Roasted Eggplant Parm – Lightened!

Roasted Eggplant Parm- Lightened! Our Roasted Eggplant Parmigiana is a super-easy dish to prepare as a side or appetizer. It is a simple way to make our favorite eggplant parmesan without all the extra calories and fat.

This is a low-carb and gluten-free side dish your friends and family will go bonkers for! 

And, it is truly an Eggplant Parmesan at its best!

We took our mom’s eggplant parmesan recipe and recreated it into this amazing light and delicious version.

This roasted eggplant parm-lightened will make an outstanding side dish!

Roasted Eggplant Parm Lightened! by


Our eggplant parmesan is made with 2 eggplants, topped with tomato sauce (preferably our Mom’s Quick Marinara Sauce), grated pecorino cheese, and fresh basil. 

Ingredients Needed for Eggplant Parm Lightened:

For this recipe, you will need the following 5 ingredients:

  • fresh basil
  • grated pecorino cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • marinara sauce
  • a couple of eggplants


Directions to Make Our Roasted Eggplant Parm Lightened:

The work is minimal and quick! (*Full recipe card on the bottom!)

1.  Simply chop eggplants into cube-sized pieces. Toss them into a roasting pan and roast them in the oven with only some salt and extra-virgin olive oil until they are golden brown. 

A photo of eggplant chopped on a white cutting board. by
Chopped eggplant in a large roasting pan. by

2.  When the eggplants are golden brown and tender, remove them from the oven and transfer the eggplant to a serving platter. 

3.  Next, spread a single layer of already prepared marinara sauce on top. Sprinkle with a layer of grated cheese and freshly chopped basil on top.

4.  Set the eggplant parmesan aside on your counter to sit for about 15 to 30 minutes before serving.  The longer it sits, the more the eggplant will marinate and absorbs the sauce.  

5.  Then serve warm or at room temperature.


  • Our simple process already cuts the time in half when preparing this Eggplant Parmesan, making it an ideal side dish to serve all year long.
  • Fresh Basil is a MUST! Don’t leave it out.
  • If you don’t have any marinara sauce on hand, you can quickly whip some up with our recipe: Mom’s Quick Marinara Sauce while the eggplants are roasting in the oven.   
  • It not only feeds a crowd, but you can also make it one day ahead! 
  • Perfect for potluck dinners, barbecues, and summer gatherings.


Our Eggplant Parmesan recipe is ‘lightened’ because it doesn’t contain layers of fried eggplant, bread crumbs, flour, or a ton of melted cheese.

Traditionally, our mom makes this dish either by frying or sauteing slices of eggplant that have been dipped into flour or breadcrumbs.

She would make several layers in a casserole dish with sauce and cheese. 

Her original recipe is positively delicious 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, there’s NO need for mozzarella cheese in this recipe, and you won’t miss it either. 

The flavors always turn out amazingly delicious. 

Roasted Eggplant Parm - Lightened! by


Roasted Eggplant Parm -Lightened will quickly become a favorite to serve as a side with:

We know your guests will come back for seconds and even third helpings, without the guilt!

The eggplant flavors get infused with a light layer of fresh homemade marinara sauce. 

And the longer it sits the better it tastes because the eggplants slowly soak up the flavor of fresh tomato sauce along with pecorino cheese and fresh basil.

YUM!  πŸ™‚

Roasted Eggplant Parm- Lightened! by

Variations for serving…

  • Try serving roasted eggplant parm as an appetizer (served on a platter as shown in our photos).
  • Serve it spooned over some toasted crusty Italian bread, like a bruschetta as an appetizer. 
  • Toss it with spaghetti for a delicious lunch or an easy dinner.
  • Also, turn any leftovers into “eggplant sandwiches” the next day (it’s the best)!

This is a great recipe – you’ll have to try it!


 …Thanks for Pinning!

Roasted Eggplant Parm Lightened! by

Looking for More Easy Eggplant Recipes? 

Additional delicious Gluten-Free recipes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Roasted Eggplant Parm - Lightened!

Roasted Eggplant Parm - Lightened! by

Roasted Eggplant Parmigiana Lightened is gluten-free, no carb, very light, and very tasty eggplant parmigiana! Super easy and ready in 30 minutes!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 to 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


  1. Preheat the oven to Roast at 375 degrees F (200C). (Or roast at 400 degrees, depending on your oven)
  2. 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).
  3. Place the pan onto the middle rack of the oven and roast the eggplant for 10 to 15 minutes, or longer until some of the chunks of eggplant start to turn a golden color. Then 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 to 15 minutes.
  4. 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 an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until most of the eggplant is lightly golden and tender to the bite. (Do not over-roast, or you will have hard-to-chew eggplants.)
  5. Remove from oven and transfer eggplant to a large serving platter.
  6. 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, and allow it to sit for a while. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  7. Serves 6 to 8

Nutrition Information:


6 to 8 servings

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 91Total Fat: 4.6gCarbohydrates: 12.4gFiber: 5.7gSugar: 6.9gProtein: 1.9g

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Happy Cooking! πŸ™‚

Thanks for stopping by!  πŸ™‚

xo anna and liz

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

  2. 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!

    1. 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 .

  3. 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!

    1. 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!

  4. 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 πŸ™‚

    1. 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.