Eggplant parmesan is one of my all time favorite meals. Do I say that a lot?! I know.. I think I do… I say that EVERYTHING is my favorite. I can’t help myself, I really only post my favorites on this site (and let me tell you, I do have some meals that just aren’t food), and what can I say, I’m a foodie! I love to eat and even more than that, I love to feed people.
This recipe is actually one I remember growing up with my mom. When she made it though it was of course filled with gluten and dairy and it was delicious, but I can’t eat that and you can’t eat that so I’ve decided to modify it a bit. I don’t know if she made up the original eggplant parm recipe she used or got it from a recipe book, or what she did, but it was so good. I remember hiding it in the fridge so I could eat the leftovers, which were of course even better than when it was fresh from the oven.
Cutting into the thick eggplant with my fork and letting the gooey cheese drip from the eggplant. It was so good. When I would visit when I was in college she’d make it all the time and I would take the leftovers back to school, devouring them right away. Ohhh Eggplant Parm how I love you….
Now that I think of it, I think this eggplant parm is actually the very first meal I ever learned to make without having to follow a recipe. See! Even though I do love everything, I REALLY love this.
So here’s a version that’s a little healthier and safe for those of us with allergies and food sensitivities to eat.
This recipe is:
- Dairy Free
- Egg Free
- Fish Free
- Gluten Free
- Peanut Free
- Soy Free
- Tree Nut Free
Allergy & Gluten Free Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
|Prep time||30 minutes|
|Cook time||45 minutes|
|Total time||1 hours, 15 minutes|
- 1 large Eggplant (Skinned and sliced into 1/2)
- Salt (To taste and to remove the bitterness from the eggplant)
- 1 Serving of Cashew Cheese OR 1 8oz Container of Ricotta Cheese, Part Skim (See recipe below for cashew cheese)
- 1 cup Black Olives (Sliced)
- 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Daiya Cheese OR Regular Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, Part Skin (You may need more than 2 cups depending on how cheesy you want your dish to be)
- 2 cups Tomato Sauce (Also depending on how much sauce you like, you may need more. I use half of a 15oz jar)
|Preheat your oven to 350F. Lay the eggplant slices out and dust with salt. This will help to remove some of the moisture and the bitterness of the eggplant. Let sit for approx 10min.|
|Dry your eggplant and place on a greased sheet pan. Bake your eggplant slices for 14min, flipping half way through.|
|Grease an 8x8" glass pan and put about 1/4c of your sauce on the bottom so it's covering the bottom of the pan.|
|Next, you're going to place a layer of eggplant along the bottom of the pan. I like to use my largest pieces first because you're going to be layering upward and you don't want your little eggplant stacks to tumble.|
|After eggplant comes your cashew or ricotta cheese. Put a dollop of ricotta cheese on each eggplant slice and spread so there's a thin layer.|
|Now you will put your black olive slices on top of the cashew or ricotta cheese.|
|Top with another layer of eggplant and then repeat. Ricotta, Black Olives, and then one more Eggplant slice.|
|Cover your entire pan with tomato sauce, spreading it around so there's some on each eggplant stack.|
|Bake for 35-45min until the cheese is melted and it's bubbly. Sometimes if I can't wait I take it out earlier, but really, it's best when it bakes longer.|
|Prep time||4 hours, 10 minutes|
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (Make sure to get raw!)
- 1/2 medium Lemon (Juiced)
- 3/4 teaspoons Salt
|Place your cashews in a medium bowl and cover with water. Let sit for 4hrs until softened. If you forget to do this and realize it at the last minute, don't stress. I've made cashew cheese before after soaking for only 45min to an hour. The only thing you'll do differently is add more water to the food processor when you get to that step below.|
|Strain the water from the cashews and place in a food processor.|
|Add the lemon juice and salt and blend until you have a creamy texture.|
|If your cashew cheese is not creamy and it looks chunky, add a little water. Even after soaking for 4hrs, I normally have to add about 2tsp water. If I soak for only an hour I start by adding a tablespoon of water and then a teaspoon at a time until I get a nice creamy texture.|
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do, and as always, if you can eat dairy or other foods where I made substitutes, go for it! Personally, and no hatin’ on the dairy free out there, I love this recipe as per the above because I ate it that way last week (remember, I’m vegan during the week?!), but nothings better than real cheese.
And if you use real cheese, I suggest you mix the ricotta cheese with some fresh shredded parmesan cheese before spreading it on the dish and baking… it’s totally worth it!