Recipe Makeover: Eggplant Parmesan

Say arrivederci to heavy, greasy Eggplant Parmesan.

Eggplant Parmesan.
Photo: Photography: Randy Mayor, Styling: Leigh Ann Ross, Food Styling: Charlotte Fekete

View Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan

Talk about a dish that could stand to lose a few: The Italian-American favorite of eggplant, tomato sauce, and cheese—spelled variously "Parmesan," "parmigian," or "parmigiana"—knows no nutritional boundaries. Fried-eggplant goodness is buried under piles of gooey cheese, with the tangy counterpoint of the tomato. It's delicious, but a serving has enough saturated fat and almost enough sodium for a whole day.

To walk this recipe back, we dredge eggplant slices in crispy, whole-wheat panko, then bake them to crunchy, meaty perfection. Leaner part-skim ricotta is jazzed up with garlic, crushed red pepper, basil, and cheese. Some thinly sliced mozzarella stretches our cheese budget, while gourmet jarred pasta sauce streamlines the method. This tasty casserole loses the heaviness, not to mention the grease, of the old standard. You'll have room for dessert.

1,053 calories per serving
30.4 grams saturated fat
1,965 milligrams sodium
Deep-fried eggplant
4+ pounds cheese

318 calories per serving
8.2 grams saturated fat
655 milligrams sodium
Baked breaded eggplant
Whole-wheat panko
1 3/4 pounds cheese

View Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan

See More: Low-Calorie Recipes


  • Panko Breading Technique: Egg Wash

    Panko Breading Technique: Step 1

    Give the eggplant slices a quick dip in egg wash; let excess drip off.

  • Panko Breading Technique: Press in Panko

    Step 2

    Gently press the panko onto the slice to help it adhere.

  • Panko Breading Technique: Brown Panko

    Step 3

    The whole-wheat panko barely browns, but it will create a perfectly crisp coating.

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