We love us some Eggplant Parmesan! This is a great recipe; although it takes a little time to get everything together, it’s worth the effort. Like most dishes I prepare, this recipe makes quite a large portion and can easily feed 4-6 people, or even 8 if you decide to serve it with a salad. We like to have double the amount of Eggplant Parmesan and forego the salad; therefore, it feeds only 2! 🙂
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2-4 eggplant (depending on the size; in the picture below, you’ll see that I used three eggplants as they were medium sized)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated (not shredded; you’ll get better coverage with grated cheese)
- 2 cups cheese, shredded (white cheddar works well, but use your favourite cheese)
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs, unseasoned
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 package of unseasoned of (TVP) textured vegetarian protein (optional)
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Start by washing and slicing your eggplant approximately 1/4 inch thick. Dip the eggplant slices in the egg mixture, and then transfer to the panko breadcrumbs and lightly coat. Lay each eggplant slice on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with olive oil or a cooking spray. Bake the eggplant slices at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, turning at the halfway point. Allow the baked eggplant slices to cool completely before assembling in your baking dish.
While the eggplant slices are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a medium stock pot, lightly sauté the onions in a little olive oil. Once translucent, add in the TVP and sauté until the TVP is lightly browned – at least 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes more. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and dried oregano. Once all heated through, add salt and pepper to your liking. Allow the entire mixture to continue simmering on low to medium heat for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped fresh basil. Allow the sauce to cool completely.
To assemble, layer your baking dish with 1/4 inch layer of the sauce. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer and top with 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup of the freshly grated parmesan. Repeat (sauce, eggplant, cheese, and parmesan) at least 2 more times. Top with the remaining sauce and the last 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Now, feast!