Baked Eggplant Parmesan

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This baked Eggplant Parmesan is truly incredible: coated in a crispy crust that’s magically gluten free. You’ll never make it another way!

Here’s one of the ultimate Italian comfort foods, done easier and healthier: eggplant Parmesan! Typically this baby is fried, but we have a secret for you. It’s even better baked, and this version is incredible.

The secret to crispy baked eggplant Parmesan

This baked eggplant Parmesan has the most crispy, flavorful coating and tender interior that every bite is a revelation. We made this recipe for my parents when they were in town visiting, and everyone kept exclaiming: wow! (True story.) The secret to the crispy exterior? Here’s what to know:

  • Almond flour and Parmesan cheese make the perfect crispy coating. Almond flour has the perfect fluffy texture for breading, and it crisps up like a charm in the oven. Alex and I don’t eat gluten free, low carb or keto exclusively, but this method is our new favorite.
  • Make sure to buy grated Parmesan. That’s the cheese with the texture of snow: not the kind that looks like long sticks (that’s shredded). Grated has a similar texture to almond flour, and makes the perfect gluten free breading.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium large eggplant, about 1 pound (long and thin preferable) OR see casserole variation*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and thyme)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups jarred marinara sauce
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (we used a combination of fresh mozzarella and shredded)
  • Fresh basil, to serve

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. 
  2.  Cut off the ends of the eggplant and cut it into 3/8-inch slices. 
  3. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl and set it aside.
  4. Combine the Parmesan cheese, almond flour, Italian seasoning, and kosher salt in another shallow bowl and set it aside. 
  5. Dip each eggplant slice into the egg and then the Parmesan cheese mixture. Transfer the coated eggplant slices to the prepared sheet pan in a single layer, about 1/2-inch apart. Use two sheet pans if you do not have one large enough to fit all the slices. 
  6. Bake the eggplant for about 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until tender and golden brown. 
  7. Remove the eggplant from the oven (go to Casserole Variation* if desired). Add 2 tablespoons of the marinara sauce on top of each eggplant slice and add an equal amount of mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce. 
  8. Return the pan to the oven and continue to bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Top with torn basil. Serve with pasta (gluten free or legume pasta) or a few side dishes, or the casserole variation makes for a more filling main dish.

NOTES

*Reprinted with permission from One-Pot Keto Cooking by Charlotte Smythe

*Casserole variation: Double the recipe and use 2 pounds of eggplant and double the breading ingredients. After baking for 20 minutes until tender, spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ pan. Place half the baked eggplant in a layer on the bottom, then top with 1 cup marinara and 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Add the second layer of eggplant with another 1 cup marinara and 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Bake 20 minutes until the cheese melts, then top with torn fresh basil leaves.

You can read full article and recipes here : https://www.acouplecooks.com/baked-eggplant-parmesan/

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