Eggplant Parmesan is and will always be one of my one true loves. There’s just nothing quite like deliciously coated and perfectly cooked eggplant with a big ol’ side of pasta.
When I was in high school I was all about chicken parmesan. My family and I used to go out to dinner at least once a week and one of the places we frequented most was a little locally owned Italian restaurant. In fact my homecoming date took me there sophomore year because it was my favorite place. Their food was incredible but I always seemed to stick by their chicken parm. It was perfectly cooked and drenched in the best damn sauce ever. I don’t miss the chicken so much but oh boy do I miss that restaurant.
Somewhere along the line after that restaurant closed I found eggplant parmesan and never looked back. I’m honestly surprised I even ate it in the first place because I was not about any kind of vegetables that you wouldn’t find in a standard garden salad back in the day. My how things change.
I’ve made eggplant parm at home but as I mentioned before I’m a little bit weirded out by things dipped in egg and then cooked. I mean I know that’s the premise of most breaded food but ever since I started eating more plant-based I’ve realized there are obviously a lot of alternatives and I’m so for it.
So even though I don’t follow a strict vegan diet all the time I wanted a vegan eggplant recipe to avoid the egg completely. Anytime I can adapt a recipe into a vegan one I will jump at the chance so I was pretty stoked when this one worked out.
My original idea was to use chia seeds but I didn’t want to add the extra step of blending the chia seeds and almond milk because this is a bit labor intensive as it is. And I didn’t want to add the chia seeds whole because I didn’t want to run the risk of the texture chia seeds get after being in liquid.
Then I was doing a lot of baking using flax eggs and I literally had a lightbulb moment. I was like this will make the perfect substitute with almond milk to dredge the eggplant in. And it worked like an absolute charm.
This recipe is perfect for a big Sunday meal, or for a dinner party, or just for a random night because you feel like it. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser no matter who you feed it to and if you’re like me it might just even make you a bit nostalgic for the past. Or it might just be good food that you want to eat and that’s cool too.
If you do try this or any other recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #modernlittlevictories on Instagram! I’d love to hear what you think and what you create in your kitchen.
Eggplant Parmesan (Vegan)
- 1 medium eggplant as narrow as possible
- 1/2 cup AP flour or other flour of choice
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk or other neutral milk
- 1 tbsp flax seed
- 8 ounces spaghetti or other pasta of choice
- 2 cups marinara sauce
Slice eggplant into rounds that are about ½ an inch thick. Place sliced rounds into a colander and sprinkle with salt to draw out the moisture and bitterness.
Let sit for about 15 minutes and then rinse moisture and salt off completely. Place in a single player on a dish towel and top with another towel. Press to absorb all the water. Make sure they are as dry a possible so they don’t get soggy.
Bring water to a boil in a pot for your noodles.
Prepare your dredging station in the FAB order (flour, almond milk + flax, breadcrumbs).In the bowl with your bread crumbs add in salt, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder. Add in flax seeds to almond milk and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Heat a large cast iron skillet (or any other large skillewith 2-3 tbspof oil of your choosing over about medium-high heat.
Dip eggplant slices in flour, then almond milk mixture, then breadcrumbs. Place into skillet and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side or until breadcrumbs are golden and eggplant is tender.
Add your pasta to the (salted!) water at this point and let cook while finishing all the eggplant rounds and prepare your marinara in a small sauce pan or in a bowl to microwave
To serve: Plate pasta and eggplant slices topping with marinara or using it to dip pieces. Top with vegan parmesan or with extra nutritional yeast.