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5 from 23 votes

Parmigiana di Melanazane

Parmigiana di Melanzane is the ultimate comfort food recipe. Fried aubergines/eggplant baked in a dish with tomato sauce, basil, parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 442kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 2 large aubergines/eggplant around (700g/ 1.5 lbs)
  • 1.5 lbs pureed tomatoes (passata) chunky texture (700g)
  • 1 white onion
  • Small bunch of basil
  • 8.8 oz mozzarella cheese , cut into cubes (250g)
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese , freshly grated (70g)
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • flour for dusting
  • sunflower oil for frying (around ½ cup/125ml)
  • salt and pepper to season


  • Thinly slice the eggplant/aubergines then place them in a colander. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and set them aside for 1 hour. This drains off any excess water and helps with frying.
  • Meanwhile, make the simple tomato sauce. Finely chop 1 onion and sauté in a pan with the olive oil until translucent and soft but not browned. Add the tomato passata (pureed tomatoes) and a small bunch of basil torn with your hands. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir then let it simmer gently for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
  • Rinse the eggplant slices under cold water and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper. Lightly dust them with flour, shaking off any excess then fry them in sunflower oil for a few seconds each side, drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4. I used an 11x8 inch oval dish but a rectangle or square dish around the same size will work too e.g 10x8 inch.
  • Spoon a small amount of tomato sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and spread it around, this will stop the eggplant from sticking.
  • Next add one layer of eggplant to the dish followed by a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, cubes of mozzarella, a sprinkling of pepper and couple spoons of tomato sauce (save ⅓ of the sauce for the final layer). Continue with the next layer until you have one top layer left.
  • For the top layer, spoon over the remaining tomato sauce and top with parmesan and mozzarella. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes until nice and golden and bubbling on top. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.



  • Always salt the eggplant before making this dish
  • Traditional eggplant parmigiana does not have breadcrumbs, flour is all you need.
  • Cut the eggplant around ¼ inch (½cm) thick (don't worry about being accurate just keep it thin cut).
  • Once you've dusted a batch of eggplant in flour fry them straight away or the eggplant will soak up the flour and it can turn mushy.
  • Use the highest quality pureed tomatoes (passata) for best results (low-quality tomatoes can ruin the whole dish)
  • You can prep this whole dish in advance and store it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it.
  • Leftovers will store well in the fridge for 3-4 days and can be reheated in the oven (covered) until piping hot all the way through. You can also eat leftovers cold with salad.
  • You can also freeze leftovers or it uncooked if prepping ahead. Use aluminum foil trays so you can reheat from frozen.
  • Please note this recipe was tested and developed using metric measurements all imperial measurements are approximate.


Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 497mg | Potassium: 917mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 992IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 396mg | Iron: 3mg