Lightened Up Eggplant Parmesan

eggplant parm
Dana Angelo White
Total Time 65 min
Prep 20 min, Cook 45 min
Yield 4

Craving this classic baked eggplant dish but wish it had fewer greasy and cheesy calories? With a few smart swaps you can get a serving down to just 300 calories.

This flavorful and satisfying recipe highlights the healthy attributes of the old-school version and the crispy breadcrumb topping makes it a new-found family favorite. Cooked tomato products like tomato sauce are higher in the inflammation fighting antioxidant lycopene, plus cutting back on fried foods (such as traditional eggplant parm) can help reduce inflammation.


  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 12 pieces
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 ½ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place eggplant slices on a sheet pan.
  3. Brush with tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and oregano.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until just tender.
  5. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  6. Place a tablespoon of marinara sauce in the bottom of a square baking dish and spread to lightly coat the bottom.
  7. Place four pieces of eggplant in the dish and top each with a large spoonful of sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese.
  1. Repeat the layers 2 more times with remaining eggplant, sauce, and cheese.
  2. For the topping, combine remaining olive oil, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese; mix well.
  3. Evenly distribute the breadcrumb topping over the top of the layered eggplant.
  4. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted, bubbling, and topping is golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minute and serve topped with torn basil leaves.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

If you crave eggplant parmesan with ricotta cheese, make a mixture using ¾ cup part skim ricotta cheese and ¾ cup part skim shredded mozzarella and use that in place of the 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. The calorie count will end up pretty much the same.

Cooking and Serving Tips

For simplified meal prep, roast the eggplant up to two days ahead of time and store in the fridge; assemble and bake as directed.

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