Discover the Mouth-Watering Secret Ingredient in This Eggplant Parmesan Recipe!

Hey there foodies! Are you always on the hunt for a new and delicious recipe to try out in the kitchen? Well, look no further as we unveil the secret ingredient to take your Eggplant Parmesan to the next level. This classic Italian dish is already a hit with its savory tomato sauce, tender eggplant, and gooey melted cheese. But with the addition of a surprising ingredient, your taste buds will be taken on a flavor journey you never knew was possible.

eggplant parmesan

Get ready to experience the ultimate comfort food with a twist. So, what is this mouth-watering secret ingredient? Trust us, it’s one that you won’t want to miss.

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe


Eggplant Parmesan is an Italian dish that has become popular all over the world. It is a classic dish that is made up of layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, and cheese. The dish originated in the southern regions of Italy, where the eggplant is a staple of the local cuisine. It is believed that the dish was first created in Naples, and then spread to the rest of Italy. Today, it is enjoyed in many countries around the world, and has become a favorite comfort food for many.

The dish is made up of several ingredients that are commonly found in Italian cuisine, including eggplant, tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese. These ingredients are layered together with breadcrumbs and other spices to create a dish that is both flavorful and filling.

Preparing the Eggplant

One of the key ingredients in Eggplant Parmesan is the eggplant itself. The eggplant needs to be sliced and prepped before it can be used in the dish. There are a few different ways to prepare the eggplant, but the most common method is to slice it into thin rounds and then salt it to remove the bitter flavor.

To salt the eggplant, simply slice it into thin rounds and sprinkle salt on each slice. Let the slices sit for about 30 minutes, then rinse them off with cold water. This will help remove the bitter flavor from the eggplant and make it more palatable in the final dish.

Once the eggplant has been salted and rinsed, it can be cooked in a number of different ways. Some people prefer to fry the eggplant, while others prefer to bake it. It can also be grilled or roasted in the oven. No matter which method you choose, be sure to cook the eggplant until it is tender and slightly browned.

Layering the Dish

Once the eggplant has been cooked, it is time to start layering the dish. Begin by spreading a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Next, add a layer of cooked eggplant on top of the sauce, followed by a layer of Parmesan cheese.

Repeat this process until all of the ingredients have been used up, making sure to end with a layer of cheese on top. Bake the dish in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Variations on the Recipe

There are many different variations on the traditional Eggplant Parmesan recipe. Some people like to add other vegetables to the dish, such as zucchini or mushrooms. Others like to use different types of cheese, such as ricotta or fontina.

Another variation on the recipe is to add meat to the dish. Some people like to add ground beef or sausage to the tomato sauce, while others like to add sliced chicken or veal.

No matter how you choose to make Eggplant Parmesan, it is a delicious and satisfying dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its layers of tender eggplant, rich tomato sauce, and gooey melted cheese, it is sure to become a favorite in your household.

How to Make the Eggplant Parmesan Sauce

The sauce is an essential component of eggplant parmesan. A well-made sauce provides the flavor base for the dish and complements the eggplant and cheese perfectly. In this section, we’ll go over the recipe to make the tomato sauce, the bechamel sauce, and how to combine them to form the perfect sauce.

The Tomato Sauce

The tomato sauce is the foundation of the eggplant parmesan sauce. Here’s what you will need:

  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

The Bechamel Sauce

The bechamel sauce is a white sauce that is used in many Italian dishes. To make the perfect bechamel sauce, combine the following ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg (optional)

To cook the bechamel sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the flour and whisk until smooth.
  3. Cook for a minute, whisking constantly.
  4. Add the milk, salt, and nutmeg (if using) and whisk until smooth.
  5. Continue to cook and whisk until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Combining the Two Sauces

To create the ultimate eggplant parmesan sauce, combine the tomato sauce and bechamel sauce. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Add the bechamel sauce to the tomato sauce and whisk until they are fully combined.
  2. Cook the combined sauce over low heat for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Your eggplant parmesan sauce is now ready to be used.

The perfect eggplant parmesan sauce requires a blend of spices and carefully cooked sauces. The above recipe is guaranteed to create the perfect sauce, which you can use to make the perfect eggplant parmesan. Bon Appetit!

Assembling the Dish

Assembling the eggplant parmesan dish is all about layering. You want each layer to be evenly distributed so that each bite has enough of all the ingredients. Start by spooning some tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Then add a layer of eggplant slices and sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat this process until all of the eggplant slices have been used up.

Layering the Eggplant and Cheese

When it comes to layering your eggplant parmesan, there are a few key things to keep in mind. You want to make sure that each layer is even and that you have enough tomato sauce and cheese to cover all of the eggplant slices. For the cheese, we recommend using a combination of parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese. The parmesan cheese adds a nice nutty flavor, while the mozzarella cheese melts perfectly and is deliciously gooey.

