light eggplant parm

Here is a lighter (and Vegan) version of Melissa’s Famous Eggplant Parmesan! Still delicious, but lighter, fresh-tasting and even healthier.

Light Eggplant Parmesan

This lighter version of Eggplant Parm is full of flavor. The eggplant is oven-baked, instead of fried, with lots of seasonings. You will need baking pans with a lip to bake the eggplant and a 13 x 9 x 2 rectangular casserole dish for layering if desired.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


  • 2 medium Eggplants, firm, good color, no bruise spots Sliced into 1-1 1/2" pieces, leaving skin on as it helps keep shape and offers additional nutrition.
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil Olive oil spray
  • 1 8-10 oz Organic Tomato Sauce
  • Chopped garlic
  • Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese Substitute non-dairy cheese or do not use at all. Cheese is optional.
  • Dried & crushed oregano
  • Dried & chopped basil

Mushroom & Onion Saute

  • 1 Medium to Large Sweet organic Onion Peeled & chopped
  • 8 oz. mushrooms Cleaned & sliced
  • 6 small Yokon Gold organic Potatoes Partially baked, then sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Bragg liquid aminos For saute and flavor
  • Chopped garlic


  • Slice eggplants to about 1/2 to 1" in thickness, leaving skin on. Salt the eggplants to remove any bitterness; rinse and dry over paper towels.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare baking pans with parchment paper, coat by spraying with olive oil.
  • Since we are omitting the process of dipping in eggs and breadcrumbs, whisk the olive oil garlic and seasonings then cover the front and back of eggplant before baking. This will make a nice, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside eggplant.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Flip over and bake another 20 minutes until both sides are nicely browned and a bit crispy.

Saute Mushrooms, Onion & Potatoes

  • In a medium sauce pan, sauté onions with the Braggs aminos until the onions are almost lucid in color.
  • Add par-cooked potatoes to the onions and continue to sauté until all are nicely browned and cooked.
  • Add sliced mushrooms to the mix with pepper and other spices as desired until cooked.
  • Layer the cooked eggplant, tomato sauce, sautéed vegetables and cheese of your choice in a casserole and bake for 20 minutes until hot in 350-degree oven.
  • Alternatively, since all items are hot, you can skip the layering in a casserole step and plate layers directly for your guests. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (dairy or non-dairy) and serve right at the table.
  • Add salad and whole-grain breadsticks. Pair with a glass of red wine, and you're all set!


Melissa's Modifications and Suggestions
I know this is different take on Eggplant Parmesan, but if you wish to get closer to my original recipe, dip the eggplant into egg and breadcrumbs, if diet permits.
If you are following a vegetarian diet and eat dairy, you may dip the eggplant into egg whites before baking.
If you follow a plant-based vegan diet and want to bread the eggplants, I have used aquafaba (the liquid in canned chickpeas) as the liquid in which to dip the eggplants. A caution regarding breadcrumbs ... read the labels as many have cheese in them. Be sure to get clean breadcrumbs with no dairy, especially if you are vegan.
Cook time - 40 minutes to bake the eggplant; 20 minutes on each side. If you bake the layered dish in the oven add another 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Nutritional Value : 1 Serving (Approx 1.5 cups) 250 Calories; 4g Fat; 25g Carbs; 5g Protein
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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