This recipe is actually an adapted version of my very tasty Eggplant Parmesan Stacks from my cookbook, Healthiersteps 125 Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes. Here are more vegan casseroles to share with your family, Broccoli Rice Casserole, Vegan Cauliflower Casserole, Vegan Lasagna, and Lentil Shepherd’s Pie.
Let’s get this straight. When you are not following any specific diet, you have plenty of options and choices. The whole world is full of different types of dishes. Although these dishes have different origins they all taste delicious in their way.
But when you follow a vegan diet, the options kind of shrink in front of your eyes. Well, It is somewhat true as long as you are not being creative. But when you have an eye for textures and different ingredients, you can replicate almost any food in your own way.
You might have heard of eggplant parmesan. This dish is very famous and is also considered to be incredibly delicious. Having Italian origin, the eggplant parmigiana is a casserole dish and is made with three simple ingredients, i.e., eggplant, tomato sauce, and parmesan cheese. Now, when you are vegan, these ingredients ring a sweet melody in your ears except for parmesan cheese, of course. But worry not! Here is a vegan version of the famous eggplant parmesan.
What is vegan eggplant parmesan?
Vegan eggplant parmigiana is the vegan take of the traditional dish. The best thing about this dish is that it keeps the natural flavors in check. There is no compromise here. The flavors are on point, and every new ingredient that makes it a vegan dish is of the perfect quantity.
So, if you are looking for a dairy-free version of this Italian dish, you don’t have to look anywhere else.
Why love this eggplant parmesan recipe?
Now there are many reasons to fall in love with this vegan eggplant parmesan recipe. Here are a few to point out:
- Firstly, it is a vegan take on the famous eggplant parmesan.
- Super easy to make.
- Simple vegan ingredients—nothing fancy at all.
- It is dairy-free
- It is healthy
- Lastly, it is utterly delicious.
Health benefits of vegan eggplant parmesan
If you think the traditional eggplant parmesan is healthy, you might get a little disappointed here. Well, it is not so beneficial if you ask me. However, if you ask about the health benefits of this vegan eggplant parm recipe, you will be very satisfied with my answer. My version is relatively healthy.
The thing that makes the traditional eggplant parmesan high in calories and fat is the fact that the eggplant cutlets are breaded and then fried in oil. So, you can expect the dish to be oily. However, this vegan recipe is super healthy. That is mainly because I skip oil altogether. Instead of frying the eggplant in oil, I bake it. So, the dish is not just oil-free. It is also cholesterol-free and thus is low in fat and calories.
Furthermore, the use of ingredients like nutritional yeast also adds healthy benefits to the dish. Since it is known to be high in plant-based protein, you get all the nutritious goodness your body requires.
Moreover, this recipe stays true to the benefits of eggplant itself. Eggplant is considered a very healthy vegetable. It is jam-packed with minerals and vitamins.
In fact, eggplant is rich in vitamin B6, K, and C. it is also rich in minerals like manganese, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. As a result, it not just aids in digestion but also improves the functions of different organs of the body.
Because it is high in fiber, it reduces cholesterol and improves the health of your heart substantially. Moreover, it improves the health of your bones by making them stronger. Thanks to the calcium and iron in eggplant, it enhances bone density.
Since it is rich in anti0oxidants, eggplants also prevent the risk of getting cancer. Lastly, it also improves brain health.
Because of the many benefits of this vegetable and the way I make it in this recipe, you should definitely give it a try. I bet you are going to love this dish!
How to buy eggplant?
Eggplant might look like a unique and tricky vegetable. And the thing is that to get the best flavors and taste, and you need to be careful while picking up the vegetable. Eggplant can have a strong and bitter taste. And if you want to enjoy this dish, you will need to avoid that. So, when buying eggplant for vegan aubergine parmigiana, here is what you need to keep in mind:
- As you pick up the eggplant at a grocery store, the first thing you should notice is its weight, and it should feel a bit heavy In your hand. The heavier the eggplant, the fleshier it is. So, try and pick up a few and select the one that looks the heaviest.
- Eggplant has a beautiful violet-purple color. The perfect and fresh eggplant has shiny, vivid skin. So, if the skin is wrinkled or has patches, it clearly means the eggplant is not fresh. Such an eggplant is aged and will taste bitter, and you would want to avoid it.
- Another thing that can tell you a lot about the eggplant is its stem. You might not pay attention to it, but the color of the stem tells a lot about how long it has been harvested. If its stem is green, it means the vegetable is fresh and thus not bitter at all. However, if its color is brown and dried out, it means the vegetable is not fresh.
