Baked Eggplant Parmesan | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (2024)

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An easy, lighter take on the dish, Baked Eggplant Parmesan has all of the cheesy, crispy goodness of the original without all of the grease.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (1)

I’ll admit that eggplant has never been my favorite. So when I tell you that this is my new favorite Italian recipe on this entire site, you better believe that means a lot!

The eggplant that I’ve had in the past has typically been too mushy or bitter. I took the advice from some friends on Instagram and made sure to salt my eggplant ahead of time. That really does make a huge difference. I’m actually excited to work with eggplant more in the future!

“sweating” the Eggplant

Let me just say that I hate using the term “sweat” in reference to food, but that’s what all of the chefs and food bloggers call it. So there you go and I’ll never say it again.

The basic idea is that if you salt your sliced eggplant generously and let it sit for about an hour, the bitter juices will release and it will be less watery when you cook it. Just make sure you wash off the salt and pat the eggplant dry before you begin the breading process. Otherwise, the eggplant will be way too salty.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (2)

Use a single sheet pan for Baked Eggplant Parmesan

I tried to make this recipe as easy as possible. So many recipes that I looked up required multiple pans and bowls and baking sheets and everything else in the kitchen. I’m not a fan of a recipe that results in my entire dishwasher filled to the brim.

So for this one, we’re oven frying the eggplant and topping them with sauce and cheese all on the same pan. Easy cleanup!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (3)

My recipe is a little different than others, too, because it’s not a huge casserole. Many traditional recipes have you place the crispy eggplant on top of sauce, top with more sauce and cheese, and then bake.

You could totally do it that way with this recipe! But I’ve never understood why you would go to the trouble to bread and crisp up the eggplant, only to make it all soggy by cooking it with a ton of sauce. I prefer to top it with a little sauce and then serve with extra on the side for dipping. This way you maintain that crispy texture.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (4)

Adjust the recipe with what you have on hand

On most nights, I like to make my own quick marinara, as listed in the recipe. It cooks up in the same amount of time that it takes for the eggplant to completely bake.

But you could make it easier by using jarred marinara. Just check the labels for the sugar, saturated fats, and sodium. Some brands pump their sauces with these to make them taste closer to a homemade sauce. I find that they can bloat you easily.

If you don’t want to use two different kinds of breadcrumbs, you can use whichever one you have for the entire breading mixture. But I like how the Italian breadcrumbs evenly coat the eggplant, while the panko provides the crunch you would normally get from frying.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (5)

Feel free to use to reduced-fat mozzarella to lower the points/cals even more. I personally find that fresh mozzarella is a game changer in this recipe. So worth it to buy an ingredient that I normally don’t have on hand.

more Lighter italian recipes

  • Mushroom Bolognese (vegetarian)
  • Unstuffed Shells (vegetarian)
  • Lasagna with Meat Sauce
  • Penne alla Vodka (vegetarian)
  • Healthy Shrimp Scampi
Baked Eggplant Parmesan | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (6)

I’d love to hear from you if you make this recipe! It makes my day when you share your pics on Instagram and tag me (@litecravings). Don’t forget to use #litecravingsrecipes to make sure I see it. If I don’t get a chance to scroll through my tags quickly enough, I won’t see your post. I always make a point to look through the hashtags, though, so I’ll see it there!

Print Recipe

5 from 8 votes

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

An easy, lighter take on the dish, Baked Eggplant Parmesan has all of the cheesy, crispy goodness of the original without all of the grease.

Prep Time1 hour hr 15 minutes mins

Cook Time30 minutes mins

Total Time1 hour hr 45 minutes mins

Course: Appetizer, Main Course

Cuisine: American, Italian

Servings: 12

Calories: 70kcal

Author: Geri


  • 2 medium eggplant
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 full egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp water
  • 2/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup panko
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded or diced small (usually found as an 8-ounce ball in the refrigerated cheese section)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan, divided


  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed plum tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper


  • Cut eggplant into 12 even disks, each 1/2 inch thick. (Reserve any leftover eggplant for a scramble or stir fry.)

  • Lay out a cookie sheet and cover with paper towels. Lay your eggplant evenly on the baking sheet. Sprinkle one tsp salt evenly over one side, flip all of the eggplant, and sprinkle the remaining 1 tsp salt on the other side. Let sit for 1 hour.

  • Place eggplant in colander and thoroughly rinse off salt. Pat eggplant completely dry.

  • Preheat oven to 450F. In a shallow bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, cornstarch, and water. On a large plate, mix together breadcrumbs, panko, 2 tbsps parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

  • Grease baking sheet with cooking spray. Bread each eggplant disk by dipping into egg mixture, letting excess egg drip off, then placing in breadcrumb mixture. Push breadcrumbs into the eggplant until thoroughly coated, then shake off any excess.

  • Place breaded eggplant evenly on your baking sheet (3 across x 4 rows). Lightly coat the tops with cooking spray.

  • Bake eggplant for 8-10 minutes, or until slightly brown (start the marinara now if you plan to make your own). Carefully flip each one, making sure to keep the breading intact. Lightly coat with more cooking spray, then bake for another 6-8 minutes.

  • Remove eggplant from oven. Top each piece with about 2-3 tbsp of marinara. Sprinkle fresh mozzarella and remaining parmesan evenly over all of the eggplant pieces.

  • Return to the oven and bake until cheese is bubbly, about 8-12 minutes.

  • Serve with extra marinara for dipping.


  • (Sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance)

  • In a large pot, sauté garlic cloves in cooking spray until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  • Add all remaining marinara ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.

  • This makes a lot of sauce! Use the rest for a side of spaghetti marinara, for dipping the eggplant, or freeze the remainder for a future use.


Click here to determine your WW PersonalPoints for this recipe (if you are logged in to your WW app, it should calculate for you automatically)

WW Green, Blue, and Purple SmartPoints: 5 for two pieces of eggplant (3 SP for one)

Nutritional values calculated for 1 piece of eggplant.


Air fry the eggplant at 370 for 8-10 minutes, or bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes.


Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Baked Eggplant Parmesan | Lite Cravings | WW Recipes (2024)
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