This quick and easy Skillet Eggplant Parmigiana (Parmesan) recipe uses egg, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese to form a delightfully crisp crust. Serve with pasta and marinara.
Easy Skillet Eggplant Parmigiana (Parmesan) Recipe
Lightly breaded, this vegetarian favorite Skillet Eggplant Parmigiana (Parmesan) recipe is made with eggs and the perfect meal for folks who want a meatless meal. Serve with marinara and pasta.
In truth, not every meal has to have meat attached to it. Sometimes a Meatless Monday or Tuesday is a well-deserved break from the same-old dinner option. That’s the beauty of this recipe for Easy Skillet Eggplant Parmigiana.
Skillet Eggplant Parmigiana or Parmesan easily fits the bill for quick weeknight dining. In just minutes, you can cook the spaghetti and marinara sauce, toast the bread and fry the eggplant in 20 minutes or so, making this an inexpensive meal that is big on flavor and healthy, too!
RELATED: Zucchini Ratatouille
Eggplants or aubergine, as it is also known, are part of the Deadly Nightshade family, like tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. Everything except the fruit can be toxic if ingested. That is because the plant contains an alkaloid called solanine and if consumed, it can be poisonous.
There are many varieties to choose from. I like to try different ones when available. It makes for a great presentation so say the least.
DID YOU KNOW? Thomas Jefferson introduced eggplant to America in the 1700’s.
To choose the perfect eggplant, look for a firm and brightly-colored eggplant. There shouldn’t be any bruising or dark spots on its flesh.
DID YOU KNOW? Eggplant is a fruit not a vegetable. It joins the list of other plants considered vegetables by most, but botanically speaking, are actually fruit, like tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, pumpkins, pepper, squash, among others.
Slicing is easy. First cut top and bottom off, and then either slice length-wise or cross-wise. Both options work well with this recipe.
For this recipe, you’ll use a three-step process of flour, egg mixture and breadcrumbs. Then you’ll fry them in a skillet for five minutes on one side, flip, and then brown on the other side.
Cooking Tip: For this recipe use a stovetop skillet on medium to medium-high heat or an electric skillet set at 350 degrees F. Both work great.
Let cool on a rack and serve.
What to Serve with Eggplant Parmigiana
Light and tasty, Eggplant Parmesan tastes great all by itself and is great for those wishing to eat a meatless meal, like vegetarians. That being said, to make it a heartier repast, serve it alongside one (or more) of the following:
- Italian pasta and marinara
- grilled chicken breast
- cooked, steamed, grilled vegetables like asparagus, summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes
- tossed salad, Caesar or House Salad
Expert Tips for Cooking with Eggplant
• Eggplant slices, like potatoes, oxides when it comes into contact with air. Meaning: it will brown. You have two options, use immediately or use a bit of lemon juice to stave off browning.
• Eggplant by it’s very nature acts like a sponge. Meaning: When you fry eggplant or place it into sauces, it will absorb the liquid or oil more than other vegetables. I’ve found that frying a little hotter, quickens the cooking and doesn’t allow the vegetable to absorb so much oil. As for sauces, I add a little more water or stock to counteract this.
• To reheat Eggplant Parmigiana, use a frypan versus the microwave. Meaning: The microwave will soften the eggplant rather than crisp it up. The eggplant will have retained some oil (see above), so you don’t even have to add oil to the pan when reheating.
• Eggplant Parmesan cannot be frozen. That is because the liquid content in eggplant that occurs naturally will more than likely cause crystals to form and you’ll end up with a mushy mess.
• You do not need to peel eggplant before cooking. The peel actually makes it easier for the eggplant to keep its shape for this recipe. Other recipes like Ratatouille, for example, you have the option of peeling the outer skin or not. Moreover, the skin is edible.
• There’s no need to cure your eggplant for this recipe. Some folks worry that eggplant might be too “watery” and so they’ll salt the eggplant and allow it to drain on paper toweling or even a colander. Since you will be using a hot skillet for this recipe, the heat alone will cause any liquid to evaporate, making your Eggplant Parmigiana very crisp, indeed.
For more delicious vegetarian-inspired dishes, be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Recipe Section.
Skillet Eggplant Parmigiana (Parmesan) Recipe
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large eggplant sliced cross-wise
- 2 cups flour
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 tbsp cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional) finely grated
- Set up your breading stations thusly: In one bowl, place the flour. In another bowl: beaten egg, cream, and milk. In a third bowl, breadcrumbs and parmesan (optional).
- First, blour each eggplant slice and then dip in the egg mixture, followed by the bread crumbs. Set aside on a plate until ready for frying.
- Heat oil in a large skillet or in a frypan on the stove over medium-high heat, approximately 350 degrees F.
- Fry 4-5 minutes on the first side, followed by 3-4 minutes on the second side, or until golden brown.
- Remove from pan and allow to cool on a rack. Continue this process until all eggplant have been fried.
- Serve warm with pasta and marinara, along with a dusting of parmesan cheese. Enjoy!