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Eggplant alla Parmigiana Recipe

Eggplant alla Parmigiana Recipe

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to color, 1-2 minutes. If using the tomato sauce, stir it into the garlic and oil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Julienne 6 of the basil leaves and add them to the pan. Cook for 5 more minutes, then set aside. (If using the canned tomatoes, add them to the garlic and oil, season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened to a sauce, about 30 minutes. Stir in the julienned basil during the last 5 minutes of cooking.) Set the sauce aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the eggplant slices and fry, turning them once, until soft and golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. As the eggplant is finishes cooking, drain it on paper towels.

Spread a layer of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cover the sauce with a layer of eggplant slices, overlapping them slightly. Arrange slices of the mozzarella over the eggplant, then spread another layer of tomato sauce on top of the cheese. Repeat the process to use all the tomato sauce, eggplant, and mozzarella, ending with a layer of sauce. Scatter the whole basil leaves over the sauce, then sprinkle the Parmigiano over the top.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Jonathan Benno’s Grandmother’s Eggplant Parmigiana

This family recipe hearkens back to the warmth of Michelin-starred chef Jonathan Benno’s grandmother’s kitchen. In the summer, she used fresh tomatoes and eggplant plucked from the garden. It remains his favorite dish.

The marinara sauce is always good to have on hand for a quick, easy weekday meal. It is the foundation for not only eggplant parmigiana but countless other Italian dishes.

Marinara Sauce:
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup Spanish onion, diced
2 whole garlic, pressed or minced
28 oz. canned San Marzano tomatoes, crushed, and keep the tomato juice
1 piece of bay leaf
Salt and ground Tellicherry black pepper to taste
⅓ Tablespoon red wine vinegar
⅛ cup fresh basil, whole or roughly chopped

Eggplant Parmigiana:
Marinara Sauce (see above)
1 medium eggplant, sliced thin
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups canola oil for frying
½ cup AP flour for dredging the eggplant
½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
⅔ cup shredded mozzarella

Add olive oil to a heavy-bottom pot or pan – heat oil to temperature over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, constantly stirring to prevent browning. Add tomatoes and bay leaf. Cook on low flame for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in red wine vinegar and basil and allow to cool. You’ll end up with about 2 cups of marinara. You can store the sauce in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the eggplant parmigiana. It will keep for about five days.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thinly slice the eggplant into rounds. Lay the sliced eggplant on a sheet tray and lightly sprinkle salt all over the sliced eggplant. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. You will see tiny droplets of water on the eggplant that is when you will know that all the bitterness has been extracted.

While eggplant is “sweating,” add canola oil in a deep sauté pan. Heat the oil to 350° F.

While the oil is heating, dab paper towels on the eggplant to remove the remaining bitter water. Dip the eggplant slices into the AP flour make sure the slice is coated. Once coated, give it a tap to release the excess flour.

Fry the eggplant slices in the oil until golden brown on each side. Once golden brown, pull them out and place on paper towels. Repeat this process in batches to prevent overcrowding and until all the eggplant is fried.

Assemble the eggplant parmigiana in a small baking dish. Start with a layer of marinara on the bottom of the dish, then eggplant, then Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, followed by mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper.

Repeat this process until you get to the top of the baking dish. The last ingredient on top should be mozzarella.

Place the eggplant parmigiana in the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until it is golden brown on top and the sauce is bubbling. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 3-4 servings.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 medium eggplants (1 1/2 pounds total), cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes, pureed
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (2 ounces), divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

In a colander, toss eggplant with 2 teaspoons salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Arrange slices in a single layer on a dish towel and roll up tightly to extract excess water.

Meanwhile, in a medium pot, bring tomatoes and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer until thickened, 30 minutes.

