Gluten Free Recipes/ Vegetable Sides

Roasted Eggplant Parm – Lightened!

Calling all Eggplant Parmesan Recipes!! Move over!! Make room for this eggplant parm re-do that will have your guests clamoring for more! It’s a super-easy dish to prepare and make.

The chopped eggplant is easily roasted in the oven for about 30 minutes and then served on a platter where it is dressed with a single layer of fresh tomato sauce, grated pecorino cheese and fresh basil. This is truly Eggplant Parmesan at its best!

With using just a few ingredients, we have recreated our mom’s eggplant parmesan recipe and came up with this amazingly light and delicious version. We enjoy making it over and over again, and hope you will also.

The work is minimal and quick! Simply chop eggplants into cube-sized pieces, and roast them in the oven with some salt and extra-virgin olive oil. (Right there, you have cut in half the prep time of the other eggplant recipes). The easy and quick prep allows you to make and serve it the day of your dinner, or one day ahead, if you prefer.

This Eggplant Parmesan dish is “lightened” because it is not one traditionally constructed. Instead, of frying or sauteing slices of eggplant already dipped in flour or breadcrumbs, the chopped cubes are simply roasted in the oven for about 30 minutes.

The lightness continues, as this dish is not weighed down with a lot of cheese, mozzarella or tomato sauce. In fact, for this recipe, there is NO mozzarella cheese at all, so it’s lightness and taste will have quests asking for seconds, or third helpings, without the guilt!

This Eggplant Parmigiana will quickly become a favorite dish to serve, even as a side dish, as it compliments all meats and fish. We love serving this recipe as one of our appetizer’s (served in a platter as shown), or serve it spooned over some toasted crusty Italian bread.

It is so yummy – the eggplant flavors are enhanced with a light layer of marinara sauce, which is a fresh tasting tomato sauce.  If you are a newbie here, and would like an easy recipe for our mom’s fresh marniara’s sauce, click here. The pecorino cheese, along with fresh basil adds a burst of more flavors and gives a fresh taste to the eggplant.

If you like eggplant, or not convinced about this light version, try this recipe! Let us know if it changes your mind about Eggplant Parmesan.

A friend of mine mentioned that we should call this dish a “de-constructed eggplant parmesan”-
not sure, but we know it is super-flavorful, no carbs and gluten-free dish and oh!, so light!


Roasted Eggplant Parm – Lightened!

  • 3 eggplants, rinsed (discard tops) and cut into cubes, 1 to 2-inches in size
  • 1/4 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 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.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6 to 8

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  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    April 12, 2016 at 1:31 am

    I have to make this for my husband – he will flip for it! Thank you so much for making it easy and delicious. Have a wonderful week 🙂

    • Reply
      April 12, 2016 at 2:17 am

      So glad to hear that! Our friends always ask for rhis recipe and we are thrilled to finally share it.
      Thanks Tricia! Have a great week.

  • Reply
    April 12, 2016 at 4:32 am

    this sounds and looks so delicious. I love eggplant and I'm going to try it this weekend. I love the fact that it's lightened as eggplant does tend to soak up a lot of oil! Thank you!

    • Reply
      April 12, 2016 at 11:51 am

      Thanks Sandra ! Our mom always fried her eggplants and even though it was always delicious, we now prefer making it this way. We think you will be convinced as well. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    April 13, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    What a wonderful recipe! I can't wait to try soon since my mouth is already watering 🙂

    • Reply
      April 14, 2016 at 3:39 am

      Thank you Sue! We make this version all the time lately, it's so easy and light. Hope you will try it.
      Have a great weeK .

  • Reply
    Roz Corieri Paige
    May 21, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I would never be able to figure out how to lighten up any Italian recipe that would taste remotely good. This is not an easy feat that you accomplished! Flavor plus lightness in Italian food? WOW, Liz and Anna!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Yes you're right! It is difficult to make certain dishes light but I'm glad this one turned out great!
    Thanks Roz 🙂

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