With this Skillet Eggplant Parmesan, you get all of the flavor you’d expect from traditional eggplant parm with none of the fuss or hassle. This skillet meal is ready and on the table in less than 30 minutes. Really!
Skillet Meals Are the Perfect Meal!
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little obsessed with skillets. If I could cook every meal in one, I probably would. And if those meals happen to be ready in less than 30 minutes, even better! This meal covers all those bases and a few extra.
As if this Skillet Eggplant Parmesan couldn’t get any better, it’s also gluten-free, low-carb, vegetarian, and Keto-friendly. It has all the flavor you’d expect from a traditional eggplant parm with none of the fuss or hassle. And it’s all made in one skillet. *Happy kitchen dance.*
Don’t Knock Eggplant Till You’ve Tried It (in a Skillet!)
I happen to love eggplant. But I realize not everyone does. *Gasp.*
As with most vegetables that get a bad rap, I think it’s all in the preparation and how someone tastes that vegetable the first time. Food memories are powerful, and first impressions are crucial!
For example, I am among the unfortunate group of souls who had to consume boiled Brussels sprouts growing up. No one should have to eat boiled Brussels sprouts. It ruined me for years. That is until I had air fried Brussels sprouts. And now, that glorious cruciferous green vegetable is one of my favorites. I wouldn’t have known that if I didn’t give a taste and tried cooking it a different way!
Eggplant is often used as a meat substitute. When it’s grilled or sautéed, the eggplant has a firm, almost meaty texture. That’s what we’re doing with this skillet eggplant parmesan — sautéing eggplant rounds until they’re just golden with a nice crust.
Eggplant rounds are then doused in a marinara sauce. You can use any marinara sauce recipe you like. If you happen to have a jarred sauce that you love, go ahead. Do your thing.
The saucy rounds are then topped with fresh mozzarella and placed under the broiler to bake until bubbly. Please, though, you know how finicky a broiler is. DO NOT step away from the oven. You don’t want to blink and have burnt cheese.
If you’d like a more substantial eggplant parm, try our Easy Eggplant Parmigiana. She’s sleek, a little sexier and glutenous.
Key Ingredients for Skillet Eggplant Parmesan
- Olive Oil: This wouldn’t be an Italian dish without a heavy pour of EVOO! This helps the eggplant rounds get golden brown and slightly crispy without becoming mushy.
- Eggplant: Choose one medium to large eggplant for this recipe, and slice it into eight evenly sized rounds. You’re looking for one that’s a deep purple with little to no bad spots.
- Marinara Sauce: While you are totally welcome to use any marinara sauce you like, for a recipe like this with so few ingredients and where the gravy is a star player on the plate, I always recommend make your own. Try my homemade salsa di pomodoro tomato sauce. It sounds complicated, but it super easy to whip up. And make extra to freeze so you always have some on hand when needed!
- Mozzarella: You definitely want fresh, not grated, for this dish. Opt for high-quality! You want a creamy, light, luscious cheese for this eggplant meal.
- Parmesan Cheese: While this eggplant parmesan recipe, like most, features mozzarella, it wouldn’t be complete without some freshly grated Parmesan to provide that nutty, rich flavor.
- Basil: Garnish this dish with some fresh chiffonaded basil leaves for a pop of color and herby flavor.
How To Make This Eggplant Parmesan
- Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add eggplant rounds to the skillet, seasoned on either side with salt and pepper. Cook until softened and golden brown on both sides. Remove skillet from heat.
- Add marinara sauce, making sure eggplant is coated on both sides and resting in a generous pool of sauce without being covered.
- Preheat broiler
- Top each eggplant round with mozzarella.
- Transfer skillet to oven, and bake until cheese has melted and started to brown.
- Garnish with grated parmesan and fresh basil, and enjoy!
How To Store, Reheat, and Freeze Eggplant Parmesan
- To Store: Place leftover skillet eggplant parmesan in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to three days.
- To Reheat: Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add leftover eggplant rounds and marinara sauce to the skillet, and warm through. (You can also zap in the microwave, but be careful not to overcook. Leftover eggplant will always be mushier than it was when first cooked, so best to eat it all the first time around!)
- To Freeze: Store leftover eggplant parmesan in an airtight, freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag and freeze up to three months. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight and follow steps for reheating when ready to eat.
More Recipes To Try
- Sausage Ragu
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Mushroom and Leek Quiche with Spaghetti Squash
- Short Ribs and Bourbon Reduction
- Bolognese Stuffed Shells
We would love to see them!
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 eggplant - sliced into 8 rounds
- kosher salt/cracked black pepper
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups marinara sauce
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella - sliced into 8 portions
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- basil to garnish - optional
- Into a large skillet add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add eggplant rounds. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened and golden on both sides. Turning as necessary. Add additional olive oil if necessary.
- Remove from heat. Add marinara sauce, making sure eggplant is coated. Add more sauce if necessary to coat.
- Top each eggplant round with a mozzarella slice.
- Preheat broiler.
- Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese has melted. Careful to not burn cheese.
- Garnish with grated parmesan and optional basil.
You can use any marinara sauce that you prefer.
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