This is the absolute best Vegan Eggplant Parmesan! Layers of breaded eggplant are smothered in marinara and vegan cheese before being baked to perfection.

spatula scooping a slice of eggplant parmesan out of a baking dish.

So cheesy and delicious, this Vegan Eggplant Parmesan is my take on an Italian classic. The slices of baked eggplant slices are covered in marinara sauce and vegan parmesan before everything is baked to perfection. Can it get any more comforting than that? 

Dredging eggplant slices in a mixture of crushed cornflakes (crazy, right!?), cashews, and Italian seasonings takes this normally rather bland vegetable way up a notch to make each bite extra crunchy and savory. The slices tenderize and soften on the inside and crisp up on the outside as they bake. The layers of tomato sauce and vegan cheese don’t hurt either!

This better-than-average weeknight dinner is even more delicious with Caesar salad and garlic bread on the side. On those extra cold days, layer the baked eggplant over a bowl of pasta with tomato sauce and vegan ricotta. You’ll warm right up with this cozy meal!

baked eggplant slices with red sauce and melted cheese on top in a white baking dish.

How to make vegan eggplant parmesan

First, we have to coat and bake the sliced eggplant. Just like my Crispy Tofu Nuggets, the cornflake coating will crisp up the outside as the eggplant tenderizes on the inside.

  1. Add all of the dry mixture ingredients to a food processor or blender.
  2. Pulse until you end up with very fine crumbs. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  3. Whisk the soy milk and flour together in a bowl, then dip each slice of eggplant inside.
  4. Finish the dredge by dipping the milk-coated eggplant into the dry crumbs.
4 images showing how to blend a crumb coating together and dipping a slice of eggplant in the crumbs.

Place them on a prepared baking sheet, then bake.

eggplant slices coated in crumbs lined on a baking tray

Ready to assemble? Great! First, spread some marinara sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Add half of your baked eggplant slices. Pour more marinara sauce on top, then a layer of shredded vegan mozzarella cheese. Repeat until you run out of eggplant, marinara, and cheese. 

Bake the casserole uncovered until the cheese melts. Serve with a hefty sprinkle of vegan parmesan and fresh basil and enjoy!

eggplant slices covered in red tomato sauce and white cheese in a white baking dish.

Tips and substitutions

  • Is eggplant too bitter for your taste? You can draw out the bitter-tasting liquid by lining the slices of eggplant on paper towels and sprinkling each one with a teaspoon of salt. Let them sit for 1 hour, then rinse the slices under some water and pat them dry. I truly didn’t find it necessary though.
  • Nut free – Instead of using cashews in the dry mixture, replace them with sunflower seeds.
  • Gluten free – Simply swap the all purpose flour for your favorite gluten free flour.
  • Don’t want to use cornflakes? The cornflake crumbs are truly the best option, but you can use panko breadcrumbs if that’s all you have at home.
  • Peeling the eggplant – You can leave the peel on or remove it. Eggplant peel is completely edible, so the choice is up to you!
baked eggplant slices with tomato sauce and melted cheese on top in a white baking dish.

Serving suggestions

Eggplant parmesan is served just like lasagna. It’s so hearty and comforting as a main dish and pairs well with kale Caesar salad and garlic bread on the side.

Another delicious way to serve vegan eggplant parmigiana is over a bowl of freshly cooked pasta with marinara sauce, and vegan parmesan cheese or ricotta cheese on top. Don’t forget the fresh basil!

close up on a scoop of eggplant parmesan with melted cheese and herbs on top.

