This delicious cheesy eggplant Parmesan is not only easy to make, but also gluten free! Who knew you could make gluten free eggplant Parmesan that tastes just as good as the original? The secret “ingredient” that sets this eggplant parmesan apart is the roasted eggplant with no need for breading and frying the eggplant.
We love making favorite dishes that are easier, healthier and yet delicious. This recipe checks all the boxes.
There are so many delicious ready-made spaghetti sauces these days that we almost alway use those rather than making spaghetti sauce from scratch. However, we do often enhance them as a base to add additional ingredients and seasonings, such as in this easy gluten free eggplant parmesan recipe.
We use organic spaghetti sauce, and one of our favorite is the Classico Organic. We usually get it from Costco, but they’re currently not showing it in their online store, so we getting it from Amazon.
Alternate Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan Recipe Ideas
- Eggplant parmesan sandwiches – great open faced on french bread or toasted GF sandwich bread
- Place roasted eggplant on pizza crust instead of in the casserole dish and then proceed with the rest of the recipe
- Make an Italian eggplant egg bake by pouring on a layer of 12 (or so) scrambled eggs on top of the parmesan cheese before adding the top layer of white Italian cheese. Bake until firm and eggs are done and serve with crusty garlic bread
- Substitute spaghetti sauce for Mexican salsa and Mexican seasonings, and sub the white cheeses for Mexican cheese blend and you’ve got a wonderful Mexican Eggplant casserole.
- Appetizers using thinly sliced toasted bread to be enjoyed like pizza slices. You can use some of the many options in gluten free bread or cocktail bread if available GF (or if gluten isn’t an issue for you) or those you’re serving.
GF Eggplant Parmesan Serving Ideas
Serve with any one of more of the following:
- Italian salad
- Lemon orzo salad with feta
- Garlic bread
- Focaccia bread
- Mediterranean roasted vegetables
If you love this, you will definitely also enjoy this roasted zucchini and summer squash lasagna. It’s another healthier Italian dish that’s a winner even for those who don’t like squash. Ahem… my son!
Easy Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce
- 2 large eggplants sliced into 1 inch discs
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 large yellow bell pepper seeded & chopped (can sub. orange or red pepper)
- 1.5 cups 6 oz Shredded Mozzarella (or ~6 slices provolone cheese)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated (preferably)
- 4 or 5 large garlic cloves or 3 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes more or less to taste
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- Wash and slice eggplant into ½ thick slices.
- Brush baking pan with olive oil and place eggplant close together into an in a tight single layer. Sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper and bake for 25 to 35 minutes until eggplant is slightly brown. For more charring on top, broil while monitoring for desired brownness, (~5-10 minutes)
- In a saucepan, heat olive oil and balsamic vinegar over low heat
- Add chopped onion, bell pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes saute about 3 minutes, stirring frequently to keep garlic from burning.
- Add spaghetti sauce to sauteed veggies and cook about 15 minutes on medium low. Set aside until eggplant is done.
- When eggplant is cooked, spread the eggplant rounds with the red sauce and veggie mixture. Top with a thin layer of shredded parmesan followed by a thin layer of shredded mozzarella, (or substitute with slices of Provolone to cover or other favorite cheese on hand).
- Place the eggplant casserole dish back in the oven until cheese melts. Alternately, you can place under the broiler to give your cheese a little crispness. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil and serve, (or, one fresh basil leaf per round if you have garden fresh basil.
- Serve and enjoy!
Additional Recipe Ideas, Tips and Notes
Eggplant Parmesan CASSEROLE – Our Favorite Way to Make & Enjoy It
The faster and easier way to make this is to layer it in the casserole dish rather than brushing and topping one individual eggplant slice at a time as you would for appetizers. This approach makes for a more soupy mixture that tends to work better spooned out and onto plates rather than sliced served from a spatula.
We actually used both: a spatulat to cut through and then a spoon and spatula to serve. However, if you wish to take the shortcut of the casserole, but still want to be able to cut it into servable squares you can.
How to Make the Eggplant Casserole Into Sturdy Squares
- Use a little less sauce on the layers
- Cut thicker slices of eggplant (e.g., 3/4 – 1″ thickness)
How to Make Eggplant Parmesan APPETIZERS
Eggplant Parmesan Appetizers – NO Bread
- Roast 1/2 – 1″ thick slices of eggplant
- Brush each slice with the red sauce (dollop on a small spoon and spread it to cover)
- Top each slice with shredded or sliced cheese
- Place on a cookie sheet
- Broil to melt and brown slightly to crisp if desired
These should be “dry” enough to serve as finger food, but still tasty enough to enjoy.
Eggplant Parmesan Appetizers – WITH Bread
- Place eggplant rounds on top of cocktail bread or gluten free bread of choice
- Optionally, toast with butter and garlic salt before adding eggplant slices
- Then top lightly with sauce and spread around
- Top with shredded or sliced cheese
- Place on cookie sheet, (we line with parchment paper for quicker cleanup)
- Broil to melt and brown slightly to crisp if desired
Let us know how it goes for you and if you have any questions.