I know at one point I had a recipe for chicken Parmesan. It’s how I learned to cook it, as it wasn’t a traditional family recipe I learned by osmosis. But anymore, I just wing it.
The recipe is easy enough to mostly remember, and I like it and its partner in crime, eggplant Parmesan, enough that I make it fairly regularly. So, somewhere along the way, I just stopped consulting whatever recipe it was I used, and it always turns out fine.
Well, OK, I actually usually forget one ingredient, but it’s the ones that are served with the dish, i.e., pasta or pasta sauce. And, OK, one special time where I forgot mozzarella.
But a quick trip to the grocery store later and I’m back on track.
This time was no exception. I, of course, forgot pasta sauce, but it otherwise worked out well.
I was a little nervous because I usually saute the eggplant (or the chicken) before a short time in the oven to melt the cheese. This time, though, it was all sheet pan.
My experience in — holy cow! — more than six months of working with sheet pans, however, prepared me quite well for the endeavor. While it took a long time, it was more or less the amount of time I expected. And, yeah, it was pretty great.
Here’s what I did:
- 1 large eggplant, sliced about ¼-inch thick
- 1 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
- ½ c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 T. dried basil
- 1 T. dried oregano
- 1 t. onion powder
- 1 t. garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Olive oil, preferably the spray kind
- 1 c. mozzarella, shredded
- Pasta sauce, such as marinara, to taste
- Pasta or bread, for serving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray or coat lightly with oil.
On a large plate, mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, herbs, and spices, and salt and pepper. Add a little water to the beaten eggs, and stir to combine in a small bowl. Set up a workstation so you can easily go from dipping the eggplant in the beaten eggs to coating them with the bread crumb mixture. Then, individually dip the eggplant slices in the egg mixture, and then coat in the bread crumb mixture before placing on the sheet pan. Repeat until you’ve used up all the eggplant.
Spray or coat with more oil.
Bake for about 45 minutes, turning halfway through, until the eggplant is fully cooked through and the bread crumbs have browned. Add the sauce (we used about ½ a 24 oz container), and then top with the mozzarella. Bake for another 15 minutes until the mozzarella is melted and the sauce is warm.
Serve with pasta and some additional sauce, or serve on hoagie buns for a warm sandwich, and enjoy!