This recipe for Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan is made with a low-carb breading that gives this dish an incredibly rich and luxurious taste while keeping it gluten-free and low-carb.
Smothered in rich marinara sauce and parmesan cheese, the crispy, breaded eggplant is truly the star of this simple vegetarian entree. Pair this Low-Carb Eggplant Parmesan with a side of Green Beans Almondine for a delicious low-carb, gluten-free meal.
The secret to making the Best Baked Eggplant Parmesan incredibly rich and satisfying is coconut flour.
Sounds crazy?! I know, but TRUST me, even people who hate coconut flour--adore this Eggplant Parmesan Recipe.
Coconut flour is low carb, paleo, keto-friendly, gluten-free, and SCD-approved. But most importantly it gives this eggplant parmesan the most delicious rich flavor. It not only lends to the richness of the eggplant but also crisps up beautifully.
Key Ingredients & Healthy Swaps
- Eggplant--Select an eggplant that has smooth, shiny skin, and heavy for their size. Smaller eggplants are a better choice, as they tend to be sweeter, less bitter, have thinner skin, and fewer seeds.
- Coconut Flour: There is no substitute for using coconut flour if you want your eggplant parmesan to be gluten-free, keto-friendly, and low carb. You can order online, but I can find it at most grocery stores. Use leftover coconut flour for Coconut Flour Pancakes, Coconut Flour Cookies, and Coconut Flour Banana Muffins. If you are not gluten-free, low-carb, or keto, feel free to use panko bread crumbs instead of the coconut flour, or follow my recipe for Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan.
- Parmesan Cheese: Use freshly grated parmesan cheese for the best flavor. Feel free to use nutritional yeast in place of parmesan to keep this Eggplant "Parmesan" dairy-free and Paleo.
- Marinara Sauce: I use my homemade marinara sauce, but feel free to use your favorite store-bought variety, just be sure to select a good quality one for the best flavor.
- Olive Oil: Even though this eggplant parmesan is not fried, it needs a bit of oil to help give the dish richness and helps the eggplant crisp up.
How to Make Eggplant Parmesan
Step One: Prepare Eggplant
Eggplant can be very bitter if not prepared correctly. The way to combat this bitterness is to salt the eggplant and let it set. As the eggplant sits, the salt will draw out the eggplant's natural liquid, which is what gives the eggplant its bitter taste. Do NOT skip this step.
- Peel the eggplant and slice it into ½ inch slices.
- Place eggplant slices on a baking rack over a sheet pan and liberally sprinkle with salt.
- Let the Eggplant sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 90 minutes.
- Rinse the eggplant slices and then pat dry.
Step Two: Bread Eggplant
To bread eggplant or anything really, my best recommendation is to set up a breading station using shallow pans. It is also a good idea to only use one hand for breading, as this keeps the other hand clean.
- In one dish, whisk together the eggs with water, salt, and pepper.
- In a separate dish, mix together the coconut flour with the parmesan and herbs.
- Dip the eggplant slices into the egg wash, scraping off excess on side of the dish. Then dip immediately into the flour mixture and coat well.
- Place the breaded eggplant onto a cooking rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
Step Three: Bake Eggplant
By placing the breaded eggplant slices onto a cooling rack instead of directly onto the baking sheet, the air is able to circulate evenly around the slices, letting each slice crisp up evenly. This is the secret to baking crispy breaded items in the oven. I use this method for Homemade Chicken Strips as well.
- Drizzle slices lightly with olive oil and then bake, flipping halfway through the baking time.
- Once the eggplant is baked, layer the baked eggplant slices in a 2-quart baking dish with homemade marinara sauce.
- Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Return to the oven and bake until warmed through and the cheese is slightly browned.
Store leftover Eggplant Parmesan in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350-degree F oven for 20 minutes, or until warm. Don't be tempted to reheat in the microwave, as that will cause the breading to become soggy.
More Low-Carb Recipes
If you enjoyed this Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan, please be sure to leave a comment and review below.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 large eggplant peeled and sliced into ½ inch rounds
- 2 eggs whisked with 1 tablespoon water
- ½ cup coconut flour see note
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese freshly grated
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil approximate
- Peel and slice the eggplant into ½ inch slices. Generously salt each side of the slices and place the eggplant onto a baking sheet lined with a rack. Let sit for up to 1 hour and then rinse the slices and pat dry.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Rinse and dry pan and rack used to salt eggplant.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs with ½ teaspoon of salt and a dash of pepper. In a separate shallow dish, whisk together the flour, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, and oregano together.
- Dip each slice of eggplant into the egg wash, followed by the flour mixture, shaking off the excess and then set onto the baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
- Bake for 15 minutes and then flip eggplant slices over and drizzle with a tiny bit more olive oil. Continue baking for an additional 15 minutes.
- Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- In a 2 quart baking dish, cover the bottom with a layer of marinara sauce. Cover with a layer of eggplant, repeated with freshly grated parmesan. Repeat layers until all eggplant is used. On final layer top with remaining sauce and a generous layer of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Use nutritional yeast in place of Parmesan cheese for a dairy-free and/or Paleo version of Eggplant Parmesan.
- For a super cheesy Eggplant Parmesan, add up to ½ cup of grated Parmesan to the flour breading.
- If you are not gluten-free, feel free to use panko bread crumbs instead of the coconut flour.
- Store leftover Eggplant Parmesan in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes, or until warm.
This post was originally published in 2017 but was updated in 2020 with a new video and pictures.
This is my second time making this recipe! I love it!
Wonderful! Thank you for sharing, Ericka!
This was really good. We eat low carb/keto so I used ground pork rinds as an added ingredient to the coconut flour, for added crisp. Love your marinara sauce, BTW.
What a delicious addition Deni! Thanks for sharing. And I love hearing you also enjoy my marinara sauce.
This came out great and is so tasty! My eggplant didn’t brown as much as yours did, not sure why. I added mozzarella to the top- made it more attractive/palatable for my kids.
That is a great way to disguise things Sara 😉 It may have been your oven was not as hot or you didn't spray as well with oil. Regardless, glad you enjoyed.
I'm harvesting eggplant from my garden right now so this recipe will be happening again ASAP!
So glad you enjoyed Renee! Good luck with the garden--totally jealous!