Mar 27, 2023 by Hannah Sunderani
This Vegan Eggplant Parmesan is made with crispy, oven-baked eggplant and topped with the best homemade marinara sauce, vegan mozzarella cheese, and a final sprinkle of fresh basil. The whole family will love this fuss free sheet-pan recipe!
Hi Friends! I am SO excited to share this vegan eggplant parmesan recipe with you today! It’s been a while that I’ve wanted to veganize this classic Italian dish.
Growing up I was SUCH a fan of eggplant parmesan and this veganized recipe is just as tasty as it’s not vegan counterpart. (In fact, I might argue that it’s better!).
All-in-all it’s a popular family recipe, easy to make, and can all be done on a sheet-pan! And yet, it still feels so gourmet.
Now, let me tell you exactly how to make this recipe so that you can enjoy it pronto!
Before starting, place two standard sheet pans in the oven to warm while you prepare the eggplant. This will ensure it’s hot enough before you add the eggplant, helping to make it crispy without deep frying!
Next, cut the eggplant into rounds about 1/2-inch thick. Once sliced, spread the cut eggplant on a cutting board and lightly sprinkle with salt on both sides to help draw out any excess water. Set aside and begin preparing the breading.
In a food processor (or blender), pulse the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, and oregano together for about 15 seconds, or until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the panko breadcrumbs and pulse again a few times to combine. Pour this bread crumb mixture out into a shallow bowl and begin to prepare the eggplant breading assembly line.
To start, place the cutting board with the salted eggplant slices on the left hand side. Beside it, fill a shallow bowl with flour, cornstarch, and almond milk. Beat vigorously to mix together. Next, place the bread crumb-coating bowl on the right, followed by a second cutting board or large plate on the far right to place the breaded eggplant pieces on.
Bread each salted eggplant slice by first dipping in the almond milk mixture, then immediately dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, taking care to coat each side evenly. Once coated, rest each batter-coated eggplant slice on the plate or cutting board and repeat the process until all eggplant slices are sufficiently breaded.
Once breaded, remove the prepared baking sheet from the oven quickly and carefully and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Tilt the pan to cover entirely, the place the breaded eggplant directly on the pan in a single layer with 1/4-inch gap in between.
Repeat this process with the second baking sheet as needed, or until all eggplant slices are on sheet pans.
Quickly place the eggplant into the oven and bake until lightly brown and crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, drizzle with a bit more oil, flip with a fork, and return to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
Lower the oven temperature, then drizzle the homemade marinara sauce (or store-bought) over the eggplant slices. Lift each slice to nestle some marinara sauce underneath. If desired, you can nestle all of the eggplant pieces snuggly into one tray for this!
Finally, sprinkle with vegan mozzarella cheese across the top and bake again until the vegan eggplant parmesan slices are browned on the outside and soft on the inside, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve with a sprinkle of chopped basil, vegan parmesan cheese, red chili flakes, sea salt and black pepper to taste, or as desired!
Vegan eggplant parmesan is the perfect pair for several sides, including Vegan Caesar Salad, No-Knead Focaccia Bread, Artichoke Halves with Creamy Tahini Dip, and your favourite bottle of wine.
It can be served as a wholesome main dish on a casual weeknight or for special occasions like date nights in, holidays, or birthday celebrations. It’s more involved than some of my other recipes, but worth every effort!
If you’re looking for similar gourmet dishes to share, you may love this Vegan Mushroom Risotto, Zucchini Lasagna, or this beautiful TGIF Vegan Pizza recipe!
This dish will be best served fresh, but leftovers will keep for up to three days when stored in an airtight container. Or, if you’d like to store the healthy eggplant parmesan tightly cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap.
Freezing this recipe is not recommended as it would alter the texture and consistency of the eggplant and make the dish soggy.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven until warmed through.
Yes! If you’d like to make this recipe gluten-free, substitute the panko bread crumbs with your favorite gluten-free bread crumbs and the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. Avoid using single gluten-free flours such as almond flour, chickpea flour or oat flour. These flours do not work as 1:1 substitutes for white flour and will not yield similar results.
Peeling the eggplant ahead of time is not necessary! As it bakes the eggplant skin softens and gets nice and crispy in sections. It’s also highly nutritious and rich in antioxidants. You are welcome to peel it if desired – but I highly recommend keeping it!
The secret to preventing your eggplant parmesan from becoming soggy is baking it ahead of time until crispy before layering it in the marinara. Alternatively, if you prefer your eggplant to be super crispy, you can skip adding the marinara sauce in Step 8 and instead heat the sauce on the stove top, plating the sauce at the very end with the eggplant when serving.
I hope you love this cozy Vegan Eggplant Parmesan as much as we do! If you do make this recipe, please let me know in the comments below what you think! I truly love hearing from you, and I’m always here to answer any questions you might have.
And of course, tag me on Instagram with your pictures using the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.
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This recipe was a big hit with my family, even the 6 year old loved it. It was also pretty simple to prepare so will be making this one again :).
So glad that you and your family enjoyed it Ema! Thanks for the very kind review.:)