5 Ingredients or Fewer

Unfussy Eggplant Parm

July 16, 2018
19 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

Watch This Recipe
Unfussy Eggplant Parm
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cheryl
  • KakiSue
  • Sherry E
    Sherry E
  • Belma Bayer
    Belma Bayer
  • Sarah Harvey
    Sarah Harvey
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

36 Reviews

trvlnsandy January 6, 2021
As at least one or two found -- my eggplant could have cooked longer in the initial roasting. Should have looked at reviews first --- might have cubed it, as similar to another reviewer my husband might have liked it better had I done so. Personally, I think the 28 oz of tomatoes was way too much -- I used a 14 oz can and some tomato paste and still have leftover.
trvlnsandy January 6, 2021
p.s. I liked it and will make it using a small eggplant just for myself. My husband said he didn't like it at all.
Emily D. September 29, 2020
This was delicious. I cooked the eggplant for 35 minutes at 400 degrees before adding the toppings and took it up to 425 for about 10 minutes to finish it. Very easy. I will add it to my repertoire.
sraymond54 September 14, 2020
Kathy July 24, 2020
This is delicious, and easy to prepare. I figured my husband would not be into carving his eggplant, so I chopped the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and roasted that way. Transferred to a baking dish, topped with sauce and cheeses and it was almost lasagna-like. May not be as striking a presentation, but it's just as delicious. What I find amazing is the depth of flavor without using a lot of herbs. This is definitely on our favorites list,
DC's P. April 23, 2020
This was a fast and easy to prepare vegetarian entree. My one quibble is that the initial cooking of the eggplant should be closer to 35 minutes, otherwise cook eggplant at 425 degrees for at least 28 minutes. Other than that, this is a terrific recipe that I will be making time and eggain!
donnap September 24, 2019
This was delicious and easy. I added oregano and basil to the tomato sauce. Also I didn't have bread so I used Panko crumbs. It was great.
Cheryl September 13, 2019
It was good, considering how easy it was to make. I'd like to experiment with eggplant slices--and someone mentioned zucchini.
KakiSue September 4, 2019
This is officially a family favorite- made as directed three times already- once with baby-ish sized eggplants. My youngest nugget (24) has already made it twice. Soooooooo good reheated
Author Comment
Emma L. September 4, 2019
So happy to hear that—thanks!
Sherry E. August 17, 2019
how best to reheat left over half?
Author Comment
Emma L. August 17, 2019
Hi! I would just stick it on a lined sheet tray and warm it up in the oven at 350°F.
Sherry E. August 14, 2019
going to try this weekend, if no breadcrumbs just proceed with recipe? liked a reader idea to make the pasta and have with-
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!