- You can also get a feel about the vegetable by pressing your thumb against its skin. You are looking for a vegetable that is firm against your thumb.
- Lastly, when buying eggplant, don’t go for an oversized vegetable as you will probably end up getting the one with many seeds. So, choose a small to medium-sized eggplant for better taste and fewer seeds.
Preparing eggplant parmesan recipe
Preparation of this easy vegan eggplant parmesan recipe comprises of three simple steps i.e.
1. Preparing eggplant
Firstly, you have to prepare the vegan breaded eggplant. For this, you have to slice eggplants, season them with salt and leave for 20 minutes so that the bitterness leaves the vegetable.
Next, prepare the breading mixture by mixing brown rice flour, nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and water.
Dip the eggplant slices in this batter and place them on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake them for 30 minutes by turning them halfway.
2. Preparing vegan cheese
For the preparation of vegan cheese, you need to put cashews, nutritional yeast flakes, tapioca starch, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and water in a blender and blend at high speed until you get a creamy texture.
3. Assembly and baking
The last step requires a casserole dish. Spray it with a little cooking oil and start by spreading tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.
Next, place the breaded and baked eggplant. Then pour tomato sauce again.
Next, add a layer of vegan cheese mixture. Follow the sequence once more and put it in a preheated oven until the top gets a nice golden brown color. Your vegan eggplant Parmigiano is ready to serve!
Serving eggplant parmesan
You can serve this vegan breaded eggplant parmesan with anything you like. You can eat it just the way it is or serve it with pasta. Moreover, serve it alongside a salad for added freshness. Lastly, you can also serve it with brown rice. Whatever you choose, it tastes perfect with anything.
Storing eggplant parmesan
The best thing about this dish is that you can store it for as long as you want (which is about 15 days). Store it in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can prepare it at the weekend, and it can go with you as lunch the next day. Also, you can freeze the leftover casserole and reheat it later.
Also, if you don’t plan you cook the dish instantly, you can freeze the dish before baking. And when you have guests over suddenly, you can take it out of the freezer, thaw it, and put it in a preheated oven. It might take some additional minutes, but this dish will save the day for you!
This vegan eggplant parmesan is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy the goodness of the eggplant and the richness of the tomato. If you are craving Italian, you shouldn’t pass this recipe. Try it at home, and I am sure it is going to be your new favorite!
What To Serve With Eggplant Parmesan?
I love to serve eggplant Parmesan with
- Garlic Bread
- Spaghetti With Broccoli
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Tomato Avocado Salad
- Sauteed Kale With Garlic And Onions
Can You Freeze Eggplant Parmesan?
Yes, you can freeze your eggplant Parmesan, however, make sure to thaw the casserole pan completely.
Other Vegan Eggplant Recipes
- Easy Vegan Ratatouille
- Jamaican Vegan Run Down Recipe
- Chinese Eggplant In Garlic Sauce
- Eggplant Stew
- Low Carb Eggplant Bites
- Vegan Stuffed Eggplants
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- Energy: 190 kcal / 794 kJ
- Fat: 9 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Carbs: 24 g
- Preparation: 15 min
- Cooking: 1 h
- Ready in: 1 h 15 min
- For: 8 Servings
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup water
Vegan Cheese Sauce
- 1 cup cashews
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup water
- Wash eggplant and dry with a towel. Cut off the stem of the eggplant, Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.
- Preheat oven 425 degrees Fahrenheit, Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray or brush with oil.
Prepare Breading Mixture
- In a bowl, combine brown rice flour, nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, and salt. Add water and mix to form a batter, like a pancake batter.
- Dip each eggplant slice in the batter, make sure to coat both sides, place the slices on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes turning halfway. Meanwhile, prepare the vegan cheese.
Preparing Vegan Cheese
- For the preparation of vegan cheese, you need to put cashews, nutritional yeast flakes, tapioca starch, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and water in a blender and blend at high speed until you get a creamy texture.
Assembly and Baking
- The last step requires a casserole dish. Spray it with a little cooking oil and start by spreading tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.
- Next, place the breaded and baked eggplant. Then pour tomato sauce again.
- Next, add a layer of vegan cheese mixture. Follow the sequence once more and put it in a preheated oven until the top gets a nice golden brown color. Your vegan eggplant Parmigiano is ready to serve!