Fried Eggplant Parmesan Recipe: Crispy And Easy

eggplant parm-1

Who knew that a combination of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese could elevate fried eggplant in such a delicious way? All you need is a baking dish, some homemade sauce, and a dream, and you’ll have the best tasting fried eggplant you’ve ever experienced.

Whenever I’m feeding a crowd, I always like to make whatever’s cheapest.

And a lot of the time, that ends up being eggplant parmesan, or melanzane alla parmigiana if you want to get technical.

Think about it, instead of spending tons of money at the grocery store on some type of meat for an entree, all you’re doing is buying fruit. $2 for an eggplant vs $10 for a pack of chicken? Sounds like a no brainer to me.

But, there’s a catch.

Eggplant isn’t very easy to prepare, there’s no such thing as a quick eggplant recipe.

There’s a lot of work that goes into it.

For starters, you need to slice the eggplant into extremely thin slices and peel the sides of it before doing so. This alone can be an extremely tedious process, and enough to turn some people away. I almost gave up my first time making this dish during this step.

After, you need to salt each individual slice, and press them to get the water out.

A lot of people say that you don’t need to complete this step, but I find that whenever I don’t the result yields extremely bitter and sometimes soggy eggplant.

In order to avoid any of that, I like to press my eggplant for at least a half hour. You’ll know you did it right when you start to see a pool of water at the bottom of the dish that you pressed your eggplant on.

After that, you’re ready to fry the eggplant, which can be another ten minutes, and then you’re ready to assemble.

So all in all, making an eggplant parmigiana is not for the faint of heart.

It’s a massive labor of love, and can sometimes take hours; all for a dinner that will be gone in ten minutes—it’s a classic family favorite, after all.

But, as with any labor of love, it’s all worth it in the end.

Because if this wasn’t the most delicious meal, this classic Italian dish wouldn’t have survived for hundreds of years.

This is how I make an eggplant parmigiana, and how you should be making yours, every single time.


What You Need For This Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe:

Eggplant: I like to get two eggplants for this. Make sure they’re on the firmer end, as softer eggplant has the tendency of going bad.

Flour: Regular all purpose flour should do the trick.

Eggs: You’ll want a few fresh eggs for this fried eggplant. It’s what keeps the fruit deliciously crispy.

Mozzarella Cheese: You can also use provolone cheese, but I think mozzarella works just as well.

Romano Cheese: Of course, you can also use parmesan cheese. It’s eggplant parm, after all. But I find that Romano tends to taste better with dishes like this.

Whole Peeled Tomatoes: I like using Cento san marzano tomatoes for mine.

Tomato Paste: One little tiny can of this should work just fine.

Minced Garlic: Mince it yourself!

Diced Onions: I like using white onions with this. You really only need about a half of a small onion.

Seasonings: I like to keep mine extremely simple with some salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (if desired) and basil. That’s really all you need to make a beautiful eggplant parmigiana.

Neutral Oil: Honestly, I think canola oil is perfect for this.

Olive Oil: You only need a little bit of this!



Eggplant parmesan is the best dinner for feeding a bunch of people, its so easy and very inexpensive. The perf christmas dish 🎄 #eggplantparm #eggplantparmigana #christmasdinner

♬ Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Frank Sinatra

In a large pot, saute your garlic and onions in some olive oil until translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Once translucent, add your whole tomatoes, tomato paste, and equal amounts of water to tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper, and let simmer on low for at least 30 minutes.

Slice up your eggplant lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Salt each individual slice, and stack them on top of each other on a plate. Place a paper towel over the slices and press down on them; I like to use a bowl of water. Keep your eggplant slices pressed for about 30 minutes.

After your slices are pressed and the moisture has been released, begin to bread your eggplant. Coat them in some flour followed by egg wash, and make sure both the flour and the eggs are seasoned with salt, pepper, and Romano cheese.

Preheat your oven to 400°. While your oven is heating, begin to fry your eggplant. Place a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, and coat the bottom with canola oil. Place your eggplant slices in the hot oil, frying them on each side until golden brown. Remove and place the slices on a wire rack.

In a large casserole dish, spread some tomato sauce over the bottom, followed by eggplant slices, mozzarella cheese, and Romano cheese. Repeat this process until you reach the top of the pan, ending with a whole layer of mozzarella cheese and Romano cheese.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving with the extra tomato sauce.

Eggplant Parmesan FAQs:

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Q: Can I use breadcrumbs with my fried eggplant?

A: Of course! A lot of people bread their eggplant with panko breadcrumbs, and I think it’s delicious that way. However, I find that my eggplant stays crispiest when I fry in just flour and egg wash, even more so than breaded eggplant slices. Either way works just as well though, it’s all about personal preference!

Q: I don’t like mozzarella cheese. What else can I use?

A: Provolone! I find that provolone melts really nicely and gives your dish that “tang” that fresh mozzarella is missing. If you’re looking to spice things up a bit, try it out!

Q: I don’t have time to make my own homemade marinara sauce. What’s a good jarred sauce I can use?

A: Rao’s or Carbone sauces are great options, if you don’t have time to make your own sauce. However, our absolute favorite sauce is our own! Order some for yourself!

What To Serve With Eggplant Parmesan:

Drink: I always love a glass of red with my eggplant parm. Something like a Nero D’Avola would be wonderful.

Appetizer: I love eating my eggplant parmesan with a kale caesar salad.

Dessert: You can never go wrong with a magic cookie bar!

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eggplant parm-1

Fried Eggplant Parmesan Recipe: Crispy And Easy

  • Author: Gianna Ferrini


  • 1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthwise into ½ inch thick pieces.
  • 3 eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt, pepper, and Romano cheese
  • 12 cups all purpose flour, seasoned with salt, pepper, and Romano cheese
  • 12 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 12 cups grated Romano cheese
  • 1 large can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • ½ of a small onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup neutral oil, such as canola oil
  • 2 tbsp salt & black pepper
  • Dried or fresh basil leaves to taste (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Begin your sauce by sauteing the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent, and then adding your whole peeled tomatoes, can of tomato paste, and equal parts water to tomato paste. Simmer on low for 30 minutes to one hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Salt each individual slice of eggplant, and press for 30 minutes. I like to press them with a bowl full of water.
  4. Once your eggplant is void of any moisture, coat each slice in flour and then the egg mixture.
  5. Begin to fry in neutral oil in a heavy bottomed pot until crispy and golden brown on each side. I prefer using nonstick or cast iron for this step. Set to the side on a wire rack.
  6. Coat the bottom of a casserole dish or baking dish with tomato sauce, followed by a single layer of eggplant slices, mozzarella cheese, and Romano cheese. Repeat these steps until you reach the top of the dish with the remaining eggplant.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese and grated Romano over the top layer, and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
  8. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 6 months.

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