This is the absolute best Vegan Eggplant Parmesan! Layers of breaded eggplant are smothered in marinara and vegan cheese before being baked to perfection.
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!
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.
- Add all of the dry mixture ingredients to a food processor or blender.
- Pulse until you end up with very fine crumbs. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
- Whisk the soy milk and flour together in a bowl, then dip each slice of eggplant inside.
- Finish the dredge by dipping the milk-coated eggplant into the dry crumbs.
Place them on a prepared baking sheet, then bake.
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!
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!
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!
Looking for more comforting vegan mains?
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
- 4 cups cornflakes
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 2 pounds eggplant (2 large or 3 medium)
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 3 cups vegan mozzarella cheese shreds
- Vegan Parmesan optional, about 1/2 cup shredded
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
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!
Make sure to use quality eggplant that is fresh for best results.
Serves about 6-8 depending on if it’s a side or main dish, but it can go further if serving with pasta.
Don’t want to use cornflakes? Substitute panko breadcrumbs, instead. But cornflake crumbs are the best here!
- For gluten free, use gluten free all purpose flour.
- For nut free, substitute sunflower seeds for the cashews.
I just made this and it was FANTASTIC! I used Panko instead of cornflakes because I didn’t have any but I can’t wait to try it that way next time. It sounds so interesting! Will be making this many more times. This is so delicious! 👍👍 Another amazing recipe, Nora! Thank you so much!
Hi Tammy. How fabulous that the recipe is a hit with you! This is one of my FAVORITE recipes! Thanks for sharing your fantastic feedback and review!
Font really cate for eggplant but this was the best I’ve tasted was very good.
I loved this!! Can I make it and freeze it unbaked? Thank you for such great recipes 😉
Yes, you can freeze it assembled but unbaked. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake. Enjoy!
I made this recipe on my daughter’s recommendation. It was delicious. I’m making it for our holiday meal this season.
Hi Trish. That sounds like a wonderful holiday meal! I’m really happy that you loved it! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!
I used store-bought vegan mozzarella, but made the parmasan substitute. Whole thing was great. Even my omnivore family loved it.
I love this recipe! It is so delicious. Can it be assembled a day ahead of time? Does it freeze well?
You could probably assemble it a day ahead of time. It freezes well, yes. Thanks!
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!!
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!
I made this recipe and loved it! It definitely goes on the list for regular eats.
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!
So so so good! We loved the breading. I want to bread everything now. Think I’ll try zucchini.
Breading makes everything better! I’m so happy you loved this recipe and thank you for your wonderful review!
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
I hope you enjoy the recipe! I look forward to hearing back from you!
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!
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!
This came out so great! Best eggplant parm recipe I’ve ever tried.
This came out so great! Best recipe I’ve ever tried.
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!
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!
First time trying this. I liked it! Will be trying it again.
Thank you for sharing your review! I’m glad you liked the recipe!
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!
I’m so glad you guys loved the eggplant parmesan! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful review and comments!
What type of vegan cheese do you use?
I used Violife shreds here, but I also like Follow Your Heart brand, Daiya, 365 brand and more. You can use your favorite, or make your own Shreddable Vegan Mozzarella. Or layer in my Easy Stretchy Mozzarella, that would be yummy!
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!!
I hope you love it!
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!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Love your additions as well. Thank you!
It’s a winner! Thanks Nora!
Thanks Annie! 🙂
Can I use white beans instead of cashews?
I don’t think white beans would work because they will be moist, we want something dry and crumbly.