Lightened Up Eggplant Parmesan

eggplant parm
Dana Angelo White
Total Time: 65 min
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Servings: 4

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

269 calories
16g fat
18g carbs
14g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving  
Calories 269
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 888mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 9g  
Includes 1g Added Sugars 2%
Protein 14g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 372mg 29%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 577mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Craving a classic baked eggplant dish but wish it had fewer greasy calories? With some 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 of eggplant Parmesan and the crispy breadcrumb topping makes it a newfound 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 that is linked to conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 12 pieces
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3 tbsp. whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

  2. Place eggplant slices on a sheet pan.

  3. Brush with one 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.

  8. Repeat the layers two more times with remaining eggplant, sauce, and cheese.

  9. For the topping, combine remaining olive oil, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese; mix well.

  10. Evenly distribute the breadcrumb topping over the top of the layered eggplant.

  11. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted, bubbling, and the topping is golden brown.

  12. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve topped with torn basil leaves.

Variations and Substitutions

If you crave eggplant parmesan with ricotta cheese, make a mixture using 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese and 3/4 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.

If you follow a vegan diet, simply use dairy-free mozzarella (often made from cashews) and vegan Parmesan. You can even make your own dairy-free Parmesan with nutritional yeast and cashews.

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.
  • Some people don't like the taste and texture of the eggplant skin. If you prefer, remove the skin of the eggplant before cooking.
  • Eggplant Parmesan freezes well either in single-serving containers or as a full dish for the family. Make two or even three when you plan to have it for dinner and save the others for the days when you don't want to cook.

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3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Ellis, Esther MS, RDN, LDN Are Canned Foods Nutritious for My Family? Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. April 8, 2020

  2. Imran M, Ghorat F, Ul-Haq I, et al. Lycopene as a natural antioxidant used to prevent human health disorders. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020;9(8):706. Published 2020 Aug 4. doi:10.3390/antiox9080706MLA

  3. Sun Y, Liu B, Snetselaar LG, et al. Association of fried food consumption with all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: prospective cohort studyBMJ. 2019;364:k5420. Published 2019 Jan 23. doi:10.1136/bmj.k5420