In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan season with salt and pepper. Put flour and eggs in two more shallow dishes. Coat eggplant in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, letting excess drip off. Coat with breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large straight-sided skillet, heat oil over medium-high (a few breadcrumbs should sizzle when added). In batches, fry eggplant until golden brown and tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with half the eggplant, overlapping slices slightly, 2 cups sauce, and half the mozzarella. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Eggplant Parmesan - Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Eggplant Parmesan - Aubergine Parmigiana

The Sauce

The Eggplant

The Cheese


Looks absolutely mouthwatering! Well, it has got to be delicious with my favourite Parmesan :-)

Thank you, Angie. Wish I'd popped a few slices in the freezer instead of devouring it all!

Great idea to bake the eggplant rather than frying and your right, frying makes a terrible mess, so if it doesn't make a difference in the texture, so much the better! I've also had the problem of the eggplant soaking up enormous amounts of oil too while frying. Now I'm tempted to make this dish for the first time in decades. Might be interesting to mix eggplant and chicken together. Hummmmm.

Richard, thank you! Yes, do try it! But it's so satisfying the way it is, I'd try it without the chicken first. Or do half with and half without? Let me know!

Looks really tasty and I have to compliment you on your painting! You're really good at it!! Thanks so much for linking up with me at my party #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 19, open until December 26 at 12:05 am. Shared on social media. I invite you to check out all of my themed parties!

Dee, thank you. AND for noticing my painting! I'm having a lot of fun with it!

Such an artist with food and paint! Looks like a lovely
recipe to try soon.

I loooove eggplant and your dish looks so good! Cheese and eggplant go really well together :-)

Hummm,looks great!Beautiful painting.Happy Thanksgiving!

Lynn, thank you so much! I hope you'll try it soon and let me know how it turned out.

Thanks, Tamago. I love your enthusiasm for eggplant, I think it's a most wonderful vegetable!

Maristella, thank you! Happy Autumn (or is it Spring there?)!

What can I say? Eggplant sounds like a misguided chimera hybrid and looks like a blackjack. On the other hand, not eating one gives me one more thing to be grateful for on Thanksgiving. In any case, my warmest wishes go out to you whatever you grace your table with and however you spend the holiday!

Thank you, Sully. No, you won't find chimera on the menu at Delightful Repast! Perhaps if you called it aubergine instead of eggplant such hideous pictures would not come up into your mind and you'd be able to at least try it!

I'm definitely rarely breading things these days, and usually don't flour, either. And I've done that whole eggplant salting thing but haven't noticed it made much difference in flavor/bitterness/whatever. Any difference, really. So I don't. Now, what I haven't done is made this dish in forever. That will change, though. Really nice version of a classic -- thanks.

Thanks so much, KR! Hope you and Mrs Riff are enjoying life despite the pandemic!

this looks so fantastic Jean. i am drooling here. I adore eggplant, and yes i agree - i've never found the need to salt it first either! and once again, i looooove your painting.

I like the way you have got the light reflecting off your egg plant water colours Jean. Great stuff.
When Marilyn and I make lasagnes we often put egg plants and other vegetables into the ingredients.
I can' remember making one without minced beef but then that's just me in this household. One of my daughters, Emily, is into vegetarian versions of things so I am sure she has made one like yours and Marilyn probably too. My reservations in whether they have or not is down to the fact that I have most likely really enjoyed their lasagnes and just not realised that the minced beef was missing. But anyway, this all looks good Jean. What was it you have called yours,"Eggplant Parmesan - Melanzane alla Parmigiana." You and Mr Delightful must do a culinary tour of Italy.

Thank you, Sherry! I really do have fun painting the groceries! AND eating them!

Tony, thank you. I'm sure we would love a culinary tour of Italy. A meaty aubergine dish you might like, in case you've not already tried it, is moussaka. The Greeks probably make it with ground lamb, but I use ground beef. Thanks for commenting on the details of my watercolours it's helpful.

I'm glad I came across your blog. I get such tasty recipe ideas, even if I have to tweak them to make them vegan friendly. Won't take much to make this one vegan friendly, and sounds like it will definitely be a very tasty dinner.

Thank you, Victoria. Since it's the flavour of the aubergines and the flavour of the sauce that dominate, you should still have a tasty dish no matter what tweaks you need to make it vegan. Hope you like it!

