Eggplant Parmesan can be delicious in its full glory, but also on the heavy side. This gluten-free recipe for a simple lightened up approach to an Italian classic is like a deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan - all the tasty flavors, but in a slightly different form.
Instead of dunked in an egg wash and fried, eggplant is instead roasted in the oven until softened. The partially cooked eggplant is then combined with marinara, a moderate amount of part-skim shredded mozzarella, seasoning, and baked in the oven until bubbly.
No breading, no egg, no flour - just fresh eggplant, your favorite marinara sauce, dried herbs, and a bit of cheese for that classic Eggplant Parmesan gooeyness. The marinara sauce can either be homemade or from a jar for an even quicker weeknight meal.
This short-cut version of Eggplant Parmesan can serve as a side dish to any main meal. Or, you can make it a meal in and of itself, scooping a hearty helping on top of a pile of gluten-free pasta or layered on top of a grilled chicken breast.
- 2 lbs. eggplant (either one large, or two small), sliced into 1/2" thick pieces
- 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups favorite marinara, divided
- 1 cup low-moisture part skim shredded mozzarella, divided
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Set aside a 9x9 oven safe dish.
- Arrange sliced eggplant pieces in a single layer on top of a few thick sheets of paper towels. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the eggplant. Let sit for 20 minutes to draw out excess moisture.
- Place eggplant pieces on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over top and toss to coat. Arrange eggplant pieces in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 F until softened.
- Remove cooked eggplant pieces from oven and scoop into a large mixing bowl. Pour 1 cup of marinara, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, oregano, onion powder, and garlic powder over top. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
- Pour contents of the mixing bowl into the bottom of a 9x9 oven safe dish. Top with remaining 2 cups marinara.
- Bake at 400 F, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Sprinkle remaining shredded mozzarella evenly over top and return to the oven to bake for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels to confirm the product is gluten-free. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.