Cheesy, gooey, hearty eggplant parmesan is the ultimate Italian comfort food. And one you do not have to go without on a gluten-free diet!
For a fast and easy version of delicious gluten-free eggplant parmesan, substitute the sauce ingredients for your favorite store-bought gluten-free pasta sauce. This way, you can make a meatless version of gluten-free eggplant parmesan like this one adapted from Sunset Italian Cookbook From Antipasto to Zabaglione.
This recipe can be assembled up to one day ahead of time, covered and refrigerated until ready to bake.
- For the Sauce:
- 2 to 2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (or pork)
- 1 green pepper (finely chopped)
- 1 large onion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 pound mushrooms (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free Italian seasoning blend (Tone / Durkee / Spice Island)
- 1 large can (28 ounces) canned tomatoes or "Italian" seasoned canned tomatoes
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- For the Eggplant:
- 2 medium eggplants (trim ends, and slice into 1/4-inch rounds)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (your favorite recipe or brand, preferably without xanthan or guar gum)
- 1/4 cup olive oil for pan-frying
- 3 large eggs plus 1/3 cup water (whisked together in a small bowl)
- 1 pound Mozzarella cheese (sliced or grated)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free Italian herb blend (to sprinkle on top)
Preheat oven to 375 F / 190 C.
Brown ground beef or ground pork in a large saucepan until thoroughly cooked. Drain off fat.
Add peppers, onions, and mushrooms to the same saucepan. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
Add 1 tablespoon Italian seasonings, tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir to blend and simmer for about 45 minutes until sauce is thick. Stir frequently to prevent burning. (Optional -- Use store-bought pasta sauce).
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a separate large, heavy skillet.
Place gluten-free flour blend in a plastic 1-quart bag. Add 3 or 4 eggplant slices at a time to bag. Shake to lightly coat eggplants. Dip each slice in egg/water mixture.
Pan-fry eggplant in oil for about 2 minutes, until golden brown. Turn each slice and brown the other side. Drain slices on a paper towel. Add more olive oil to pan as needed. Continue until all eggplant slices have been browned.
Place half of the eggplant slices in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Spoon half of sauce ingredients over eggplant. Cover sauce layer with half of Mozzarella cheese.
Repeat layers once. Top with grated parmesan cheese and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. After assembling, you can cover dish and store in the refrigerator for up to one day before baking.
Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: If you are baking the recipe after preparing it ahead of time, remove it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before putting it in the oven, and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly on top.
Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.