekend because it works better if you take the time to salt and drain the eggplant slices first. It removes the bitterness and excess moisture from the eggplant.

1 eggplant
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
vegetable oil
1 jar red sauce
1 package vegan mozzarella shreds
fresh basil leaves

Slice eggplant into slices 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and place in colander in one layer and set aside for 1 hour. Rinse off salt and dry well with paper towel. In a large skillet, heat up vegetable oil (about 1/2 inch deep) until a drop of water sizzles. Meanwhile, coat both sides of the eggplant slices in 1) flour, 2) almond milk, and then 3) bread crumbs. Place in hot oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain slices on paper towel.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a square 8′ pan, coat bottom of pan with tomato sauce. Next, cover sauce with one layer of eggplant slices. Top eggplant with a layer of mozzarella shreds, and then with chopped up basil leaves. Repeat with two more layers of sauce, eggplant, cheese, basil. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes covered, and 10 minutes uncovered (place under broiler if you want a golden brown topping).

Serves 4

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