This Lightened Up Oven Baked Eggplant Parmesan is made with 6 simple main ingredients, no deep-frying, and can be made Gluten-Free. It makes perfect meal prep for the week and a delicious side dish for your family dinner.

 An eggplant parm with marinara sauce and cheese is usually associated with a heavy meal. But this Oven Baked Eggplant Parmesan is lightened up with just a few simple swaps. It gives the perfect taste of our favorite comfort food without the frying.

This recipe will not be the same as a real traditional eggplant parmesan. But I have given it a SKS twist to make it simpler and lighter.

This Eggplant Parm has been one of Tom and my favorite dishes, especially when we serve it with:

  1. Italian Meatballs (Whole 30)
  2. Bolognese Sauce (Whole30, Keto)

Not an Eggplant fan?

Don’t worry, after this recipe, you’ll never look at Eggplant the same and will be craving it when you think of red sauce!

Why I love this Oven Baked Eggplant Parm

I absolutely love this Oven Baked Eggplant Parmesan because it is so simple and can be paired with almost anything to make for an amazing meal.

Eggplants are one of those vegetables that could soak up all the flavors from the ingredients that are cooked together.

I love it when the cooked eggplants get tender and soft in the middle, but still a little crispy on the outside.

Smothered in my favorite marinara sauce (not sponsored, but I literally can not live without Rao’s).

More importantly, all the ingredients you need for this eggplant parm recipe are very accessible in any grocery store.

Or you probably already have all of these ingredients sitting in your pantry, which makes this recipe effortless to make on the fly or an easy dish to plan for later in the week. 

What Ingredients Do you Need

The Ingredients for this Oven Baked Eggplant Parmesan are simple and straightforward, no guessing in this recipe.

You will need:

Eggplant- a nice, larger size eggplant will do for this recipe. You’re going to want to make sure the slices of eggplant aren’t too thin but not too thick either!

To pick a good eggplant, choose the ones that have smooth and shiny skin, preferably have vibrant color too.

Egg – beaten along with olive oil

Olive Oil- just a little olive oil will go a long way in this recipe. The eggplant will roast perfectly and the breadcrumbs will soak up some too. 

Breadcrumbs- you can get creative with your breadcrumbs!

You can use Gluten-free bread crumbs to make this a gluten-free dish

Italian-Seasoned breadcrumbs give your eggplant an even more yummy flavor.

Or you can even do Whole Wheat breadcrumbs!

Parmesan Cheese- any good-quality parmesan is a great addition to this dish 

Marinara- this is the step where you can personalize your Eggplant Parmesan. Use your favorite go-to marinara sauce. You can’t go wrong!

Basil- who doesn’t love fresh basil in a dish with red sauce?!

Tips to Make the Best Oven Baked Eggplant Parmesan

1. Do you need to peel the Eggplant before Cooking?

It depends on the eggplants you purchase from the grocery store.

Some eggplants that are more mature have tougher skin which can be a bit rough even after cooking. So peeling the skin will improve the taste.

On the other hand, some “younger” eggplants have very thin and soft skin which basically melt in your mouth after cooking. And it adds additional texture and flavor to the dish.

2. Slice the eggplant Thin

Slice the eggplants thin so the appearance of the skin will not make a big difference. And it gets to layer in more flavors and sauce!


Eggplant Parmesan can be so delicious, but sometimes it can come out soggy and nowhere near what was expected!

The trick? Bread the eggplants with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and oven-bake it first in high temperature.

Yes! Bake the eggplant in the oven before adding the marinara sauce.

It might be one extra step in the recipe, but it makes a huge difference and you will appreciate taking the time to make this Eggplant Parmesan the best you’ve ever had!


There are SO many options that you can pair with this Oven Baked Eggplant Parmesan.

If you want to gear towards healthier options, try these Italian Meatballs to complete your meal. Roasted Chicken is always good with a little red sauce, or even some spaghetti sauce or Banza Chickpea Pasta! 

5. How to store Baked Eggplant Parm

Once the baked eggplant parm has cooled down completely, store in an air-tight container for up to 3 -4 days.

I love my 8×8 glass baking dish that also comes with a lid.

So all you need is to let it cool, pop the lid on, and then fridge it goes.

What are your favorites to pair with a baked Eggplant Parmesan? Share with us in the comments below.


Freshly Bake Eggplant Parmesan just came out of the oven. There is a spoon holding up one piece.

Get the recipe:Lightened Up Eggplant Parmesan {Oven Baked}

This Lighter Oven Baked Eggplant Parmesan is made with 7 main ingredients, no frying. the perfect sides for a family dinner.
4.61 stars (23 reviews)


  • 1 large eggplant *, cut into thin rounds
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs **
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, divided *
  • 1 cup shredded mozerella cheese, *
  • 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • Salt Pepper to Taste
  • 16 oz. Marinara Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Fresh basil, Optional


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Slice eggplants into thin rounds
  • In a medium shallow dish, beat egg and olive oil together.
    A bowl of egg and olive oil
  • In a separate dish, whisk together breadcrumbs, half of the parmeseancheese Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
    A bowl of breadcrumbs seasoned with italian seasoning and salt pepper.
  • Dip eggplant rounds in the egg wash, then thoroughly coat them with the breadcrumb mix.
    A bowl of eggplants being dipped in breadcrumbs.
  • Place the eggplants on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned on the outside.
    Breadcrumbs coated eggplants ready to go into the oven.
  • Coat an 8 X 8 glass baking dish with cooking spray. Add a think layer of marinara sauce to the bottom. Then add a layer of the baked eggplant. Sprinkle with shredded mozerella cheese. Add a layer of red sauce, and half of the fresh basil (if desired). Then add another layer of eggplant, more sauce, and then sprinkle the remaining cheese and basil (if using) on top. Repeat until all the eggplants are layered.
  • Once finished layering, top with the rest of the red sauce, parmsean cheese and mozerella cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove foil and let cheese brown for 5 minutes at the end (optional)
  • Serve with more fresh basil.


  1. * Use more cheese to your taste.
  2. ** You can use Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs is one of my favorites), Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs (if using, omit the italian seasoning in the recipe), or use gluten-free rice breadcrumbs to suit dietary restrictions
Serving: 1g, Calories: 301kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 493mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 11g

The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.