Vegan Eggplant Parmesan – Loving It Vegan


This delicious baked vegan eggplant parmesan will soon be one of your favorite dishes! Crispy eggplant is layered with marinara sauce and vegan cheese sauce, topped with breadcrumbs and baked to golden brown perfection.

Slice of vegan eggplant parmesan on a white plate.

Say hello to our very non-traditional eggplant parmesan recipe!

When researching this recipe I discovered that not only is eggplant parmesan done in lots of different ways, but the traditional Italian version (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) doesn’t even contain any breading. It’s an American thing to bread the eggplant.

But I gotta say, breading the eggplant is delicious so that got a solid thumbs up from us.

And then the traditional version contains heaps of cheese, usually mozzarella and of course – parmesan.

But since the availability (and sometimes quality) of vegan cheese can be quite variable around the world, we decided to make a vegan cheese sauce from scratch instead. It’s a delicious vegan cheese sauce and bakes up beautifully, so you don’t mind.

The result is a simply fantastic comfort food recipe that will soon be your new favorite.

And if you love eggplant as much as we do then you’ll also love our vegan moussaka which is layered with roasted eggplant or our baba ganoush made with roasted eggplant.

Ingredients To Make This Vegan Eggplant Parm:

Photo of ingredients needed to make vegan eggplant parmesan.

Ingredients For The Vegan Cheese Sauce:

Photo of ingredients needed to make vegan cheese sauce.

Ingredient Notes

  • Marinara sauce – we used a jarred marinara sauce that we love the taste of. So go ahead and use your favorite marinara sauce. It saves heaps of time in this recipe to use a ready-made marinara sauce. Of course if you have a great homemade version, then you can go ahead and use that.
  • Soy milk – for the batter and for the cheese sauce can be replaced with a different non-dairy milk if you prefer.
  • Nutritional yeast – adds cheesy flavor to the sauce, but it can be omitted if you prefer.
Vegan eggplant parmesan in a white dish topped with fresh chopped basil and ground black pepper.

How To Make Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.

The Eggplant:

First we need to bread the eggplant. We used a similar batter and breading method for this vegan eggplant parmigiana as we did for our BBQ tofu. We just added in some Italian herbs. It is SO delicious.

  • Slice your eggplant into ¼ inch thick rounds. Set aside.
Collage of two photos showing eggplant on a wooden cutting board and then cut into slices.
  • In a mixing bowl, add soy milk, all purpose flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, salt, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper and whisk it into a batter.
Two photo collage showing ingredients for a batter added to mixing bowl and mixed together.
  • In a second bowl, add panko breadcrumbs, salt and ground black pepper and mix together.
Two photo collage showing breadcrumbs, salt and pepper added to a bowl and mixed together.
  • Dip each slice of eggplant into the batter to coat it completely and then gently toss it in the breadcrumbs bowl to cover it completely with breadcrumbs.
Two photo collage showing a slice of eggplant dipped in batter and then breadcrumbs.
  • Place the breaded eggplant onto parchment lined baking trays. We used two trays.
  • Bake in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 20 minutes.
Two photo collage showing breaded eggplant on a parchment lined baking tray before and after baking.

The Vegan Cheese Sauce:

  • While the eggplant is baking, start your vegan cheese sauce.
  • Add olive oil to a pot on medium heat and let the oil heat up until hot.
  • Add all purpose flour and fry the flour in the oil briefly, stirring vigorously the whole time.
Two photo collage showing flour being added to olive oil in a saucepan and whisked together.
  • Add soy milk all at once and stir vigorously.
Two photo collage showing soy milk added to saucepan and mixed in.
  • Continue to stir, bringing the sauce to the boil and then continue stirring until it thickens. It will usually get to the right level of thickness a few minutes after the sauce has boiled.
Vegan white sauce in a saucepan with a whisk.
  • When the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir in nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and ground black pepper.
  • Set aside. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
Two photo collage showing nutritional yeast and flavorings added to sauce and mixed in.

Breadcrumb Topping:

  • Add breadcrumbs to a bowl. Add melted vegan butter and mix in until the breadcrumbs are coated.
Two photo collage showing panko breadcrumbs in a bowl, melted vegan butter added and mixed together.

Assembling and Baking:

  • Add roughly a third of the marinara sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 oven-safe dish.
  • Top it with half the eggplant.
Two photo collage showing layer of marinara sauce added to bottom of 9x13 dish and then topped with a layer of eggplant.
  • Layer another third of the marinara sauce on top of the eggplant.
  • Top that with a third of the cheese sauce.
Two photo collage showing layer of marinara sauce followed by layer of vegan cheese sauce.
  • Add the rest of the eggplant.
  • Top it with the remaining third of the marinara sauce.
Two photo collage showing layer of eggplant topped with layer of marinara sauce.
  • Top that with the remaining two thirds of the vegan cheese sauce.
  • Add the breadcrumbs on top.
Two photo collage showing layer of cheese sauce followed by breadcrumbs added to dish.
  • Place into the oven to bake at 400°F (200°C) for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Freshly baked vegan eggplant parmesan in a white dish cooling on a wire cooling rack.

