Roasted Eggplant Parm- Lightened! A super-easy dish to prepare and one that feeds a crowd, this roasted eggplant parmigiana lightened is made simply with 2 eggplants, some tomato sauce (preferably marinara), grated pecorino cheese, and fresh basil. It’s amazingly light, delicious, and done in 30 minutes!
A low-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.
Roasted Eggplant Parmigiana Lightened is made with 2 eggplants, chopped into small pieces, and roasting them until golden brown. Then served on a serving platter and top with a single layer of tomato sauce (preferably marinara), grated pecorino cheese, and fresh basil.
Fresh basil, pecorino cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and marinara sauce are all you need to make this Roasted Eggplant Parmesan.
Roasted eggplant parm- lightened makes a delicious side dish!
If you are a newbie here and would like an easy recipe for our mom’s fresh marinara sauce, CLICK HERE.
How to Make Our Roasted Eggplant Parm – Lightened!
The work is minimal and quick!
1. Simply chop eggplants into cube-sized pieces, and roast them in the oven with only some salt and extra-virgin olive oil until they are golden brown.
2. When done, remove from the oven and transfer the eggplant to a serving platter.
3. Next, spread a single layer of already prepared marinara sauce on top, then with a sprinkle of grated cheese and freshly chopped basil.
4. Set the eggplant parmesan aside to sit for about 15 to 30 minutes before serving. The longer it sits, the better it gets.
5. Then serve at room temperature, or lightly chilled.
COOKS NOTES and TIPS…
If you don’t have any marinara sauce on hand, you can quickly whip some up with our mom’s recipe: Mom’s Quick Marinara Sauce while the eggplants are roasting in the oven.
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, but you can also make it one day ahead!
Perfect for potluck dinners too!
This Roasted Eggplant Parmesan dish is ‘lightened’ because it’s not one traditionally constructed.
Traditionally, our mom makes this dish either by frying or sauteing slices of eggplant that have been dipped into flour or breadcrumbs and layered high to the top with sauce and cheese. It too 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, NO need for mozzarella cheese in this recipe, and you won’t miss it either. The flavor is still amazingly delicious.
We know your guests will come back for seconds and even third helpings, without the guilt!
It is so amazing! 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 the marinara sauce including the flavors from the pecorino cheese and fresh basil.
Roasted Eggplant Parm -Lightened will quickly become a favorite dish to serve as a light vegetable side dish, and it will compliment 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.
Also, try turning any leftovers into an eggplant sandwich the next day (it’s the best)!
If you like eggplant – you’ll have to try this recipe!
…Thanks for Pinning!
Looking for More Easy Eggplant Recipes?
And for another delicious gluten-free recipe, try our Best Eggplant Manicotti Casserole!
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
- Preheat oven to Roast at 375 degrees. (Or roast at 400 degrees, depending on your oven)
- 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, or longer until the eggplant turns 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 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 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.)
- 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 a while. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Serves 6 to 8
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Happy Cooking! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
xo Anna and Liz