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Eggplant Parmesan – Gluten-Free

Eggplant Parmesan – Gluten-Free

Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish that is loved by many. The combination of crispy breaded eggplant, tangy marinara sauce, and melted cheese is simply irresistible. But what if you’re following a gluten-free diet? Can you still enjoy this delicious dish? The answer is yes!

The Gluten-Free Challenge

Going gluten-free can be a challenge, especially when it comes to finding suitable substitutes for your favorite dishes. Traditional Eggplant Parmesan is typically made with breadcrumbs, which contain gluten. But fear not, there are plenty of gluten-free alternatives that can be used instead!

Breadcrumbs Alternatives

When it comes to making a gluten-free version of Eggplant Parmesan, the key is finding a suitable replacement for breadcrumbs. Thankfully, there are several options available. One popular choice is using gluten-free breadcrumbs made from rice or corn. These can be found in most grocery stores or made at home using gluten-free bread. Another option is to use ground nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, which can add a nice crunch and flavor to the dish.

Coating the Eggplant

Once you have your breadcrumbs alternative ready, it’s time to coat the eggplant slices. The process is quite simple – dip each slice into beaten eggs, then coat it with the breadcrumbs substitute. Make sure to press the breadcrumbs firmly onto the eggplant to ensure they stick. After coating, you can either pan-fry the slices until golden and crispy or bake them in the oven for a healthier version.

The Sauce and Cheese

While the breading is an essential part of Eggplant Parmesan, the sauce and cheese are what truly bring the dish together. Luckily, most marinara sauces are naturally gluten-free, but it’s always a good idea to double-check the label just to be safe. As for the cheese, fresh mozzarella is typically used in Eggplant Parmesan. This creamy cheese melts beautifully and adds a delicious richness to the dish.

Layering and Baking

Once you have all your components ready, it’s time to assemble the dish. Start by spreading a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Then, place a layer of breaded eggplant slices on top, followed by another layer of sauce and cheese. Repeat this process until all the eggplant slices are used, finishing with a generous amount of sauce and cheese on top. Bake the dish in a preheated oven until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Serving and Enjoying

When the Eggplant Parmesan is ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. This will allow the dish to set and make it easier to serve. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for an extra touch of flavor. Serve it alongside a side salad or some gluten-free pasta for a complete and satisfying meal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I freeze Eggplant Parmesan?

A: Yes, you can freeze Eggplant Parmesan. Just make sure to let it cool completely before wrapping it tightly in foil or placing it in an airtight container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Q: Is Eggplant Parmesan a vegetarian dish?

A: Yes, Eggplant Parmesan is a vegetarian dish. It does not contain any meat, making it a great option for vegetarians.

Q: Can I make Eggplant Parmesan without cheese?

A: While cheese is a key ingredient in traditional Eggplant Parmesan, you can certainly make a dairy-free version by using vegan cheese or omitting the cheese altogether. The dish will still be flavorful and delicious.

Q: How can I make Eggplant Parmesan more flavorful?

A: To enhance the flavor of your Eggplant Parmesan, you can add herbs and spices to the marinara sauce, such as oregano, basil, and garlic. You can also sprinkle some red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.

Q: Can I use zucchini instead of eggplant?

A: Yes, you can substitute zucchini for eggplant in Eggplant Parmesan. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary as zucchini tends to cook faster than eggplant.

Q: Can I use store-bought marinara sauce?

A: Absolutely! Store-bought marinara sauce works perfectly fine for making Eggplant Parmesan. Just make sure to choose a brand that is gluten-free if you’re following a gluten-free diet.

Q: Can I make Eggplant Parmesan ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare Eggplant Parmesan ahead of time. Simply assemble the dish, cover it tightly, and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake. This is a great option for meal prepping or when you have guests coming over.

Q: Can I use other types of cheese?

A: While fresh mozzarella is the traditional choice for Eggplant Parmesan, you can experiment with other types of cheese, such as provolone, cheddar, or even a combination of different cheeses. The choice is yours!

Q: Can I make Eggplant Parmesan in an air fryer?

A: Yes, you can make Eggplant Parmesan in an air fryer. Simply follow the same steps for breading the eggplant slices, then place them in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook at a high temperature for about 10-15 minutes or until golden and crispy.


Eggplant Parmesan can be enjoyed by everyone, even those on a gluten-free diet. By making a few simple substitutions and using gluten-free breadcrumbs, you can create a delicious and satisfying dish that is sure to impress. So go ahead, gather your ingredients, and get ready to savor the flavors of this classic Italian favorite!

Eggplant Parmesan - Gluten-Free

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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 37 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8


  • 1 ½ cups bread crumbs made from gluten-free bread (like Hodgson Mill® brand)
  • 1 large eggplant , peeled and cut into long strips measuring 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 eggs , beaten
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese , divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) spaghetti sauce , divided
  • 1 package (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese , divided
  • 1 pinch of dried basil


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Pour the bread crumbs into a shallow bowl.
  • Dip the eggplant into the eggs and then coat it with gluten-free bread crumbs.
  • Place the coated eggplant in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and lightly sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 6 minutes, then remove from the oven.
  • Flip the eggplant with a spatula and brush it with olive oil.
  • Bake until the eggplant turns golden brown, which should take about 6 more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Spread enough spaghetti sauce into a 7x11-inch baking pan to cover the bottom.
  • Layer some of the eggplant slices on top of the sauce.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the eggplant and then top it with Parmesan cheese.
  • Repeat the layering process with sauce, eggplant, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese in that order.
  • Top with basil.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is bubbly and lightly golden, which should take about 25 minutes.
  • You can substitute the Hodgson Mill(R) Seasoned Coating Mix with any brand of gluten-free bread crumbs. This particular brand is
Keyword Cheese, Cooking, Dairy, dinner, Dish, Dishes, Everyday, Free, Gluten, Ideas, Italian, Main, Meal, More, Parmesan, Recipes, Vegetable
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

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