Eggplant parmesan is a favorite Italian dish, especially for vegetarians who enjoy eggplants as a replacement for chicken. Fortunately, vegan options are available for those who want to avoid parmesan.
What’s not to love about eggplant parm? The texture of the eggplant becomes crispy on the outside but maintains a soft interior. The tomato sauce is tart and rich. The garlic is aromatic and tantalizes the taste buds.
Plus, the recipe is easier than you think, requiring just a few ingredients. The preparation and cooking times are worth the wait as you smell the dish coming to life. The fruits of your effort are sure to be sweet.
Break Away From Traditional Cuisine
Traditional Italian food is amazing, but what happens when you want to break away and try something new? Wonderful things.
Contrary to many beliefs, eggplant parmesan can be made from non-traditional ingredients. You do not have to rely on eggs and cheese to create a delectable batter. You will soon see that you don’t have to say goodbye to all your favorite foods to eat a well-rounded vegan diet.
This recipe shows that you can have it all, including vegan eggplant parmesan. You’ll find the ingredient list, which includes garlic, herbs, olive oil, and diced tomatoes, diverse and tasty. Plant-based dairy substitutes help you recreate the texture of your favorite dish.
As you know, most battered dishes require the use of eggs to help items stick. Vegans may struggle with finding the perfect egg substitute, but it is certainly possible. For instance, this recipe will use a flaxseed and water combo that works wonders.
With one hour of prep time and half an hour of cooking time, you will have four delicious servings.
Make the Tomato Sauce
Here’s what you need to make the sauce:
- 14-1/2 ounces of diced tomatoes (canned)
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, depending on taste preferences
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
The first thing you want to do is open the can of tomatoes and drain the sauce into a separate container. You will want the liquid later, but for now, you only need the solid chunks of tomato. Dump those chunks into a food processor. Add the olive oil and garlic cloves. Turn on the food processor until everything looks evenly pureed.
Pour your tasty tomato puree into a mixing bowl. Mix in the oregano and fennel. Next, take the liquid you saved from your can of tomatoes. Pour the reserved liquid into your bowl until you have a total of 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Save the remaining liquid for finishing touches later.
Make Your Breading Mixture
Every eggplant parmesan comes with gorgeous crispy texture. Here’s what you need to achieve that texture:
- 4 ounces white bread (stale bread works better for this)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (your preferred brand works)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Place the slices of white bread in the (clean) food processor. You need to pulse the processor until the bread crumbs are fine. Place them in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix and set the breading ingredients aside.
Create the “Egg” Batter
Making the vegan “egg” batter is simple. You will need the flaxseed and non-dairy milk. When paired with the fresh basil, nobody will be able to tell the difference. Here’s exactly what you need:
- 4 teaspoons flax seed
- 6 tablespoons hot water
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
In a spice grinder, grind the flax seed until it is extremely fine. Dump the flaxseed into a small bowl and add the hot water. Stir thoroughly, allowing the mixture to thicken until its consistency is similar to that of an egg. Stir in the non-dairy milk, mix, and set the concoction aside.
Prepare the Eggplant
Finally, you’ve made it to the good part. Here’s what you need to assemble the eggplant in addition to the tomato sauce, “egg” mix, and breading mix:
- 1 medium eggplant sliced into rounds (about 1/4-inch thick)
- 1/2 cup flour (pour into a large Ziploc-style bag)
- canola oil (enough to fill about 1/4-inch of a skillet)
- 1 cup vegan mozzarella, grated (your favorite brand)
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan, grated (your favorite brand)
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
Before you begin assembling everything, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Toss each piece of eggplant into flour, coating both sides. Then, dip the eggplant into the “egg” mixture. Then, coat each side with bread. The more coverage, the better. Repeat this for every piece of eggplant.
Next, pour the oil into the skillet and allow it to heat up on medium-high heat until it shimmers. Once hot, place the eggplant pieces in the skillet to cook each side. The breading should be golden brown. Repeat this for each slice of eggplant, placing the cooked items on a wire rack.
Bake the Eggplant Mixture
Pour about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish and spread it out evenly. Line up the eggplant in the bottom of the dish. Each piece can overlap a little bit. You can add a small amount of sauce to the top of the eggplant for some extra flavor.
Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top of the eggplant and sauce followed by the parmesan. Put your baking dish in the oven and allow the dish to bake for about 15 minutes. The cheese should be melting and the sauce should be boiling.
Serve the Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
Once done, let the baking dish cool off for about 10 minutes. Sprinkled the fresh basil on top to complete the dish. It’s ready to eat!
Vegan eggplant parmesan is filling and satisfying, and it pairs well with a variety of sides, including salad and pasta. In fact, many people serve their eggplant parm on a bed of penne pasta or spaghetti. Toss in some peppers to add a little bit of extra spice and texture. This is a recipe you can change up to meet your preferred tastes.