Start by spooning a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Then add a layer of eggplant slices, making sure to overlap them slightly. Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat this process until you have used up all of the eggplant slices. End with a layer of cheese on the top.

Baking the Dish

Once you have assembled your eggplant parmesan, it’s time to bake it in the oven. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Cover your dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and continue baking for an additional 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Once your eggplant parmesan is done baking, let it cool for a few minutes before serving. This will help the cheese set and make it easier to cut into slices.

Serving and Pairings

Eggplant parmesan is a hearty and delicious dish on its own, but it can be even better with the right pairings and sides. When it comes to wine pairing, we recommend a full-bodied red wine, such as a Chianti or a Cabernet Sauvignon. The acidity in the wine will complement the flavors of the tomato sauce and cheese, while the tannins will help balance out the richness of the dish.

As for sides, garlic bread or a fresh garden salad are always great options. You can also serve the eggplant parmesan with a side of pasta or rice for a complete and satisfying meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different cheeses for this dish?

Many recipes for eggplant parmesan call for a combination of parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta cheese. However, if you prefer to use different cheeses, there are still a variety of options that you can choose from. For example, you could use a different type of soft cheese such as fontina or provolone in place of the mozzarella. Alternatively, if you would like to add a bit more richness to the dish, you could try using a batch of homemade béchamel sauce in lieu of the ricotta cheese.

Regardless of which cheese you choose to use, be mindful of the texture and melting properties. Harder cheeses are great for adding flavor and a crispy texture, while softer cheeses add creaminess and a gooey texture.

What is the best wine pairing for this dish?

When it comes to pairing wine with eggplant parmesan, there are a few different options that you could consider. One of the best options is a Chianti, which is a red Tuscan wine made from the Sangiovese grape. The medium-body and slightly acidic taste of Chianti pairs perfectly with the tomato sauce in eggplant parmesan. Another great option is a Pinot Noir, particularly a California varietal. The fruitiness of this wine complements the eggplant and tomato flavors in the dish.

If you prefer white wine, you could try a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. These crisp and refreshing wines pair well with the cheesiness of the dish, and their acidity helps balance out the richness of the cheese.

Can I prepare this dish in advance?

Yes, you can definitely prepare eggplant parmesan in advance! In fact, it is a great dish to make ahead of time as the flavors tend to meld together even better after a day or two in the fridge. Once your dish has cooled to room temperature, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

To reheat, preheat your oven to 375°F and place the dish in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the dish is warmed through. Alternatively, if you prefer to reheat the dish on the stove, you can place the desired portion in a saucepan with a splash of water and cover with a lid. Heat over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until heated through. Make sure to only reheat the amount you will be eating to keep the leftovers fresh for the future.

Enjoy Your Eggplant Parmesan!

Congratulations, you’ve discovered the secret ingredient that will make your eggplant parmesan recipe the best it can be! We hope you use this tip to make a delicious and memorable meal for yourself, your family, and your friends.

Thank you for taking the time to read our article. We hope it was helpful and informative. Make sure to bookmark our page and visit again later for more great tips, tricks, and recipes. Happy cooking!


1. Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones?

Yes, you can definitely use canned tomatoes in your eggplant parmesan recipe. Just make sure to use high-quality tomatoes with no added sugar or salt.

2. Should I peel the eggplant before using it?

It’s really up to you. Some people prefer to peel the eggplant for a smoother texture, while others like the added texture of the skin. If you choose to leave the skin on, make sure to wash it thoroughly before slicing.

3. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can assemble the eggplant parmesan up to a day in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

4. What’s the best way to serve eggplant parmesan?

Eggplant parmesan is delicious on its own as a main dish, but it also pairs well with a side salad or some garlic bread.

5. Can I substitute another type of cheese for the mozzarella?

Sure! You can use any type of cheese you like in your eggplant parmesan recipe. Some people like to use a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan for added flavor.

6. How long should I cook the eggplant parmesan?

Bake the eggplant parmesan for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown and bubbly.

7. What’s the secret ingredient in this recipe?

We can’t give it away that easily! You’ll have to read the article to find out.

8. Can I freeze leftover eggplant parmesan?

Yes! Let the eggplant parmesan cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.

9. What should I do if I don’t have breadcrumbs?

You can use crushed crackers, cornflakes, or even panko breadcrumbs as a substitute.

10. Can I make this recipe vegan?

Yes, you can make a vegan version of eggplant parmesan by using vegan cheese and omitting the egg in the breadcrumb mixture.