Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

vegan eggplant parmesan

 The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  • Total: 55 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
243 Calories
11g Fat
29g Carbs
12g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 6
Amount per serving
Calories 243
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 453mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Protein 12g
Calcium 273mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Eggplant Parmesan, parmigiana di melanzane in Italian, is a traditional southern Italy entree that may have originated in Naples. This scrumptious vegan eggplant parmesan recipe uses soy cheese to maintain the cheesy breadcrumb-crusted topping that's a signature of the dish. It is completely dairy-free and egg-free. 


  • For the eggplant:
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt (divided)
  • 3 teaspoon ground black pepper (divided)
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • For the marinara sauce:
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegan parmesan cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather your ingredients.

    vegan eggplant parmesan ingredients
  2. Cut the eggplant into thin rounds (about ¼ inch).

    eggplant cut into thin rounds
  3. Place the rounds onto a cooling rack that is on top of a large baking sheet. Make sure to spread them out into one even layer. Then sprinkle them generously with some of the salt. 

    Layer a few layers of paper towels over the top and weigh them down with a baking sheet and a large mixing bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes. This will degorge the eggplants bitter juices and will also help them to become crispy. 

    eggplant rounds sprinkled with salt on a baking sheet
  4. Rinse the eggplant slices and let them dry on the same baking sheet lined with fresh paper towels. Weight them down with another baking sheet to speed up the drying process. 

    eggplant slices drying on a baking sheet
  5. Preheat your oven to 425F. 

    Whisk the flour with some of the salt and pepper in a shallow dish.

    flour and salt and pepper whisked in a bowl
  6. Whisk the almond milk, flaxseed meal, corn starch, and some of the salt and pepper in another shallow dish.

    almond milk, corn starch, and flaxseed meal in a bowl whisked together
  7. Stir together the panko breadcrumbs, oregano, basil, and nutritional yeast in another shallow dish.

    panko bread crumbs and italian seasoning whisked in a bowl
  8. Dip the dried eggplant slices into the flour mixture and flip to coat both sides. Shake off excess flour.

    eggplant slice dredged in flour
  9. Then dip in the almond milk mixture and flip to coat both sides. 

    eggplant slice dredged in almond milk mixture
  10. Finally, dip the eggplant slices into the breadcrumb mixture and flip to coat both sides.

    eggplant slice dredged in panko breadcrumbs
  11. Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or other heavy bottomed skillet on medium high heat. 

    Add a few coated eggplant slices at a time to the hot oil. Cook on each side for 2 minutes or until golden brown.

    eggplant slices fried in a cast iron pan
  12. Transfer to a cooling rack over a baking sheet and finish crisping in the oven. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.

    eggplant slices baked on a baking sheet

Prepare the sauce.

  1. Gather your ingredients.

    ingredients for marinara sauce
  2. Use the same pan you used for frying. Remove any burnt breadcrumbs, but leave the oil behind. Heat on medium heat and add the garlic. Fry until just fragrant.

    Pour in the crushed tomatoes and salt, lower the heat to low. Cook for at least 5 minutes or up to an hour.

    marinara sauce cooked in a cast iron pan
  3. Ladle the sauce in between layers of the crispy eggplant. Top with the vegan parmesan cheese or more nutritional yeast. Enjoy immediately!

    eggplant parmesan served on a plate

Recipe Tips

This dish is best served immediately after preparing to keep the crispy texture of the fried eggplant. But you can freeze the fried eggplant rounds after they are initially fried. 

  • Freeze them on a baking sheet and then transfer them to a plastic bag. 
  • When you want to eat them place them on a cooling rack over a baking sheet and bake at 425F for 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy. 
  • Then cover with sauce and serve. 
  • If you want to make this dish in advance, just fry the eggplant and wait to bake until right before you are ready to serve.