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Skillet Eggplant Parmesan: Easy and Delicious Weeknight Dinner

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Skillet Eggplant Parmesan: Easy and Delicious Weeknight Dinner

Skillet Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious, easy-to-make dish that you can prepare in just one pan. By keeping it simple, you get a hearty meal without the hassle of multiple dishes.

You’ll love how quick and satisfying this one-pan version is. With layers of golden-brown eggplant, rich tomato sauce, and melty cheese, it’s comfort food at its best. Plus, it’s a great way to enjoy a meatless dinner that doesn’t skimp on flavor.

Ready in under an hour, Skillet Eggplant Parmesan is perfect for a busy weeknight. Cook everything in the same skillet, from sautéing the eggplant to baking the final dish, making cleanup a snap. Get ready to wow your taste buds with this easy and comforting recipe!

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

You’ll need the following ingredients for a delicious Skillet Eggplant Parmesan:

  • Eggplant: 1-2 medium-sized. Substitute: Zucchini or portobello mushrooms.
  • Olive Oil: 3-4 tablespoons. Substitute: Canola or vegetable oil.
  • Breadcrumbs: 1 cup. Substitute: Panko breadcrumbs or crushed crackers.

Next, get these additional items:

  • Marinara Sauce: 2 cups. Substitute: Any tomato-based sauce.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: 1 ½ cups, shredded. Substitute: Provolone or a mix of other melty cheeses.
  • Parmesan Cheese: ½ cup, grated. Substitute: Asiago or Romano cheese.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  • Herbs: Fresh basil and parsley. Substitute: Dried versions, or other fresh herbs like oregano or thyme.

For extra flavor and texture, consider:

  • Garlic: 2-3 cloves, minced. Substitute: Garlic powder (1 teaspoon).
  • Onion: 1 small, finely chopped. Substitute: Shallots or leek.
  • Eggs: 2 large, for dipping. Substitute: Egg whites or flaxseed mixture (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water).

When preparing Skillet Eggplant Parmesan, you may also want:

  • Panko Breadcrumbs: 1 cup. Substitute: Coarse breadcrumbs or cornmeal.
  • Beef or Lentils (optional): For added protein. Substitute: Ground turkey, chicken, or chickpeas.

This list offers flexibility with substitutes, allowing you to customize based on what you have. Enjoy your cooking!

Instructions


  1. Preheat the oven: Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 400°F (200°C).



  2. Prepare the eggplant: Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch rounds. Sprinkle salt on both sides and let them sit for 15 minutes. This helps to draw out moisture.



  3. Cook the breadcrumbs: Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add panko breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.



  4. Brown the eggplant: Add more oil to the skillet. Work in batches, adding eggplant in a single layer. Cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.



  5. Layer the ingredients: In the same skillet, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce. Add a layer of eggplant slices, followed by a sprinkle of breadcrumbs, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese.



  6. Repeat layering: Continue layering until all the ingredients are used, finishing with cheese on top.



  7. Bake: Place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.



  8. Rest and serve: Let the dish rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy your delicious Skillet Eggplant Parmesan!


Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips & Tricks


  • Choose the Right Eggplant: Look for eggplants that are firm and heavy for their size. The skin should be smooth and shiny without any blemishes.



  • Salting the Eggplant: Slice and salt your eggplant before cooking. This helps reduce bitterness and excess moisture.



  • Layering: When layering, start with a thin layer of tomato sauce at the bottom of your dish. Overlap the eggplant slices slightly.



  • Oil Use: Use just enough oil to avoid greasy eggplant. Too much oil can make it soggy.



  • Crispy Topping: For a crispy top, mix breadcrumbs with a bit of oil and salt. Sprinkle this over the top before baking.



  • Cheese: Use a mix of mozzarella and Parmesan for the best flavor. Add more cheese between layers for extra gooeyness.


Storing


  • Fridge: Store your cooked Eggplant Parmesan in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.



  • Freezer: To freeze, let it cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.



  • Reheating: Reheat in a skillet for 1-2 minutes per side on medium heat, or use an oven preheated to 375°F for 15-20 minutes until bubbly. If you have an air fryer, reheat at 375°F for a quick, crispy finish.



  • Single Portions: Freeze individual portions for easier reheating. This way, you can enjoy a quick meal anytime.


Using these tips and tricks will help you make a delicious Skillet Eggplant Parmesan and store it properly to enjoy later.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Variations

Cheese Choices
You can try using mozzarella for a classic taste or provolone for a sharper flavor. For a creamier texture, add a layer of ricotta.

Extra Veggies
Add some zucchini slices or bell peppers to mix in more veggies. These can be cooked in the skillet along with the eggplant.

Spice It Up
Incorporate red pepper flakes or jalapeños if you like a bit of heat. This adds an extra kick to your dish.

Different Oils
Use avocado oil or coconut oil if you want a different flavor profile. These oils can also handle high temperatures well.

Serving Suggestions

Side Dishes
Serve with a fresh green salad and a side of garlic bread. This makes for a balanced and tasty meal.

Pasta Pairings
Pair your eggplant parmesan with spaghetti or penne pasta. Top with extra marinara sauce for added flavor.

Wine Pairing
A glass of Chianti or Pinot Noir pairs wonderfully with the rich flavors of eggplant parmesan.

Toppings
Sprinkle with fresh basil or parsley for a burst of freshness. You can also add a bit of grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano on top.

Leftovers
Eggplant parmesan makes great leftovers. Store in an airtight container and reheat in the oven for a crispy texture. You can also make a sandwich with the leftover eggplant for a quick lunch.

Enjoy experimenting with these variations and serving ideas to make your skillet eggplant parmesan truly your own!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.