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This vegetarian eggplant parmesan is easy to make and so delicious. It’s a lot like lasagna only made with healthy eggplant. You will LOVE it!
For another cozy vegetarian meal with eggplant, try our eggplant involtini!
See this delicious pan of bubbling cheese and omg goodness? Ya, that. That's easy-to-make vegetarian eggplant parmesan, and it's one of the best things in the world.
We've been making this recipe for YEARS and it continues to be one of our favorites. It's based on an eggplant parmesan recipe in the vegetarian cookbook, The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. Sadly, we've lost the cookbook so we can't say for sure how similar it is. But it is 100% based on our memory of it.
What makes this vegetarian eggplant parmesan special
- The marinara sauce is heavy on the veggies.
- Feta cheese. This is not a typical ingredient, but the saltiness is the perfect vegetarian substitute for the typical parmesan cheese.
- The eggplant is breaded in milk rather than eggs, so it's ideal for anyone who doesn't eat eggs.
- It is crazy delicious and loved by everyone we've served it to!
Make this vegetarian eggplant parmesan in 3 easy steps
- Saute some onions and veggies, add a can of tomatoes, and then let it simmer. Easy!
- Coat the eggplant in some panko and roast it in the oven. Also easy!
- Assemble the eggplant parmesan, put it in the oven, and walk away. Super easy!
See how easy it is to make easy vegetarian eggplant parmesan? We know you can do it. And when that pan of bubbling, cheesy deliciousness comes out of the oven, you are going to be so happy you did.
It will take you about 40 minutes of actual cooking time before you put the pan into the oven. Once the pan goes in, you can sit down and chillax and let it do its thing until it's done.
How long do the leftovers keep?
Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in your fridge.
Can I freeze vegetarian eggplant parmesan?
Yes! This recipe freezes beautifully.
Wait … is there no parmesan cheese in this recipe?
Technically, parmesan cheese, like cheddar cheese, swiss cheese, and many others, is not vegetarian as it's made with rennet, an animal product. But many people who are vegetarian still eat cheeses that are made with rennet. Since this is a vegetarian eggplant parmesan recipe, we've chosen to use feta as it's easier to find vegetarian versions. If you're avoiding rennet, look for rennet-free feta or substitute ricotta cheese.
The Tomato Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 2 medium bell peppers (diced (any color))
- 1 large carrot (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (very finely minced)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 cups panko (or sub gluten-free breadcrumbs, if needed)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup milk
- 2 large globe eggplants (cut into ¾-inch rounds (see notes))
- 3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, carrot, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 6-8 minutes.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 medium yellow onion, 2 medium bell peppers, 1 large carrot, 2 cloves garlic
- Add the tomato paste, sea salt, and oregano to the pot and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and the honey to the pot, reduce the heat, and let it simmer gently until the eggplants (from the next step) have finished roasting.2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, 2 teaspoons honey
- While the sauce is cooking, prepare the eggplants. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the panko, oregano, black pepper, and sea salt. Pour the milk into another bowl.2 cups panko, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ cup milk
- Dip each eggplant round first into the milk and then into the panko. Place the panko-coated eggplant rounds onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake the eggplant in the oven for 20 minutes.2 large globe eggplants
- Spread a couple of small scoops of the tomato sauce in the bottom of an 11×9-inch baking dish. Lay half the eggplant rounds over the sauce and then cover with half of the remaining sauce and half of the feta and mozzarella cheese. Finish assembling the vegetarian eggplant parmesan with the remaining eggplant, sauce, and cheese. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until it is hot and bubbling.3 cups grated mozzarella cheese, ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Remove the vegetarian eggplant parmesan from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.