That's what I was thinking. One of those easily customizable while keeping the essential aspects of the flavours kinds of dishes. :)

Oh your artwork, Jean! You are one multi-talented woman!

So good to meet you this week .

looks wonderful Jean we really love eggplant!!

I've been thinking about what to do with my leftover turkey, and now all of a sudden I want eggplant Parmesan! Your changes to the traditional method all sound like improvements to me. Thanks for the pointers for making a healthier dish. It looks delicious!

Jan, thanks so much. Even Mr Delightful likes it, so I thought others would, too! :-)

Aaww, Linda, thank you! And I was so happy to meet you this week!

Thank you, Gloria. I love finding another eggplant fan!

Cheryl, thank you! I haven't had turkey in several months, so your leftover turkey sounds good to me. I hope you'll try this soon and let me know what you think.

Well. this looks good! :o) Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

Thanks, Ellen. Happy December (almost)! The year has flown.

That's a fine and very inviting version of a great classic. I wish I could say that I'd never had a bitter aubergine (eggplant) but I can still remember some pretty horrible examples back around 30 or 40 years ago. They're so much better these days and I'm told that this is down to the dedication and skill of plant breeders. It was a plant breeder who told me that, though, so he might have been a little biased.

Thanks, Phil. Yes, I think the plant breeders took care of that problem quite a few years ago. I just love prebaking the thin slices. If you let them go a bit longer, they're rather like crisps, which is not a bad thing!

Oh my, Jean!! Your recipe and all the photos show your Eggplant Parmesan to best effect it looks just delicious!! Happy to feature your post this week at Share Your Style #284. <3

Barb, thank you so much! And for the feature! Wishing you a wonderful winter.

So many things I like about this recipe, Jean. First, baking the eggplant instead of frying it makes all the difference. Much less oil and fat is far better… Also, I never found that the breading added anything to the recipe. This is one serious pan of comfort!

Thank you, David! And I love that: "one serious pan of comfort!" And it's one way Mr Delightful will eat eggplant he hates dips and "mushy stuff" and will not even try baba ghanoush.

I love eggplant! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party! Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you this Sunday at the party.

Jean, Your Eggplant Parmesan looks so delicious! I haven't ever had a bitter eggplant either, so I love that you've skipped the salting step and I'm pleased you skipped the breading as well. I hope to give this recipe a try soon as both my husband and I love eggplant parmesan!! Thank you so much for sharing and for your support of Hearth and Soul. Take care.

April, thank you so much. I hope you both like it! Have a cosy and wonderful winter!

Your awesome post is featured on Full Plate, 513 this week. Thanks so much for sharing with us and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Thank you so much, Miz Helen!

I know I would enjoy your recipe because I don't usually like eggplant Parmesan made the eggplant coated in breadcrumbs.

Thanks, Karen! I don't think breadcrumbs and layering mix well—usually turns to sludge!

Authentic Eggplant Parmesan (Parmigiana Di Melanzane)

Eggplant Parmesan (Parmigiana di melanzane), is a true classic Italian dish that has become immensely popular around the world. So much so, it has spawned other versions of "Parmesan"-style dishes that don't really exist in Italy (or at least not under this name), such as chicken Parmesan and veal Parmesan. It is, however, sometimes made with zucchini in place of eggplant in Italy, where it is called Parmigiana di zucchine.

The Italian-American version is usually breaded before frying, but the traditional Italian version is not. As a result, it's not only lighter, faster, and easier to prepare, but you can really taste the rich eggplant flavor. If you are a fan of eggplant, then you may prefer this recipe. If you want to make it even lighter, you could grill or bake the eggplant slices instead of frying them.

This is an incredibly comforting dish that makes a hearty side (contorno) or a satisfying meatless/vegetarian main, together with a salad and some crusty Italian bread. Serve with a full-bodied Merlot or Chianti.

