This vegan eggplant parmigiana is a creamy and indulgent dish. It is super tasty, rich, creamy, and healthy since the eggplant is baked and not fried.
As a cheese substitute, we use fake homemade parmesan. Simple and affordable, yet incredibly satiating.
TIP 1: the original parmigiana is actually made with deep-fried eggplant. In order to make the parmigiana healthy we bake the eggplant in the oven instead of deep-frying it.
If you want to make your baked eggplants tastier, you can coat them with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.
TIP 2: eggplant can often be bitter, especially if they are not super fresh. The bitterness is trapped in the water inside the eggplant.
So, if you want to get rid of the bitterness you can sprinkle the sliced eggplants with coarse sea salt and let them purge for about one hour.
You'll see that the salt will make the water (and bitterness) of the eggplant go out. Before baking them remember to scrape the salt and the water away.
TIP 3: the original parmigiana recipe has a lot of parmesan cheese in it. To make it vegan we replaced the cheese with some homemade fake parmesan cheese, made with stale bread and some spices. Check out our recipe. You'll love it!
TIP 4: you can serve the vegan eggplant parmigiana as a starter, side dish, or as a main.
Remember: when you take the parmigiana out of the oven you should wait at least 15 minutes before serving it. This allows the flavors to come together. Alternatively, Parmigiana is also great reheated the day after cooking.
Store the eggplant parmigiana in the fridge covered with silicone wrap for 1-2 days. You can freeze it once it is baked, potentially divided into portions beforehand.
Vegan Eggplant Parmigiana
- 1.3 kg (5 whole) eggplants
- 800 g (28 oz) tomato passata
- 100 g (3.5 oz) vegan cheese
- 10 leaves fresh basil
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 stalk celery
- 2 carrots
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp chili
- In a food processor, finely mince onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Then on a pan, water fry the minced vegetables with ½ cup of water for 5 mins.
- Add the tomato passata, thyme, salt and chili powder. Stir well and let simmer on medium-low heat for about 1 hour.
- While the tomato sauce is simmering, cut the eggplants into ½ cm thin slices on the long side and distribute on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 30-40 mins at 180°C /360° F (until soft) and season with salt once cooked.
- Turn off the heat of the tomato sauce, add fresh leaves of basil - break leaves with your hands. In an oven dish (we use RIESS emaille, 26/17cm), distribute a thin layer of tomato sauce.
- Top with a layer of baked eggplant then cover with a layer of tomato sauce and sprinkle with a layer of fake parmesan.
- Repeat until you run out of eggplant or till you reach the edge of the oven dish and finish the layering with a double sprinkle of fake parmesan.
- Bake for 40 mins in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (400°F). Let rest out of the oven for 15 minutes before eating and serve with a few fresh leaves of basil on top and a drizzle of olive oil (optional).
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Did you try this recipe at home? Let us know in the comments below, or take a picture and tag us on Instagram @italiaplantbased.