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Easy Stovetop Eggplant Parmesan

Easy Stovetop Eggplant Parmesan

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While traveling through Italy, Eggplant Parmesan (or Aubergine Parmesan) became one of my favorite dishes.

While the name “Parmigiana” might suggest a connection to the Italian city of Parma, the dish does not originate from that region.

Instead, it is believed that the name “Parmigiana” is derived from the Sicilian dialect term “parmiciana” or “parmiciana,” which refers to the wooden slats used in traditional window shutters, possibly alluding to the layering of the eggplant slices in the dish.

Now, you can find eggplant parmesan in either Northern or Southern Italy, with a version of this dish on most menus. Interestingly though, eggplant Parmesan (or melanzane parmigiana) is typically served as an appetizer dish.

It is most often baked in the oven like a lasagna, but I’ve adapted the recipe so that it can be cooked on a stovetop. 

I travel frequently I often end up staying in places that either don’t have an oven or have limited burners on the stove.

Beyond that, sometimes turning on the oven during summer when eggplant is easiest to find isn’t practical.

Luckily, this version of Skillet Eggplant Parmigiana is very simple to make right on the stove.

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I do recommend the initial step of salting the eggplant rounds and allowing them to sit for about an hour to remove any potential bitterness. But if you’re pressed for time, skip it.

We use our favorite simple tomato sauce recipe in this dish.

It can be made ahead and even frozen in small batches to use as needed.

You can use a pre-made canned sauce, but the extra effort, particularly if done in advance, is well worth the effort.

While we are at it, here are a few additional eggplant recipes that you might enjoy!

Makes 4 Servings

Yield: 4

Easy Stovetop Eggplant Parmesan

Easy Stovetop Eggplant Parmesan

Skillet Eggplant Parmesan made on the stovetop. No oven necessary!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Eggplant, or Aubergine
  • 1000 ml or 4 Cups Tomato Sauce
  • 125 grams or 5 oz Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese
  • 75 grams or 3 oz Parmigiana-Reggiano Cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 125 grams or 1 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 125 grams or 1 cup Flour
  • Olive Oil for Frying
  • Fresh Basil, for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. Remove the top of the eggplant with the leaves. Cut into rounds about ½ inch or less (1.25 cm) so that there are 8 pieces after discarding the rounded end.
  2. (Optional Step) Sprinkle salt on both sides and allow to drain on a paper towel for an hour. This will remove some moisture and any potential bitterness. Rinse and dry.
  3. Beat the eggs in a shallow dish. Arrange the bread crumbs and flour on flat dishes.
  4. Add enough olive oil into a skillet so that there is about ¼ inch (.6 cm) covering the bottom and add it to the stove over medium heat.
  5. After the oil is heated begin preparing the eggplant to be fried. Dredge both sides of an eggplant round in the flour, then dip into the egg mixture and coat with the bread crumbs.
  6. Add as many rounds as comfortably fit into the skillet, allowing the oil to cook all sides and so that you can easily turn them over. Add additional olive oil as needed.
  7. Cook until golden brown on both sides (about 2 minutes each). Set them aside to drain on a paper towel.
  8. Once all of the eggplants rounds are cooked, addl ½ of the tomato sauce to the bottom of a clean skillet.
  9. Place 4 larger rounds in the pan and sprinkle with ½ of the cheese.
  10. Stack the smaller rounds on top and cover with the rest of the tomato sauce. Top with the rest of the cheese.
  11. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes. The eggplant should be soft and the cheese melted. Remove from heat and allow to sit uncovered for 5 minutes.
  12. Plate and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Here are some related stories about travel in Italy that you might enjoy:

Where to Eat in Rome? In the Kitchen, Cooking with Nonna

Walks of Italy – The Best Food Tour in Rome

Wine Tasting in Umbria

Discovering the Hill Towns of Central Italy

Robin

Tuesday 4th of July 2023

Sean and Jen, you are life-savers! We are in the midst of a normal south Texas summer, so, yes, miserably hot...no going outside after 11 a.m., turn the A.C. up to 76 or higher so that some other poor family doesn't suffer a brown-out/black-out because the grid can't handle the demand, and ABSOLUTELY NO TURNING ON THE OVEN UNTIL OCTOBER... maybe even Thanksgiving at the rate we are going. So, that means everything is cooked on the stove-top or microwaved, or is served cold. We want to use all the summer veggies, but not baked in the oven. I followed your recipe last week and it was SO GOOD that my family wants it in the weekly rotation. I found I could sweat the eggplant slices the day before and then make the dish (including the 20+ minutes simmering) in less than an hour. The only modifications I made were to mix Panko crumbs in with the usual breadcrumbs, plus add spices like ground oregano, ground garlic and cracked rosemary in with the flour, egg wash and crumb coatings, to add flavor. We are avoiding salt, but the spices, plus the salt still in the eggplant (even after rinsing) was plenty. Thank you for this!

Jen

Tuesday 4th of July 2023

Hey Robin! So glad the recipe is working for you. You made our day by reaching out and telling us your story! Jen and Sean

Jay Myers

Monday 23rd of July 2018

Substituted spag sauce and I just love this recipe thanks so much!

Terri Earls

Thursday 28th of June 2018

I’m not a big eggplant fan and I must say this wasn’t bad! Definitely salt the eggplant first as suggested. I didn’t rinse, but just patted dry with paper towels. I use more cheese than called for. No need to heat the oven which is a plus in the summer. I’m going to make some to freeze!

Jen

Wednesday 4th of July 2018

I'm so glad the recipe worked well for you. I was also not a huge eggplant fan until I learned how to make it. Now I love it! Thanks so much for your comment.

Lafin

Sunday 17th of December 2017

This . Is. Awesome. Awesome sauce, literally! Ran out of tomato sauce, made my own ( internet). Impressed myself. Thanks for an awesome recipe. Wish I could upload a pic.

Jen

Tuesday 26th of December 2017

Thank so much - your comment made my day!

Sarah

Tuesday 6th of September 2016

...you had me at stovetop. Love your easy and delicious-looking rendition of this classic! Can't wait to try it out!

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