Traditional Eggplant Parmesan (Parmigiana di Melanzane)

Eggplant Parmesan is a traditional Italian dish that alternates layers of fried eggplants, velvety tomato sauce and melting mozzarella cheese. Sicily and Emilia Romagna are contending the origin of this recipe. Well… we are not going to solve here this dilemma, but we will learn how to make the most authentic eggplant parmesan recipe that you can enjoy with your loved ones.

Why you’ll love the Eggplant Parmesan

– It is one of the most traditional Italian dishes.

– Eggplant Parm is a vegetarian and gluten-free dish that can be served as a main or appetizers. Everyone will love it and ask for more!

– Eggplant Parmigiana is incredibly satisfying, given the combination of meaty eggplants with tasty tomato sauce and gooey mozzarella cheese.

Traditional Eggplant Parmigiana ingredients

Traditional Eggplant Parmigiana is a mix of Mediterranean ingredients combined together to give life to a hearty meal. Let’s learn about them before heading to the grocery store!


Eggplants are the main ingredient and the best time to enjoy eggplants is the summer, from June to August-September, when they are ripe. Pick eggplants that are of medium size and that are firm to the touch.


For this recipe you will need tomato sauce. You have two options:

1. You can make your own tomato sauce : you will need to cook the tomatoes until they form a sauce. You can refer to my Authentic Italian Homemade Tomato Sauce. The tomato sauce, helps balance the bounty of the fried eggplants, and the mozzarella cheese. Always add a teaspoon of sugar to lighten up its acidity.

2. You can buy a ready-made sauce, which will save you time. My favorite brand is Mutti. I recommend this brand as its sauce is of superior quality in terms of taste and consistency. For this recipe, I used one and a half can of Mutti tomato sauce.

Mozzarella & Parmesan

Mozzarella is probably one of the most popular Italian cheeses not only in Italy but in the world. It is widely used in many recipes as well as eaten on its own. There are several varieties and a full post will not be enough to cover the subject. For this recipe, I usually use cow’s milk mozzarella in cubes. In general, I recommend using cow’s mozzarella have it is milder than buffala mozzarella.

You will need some grated Parmesan cheese, to scatter on top of the mozzarella and then on the last layer to help to form that crusty, melting top.


And let’s not forget the basil . The basil will add a touch of freshness not only to the tomato sauce but as well to the main dish.

How to prepare eggplants for Eggplant Parmesan

The first and foremost important part of making the best eggplant parmesan is to prepare the eggplants. There are 3 critical steps to follow before baking your eggplant parm: cutting and removing the water from the eggplants, cooking them, and letting the eggplant rest.

1. Cutting and removing the water:

Start by cutting the eggplants in vertical slices. This will allow you to obtain slices with equal pulp, and a bit of seed. If you cut them in circles, some slices might be too seedy. Proceed by removing the skin, this is my tip for you, as in fact, the skin can sometimes give a bitter taste to the eggplants. Place the slices in a colander, alternating them with rock salt. Leave them for 30 minutes to allow the salt to flush out the water from the eggplants. Remove the rock salt and pat them dry.

2. Cooking the eggplants :

The traditional Italian recipe for Eggplant Parmesan requires to fry the eggplants with no breading in extra virgin olive oil. However, I will also share with you a healthy eggplant parmesan option.

I must confess that I wasn’t fond of frying the eggplants directly in extra virgin olive oil. I used to coat the eggplant slices in flour, as it helps to reduce the absorption of fat. On the other side, it creates a viscous layer when it meets the tomato sauce, which will not be pleasant on your palate. I did several trials to decide what is best and then in Sicily I learnt that Traditional Eggplant parmesan means to fry the eggplant with no breading! As a reminder, the extra virgin olive oil, unlike any other vegetable oils, reaches a high temperature very fast. You will need to quickly fry your eggplants, just until golden brown, being very careful not to burn them.

3. Resting the eggplant :

Now that you have fried your eggplants, you need to let them rest on paper towels. I make layers of eggplants and paper towels, and I change the paper at least 3 times. After this process, I let the slices to rest a few hours. This procedure will allow the eggplant to be less oily and without any risk of being soggy, which means you are on the way to make a perfect Traditional Eggplant Parmesan!

