Although all of us enjoy indulging in comfort food dishes from time to time, there are those moments when we feel completely guilty for consuming 1,000 calories in one sitting. If you’re anything like me, that feeling passes relatively quickly but the thought DOES cross my mind.
Cooking at home gives me the chance to control what I eat and it also provides the opportunity for me to make healthier alternatives to my favorite “heavy” meals, including this one.
A lot of times the eggplant in eggplant Parmesan is deep-fried to get that super breaded texture. You can achieve the same amount of crispy tenderness by baking your eggplant instead. This way you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to eat a healthier version of eggplant Parm.
The best part of this dish has to be the marinara sauce. This red sauce is my absolute favorite and you guessed it, I use Italian Plum Tomatoes for the recipe. Absolutely drool-worthy!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.
Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400 degrees.
Spread 2 cups sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Use half eggplant and half zucchini for this recipe for added vegetables. You can also make this ahead of time by arranging everything in your baking dish, refrigerating it overnight, bringing it back to room temperature and then baking.