I feel that I should preface this recipe by saying that I never had eggplant parmesan as a non-vegan. Even after I went vegan, I’ve only ever had frozen vegan eggplant parmesan. So this recipe may not be what others think of as the ‘regular’ eggplant parmesan, but I enjoyed it and I think it’s a good recipe even if it is a bit unconventional. Who wants to be ‘regular’ anyway?
I’ve made this dish with two different methods. Both turned out well so I’m going to share both with you. They’re both exactly the same recipe, except that in one I used Go Veggie Vegan Parmesan and in the second I used Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast. My husband prefers the ones made with vegan parmesan and I prefer the ones made with nutritional yeast. Although both were very tasty. It’s just a personal preference on which you’d rather use. Or which product is more easily accessible to you.
To start you’ll want the eggplant to release it’s extra moisture. Eggplants naturally have a lot of moisture and if you don’t sweat and drain them properly you can end up with a messy, bitter meal in the end. Take the extra time to allow the eggplant to sweat to avoid a cooking fail.
Sweating and draining an eggplant is easy. Slice it into 1/2 inch rounds and lay it onto a cooling rack. Place the cooking rack over a towel. I put a towel in a baking sheet and placed the cooling rack on top of the baking sheet so that I could move it if needed. Generously salt each side of the eggplant and allow to sit for two hours.
After the two hours have elapsed, rinse off the extra liquid and the salt and pat dry with a dish towel. Now we’re ready for the fun part!
First we need to make a binding agent. Something to put on the eggplant to allow the breadcrumbs to stick. I used 3/4 cups of flour and a little less than 3/4 cups of water to make this. You want it to be liquid, but not watery.
In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup bread crumbs (I used whole wheat), 1/2 cup Go Veggie Parmesan OR Nutritional Yeast, 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning and 1/4 cup dried parsley. If you’re using flavored breadcrumbs you can choose to forego the Italian seasoning.
Using your left hand, dip the eggplant slice into the flour/water mixture. Let the excess drain off and then place into the breadcrumb mixture. Use your right hand to coat the eggplant slice with the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure you get it fully coated. Then place onto a baking sheet lined with a non-stick mat or parchment paper. Continue until all slices are coated and on the baking sheet.
Bake the eggplant slices in a 425 F oven for a total of 25 minutes. Flip the eggplant halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking and browning.
Once the eggplants are done cooking, they are ready to be eaten. For more of a traditional eggplant parmesan, you can top them with a spoonful of marinara sauce and then sprinkle with vegan mozzarella. Pop them back into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. This is completely optional.
You can serve this as is with a salad, or in a sandwich topped with marinara and vegan mozzarella cheese, or you can serve it over a plate of spaghetti. I chose the spaghetti.
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 small to medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2 rounds
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Go Veggie Parmesan OR Nutritional Yeast
- 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup dried parsley
- 3/4 cup flour
- Slice eggplant and place on a cooling rack on to of a baking pan lined with a dish towel. Generously sprinkle salt on both sides of the eggplant. Allow to sweat for 2 hours.
- Rinse the eggplant under running water and pat dry.
- Heat oven to 425 F. Line a baking pan with a non-stick mat or parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine flour with a little less that 3/4 cups of water until the mixture is liquid, but not watery. Add more flour if necessary.
- In a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan OR nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning and parsley.
- Dip the eggplant slice into the flour mixture and allow excess to drain. Then dip into the breadcrumb mixture and coat completely.
- Place the coated eggplant slices on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through baking.