A delightful Italian classic made vegan! This eggplant parmigiana is made with luscious layers of crispy fried eggplant, rich tomato sauce, and melty vegan cheese. A perfect family dinner that even non-vegans will love.
This recipe is Budget, Gluten Free, Vegan, Super Easy with main ingredient Eggplant.
Who says you can’t enjoy cheesy goodness on a vegan diet? With the use of vegan melting cheese and vegan parmesan, this dish is every bit as indulgent as the traditional version. And if you’re worried about the frying part, let me tell you, the crispy texture of the eggplant is what makes this dish a crowd-pleaser!
Vegan Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe
When it comes to Vegan Eggplant Parmigiana, the key is in the layering. Much like lasagna, each layer adds depth and flavor to the overall dish. The tomato sauce is rich but not overwhelming, allowing the fried eggplant to be the star.
- Heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan and sauté garlic and a small piece of onion until translucent.
- Add tomato passata and salt, then let it simmer.
- Finally, add fresh basil leaves to the sauce.
- Slice the eggplants and fry them in hot oil until they turn golden.
- Drain excess oil by placing the fried slices on paper towels.
Assembling the Dish
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (around 392°F).
- In a baking dish, start by spreading a layer of sauce at the bottom.
- Add a layer of fried eggplant slices, followed by sprinklings of vegan parmesan and vegan melting cheese.
- Repeat these layers, finishing off with a layer of eggplant, sauce and cheese.
- Bake the assembled dish at 200°C for the first 20 minutes.
- Lower the temperature to 180°C (around 356°F) and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- If you want to add a little crispiness to the top, you can turn on the grill mode of your oven for a few minutes.
Finish off by sprinkling the remaining vegan parmesan over the dish. There you have it! A cheesy, gooey, and entirely plant-based eggplant parmigiana that will have everyone asking for seconds.
Vegan Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe
- Large saucepan
- Large frying pan
- Large baking dish
For the Sauce:
- 750 g tomato passata
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 small piece of onion finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh basil leaves
- Salt to taste
For the Eggplant:
- 1 kg oval eggplants
- Oil for frying
For the Layering:
- 500 g vegan melting cheese, grated
- 80 g grated Vegan Parmesan (or similar)
Preparing the Sauce:
- In a large saucepan, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the minced garlic and finely chopped onion, and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Pour in the tomato passata and add salt to taste.
- Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the torn fresh basil leaves and stir. Set aside.
Preparing the Eggplant:
- Slice the eggplants into 1/2-inch thick rounds.
- In a large frying pan, heat enough oil over medium-high heat to submerge the eggplant slices.
- Fry the eggplant slices until they turn golden brown on each side.
- Remove the fried eggplant slices and drain them on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Assembling and Baking:
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (about 390°F).
- In a large baking dish, start with a layer of the prepared tomato sauce to coat the bottom.
- Place a layer of fried eggplant slices over the sauce.
- Sprinkle a layer of grated Vegan Parmesan over the eggplant.
- Add a layer of vegan melting cheese slices.
- Repeat these layers until you run out of ingredients, making sure to end with a layer of eggplant slices and a generous coating of tomato sauce.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 200°C for 20 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 180°C (about 350°F) and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. If needed, switch to grill mode for the last few minutes to brown the top layer.
- Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the remaining grated Vegan Parmesan on top.
- Allow the dish to rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Enjoy your Vegan Eggplant Parmigiana!
For a healthier version, you can bake the eggplant slices instead of frying. Coat them lightly with oil and bake at 400°F (200°C) until golden.
The tomato sauce can be made a day in advance to save time. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
You can also add other herbs like oregano or thyme to the tomato sauce for extra flavor.