How to make Traditional Italian Eggplant Parmesan

You will need a tomato sauce to prepare this recipe. You can follow the instructions in my Authentic Italian Homemade Tomato Sauce or you can use a ready-made tomato sauce, which you will flavor with garlic and basil, decreasing your time by roughly one hour. I used 1 and a half can of ready tomato sauce to make this recipe.

Now, you have your fried eggplant, your tomato sauce, the mozzarella, the parmesan, and the basil and the magic is about to start! Take a baking casserole of 9″x 7″ inches and place a bit of tomato sauce.

Continue by adding a layer of eggplants, then add more sauce.

At this point, sprinkle the mozzarella, and finally add the parmesan and some basil. Start all over again alternating the eggplants, then the sauce, mozzarella, the parmesan, and basil until you finish the ingredients.

On the last layer, put mozzarella and more parmesan and bake it until the cheese has melted and is golden on top.

It is always better to make Traditional Eggplant Parmesan ahead. This dish is best when enjoyed the day after you bake it so that all the flavors will combine together, amplifying the taste. You will simply need to warm it in the oven at 395 °F (200 ° C) for 30 minutes.

Eggplant Parmesan variations and substitutions

Eggplant Parmesan is excellent for vegetarians and gluten-free diets. If you want to make this dish vegan, add vegan cheese instead of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

In case you want to make an healthier version of eggplant parmesan, you can choose to bake the eggplants. For perfect baked eggplant parmesan, you will stiil need to remove the water from the eggplants, if you do not want your final dish to be soggy. You can then brush your slices on both sides with EVOO, to avoid the eggplant to dry. Bake them at 395 °F (200 ° C) for around 30 to 40 minutes, turning them after the first 15-20 minutes. You can continue to assemble all the ingredients and then you bake it as in the recipe below.

Looking for other eggplant recipes? Check out the Pasta alla Norma recipe.

Eggplant Parmesan serving suggestions

Usually in Italy, we eat it as a main dish, along with some fresh salads. Eggplant Parmesan is ideal served as an appetizer, in this case, you will need to halve the serving. It can be a great casserole to serve during a summer gathering as a part of a table appetizers spread.

How to store Eggplant Parmesan

If there are any leftovers of this tasty Eggplant Parmesan Casserole, you can freeze it for 6 weeks in a glass container. You will need to thaw it completely at room temperature, and then you can warm it up in the oven for 30 minutes at 395 °F (200 ° C).

Which wine to pair with Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan with its creamy taste and meaty layers of eggplant calls for white wine. A light, fruity, and dry wine would be the best options. A Sauvignon Blanc from Friuli will pair well with the fried eggplant and the creamy cheese.

If you prefer red, you are in a lucky place with this recipe, because it will complement well to the consistency of Eggplant Parmigiana. Consider a Barbera from Piemonte, in fact, a dry and medium-body wine will perfectly match the dish with its dried herbs’ notes.

With fried eggplant

If you want to take the eggplant risotto up a few notches, begin by frying the eggplant slices in plenty of hot oil before you prepare the risotto. Remove the slices from the heat once they turn golden-brown and lay them on paper towels to dry, which will absorb the excess oil. Add the fried eggplant pieces at the end of the risotto prep to prevent it from getting soggy and losing its crispiness. You can even fry half the eggplant, cooking the rest of the eggplant along with the risotto.

Olive Garden Eggplant Parmigiana


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An Italian staple, Olive Garden's eggplant parmigiana is a wonderful take on the ageless time piece. Breaded with Parmesan cheese and baked until it's crispy and golden brown, it is then topped with your favorite marinara sauce and mozzarella. This delicious recipe will inspire you to skip the restaurant and spend a little more quality time at home this week. You and your family can enjoy making this delicious Olive Garden recipe from scratch, and you can pair it with whatever side dishes you like best. We love it with a simple side salad and cup of soup, but the possibilities are endless.

When the meal is over, you can even indulge in one of these delicious Italian dessert recipes. If you're tired of cannoli (and even if you're not), you need to check out this recipe collection.

