Eggplant Parmesan, Lightened Up!

By Maria Lichty

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We had an abundance of eggplants to use so I decided to try Eggplant Parmesan. I love it, but not all the calories and fat that come with it. So I played around and tried to make a tasty, lighter version.

First of all, I made my own bread crumbs. I went to the store but they were all pricey and contained hydrogenated oils! I couldn’t find a brand without them. Sad! So I just busted out my food processor and made whole wheat bread crumbs from stale bread we had. They turned out great.

I also used egg whites to dip the eggplants in to save on calories and cholesterol. I used less cheese and broiled the veggies too. My homemade sauce is pretty healthy so I just made a small batch and smothered the eggplant in that. The outcome was delicious and nutritious!

Eggplant Parmesan


2 eggplants (about 2 pounds total)
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons water
1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs ( I used homemade whole wheat crumbs)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 ½ cups marinara sauce ( I used my homemade sauce)
¾ cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

EatingWell’s Eggplant Parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat two baking sheets and an 8-by-11 1/2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Cut eggplants crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Whisk egg whites and water in a shallow dish until frothy. Combine breadcrumbs, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, salt and pepper in another shallow dish. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg-white mixture, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. (Discard any leftover breadcrumbs and egg white.) Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the eggplant slices over, and bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.
3. Make a homemade sauce or use store bought. For my sauce, I sauted onion, garlic, red pepper, fennel seeds in olive oil. I then added 2 cans of diced tomatoes and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Next, I added in fresh basil and Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Let simmer for a bit. Pour some a little of the sauce into the baking dish. Arrange half of the eggplant slices over the sauce, overlapping slightly. Spoon 1 cup of the remaining sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of the parmesan. Add a layer of the remaining eggplant slices and top with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

We went hiking this weekend and saw a moose! He was stopped in the middle of the trail and he was not moving. We waited for awhile, but he was being stubborn so we had to find another path out. It was a beautiful day to be out and about!

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. I love the moose!!!!! I would have been so excited to hike and see it. Very cool!!! And your dish looks awesome!!!! My mom makes a mean version but I know yours is healthier.

  2. P.S. I made the lemon ricotta cookies yesterday and they get a perfect score 10!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so psyched at the amazing feedback since I brought some to quite a few people. I’ll post them tomorrow. I would eat these up in a heartbeat before touching a brownie!!!!

  3. This looks so good! Eggplant is something I didn’t like as a kid, but now I love it! Gorgeous and healthy, can’t be beat!

  4. yum! I love eggplant when cooked right. Awesome idea with the whole wheat bread crumbs too! Isn’t this just the best time of year in Utah for being outdoors? Love it!

  5. omg a moose!!! I went on a cross-country trip and desperately wanted to see a moose, but no luck 🙁 Love this version of eggplant parm 🙂

  6. I only make my own breadcrumbs now (unless I use Panko) because it’s so easy, better for you, and tastes so much better! I’ve only had eggplant parmesan once, so I should give this a try!

  7. This is the second lovely aubergine dish I’ve seen today…and there’s me just using it in ratatouille! I have no excuse now….

  8. I need to give eggplant a chance. I had a bad experience with it as a kid and haven’t tried it since. This recipe make me want to try it again. Great job!

  9. That is so funny, I was just at the store and saw an eggplant and really needed a recipe for eggplant parmesean! I tried to call my friend and she wasn’t home! If I would have just checked my googlereader before I left for the store 🙂 lol. It looks so tasty!

  10. Sweet eggplant parm Maria 🙂 I like your healthy spin, it looks nice and light.

    Great picture of Bullwinkle too. Where do you live to find a moose in the middle of the street? I’m guessing a little into the country 🙂

  11. what pretty scenery, imagine what it will be like when the trees are turning! that eggplant dinner looks delicious!

  12. Maria,
    I have never baked eggplant, I always fry it for my FAVORITE eggplant parm! Yours looks amazing!
    I have also never seen a moose in these parts of New York City!!!!


  13. I am in love with this dish of yours! I was thinking about making something eggplant this week and this may fit the bill perfectly.

  14. Eggplant parmesan is definitely one of my favorites and yours turned out perfectly. The cheesy top is always my favorite part.

  15. A moose! Whoops, I almost put “mousse.”

    This looks fantastic.

    Yikes! I didn’t know bread crumbs had hydrogenated oil…remind me not to buy those again.

  16. That looks oh so very good! I just love being able to come to your blog for GREAT cooking ideas! Scary that you ran into the moose…good thing that he didn’t see you!

  17. I’ve got to make your version, since I’m crazy for eggplant parmesan. I often order it when we eat out, since if I make it at home I want to eat the whole pan. With your version, I could!

  18. i’d like to see some meese before i die. 🙂
    meanwhile, that’s pretty much exactly how i make eggplant parm for myself, and i agree–it’s fantastic. 🙂

  19. eggplants and parmesan are like husband and wife they complement each other!! i love it! what a great weekend you had!