Roasted Eggplant Parm- Lightened! A super-easy dish to prepare and one that feeds a crowd, Roasted Eggplant Parmigiana Lightened is made simply by taking 2 eggplants, chopping them into small pieces and roasting them until golden brown, then transfer them onto a serving platter and top with a single layer of tomato sauce (preferably marinara), grated pecorino cheese and fresh basil. It’s amazingly light, delicious and done in 30 minutes!
A No Carb and Gluten Free side dish your friends and family will go bonkers for! This is truly Eggplant Parmesan at its best!
We took our mom’s eggplant Parmesan recipe and recreated it into this amazing light and delicious version. Fresh basil, pecorino cheese, extra virgin olive oil and marinara sauce is all you need to make this Eggplant Parmesan.
It is so yummy – the eggplant flavors are enhanced with a light layer of marinara sauce, and the longer it sits – the better it tastes because the eggplants slowly soaks up the flavor of the marinara sauce including the flavors from the pecorino cheese and fresh basil.
The work is minimal and quick! Simply chop eggplants into cube-sized pieces, and roast them in the oven with only some salt and extra-virgin olive oil. This simple process already cuts the time in half when preparing this Eggplant Parmesan, making it an ideal side dish to serve all year long.
It not only feeds a crowd, you can make it one day ahead! Perfect for pot luck dinners too!
This Eggplant Parmesan dish is ‘lightened’ because it’s not one traditionally constructed. Traditionally, frying or sauteing slices of eggplant that are dipped into flour or breadcrumbs, then layered high to the top and smothered with sauce and cheese is also very good, but much heavier and higher in calories and fat.
Instead, this dish is not weighed down with a lot of cheese, mozzarella or tomato sauce.
In fact, NO need for mozzarella cheese in this recipe. But you wont miss it either, the taste is still so good, and your quests will be asking for seconds, or even third helpings, without the guilt!
Roasted Eggplant Parmigiana will quickly become a favorite dish to serve, even as a side dish, as it compliments all meats and fish.
Try serving Roasted Eggplant Parm as an appetizer (served in a platter as shown here) or serve it spooned over some toasted crusty Italian bread.
If you like eggplant – you’ll have to try this recipe!
- 3 eggplants, rinsed (discard tops) and cut into cubes, 1 to 2-inches in size
- ¼ tsp. of salt
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup marinara sauce, and extra if needed
- grated pecorino cheese
- fresh basil - sliced into ribbons
- olive oil cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large nonstick roasting pan, lightly spray with cooking spray. Scatter chunks of eggplant, and scatter lightly with salt over them. (Reserve the extra-virgin olive oil for later).
- Place the pan onto the middle rack of the oven and roast the eggplant for 10 to 15 minutes, open the oven and gently shake the pan a few times to rotate the bottom to the top, or use a spatula to flip them over so they roast evenly. Roast for another 10 minutes.
- As the eggplant turns golden, carefully pull the rack out, and lightly drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the eggplant, about 2 tablespoons. Push the rack back into the oven, and Turn Off the oven. Allow the eggplants to sit in the oven for additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until most of the eggplant is light golden and tender to the bite. (Do not over roast, or you will have hard-to-chew eggplants.)
- Remove from oven and transfer eggplant to a large serving platter. Spoon a single layer of marinara sauce on top. Then sprinkle with grated pecorino cheese and fresh chopped basil. Set aside for a few minutes before serving, allow it to sit for awhile. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Serves 6 to 8