How to Make Eggplant That Isn't Soggy

We've taken a few important steps in this recipe in order to make sure that the eggplant turns out crisp and delicious. You definitely don't want your dish to turn into a mushy disaster.

First, precooking the eggplant makes it less absorbant, so it doesn't soak up so much of the butter when cooking. We recommend blanching here, but microwaving can work well also.

Second, we coat the eggplant in a milk and egg mixture and then let it dry. This process seals the porous surface of the eggplant and keeps it from absorbing moisture during cooking. Less moisture means a crispier finished product!

These tips are great for this recipe, but keep them in mind when you're cooking other eggplant recipes as well. They are useful tips for keeping your eggplant recipes crisp!


  • 1 large eggplant
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg
  • 1 / 2 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 3 / 4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 3 / 4 cup Parmesan cheese

Eggplant Parmigiana Olive Garden Recipe


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Blanch and peel eggplant. Cut into 1/2" thick slices. Place the slices in a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle salt over all the slices. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse. Pat dry. Set aside.

Mix egg, milk and olive oil and place into a bowl.

Mix bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese in another bowl.

Dip each slice into flour, toss lightly to remove excess flour and then dip quickly into the egg and milk mixture. Allow excess milk and egg coating to drip off and then place the slice in the cheese and bread crumb mixture. Coat each slice thoroughly.

Place the coated eggplant slice on a rack and allow to dry for at least an hour.

Saute in clarified butter until golden on each side. Remove from skillet and place in a baking pan heavily greased with olive oil.

Cover each slice of cooked, coated eggplant with as much mozzarella as needed. Pour tomato sauce over the cheese covered eggplant slices and bake for about ten minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Sprinkle lightly with ground oregano and serve with additional tomato sauce. Serve with pasta.

Olive Garden Trivia!

This Olive Garden Eggplant Parmigiana is a traditional and popular dish. Over the years, Olive Garden has become a staple in Italian fare in America.

The first Olive Garden opened in Orlando, Florida in 1982. In less than four decades, the chain has grown to be international and has almost 900 locations nationwide.

The chain was originally owned by General Mills, the company famous for cereal. Spaghetti for breakfast, anyone? They are now owned by Darden, the same company that owned Red Lobster. They tried a hybrid restaurant between the two, but it flopped and Red Lobster was sold.

During their "Never-Ending-Pasta-Bowl" promotion in 2013, the company sold over 13 million bowls of pasta. That's a lot of noodles!

In 2014, it was estimated that over 675 million breadsticks were sold. It seems like no one can say no to Olive Garden breadsticks!

Late-night television host Jimmy Fallon is such a big fan that he now owns the rights to the former Olive Garden slogan, "When You're Here, You're Family."

Make more Olive Garden copycat recipes with our 13 Favorite Olive Garden Copycat Recipes

Olive Garden Eggplant Parmigiana
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This is not quite my Italian g'ma's eggplant parm. She would salt the eggplant to remove any bitterness..rinse and then bread in flour, egg, and Italian breadcrumbs and fry in olive oil. Then place in a casserole and make layers of eggplant, marinara, moz - ending with a layer of mozz and a good sprinkling of parm. I have tried using the newer method of baking the breaded eggplant but it's just not the same.

Super tasty! I've made eggplant parm before, but never let it sit to dry for an hour first. This is a good idea, as it lets some of the moisture wick away and leaves you with a non-soggy version of a delicious dish. Are both the butter and olive oil truly necessary? I wonder if you could simply saute in the olive oil and put in the pan, without having to use the butter and grease the pan, too. Will have to give that a try.

Eggplant parmigiana is one of my favorite foods, and this one tasted amazing!

This tasted exactly like the Olive Garden version, but not quite as heavy. Eggplant is a great healthy alternative to pasta, so this will definitely be a dinner staple!

