Better-For-You Eggplant Parmigiana

Better-For-You Eggplant Parmigiana
★★★   22 votes

This healthy eggplant recipe is adapted from Healthy Homestyle Cooking by Evelyn Tribole. Baked instead of fried and using low fat Mozzarella cheese, this simple and easy dish makes a light and delicious meal. Eggplant Parmigiana can be served as an appetizer with some bruschetta or toasted bread. It can also be topped over tomato pasta for a satisfying meal.

One of the common problems that cooks encounter when making eggplant Parmigiana is the excess water that leaks out of the eggplant when cooking or baking, resulting in soggy and slightly bitter dish. To solve this problem, you need to drain out the excess moisture from the eggplants first before cooking it. After washing and cutting the eggplants into long strips about half an inch thick, arrange the slices in the bottom of a large colander making one layer and then sprinkle evenly with salt.

Make another layer of eggplant, and sprinkle them with salt again, and repeat this process until the eggplant slices are used up. Weigh down the eggplant slices with 2 or 3 plates and let them drain for two hours. When the eggplant has drained, press down the weight of the plate to remove excess water and wipe off the excess salt from the eggplant slices. Lay out the slices on paper towels to absorb all the moisture.

This recipe calls for Marinara sauce, which you can buy bottled or canned in the grocery or you can make yourself. A southern Italian tomato sauce, a basic marinara (mariner’s) sauce is made with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs. To make a quick and simple marinara sauce, sauté garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan until golden and add crushed tomatoes, oregano, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the sauce well and reduce the heat to low. Cover the saucepan and allow the sauce to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the sauce from heat and add fresh basil.


10-15 min

35 min

Difficulty Level



  • 1 (12 oz.) eggplant

  • 1/3 cup fine, plain bread crumbs

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

  • 2 egg whites (lightly beaten)

  • 1 cup marinara sauce

  • ½ cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

Preparation Instructions


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 8x8x2 in. baking pan with non-stick spray.


Cut off the ends of the eggplant. Slice the eggplant crosswise into strips about ½ in. thick.


In a shallow bowl or baking dish, mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and oregano. Place the egg whites in a separate dish and the breadcrumbs in another. Dredge the eggplant slices in the breadcrumb mixture then dip them in the egg whites, then the breadcrumbs.


Lay the eggplant slices in the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and spoon the marinara sauce over them. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.