Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan

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We love Eggplant Parmesan, but used to avoid it because of it’s reputation for being loaded with carbs and calories. And, traditional eggplant parmesan has breaded and fried eggplant making it NOT gluten-free. 

The truth is that eggplant is a very healthy food and Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan doesn’t have to be full of calories or gluten. Baked eggplant slathered with fresh pasta sauce and a little bit of cheese can be healthy and delicious.

Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan

Before we start, there are a few things you need to know about eggplants. They are best served fresh. If you have a garden, pick them on the day you plan to use them. If purchased from a grocery store, buy them only when in season and then refrigerate in a plastic bag for a few days. 

Where eggplants are concerned size matters. Larger eggplants tend towards bitterness. Smaller eggplants don’t. There are lots of opinions about male vs. female eggplants. I don’t really know the whole story on this, but this I do know: Eggplants with oval blossom ends that are slightly indented will have more seeds than blossom ends that are round and smooth. Think in terms of innie {more seeds} and outie {fewer seeds}. The more seeds, the greater your chances are of getting a bitter eggplant. 

These innies came from my garden. Notice that the blossom ends are oval and indented. That means that they may have more seeds that could cause bitterness. Since they are fresh and smaller, that will likely not be the case.

Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan

To peel or not to peel, that is the eggplant question. Personally, I prefer peeled because there is less chance of bitterness. If you have a fresh-off-the-vine eggplant it is likely not to be bitter. However, for presentation, unpeeled looks the best.

Now that you have chosen your eggplants, let’s get started. This is a simple meal that can be made ahead for later in the week or frozen for up to three months. I’ve created a printable recipe below.

Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan
Yield: 4- 6 Servings

Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan

TThe key to excellent Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan is salting the eggplant slices and then giving it time to let the salt draw out the liquid. The second key: Knowing the difference between a ‘male’ and ‘female’ eggplant. Both of these secrets will make the most heavenly Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan you’ve ever tasted.

You will notice that I've borrowed from my lasagne recipe for adding the cheese. This is one of the keys to this recipe being so delicious. Remember, real food takes time ~ but it is so worth the effort. Also, this recipe works best in a 9" x 13" baking dish. Although individual stacks look much better for presentation.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes 30 seconds
Inactive Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes 30 seconds


  • 2 large eggplants {choose 'outies' with rounded, smooth bottoms for fewer seeds}
  • 2 Medium Jars Pasta Sauce (about 4 cups)
  • 1 Container Ricotta Cheese (15 oz.)
  • 1 C. Shredded Mozzerella Cheese (divided in half)
  • 1 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 C. Fresh Basil
  • 1/4 C. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
  2. Peel eggplant (optional) and slice into 1/4" slices. It is not absolute that you peel the eggplant. You can leave them unpeeled and just cut them into 1/4” slices. Oversized and less-than-fresh eggplant will be less bitter if they are peeled. {Personally, I hate the peel.}
  3. Salt the eggplant slices and let them drain in a colander for about an hour. This will remove most of the bitterness.
  4. Once the eggplant has released its water, rinse and set on a baking sheet. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes (depending on the thickness of your slices). You want the slices to be softened, but not mushy.
  5. While the eggplant is baking, blend the cheese mixture. Add Ricotta, 1/2 C. Mozzarella, Parmesan, eggs, and basil. Blend well and set aside.
  6. Spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
  7. Spread 1 C. of Pasta Sauce on bottom of pan.
  8. Place a layer of eggplant in the bottom of the pan. Cover with 1 Cup of the pasta sauce. Spread half of cheese mixture to top of the sauce.
  9. Repeat this layer of eggplant, pasta sauce, and the rest of the cheese mixture.
  10. Add final layer of eggplant, cover with 1 C. Pasta Sauce and top with remaining grated mozzarella cheese.
  11. Cover and put in oven for 30-40 minutes (depending on the thickness of your eggplant slices). You will know it's ready to uncover when it's bubbling and sizzling. {Note: The time is so inexact because your eggplant slices may be thicker than mine. Use a fork to check for tenderness}
  12. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes to brown.
  13. Let stand another 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 676mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 15g

Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan

If you want to try making the Eggplant Stacks follow the steps until you get to the part where you assemble the dish. Instead, you will line the bottom of the pan with sauce then create individual layered stacks. Use the same order of ingredients to your stacks.

Carefully assemble each stack using similarly sized eggplant slices. Bake for about 30-40 minutes and then check for tenderness. The key is having thicker slices that are all about the same size. It takes a lot of practice to get pretty stacks. And, you waste a lot of the smaller eggplant slices.

Bon Appétit

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