I love eggplant parmigiana. I am so glad I found this recipe. Whenever I go to an Italian restaurant I always order it. I never knew how to make it. Now I know. I am definitely going to try this. Egglplant is so health too. I think we should eat more of it but you have to cook it right otherwise it can taste bitter. This way is certainly perfect.

Question. Is the 3 Cups of milk measurement correct?

There should only be 1 3/4 cups milk. The recipe has been updated.

How many Calories Does the Olive Garden Eggplant Parmasean have? 4

Well that was a waste of 3cups of milk. I think that measurement is wrong.

Why for 3? Arithmetic required.

Thank you all for bringing this to our attention! We have now updated the recipe with the correct measurement. We apologize for the confusion. --Editors of RecipeLion

what is the correct amount of olive oil?

2 quarts of olive oil is incorrect.

Surely not 2 quarts of olive oil. Otherwise this looks wonderful. My favorite menu item .

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Parmigiana Siciliana – Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe

If I had to choose a vegetable to represent Sicily it would be the Eggplant. They love this strange vegetable here. They have multiple varieties and for this recipe I prefer the “viola” which is a short and stout light purple eggplant. You can see a picture of it below. Im not sure if they have this varietal in the States …let me know!

In the States the slang is Eggplant “Parm” as in Parmesan. Whats funny about this dish is that in Sicily they just call it “Parmigiana” on the menus. Everyone knows that its eggplant (Eggplant in Italian is Melanzane – pronounced Mel-en-zan- a) because Sicily is known for their eggplant dishes. One of the big culinary surprises in moving over here was that they don’t do chicken parmigiana. This is definitely a staple in the American/Italian menu, but throughout Italy you will not find it! In fact one night I was making chicken parmigiana at the house and our gardener popped in for a bit and said “buono perfumo!, Che cos’è?” (smells good! what is that?) I explained it was chicken parmigiana and he was completely baffled and almost disgruntled by the idea. I think I have mentioned before how strict they are about recipes and traditions. If you try to take them outside of their comfort zone with food they will let you know. I can’t even imagine the reaction if I showed them a chicken parm or eggplant parm sandwich. They would surely have a brain meltdown.

hmmmm…. do I want to talk more about how much it bugs me that most Sicilians won’t try recipes other than the standard 20 or so Sicilian recipes? just move onto the recipe Nick….

Ingredients ( These amounts can be increased according to how many eggplants you get.. this recipe fills an 8″x12″ baking dish ):

  • 4 lbs of Eggplants (Viola variety if possible)(usually around 3 for this weight)
  • 3 cups Tomato sauce (this is just a plain tomato sauce…. also a fresh made tomato sauce is always preferred)
  • 1 lb shredded Mozzarella or Caciocavallo
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 4-5 cups Frying oil such as peanut, sunflower seed, or vegetable
  • Basil leaves
  • Lotsa salt

Cut the top and bottom off of the eggplant. Put the eggplant on its side and cut 1/4″ thick slices. Lay each of the slices on a dish towel and generously salt both sides. Let sit for an hour. Take another dish towel and press firmly on top of the slices to extract as much liquid as possible. Sometimes I even wrap a slice in a towel and squeeze it in my fist to squeeze out as much liquid as possible… its a good stress release.

Preheat the oven to 375. Heat the oil in a big cast iron dutch oven. Fry the eggplant slices until lightly golden on both sides. Remove onto paper towel and pat dry.

At the bottom of your oven dish put a little bit of olive oil to coat the bottom along with some of the sauce. Now its time for stacking! It goes in this order: 1. Eggplant 2. Sauce 3. Parmigiana 4. Mozzarella. Continue until it’s all used up. Top layer should be cheese as well as a few basil leaves covered by a bit of cheese. Heat for 30-40 minutes until starting to bubble on top. Mangia!

This is what the Viola eggplant varietal looks like. Ingredients glamour shot. 3 Eggplants. Parmigiana on the left and caciocavallo on the right. Peanut oil in back. salted eggplant fried eggplant.. you should go for a bit lighter brown than this. I went overboard on the frying. This shows the layers action! Dive in

Or you can go with individual sized Parmigiana. Buon Appetito!