You don’t have to settle for a meatless dish that leaves you still craving for more! Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan is a meaty dish without the meat. Perfect for Meatless Mondays.
Does anyone have nights meat just doesn’t seem appealing? Yet you want something filling and you think a salad won’t do, and fish is just as appealing as meat.
That was my thoughts the night I decided to make eggplant parmesan. But! I was worried because the time I ate eggplant parmesan it was bitter and bland. The only thing that I could stomach was the marinara sauce.
So I did research, after all cooking is a science…Right!?! And I found out that egg plants are naturally bitter. The trick is to salt the eggplant slices and let them sit for 30 minutes, then dab them with a paper towel to remove the juice before prepping them. This extract that bitter juice. Guess what folks! It worked like a dream!
The second thing I thought was how to make this the best eggplant parmesan, the kind were I will want to come back for second and maybe thirds. Flavor! How does one achieve that? Can you stuff it? How would one do such a thing and with what? Sandwich style, and with herbs and cheese. Mouthwatering, yumminess!
Okay so time to be real, this is not a week night dish unless you prep it a day in advance and toss it into the oven the next day. I would not let this sit with the sauce for more than 24 hours because you will lose the crispy crust on the eggplant. It does take some time to prep, about 40 minutes of simple prep work, and another 20 minutes to bake in the oven but it is totally worth it.
Some recipes call for you to remove the skin off the eggplant, however, I like the color the skin brings to the dish so I decided to leave it on. If you prefer yours without the skin feel free to remove it. You will not hurt my feeling!
I use my quick marinara sauce for this recipe. It takes less than 5 minutes to put it together, really depends on how good of a can opener you have. You can get it by clicking here.
Finally I love mine served over a bed of spaghetti so I back it with the spaghetti prepped and in the dish so when it is in the oven for 20 minutes I can get most of the mess cleaned up and dishes washed. There is just something so relieving about sitting down to eat and you kitchen it already clean!
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Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 whole eggplant cut into 1/4 inch slices
- Vegetable oil
- 1/2 lb spaghetti Noodles
- 1 batch marinara sauce See Notes for Link
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 whole egg beaten
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese finely shredded
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese finely shredded
- 1/8 cup spinach finely chopped
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 2 whole eggs beaten
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
- 1 tbsp basil
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1/4 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- Slice eggplant, lay slices flat on baking sheet and salt both sides. Let sit 30 minutes while bitter juices extract.
- Once Eggplants are ready take a paper towel and dab them to get the juices off.
- In a medium mixing bowl mix ricotta, egg, parmesan, mozzarella, spinach, garlic powder, thyme, and basil.
- Take one eggplant slice and gently spread the ricotta mixture on one side. Take another slice about the same size and place on top of the ricotta mixture making a sandwich. Repeat until you have made as many eggplant parmesans as you want or until you run out of eggplant.
- Start boiling your water to make the spaghetti noodles
- Place eggplant sandwiches on baking sheet and place in freezer for 5-7 minutes.
- Put noodles into the boiling water
- Meanwhile in a shallow dish (I use cake pans) mix together the eggs and the mix making your egg wash.
- In a separate shallow dish mix together the flour, bread crumbs, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and parmesan making the breading.
- In a deep frying pan or cast iron skillet place ½ inch deep vegetable oil. Warm it over medium low heat. Make sure it is a deep pan, you don’t want to get oil everywhere and if you have a splash guard use it. Safety first people.
- Your noodles should be almost done. Drain them, put them back into pot and mix with ½ the marinara sauce. Save the other half to top your Eggplant Parmesan.
- Take the Eggplant sandwiches out of the freezer. Doing one at a time dip both sides into the egg wash and coat with breading.
- Once oil reaches 400 degrees you may begin for fry the Eggplant sandwiches. Be careful to lay them in the oil gently without touching or splashing the oil.
- It only takes a few minutes to brown so watch carefully, once the side in oil is brown flip and do the same to the other side.
- Remove from oil and set on paper towel to collect any excess oil.
- To prep the dish for the oven. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
- Spray deep 9X12 pan with non-stick spray
- Take spaghetti mixed in marinara and lay on the bottom of the dish.
- Take your fried eggplant parmesan and place it on top the spaghetti
- Take the rest of the marinara sauce and place on top of the eggplant
- Last but not least top with mozzarella and place in oven for 20 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and enjoy!