This aubergine parmigiana recipe is simple, delicious and filled with incredible Italian flavour. I like mine topped with a sprinkling of panko breadcrumbs to add an extra crunch.
I am so obsessed with aubergine recipes. It’s in my top three vegetables because it’s so versatile and works as an amazing central element to so many vegetarian recipes.
The inspiration for making an aubergine parmigiana (or melanzane alla parmigiana in Italian) came from this baked aubergine with tomato sauce recipe. That rich tomato sauce and thin layers of aubergine gives me such joy and pretty much the only way it can be improved is by adding a lot of cheese.
I honestly think this one of the best vegetarian dishes I’ve ever made. It just shows that sometimes keeping it classic is best because this recipe was one Will and I talked about for weeks afterwards.
The aubergine becomes perfectly soft and melt in the mouth while the sauce is packed with flavour from the dried herbs and the addition of fresh cherry tomatoes.
I recently ate this dish on a trip to Italy with some friends and it’s just one of those meals which benefits from its simplicity, all the flavours shine through.
Easy aubergine parmigiana
Although this recipe is a little time consuming, as you need to cook the aubergine in batches before layering with the cheese and sauce, it’s still a super easy recipe to make which requires just a handful of ingredients.
This recipe is made up of thin slices of aubergine (use a mandolin for this if you can, this is the one I use), a rich and flavourful tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and panko breadcrumbs.
The panko is definitely not traditional but I think it adds the most amazing crunch to the top. If you can’t get your hands on panko then feel free to use normal breadcrumbs or leave them off all together.
Why we love this aubergine parmigiana recipe:
- I think this is pretty much ultimate comfort food what with the layers of cheese, vegetables and that crispy panko topping
- It’s vegetarian but it’s still super filling and makes you feel satisfied
- That crunchy topping is super cheesy and adds a whole extra layer to the dish which I just can’t get enough of!
- This recipe makes a fantastic family meal
- It’s great for meal prep as you can make it ahead of time and reheat when you’re ready to eat
Ingredients you need to make this aubergine parmigiana
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Dried Oregano
- Chopped Tomatoes
- Cherry Tomatoes: To make the sauce extra rich, use leftover in this baked feta recipe
- Panko: For that crispy top, use leftover in these salmon burgers
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Is aubergine parmigiana healthy?
The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it feels super indulgent thanks to the rich tomato sauce and parmesan flavour but it’s actually pretty good for you.
Can I freeze aubergine parmigiana?
To freeze this dish follow the instruction until the aubergine and tomato sauce is layered in a baking dish. Leave to cool then cover and freeze.
How to reheat frozen aubergine parmigiana
On the day you want to eat defrost thoroughly then top with the mozzarella, parmesan and panko and cook for 20-30 minutes until golden and crispy on top.
What to serve with aubergine parmigiana
This recipe is delicious served with a simple green salad and thick slices of crusty bread to soak up that sauce. That’s really all it needs as the tomato sauce and cheese make the dish pretty rich!
Can you prepare aubergine parmigiana in advance?
This dish is perfect for making ahead! Simply follow the instructions to make the sauce and layer it with the aubergine in the baking dish then when you’re ready to baked add the cheese and panko and bake according to the recipe instructions.
How to make aubergine parmigiana
- Heat the oil and add the onion followed by the garlic and oregano. Add water and cook until it’s evaporated.
- Add the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes until thickened.
- While the sauce simmers cook the aubergine slices until softened, you can do this in a griddle pan or frying pan, then layer them with the sauce in a baking dish.
- Top with mozzarella, parmesan and panko and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Although it takes a little while to put this together it’s simple to make and tastes incredible. This is one of the recipes that Will is still talking about because he loved it so much and we can’t wait to make it again.
Equipment you need to make this recipe…
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Want more? Try out some of these other aubergine recipes!
- Eggplant Gratin with Feta Cheese
- Baked Aubergine with Tahini and Goat’s Cheese
- Miso Glazed Aubergine
- Roasted Aubergine with Satay Sauce
- Eggplant Parm Grilled Cheese
- Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Vegetarian Quesadilla with Chipotle Aubergine
- Harissa Chickpea Stew with Aubergine
- Healthy Halloumi Bake with Aubergine
Aubergine Parmigiana with Panko
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic crushed
- 2 tsp Dried Oregano
- 200 ml Water
- Salt and Black Pepper
- 1 400g tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 250 g Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 Aubergines thinly sliced lengthways
- 250 g Mozzarella
- Fresh Basil Leaves to serve
- Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the onion, cook for 5 minutes until softened then add the garlic and oregano and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Pour in the water and raise the heat slightly, cook until the water has evaporated then add the chopped tomatoes and cherry tomatoes and bring to a simmer, season well with salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering heat a griddle over a high heat and brush with a little more olive oil. Griddle the aubergine in batches until slightly softened.
- When the sauce has finished cooking the cherry tomatoes should have burst and the sauce should have cooked down and thickened slightly.
- Start layering your aubergine parmigiana. Grab a baking dish and start with a layer of aubergine slices followed by sauce, repeat the process until you've finished all your ingredients. Top the dish with the mozzarella and big sprinkling of parmesan and panko. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is browned. Serve with basil leaves.
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