Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

Awesome vegan eggplant parmesan recipe featuring delicious eggplant cutlets.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

Sometimes when I make a recipe, I like the whole recipe pretty well, but a certain component strikes me as so awesome that I almost want to give it its own post. Such was the case with the eggplant cutlets in this eggplant parmesan. Hot dang, were they ever tasty. I’d love to use them in sandwiches, or on their own as a main dish, or wherever one might use chicken cutlets if one ate chicken.

Which isn’t to imply that the eggplant parmesan recipe wasn’t great – it was! I just thought I’d give a shout out to the eggplant cutlets because they came out really nicely and I wouldn’t want them to get ignored even though I forgot to get good pictures of them on their own. Seriously, try these sometime.

If you’ve ever made eggplant parmesan, this whole process should be pretty familiar – the only real difference between this recipe and the non-vegan version is that instead of shredding up some mozzarella and parmesan, you have to make your “cheese” in a saucepan, but that doesn’t take much time at all.

The first thing to do is to start your water boiling for your noodles, and get your marinara sauce simmering. Then peel and slice your eggplant vertically into cutlets, sprinkle it liberally with salt, and let them sit for about 20-30 minutes.

Then mix up some almond, soy, or whatever milk substitute you prefer with some brown rice flour and a couple spices and put it in a nice wide shallow dish (I recommend a pie pan, if you’ve got one around).

Once your eggplants are nice and sweaty (that sounds gross), rinse the salt off and dip them in this batter until coated. Then sprinkle them liberally with breadcrumbs and set them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or aΒ silicone mat. Bake them at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes per side until nice and crispy and remove from the oven.

While those bake, you can boil your noodles and mix up your “cheese,” which is the same melty white cheese I use for my vegan, gluten free pizza recipe. Try to time everything so that the cheese and cutlets finish right around when the pasta is finished – the timing is the hardest part, but it’s not really that hard or that finicky so don’t stress about it too much.

Once everything is done, heat up the broiler and assemble your dish. If you have oven-safe plates, I recommend creating single-serving plates for a lovely presentation (they only get popped under the broiler for a couple minutes so it shouldn’t be too taxing on them) – if you don’t have oven safe plates just assemble it all in a casserole dish and slice into individual servings later. Either way, lay down your drained noodles, cover them in marinara sauce, top with eggplant cutlets, a bit more sauce, and your cheese mixture. Broil for just a couple minutes to get the cheesy sauce browned and bubbly, and serve! The plates will be hot so be careful with that.

Not the simplest recipe in the world, but easier than lasagna! (That’s a good kitchen motto: “At least it’s easier than lasagna!”) If you want to save a step, it really doesn’t even need the “cheese” – obviously it wouldn’t be eggplant “parmesan,” then, but it’s really good and flavorful with just the cutlets, noodles and sauce.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Vegan, Gluten Free if you use GF breadcrumbs, Soy Free, Low Fat, Refined Sugar Free
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
4.75 from 8 votes
Print Rate it Now Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

For the noodles:

  • 1 lb brown rice spaghetti noodles

For the cutlets:

  • One large eggplant peeled and sliced vertically into 8 cutlets
  • 1 c. milk substitute of your choice
  • 3/4 c. brown rice flour or other flour of your choice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs make sure to use gluten free if you're GF

For the marinara sauce:

  • 1 recipe marinara sauce

For the β€œcheese” (recipe from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak)

  • 1 1/2 c. water or plain nondairy milk I used rice milk
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4 cup flour any kind, I used brown rice flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons kuzu arrowroot, or cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Spread your eggplant slices out on a cookie sheet or cutting board and sprinkle them liberally with salt, letting them sit for 20-30 minutes to sweat. Start boiling a large pot of water for noodles, and start simmering your marinara sauce.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. From the cutlets ingredients list, mix together the milk, brown rice flour, apple cider vinegar, salt, oregano, parsley, and basil in a wide shallow dish until well blended. Rinse your eggplant slices and pat them dry. Dip them in the batter mixture until well coated, and then sprinkle liberally with breadcrumbs. Place on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes per side until breadcrumbs are lightly browned and crispy. When you remove them from the oven, start preheating your broiler.
  • When your water has come to a boil, add spaghetti noodles and boil as directed on the package. Drain and divide evenly amongst 2-4 oven safe plates (or in a 9x13 casserole dish).
  • To make the cheese sauce, combine all cheese sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Heat in a small saucepan over medium heat until thickened.
  • Once cheese, noodles, sauce, and cutlets are prepared, assemble your dishes: place the noodles on the bottom, top with about 2/3 of the sauce, add eggplant cutlets, the rest of the sauce, and then a layer of cheese sauce. Place under the broiler for about three minutes until cheese is lightly browned and bubbling. Serve warm (if you made it on individual plates be sure to place them on placemats or trivets as they will be hot).
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!

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36 Comments

  • 5 stars
    Thank you, thank you for this amazing recipe! My whole family LOVES it and my husband doesn’t even like eggplant!! So delicious, I recommend it to friends all the time!!

