This is one of those dishes that might seem to require way too much prep and cook times to justify the 10 minutes it takes to devour it all. But trust me—it’ll rank up there as the best 10 minutes you can remember from your kitchen table.
There was a time when I didn’t think eggplant parmesan could be made with anything other than the traditional ingredients of dairy-based cheese and egg batter. When I switched to a vegan diet a while ago, I thought it meant saying goodbye to a lot of my favorite dishes. Luckily, I’ve learned that it’s really not that hard to veganize just about anything, including eggplant parm.
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
- Food Processor
- Mixing bowl
- Spice Grinder
- Small bowl
- Skillet or Frying Pan
- Baking Dish
Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients
- Sauce adapted from Eggplant Parmesan recipe by America’s Test Kitchen
- 14 1/2 ounces Canned Diced Tomatoes
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Fennel
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Breading Mix Ingredients (adapted from Eggplant Parmesan recipe by America’s Test Kitchen)
- 4 ounces White Bread stale bread works better than fresh
- 1/2 cup Grated Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
"Egg" Batter Ingredients
- 4 teaspoons Flax Seed
- 6 tbsp Hot Water
- 2 tbsp Non-Dairy Milk
- 1 pc Medium Eggplant sliced to ¼-inch thick rounds
- 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour in a gallon-size plastic sealable bag
- “Egg” Batter in a small bowl
- Breading Mix in a medium bowl
- Canola oil enough to fill your skillet to a depth of ¼-inch (about ½ cup for a 10-inch skillet)
- 1 cup Grated Vegan Mozzarella
- 1/2 cup Grated Vegan Parmesan
- 1/2 cup Small-Chopped or Chiffonade of Fresh Basil
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Instructions
- Strain the diced tomatoes, reserving the liquid.
- Transfer the tomatoes to a food processor.
- Add garlic and olive oil. Process until the consistency resembles pureed tomatoes.
- Transfer the pureed tomatoes to a mixing bowl.
- Add the fennel and oregano. Stir to mix.
- Add the reserved tomato liquid to bring the volume of the sauce up to 1 ½ cups. Set aside.
Breading Mix Instructions (adapted from Eggplant Parmesan recipe by America’s Test Kitchen)
- Transfer the bread to a food processor.
- Pulse until you get fine bread crumbs. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add vegan parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Stir to mix well. Set aside.
“Egg” Batter Instructions
- Using a spice grinder, grind the flax seed to a fine meal.
- Transfer to a small bowl.
- Add hot water to the flaxseed meal.
- Stir to mix well. The consistency will thicken and resemble a beaten egg.
- Add non-dairy milk.
- Stir to mix. Set aside.
Eggplant Assembly Instructions
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Working with one eggplant slice at a time, toss the eggplant inside the bag of flour until both sides are coated.
- Dip the flour-coated eggplant in “egg” batter, coating both sides.
- Let excess drip back into the bowl.
- Coat both sides of the “egg” battered eggplant with bread crumb mixture. Set aside.
- Repeat until all eggplant slices have been coated with flour, “egg” batter, and bread crumb mixture.
- Transfer the oil to a large skillet. Place over medium-high heat until oil shimmers.
- Add eggplant in a single layer, as many as you can without crowding.
- Cook until both sides are golden brown, flipping halfway through the cook, about 1 ½ minute each side.
- Transfer the fried eggplant to a wire rack.
- Repeat until all eggplant slices have been fried.
- Transfer generous ½ cup sauce to a clean 10-inch skillet or baking dish and spread evenly.
- Place eggplant on top, lining the skillet, and overlapping slightly at the edges.
- Add dollops of sauce on top of the eggplant.
- While the sauce is yummy, it does soften the crispy batter of the eggplant. If you want to preserve the crispiness of the batter as much as possible, keep the dolloping to a minimum and place the rest of the sauce around the edges of the skillet or baking dish, between the slices of eggplant.
- Sprinkle vegan mozzarella on top.
- Sprinkle vegan parmesan on top of the mozzarella.
- Transfer to oven. Bake 12-15 minutes, until sauce bubbles and cheese melts.
- Remove from the oven.
- Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle basil on top.
- Eat to your heart’s content and keep your lip-smacking to a maximum.
Alice Mesa is an environmental scientist turned foodie. She followed her heart away from a 10-year career in the water quality industry and into the kitchen, where she spent the next few years as the owner and operator of a handcrafted vegan chocolates business. Alice combines her passion for cooking with her vegan lifestyle by creating and writing about dishes that are not only delicious, but plant-based as well.