Spicy Baked Eggplant Parm

To be completely honest, this is my second time EVER making (or attempting to make) eggplant parmigiana. When I was thinking of how I wanted to make it, I initially had ideas of adding some masalas here and there but as I started to make it, I realized I wanted to keep it a bit more traditional with just a TEENY bit of the chutneylife flare.

If you’re ordering eggplant parmigiana at a restaurant it is usually breaded and fried but I really wanted to avoid all of that extra work (yes I wanted to avoid the messy dredging in eggs/flour etc- NOT avoiding the calories, I promise) and so I decided I would make a BAKED version that would taste JUST as good as the fried version ( I succeeded, FYI).

I use my FAVE jarred arrabbiata (spicy marinara basically) sauce made by Rao’s and it can be found in most grocery stores or on amazon. It is the only sauce I have ever used that requires NO extra tweaking and it has no preservatives- all fresh ingredients! Legit, it is good right out of the bottle! Also, don’t hate me for not shredding my own block of cheese for this recipe. I had this 6 cheese Italian blend by Sargento sitting in the fridge and it was too tempting to not take a short cut, so I did it. If I wasn’t being lazy, I would shred some parmesan, asiago, fontina, and mozzarella and it would be SO DREAMY!! So as I always say, don’t be lazy like me…shred your cheeses folks…or be lazy..whatever makes you happy 🙂

I also am NOT a fan of ricotta so on the off chance it sneaks into one of my recipes ( like it did in this one), I make it as flavorful as possible. I love scallions and serrano peppers in my homemade red sauce pastas so I decided it would be a safe bet to add these two ingredients into the ricotta. I also would highly suggest adding some cilantro to give it a little desi flavor! Have fun with it and try whatever you like!

As always, if you share on social media please tag @thechutneylife because I seriously enjoy drooling over all of your pics!! Lots of Love & Happy Eating 🙂

 

 

 

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Spicy Eggplant Parm

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4-6 Servings

Ingredients

1 lb. eggplant, sliced to 1/4 inch slices

3 Cups bottled red sauce ( I use my favorite, Rao's Arrabbiata Sauce (24 oz. Jar))

2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend ( I used Sargento 6 cheese Italian) Asiago, Mozzarella, Parmesan would be fine

1 -2 Jalepeños sliced

Panko Topping:

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tbsp evoo

1/2 tsp chili flakes

1 crushed garlic clove

Chili Garlic Olive Oil:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves sliced garlic

1/2 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp oregano

salt & pepper

Ricotta Mixture:

Combine the following in a food processor until smooth:

1.5 cups ricotta

2 serranos, diced and seeded

1/2 cup scallions sliced

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oregano

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.
  2. Heat a small saucepan on low heat and all of the ingredients listed under chili garlic oil and heat until garlic has become lightly golden in color (5-10 minutes). Remove from heat.
  3. Lay eggplant slices evenly spread apart on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. 
  4. Take the chili garlic oil and using a brush, coat all of the eggplant slices liberally on both sides.
  5. Bake eggplant for 30-40 minutes until cooked. Rotate pan once. ( I cook mine 3/4 of the way as it will finish cooking later when it is assembled)
  6. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat and add the panko bread crumbs, chili flakes and garlic clove and heat until the panko crumbs begin to get toasty (2-3 minutes). Set aside. 

Assemble in the following order:

  1. Lay down 1 cup arrabbiata sauce
  2. Top with sliced eggplant in an even layer
  3. spread about 1/2 cup of ricotta mixture on top of the eggplant slices (or enough to cover eggplant)
  4. Top with layer of shredded italian cheeses
  5. Top with 1 cup Sauce, sliced eggplant & Repeat layers.
  6. Top off with sliced jalapenos, and bake covered for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. (stick a fork in the eggplant to make sure it is cooked all the way)
  7. Remove from oven, top with bread crumb mixture. and reheat for few more minutes un-covered.
  8. Serve HOT out of the oven and enjoy 🙂

 

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  • Hi! This looks delicious! I enjoy eggplant parm but am always missing a certain depth of flavor, which I’m pretty sure this will fulfill. Will definitively be making this soon. Quick question – what did you serve this with…bread, pasta, or just by itself?

    • Hi Sabeen! I so feel you on eggplant parmigiana lacking flavor! I order it all the time at restaurants and I am always disappointed ! To answer your question, I didn’t serve this with anything because it is very filling and hearty, it doesn’t need a side! However if you want to make it a more complete meal, you could always start with a salad as a small first course or serve the eggplant with some garlic bread- I def would not suggest pasta- it would be too heavy in my opinion. Thanks for stopping by the blog, hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did! I ate the leftovers for days!! lol

  • Hi Palak! I made Eggplant Parm for dinner tonight and it was the best Eggplant I’ve ever tasted. I’m never ordering again at the restaurant. Thank you so much!
    I have tried many of your recipes and so far none has disappointed me 😊. You’re doing great with all the recipes!

  • Hi Palak,

    Just made this last night, in the words of my British husband, “Babe, this is bloody delicious” LOL It was awesome, I added some ground black pepper and cilantro to the ricotta as well – so yummy!

    Thank you for the amazing recipes – I havent been disappointed by any of them!

  • Hi Palak,
    I’ve made this Eggplant Parm 3 times now and I can’t stop making it! It is so flavorful and I love the addition of the jalapenos on top. When I saw the recipe and noticed RAO’S HOMEMADE (My favorite sauce brand), I knew this was going to be the best Eggplant Parm I’ll ever taste! 🙂

    • hey Damini! Thank You so much! This eggplant parm is one of my FAVORITES! Its so great to make for a large crowd and soak up that delicious Rao’s sauce with some garlic bread!! Im so happy you loved it as much as I do!