Unfussy Eggplant Parm

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: What if eggplant parm was less like a layered casserole and more like an open-faced sandwich? You’d get this. To make the fresh breadcrumbs, just tear any bread into small pieces by hand. Emma Laperruque

Food52 Review: This is one of our Big Little Recipes. Read more here: 5-Ingredient Eggplant Parm Skips the Fuss, Keeps the Cheese.The Editors

Serves: 2
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 40 min


  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 medium globe eggplant
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated low-moisture, whole-milk mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
In This Recipe


  1. Get the tomato sauce going. Add the olive oil to a pot and set over medium heat. When it’s shimmery, add the tomatoes and their juices. Smush with a spoon to break up a bit. Add the salt and stir. Cook—somewhere between a simmer and boil, stirring every so often—for about 30 minutes, or until thick and jammy.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  3. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise—so, from stem to tush. Now, cut a diagonal crosshatch pattern in each: sort of like a duck breast. Figure 1/2-inch deep, 3/4-inch diamonds. Line a rimmed sheet tray with parchment or foil or a silicone mat. Place the eggplant haves on top, cut side facing up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Rub both into the eggplant with your hands.
  4. Roast for about 28 minutes or until tender. During the last couple minutes, add the breadcrumbs to the sheet pan to toast a little. Pull from the oven and raise the temperature to 475° F. Mix the mozzarella and parm in a small bowl to combine. Top each eggplant half with 6 tablespoons tomato sauce, spreading evenly with a spoon. Now top each with roughly a quarter of the cheese. Then each with half the breadcrumbs. Finish with the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and browned, about 4 minutes.
  6. Let cool a little before serving. Serve with a fork and very sharp, steak-worthy knife.

More Great Recipes:
Italian|Breadcrumbs|Eggplant|Mozzarella|Tomato|Parmesan|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Sheet Pan|Dinner

Reviews (20) Questions (0)

20 Reviews

Belma B. September 12, 2018
Thank you for your help .I would love a easy bread recipe
Sarah H. September 11, 2018
Loved this! The edges turned so crispy, but the middle was sweet and gloopy, in the best possible way. Will definitely make again, and going to try it with zucchini as well!
Author Comment
Emma L. September 11, 2018
Yay! Can't wait to hear how the zucchini turns out.
Heather August 13, 2018
Just made this, so good! So easy! Definitely going to make this again.
Anita G. August 5, 2018
I meant zucchini
Anita G. August 5, 2018
This was great! I wonder if it would work with eggplant. Definitely going into my book of favorites.
Author Comment
Emma L. August 5, 2018
Hi Anita! Glad to hear it turned out well :) You could do zucchini instead—great idea!—just adjust the cooking time accordingly. I'd start checking them after 10 minutes on the initial roast and continue cooking until barely tender.
Kristi Y. August 3, 2018
My roommate and I just made this for dinner and it was a huge success! I've never cooked with eggplant before but this was super easy. We used the extra sauce with some spaghetti on the side and it made for a tasty and filling meal. Going to try to make this for my parents to trick them into eating a vegetarian meal for once ;)
Author Comment
Emma L. August 3, 2018
Heck yes to adding spaghetti! :)
rmandell August 2, 2018
Just tried this last night. The whole family loved it. So easy! I’m never going back to traditional eggplant Parm. Thanks! My eggplant required 40 minutes pre cheese - guess it all depends on size.
Author Comment
Emma L. August 2, 2018
Kate H. July 25, 2018
This was way better than eggplant Parmesan I’ve made before and so much easier! For the tomato sauce, I used the Food52 easy 3-ingredient sauce with butter and onion. The butter added a great flavor to this dish. Will definitely be adding this to my regular rotation.
Author Comment
Emma L. July 26, 2018
Awesome! So happy to hear that, Kate.
Ttrockwood July 21, 2018
My gosh i lived on nearly the same dish an entire summer in high school! My dad had this crazy bumper crop of smaller size eggplant, and for lunch i would just slice one in half and bake with a little oil, then top with a ton of marinara and some parm. Instead of breadcrumbs i used a slice of whatever bread was around to get the excess sauce and such. Took exactly long enough to make and eat i could be back at my summer job down the street before the end of my lunch break :)
Author Comment
Emma L. July 21, 2018
Oh my gosh, I love that story! That sounds like such a dreamy summer. Thank you for sharing :)
FrugalCat July 18, 2018
Until he cut into it, my husband insisted this was chicken parm.
Author Comment
Emma L. July 19, 2018
Ha, surprise!
June M. July 18, 2018
Oh! I could use those little eggplants that I saw, but didn't know what I wanted to do with them!! Thanks for sharing!!
Author Comment
Emma L. July 18, 2018
Yes! That'd be so cute!
Lou July 17, 2018
Peel 2, slice length wise 1/4” thick, FEB, bake at 350 for 30 min., flip and bake 10 minutes more. Then layer as usual. Once it comes to a simmer in the oven add 8oz of whole milk Che’s and bake 15 minues more. Rest and serve. Skip the salt and draining time. Baking will dry the extra moisture out.

Old Eyetalian