If Eggplant Parmesan was one of your favorite dishes before you adopted the vegan diet, you don’t have to deprive yourself of this popular Italian meal. With just a few dairy-free substitutes, you can dig right in. Here’s our rendition of Vegan Eggplant Parmesan.
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 medium to large eggplant
- 1 cup finely crushed whole grain bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Egg-free substitute for the equivalent of 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons plain soymilk
- Olive oil
- 1 (26-ounce) jar pasta sauce*
- 1 pound non-dairy mozzarella flavor cheese, shredded
- 1/2 to 1/3 cup grated non-dairy Parmesan flavor cheese
- 8 fresh basil leaves, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and lay into a colander.
- Set a plate over eggplant and then put a heavy book on top to help press liquid out of the eggplant slices. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Lay eggplant slices on a double-layer of paper towels and wipe off excess salt.
- In a shallow dish, mix together bread crumbs, flour, salt and pepper. In a second shallow dish, whisk together egg substitute and soymilk.
- Pour oil into the bottom of a wide large skillet until oil coats the bottom. Place skillet over medium-high heat.
- When oil is hot, lay eggplant slices in the egg substitute mixture, allowing excess to drip off, then coat in bread crumb mixture.
- Lay coated eggplant slices in the skillet, working in batches, adding more oil as needed, and cook slices for 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned.
- While the first batch is cooking, pour just enough tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish to lightly coat.
- Cover bottom of dish with eggplant slices. Top with shredded mozzarella and scatter with a bit of the shredded basil and 2 to 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
- Coat with half of the remaining tomato sauce, a few more eggplant slices, mozzarella, basil, and Parmesan. Repeat 1 more time.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until tomato sauce is hot and bubbly. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
*Cook’s note: My favorite line of tomato sauce products is La Famiglia DelGrosso, which includes Uncle Fred’s Fireworks Sauce, Aunt Mary Ann’s Sunday Marinara, Chef John’s Tomato Basil Masterpiece, and a few other mouthwatering flavors. Not every tomato sauce is vegan, so check the label before purchase. However, every sauce is made with high quality healthy ingredients, each boasting it’s own signature taste. La Famiglia DelGrosso sauces are available at Whole Foods, Kroger, and other food retail locations for $8 per jar.