  • I am a recently converted vegan and am discovering loads of things that I like that I always thought I’d hate. Eggplant parm is one of those. I just made this and it rocks. Thanks for sharing.

  • 5 stars
    Eating this right now. Husband and all three children are eating and liking! Newly vegan family, going on 3 weeks now. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  • 4 stars
    I made this tonight, and love the idea behind it, but would definitely cook the eggplant much longer next time! 16 minutes wasn’t long enough to get the succulent texture I was looking for with the eggplant cutlets. I liked the presentation and the cheese sauce, I didn’t have cornstarch or tahini on hand so I used tapioca (4tbsp instead of 2) and added some water instead. It would use cornstarch next time if I had it though. Overall a great idea and one I would try again, just with a longer cooking time on the eggplant! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Love Love your website and recipes! I’m a baby

    vegetarian/Vegan and your recipes have gave me so many

    ideas on things I like to try and modify for me!!! I made this

    recipe 4 times with different changes here and there and I

    love it! thank you again!

    Cooking the Rainbow… Tasting the colors…
    http://cookingtheorganicrainbow.blogspot.com/
    Mike Thomas

  • 5 stars
    Okay – I just tried this. OMG…it was so good! What really shocked me was how much the cheese sauce tasted like cheese — I really felt like I was eating something I shouldn’t be eating. Thank you SO much for posting this recipe. FYI – I had extra dredging liquids and bread crumbs leftover, so I dipped fresh spinach leaves in the liquid and then the bread crumbs, and then baked them on a silicone baking sheet for about 4-5 minutes. Then I took put them on a plate, and dipped them into the cheese sauce and ate them as an appetizer — they were awesome!

  • 5 stars
    Wow. I had never even cooked eggplant before! I made this recipe tonight and my family loved it. Even the skeptical meat eating members of the family! I am a recent vegan who is also unable to eat gluten. I have been trying new things and this will be a regular favourite dish to prepare. Thank you so much for posting such a wonderful recipe with such great pics! πŸ™‚

  • 5 stars
    Just made this tonight, and it was AMAZING! Total comfort food. I skipped the broiling step and made a pesto quinoa instead of spaghetti. My husband hates eggplant and said it was good, I thought it was 5 star worthy πŸ™‚

  • 5 stars
    This recipe was fantastic. I made a few improvised changes however. I blended some tofu into the “cheese” sauce. I also added lots of chopped and sauteed garlic into the tomato sauce. Finally, when I layered the eggplant, tomato sauce, and ‘cheese’ sauce into a casserole for baking, I added layers of fresh basil leaves as well.

    This dish was the hit of the party. People were blown away that it was vegan.

  • I am making this even as I type. Just waiting for the pasta to finish cooking!! I’m sooooo excited!!! Thanks for all you do!!!

  • Hi Jessica – this looks awesome. I’ve been trying to find a good vegan eggplant parm recipe. I’m going to try this one for sure! Thanks for sharing!

  • I have to try this recipe. I love eggplant parmesan. It’s one of my favourites. However, have you tried Daiya Cheese. It’s 100% vegan. It tastes and melts like cheese. Totally worth looking for at the grocery store. πŸ™‚

    http://www.daiyafoods.com/

  • Holy holy holy holy… This is beautiful. I… Oh my. I need to make this. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  • What a delicious looking meal. I am gf and dairy free, so this would fit right in at my house. I am really looking forward to trying the “cheese” sauce. Congratulations on the top 9 at Food Buzz!

  • Man it’s been a good while since I last had a decent eggplant parmesan! This looks like this could get me out of my rut! =)

  • Buna ziua Jessica, mancarea ta este foarte apetisanta, imi place mult combinatia de culori si arome.

  • Congrats on Top 9! You created a very nice healthy eggplant parm. Love the thick slices – must be flavorful!!!

  • Well done! One of my favorite dishes. I have been making your basil kale pesto weekly (I’m hooked) and I can’t wait to give this a try. I like that you layered it on a bed of pasta. Beautiful.

  • Wow, that looks absolutely delicious! And I love that it’s gf and soy free too! πŸ™‚ Your blog is great!

  • Wow, this looks amazing! I wish I could have some now as my stomach is growling and I’ve been craving something just like this for quite some time! Thank you… definitely saving this recipe!

  • I had almost the same thing for dinner last night! Funny how you get cravings- breaded eggplant and marinara pasta is definitely one of those things for me. Your’s looks delicious too!

  • Yum. I want to eat this as a meal right now. It’s appropriate to have a pasta meal at 3:30, right?

  • Oh my.. is it too bold to invite myself over for dinner? This looks FANtastic! I’ve been craving eggplant parm for ages. It’s always been my favorite Italian dish, even back when I ate meat!

  • You must have read my mind! Yesterday I purchased all of the ingredients for eggplant parm so I can post one of my most favourite meals on my blog this week. I must say that I will be trying your eggplant cutlets instead of my usual way of breading the eggplant. This recipe looks absolutely mouthwatering!

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