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white pan of baked breaded eggplant with tomato sauce, cheese and basil.
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Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

An easy eggplant recipe that is baked not fried. Eggplant Parmesan Stacks are breaded and baked slices of eggplant stacked between layers of cheese and sauce.
Course Appetizer, Dinner, First Course
Cuisine Italian, vegetarian
Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Final Dish Cook 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

Salting the eggplant

  • 2 eggplants sliced into ⅓" slices, about 8 per eggplant
  • 2 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp per sheet pan to salt the eggplant

For the Breading

  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • ½ cup panko
  • ½ seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • 8 slices fresh mozzarella cut / torn in half
  • 1 recipe Tomato and Butter Sauce or about 3 ½ cups of your favorite tomato sauce - premade is fine - see below

For the Ricotta Filling

  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp pepper or 2 tsp dried
  • 2 T fresh flat leaf Italian parsley chopped
  • ½ cup mozzarella grated, optional

Instructions

Salting

  • Slice the eggplants each into 8 slices, approximately ⅓" thick.
  • Lay 8 eggplant slices side by side on a baking sheet covered with two layers of paper towels. Repeat with a second sheet
  • Salt the eggplant (1 tsp for each pan) and let rest for 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour, lightly rinse the eggplant and using a paper towel, dry completely as much as possible.

Breading

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Coat a baking sheet with 1 T of olive oil or spray with baking spray. Set aside.
  • Place the flour in its own shallow dish.
  • Beat the eggs into a wide shallow pie plate and set aside.
  • Combine both breadcrumbs and the cheese into another shallow dish.
  • Dip each side of each eggplant slice first in flour, then into beaten eggs and finally the cheese and breadcrumb mixture. Remove to prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes, flipping halfway through, until crispy. You might need longer depending on your oven.
    Allow to cool.

Assemble

  • Pour one cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9x13" pan.
  • Layer half of the eggplant slices on the sauce.
  • Top with a piece of fresh mozzarella and a hefty tablespoon of sauce. Repeat
  • Spoon another tablespoon of sauce and a large dollop of ricotta filling on the top of each eggplant tower.
  • Sprinkle grated mozzarella or parmesan over top, if using.
  • Bake in 400° oven for 20 minutes until cheese is melted.

Notes

Options:
  • Layer a piece of prosciutto between the layers.
  • Add cooked crumbled Italian sausage and ground beef to your sauce for a meat version.
Make ahead:
  • Prep and bread the eggplant slices earlier in the day and refrigerate them until about an hour before you're ready to eat. Then follow the directions for baking the slices and assembling the stacks.
  • The ricotta mixture can be made a couple of days ahead of time.
  • Use any sauce you have frozen or on hand.