This classic Italian dish is made from layers of sliced eggplant, tomato sauce and creamy mozzarella with breadcrumbs for classic comfort food.
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Preheat oven to 220°C. Lightly oil 3 large baking trays. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer over the prepared trays. Spray generously with olive oil and season. Bake for 25-30 mins or until the eggplant is tender and starting to brown. Drizzle with the vinegar. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 mins or until soft. Add the capsicum and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins or until capsicum is tender. Add the tomato and basil sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins or until sauce thickens slightly. Season.
Spread 1/4 of the sauce over the base of a 10-cup (2.5L) capacity baking dish. Layer with a third of the eggplant and sprinkle with a third of the basil and a quarter of the parmesan. Top with a third of the remaining sauce. Add half the mozzarella slices. Repeat layering with eggplant, basil, parmesan, sauce and mozzarella. Add the remaining layer of eggplant, sauce and basil. Sprinkle over the bocconcini. Combine the breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan and sprinkle over the top. Spray with oil and season.
Place on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 mins or until bubbling and golden. Set aside for 10 mins to cool slightly. Sprinkle with extra basil to serve.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Smart swap: Forgot to buy the tomato and basil sauce? If you have a passata, tomato puree or tinned tomatoes, you can use any of these in place of a ready-made sauce. If you’re using tinned tomatoes, you may want to puree and season them before adding to the dish.
Clever storage: You can prep this dish in advance and store it in the fridge until you are ready to bake. Once cooked, any leftovers will store well in the fridge for 3-4 days and can be reheated in the oven (covered) until piping hot all the way through. You can also eat leftovers cold with salad if you prefer. To store leftover parmesan, you can wrap it in wax paper or aluminium foil, then place in the bottom of the fridge.
You’d be hard pressed to find an Australian pub without a chicken parmigiana on the menu. But the original Italian dish was actually the ‘parmigiana di melanzane’, or crumbed eggplant parmigiana when translated from Italian. If you’re looking for an easy eggplant parmigiana, this recipe is the one for you. A mix of fresh and packaged ingredients makes it simple to throw together when you are looking for a comforting dish that isn’t difficult to make.
Eggplant parmigiana probably began as a similar dish to the Greek moussaka: both have fried eggplant sprinkled with cheese and seasoning. Eggplant parmigiana is generally associated with the Naples region in Italy, but is also popular in Campania, Calabria and Sicily, and now can be found all over the world. There's so much to love about eggplant parmigiana, with its layers of soft, baked eggplant, sweet-savoury sugo (tomato sauce) and bubbling mozzarella. One of the best things is that the whole dish can be prepared ahead of time and popped into the oven at the last minute.
This easy eggplant parmigiana makes the classic dish a lot simpler. It uses bottled sauce instead of making a sugo from scratch, and breadcrumbs are sprinkled on top rather than individually crumbing the eggplant slices, as you do in the traditional versions. Adding vinegar to your eggplant slices will help to stop them from browning, as well as adding a bite of flavour. There’s no need to salt your eggplant; this process used to draw out bitterness, however, eggplants have now been bred so that this is no longer necessary. Simply layer sauces, cheese and eggplant slices and top with mozzarella, parmesan and breadcrumbs before baking until golden and bubbly. Serve with a fresh salad and crusty bread.
Once you’ve fallen in love with our simple recipe, why not try Dan and Steph’s eggplant parmigiana version that uses crumbed and fried eggplant. If you would prefer a chicken parmigiana instead, we have a cheat’s chicken parmigiana or a chicken parmigiana with green beans, as well as a whole host of other Italian-inspired dishes.