Looking for more comforting vegan mains?

spatula scooping a slice of eggplant parmesan out of a baking dish.
5 stars (11 ratings)

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

This is the absolute best Vegan Eggplant Parmesan! Layers of breaded eggplant are smothered in marinara and vegan cheese before being baked to perfection. Serve it as a comforting main dish or side.
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 1 hr 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 
 

Dry mixture

Wet mixture

The rest

Instructions 

Bake the Eggplant

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 2 large baking sheets with oil and set aside.
  • In a food processor or high powered blender, pulse all the dry mixture ingredients together until they resemble fine crumbs. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the soy milk and flour until smooth. Set aside.
  • Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. No need to peel the eggplant unless you want to.
  • Dip each piece of eggplant in the milk/flour mixture, then the crumb mixture and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then flip each piece and bake for 15 more minutes.

Assemble Eggplant Parmesan

  • Get out a 9×13 inch casserole dish and spread 1/2 cup of marinara sauce over the bottom.
  • Add 1/2 the baked eggplant, overlapping a little bit if needed to fit. Top with 1/2 marinara sauce and 1/2 the vegan mozzarella cheese. Repeat with the rest of the eggplant, marinara and cheese. Bake, uncovered (still at 400), for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melty and warm.
  • Sprinkle vegan parmesan, if using, and fresh basil. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Make sure to use quality eggplant that is fresh for best results.
  2. Serves about 6-8 depending on if it’s a side or main dish, but it can go further if serving with pasta.
  3. Don’t want to use cornflakes? Substitute panko breadcrumbs, instead. But cornflake crumbs are the best here!
  4. For gluten free, use gluten free all purpose flour.
  5. For nut free, substitute sunflower seeds for the cashews.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

    1. Yes, you can freeze it assembled but unbaked. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake. Enjoy!

  1. I made this recipe on my daughter’s recommendation. It was delicious. I’m making it for our holiday meal this season.

    1. Hi Trish. That sounds like a wonderful holiday meal! I’m really happy that you loved it! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!

  2. I used store-bought vegan mozzarella, but made the parmasan substitute. Whole thing was great. Even my omnivore family loved it.

  3. Just made this last night and it was so good. My partner said it was the best eggplant dish he’s ever had. Thank you for a great recipe!!

    1. Hi Claire. You are welcome! How great to read you guys loved the eggplant parmesan! I’m so glad! Thank you for sharing your great feedback!

    1. I’m so glad you loved the recipe, and that it will be added to your meal rotation! Thank you for sharing your great feedback!

  4. So so so good! We loved the breading. I want to bread everything now. Think I’ll try zucchini.

    1. Breading makes everything better! I’m so happy you loved this recipe and thank you for your wonderful review!

  5. You gave me, (what appears to be), a recipe for one of the most tasteless vegetables God ever gave us…. The Eggplant. For years I have been looking for a recipe that did not include a Marinara sauce to bring life to this Alien Looking Vegetable meal. Thank you for your eggplant recipes. I will be back soon to give you an update. Have a Blessed Weekend. Steve

  6. I’ve been vegan for many years now and have only recently discovered this site and everything I’ve tried has been a success, but this by far has been the best! Already looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. Huge hit with the non-vegan at home, too!

    1. Welcome to my site! I hope you enjoy your journey through all of my recipes! Please reach out with any questions. Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!

  7. Absolutely delicious! My family who claims who hate eggplant gobbled it up. I used your stretchy mozzarella recipe to avoid oil. I will definitely make again and again. Thank you for another great recipe!

    1. I’m thrilled that you loved the eggplant parmesan! Thank you for sharing your fantastic review and comments! I’m thrilled this will be part of your meal rotation! Happy cooking!

  8. We just made this last night. It was a great hit at our house and will be a family favorite! We used Violife shreds and Violife parmesan too as that’s what I happened to buy. Easy recipe and wonderful taste! Thanks so very much!

  9. I am going to the store and cooking this tonight! I’ll let you know my thoughts!! So excited! Eggplant parm is one of my favorites!!

      1. Ok I made this for dinner!!!! Absolutely amazingly delicious!!! So easy to make! Everyone loves this!! The only thing I added was to the milk flour mixture I added some garlic powder and Italian seasoning just to flavor that step because I love garlic!! This will be a recipe I make often! Thank you!! 

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