Serving Suggestions

Serve your vegan eggplant parmigiana topped with fresh chopped basil and ground black pepper.

Some vegan garlic bread or a vegan caesar salad on the side would also be fantastic.

Slice of vegan eggplant parmesan on a white plate.

Recipe Tips

There is no need to peel the eggplant. We simply slice it, batter and bread it and bake it until crispy. The peels are perfectly edible and delicious in this recipe.

There is no need to salt the eggplant. We didn’t find it necessary to salt the eggplant at all. However, if you prefer to do it, you can! Just slice your eggplant as usual, lay the slices out on a paper towel, sprinkle on salt and then leave them for an hour. Then rinse them off and dry them with a paper towel. Then continue with the batter and breading.

Make it gluten free. For a gluten-free version of this eggplant parm, simply use a gluten free all purpose flour blend for your batter and your cheese sauce, and gluten free breadcrumbs for the breading/topping.

Vegan eggplant parmesan in a white dish with slices removed.

Storing Tips

Vegan eggplant parmesan is at its crispy best when served immediately. However, leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or in the microwave.

It’s not freezer friendly.

Slice of vegan eggplant parmesan on a white plate.

More Delicious Vegan Comfort Food

  1. Vegan Lasagna
  2. Vegan Baked Ziti
  3. Vegan Mac and Cheese
  4. Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
  5. Vegan Cannelloni
  6. Vegan Enchiladas
Slice of vegan eggplant parmesan on a white plate.

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!

Slice of vegan eggplant parmesan on a white plate.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

This delicious baked vegan eggplant parmesan will soon be one of your favorite dishes! Crispy eggplant is layered with marinara sauce and vegan cheese sauce, topped with breadcrumbs and baked to golden brown perfection.

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Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American, Italian-Inspired

Diet: Vegan

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 409kcal

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Instructions

Eggplant:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Slice your eggplant into ¼ inch thick rounds. Set aside.

  • In a mixing bowl, add soy milk, all purpose flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, salt, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper and whisk it into a batter.

  • In a second bowl, add panko breadcrumbs, salt and ground black pepper and mix together.

  • Dip each slice of eggplant into the batter to coat it completely and then gently toss it in the breadcrumbs bowl to cover it completely with breadcrumbs.

  • Place the breaded eggplant onto parchment lined baking trays. We used two trays.

  • Bake in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 20 minutes.

Vegan Cheese Sauce:

  • While the eggplant is baking, start your vegan cheese sauce.

  • Add olive oil to a pot on medium heat and let the oil heat up until hot.

  • Add all purpose flour and fry the flour in the oil briefly, stirring vigorously the whole time.

  • Add soy milk all at once and stir vigorously.

  • Continue to stir, bringing the sauce to the boil and then continue stirring until it thickens. It will usually get to the right level of thickness a few minutes after the sauce has boiled.

  • When the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir in nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and ground black pepper.

  • Set aside. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Assembling and Baking:

  • Add roughly a third of the marinara sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 oven-safe dish.

  • Top it with half the eggplant.

  • Layer another third of the marinara sauce on top of the eggplant.

  • Top that with roughly a third of the cheese sauce.

  • Add the rest of the eggplant.

  • Top it with the remaining third of the marinara sauce.

  • Top that with the remaining two thirds of the vegan cheese sauce.

  • Add the breadcrumbs on top.

  • Place into the oven to bake at 400°F (200°C) for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Notes

  1. Nutritional yeast – adds cheesy flavor to the sauce, but it can be omitted if you prefer.
  2. Marinara sauce – we used a jarred marinara sauce that we love the taste of. So go ahead and use your favorite marinara sauce. It saves heaps of time in this recipe to use a ready-made marinara sauce. Of course if you have a great homemade version, then you can go ahead and use that.
  3. Gluten free: For a gluten-free version of this eggplant parm, simply use a gluten free all purpose flour blend for your batter and your cheese sauce, and gluten free breadcrumbs for the breading/topping.
  4. Storing: It’s at its crispy best when served immediately. However, leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or in the microwave. It’s not freezer friendly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serve | Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1159mg | Potassium: 912mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1092IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 5mg

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Rate it & leave your feedback in the comments section below, or tag @lovingitvegan on Instagram and hashtag #lovingitvegan





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