Hearty, delicious and easy to make these eggplant parmesan boats are a tasty and fun addition to your weekly meal plan. Made from a few simple ingredients, you can feel good serving this healthy recipe to your family.
Unlike most eggplant parmesan recipes, this version is oven baked. Making it lighter and healthier than its fried counterpart. For this recipe, I quartered the eggplant versus slicing it, giving it a meatier quality that I absolutely love. Fill the eggplant parmesan boats with my quick red sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil for a delicious homemade meal.
Looking for more delicious dinner ideas? Try my Greek chicken meatballs with tzatziki sauce.
Eggplant Parmesan Boats
- baking dish
- 3 plates
- 2 small eggplants skin on
- salt used to remove the bitterness from the eggplant
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese extra for the top
- 2 large eggs whisked
- 1 jar of red sauce or my quick red sauce
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese or slices
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Gently spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Rinse your eggplants and cut them in half.
- Next, you’ll take the halves and cut them in half again but only ¾ of the way through. Try to leave them slightly connected if you can.
- Generously cover the eggplant with salt and let them sit for 20 – 30 minutes. This process will sweat out all of the moisture and bitterness from the eggplant.
- After the 30 minutes has passed, rinse your eggplant and pat them dry with paper towel. Set aside.
Prepare the breading station:
- Next, you’ll grab three plates. Add the cornstarch to one plate, the whisked eggs to the second plate, and combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese on the third plate.
- Next, you’ll take the eggplant and dip the inside areas (not the skin) into the cornstarch, followed by the egg and finally the breadcrumb parmesan cheese mixture. Be sure to completely cover the entire inside surface area of the eggplant. Repeat this process until all of the eggplant is oven ready.
- Add the breaded eggplant to your baking dish. (breadcrumb side up) Gently spray the eggplant with olive oil cooking spray.
- Bake for 30 minutes. (uncovered) Be sure to keep an eye on the eggplant. If it begins to get too brown, cover with foil and continue baking.
Prepare the toppings:
- Next, you’ll heat the red sauce or marinara sauce over the stovetop. If you do not have time to make my homemade sauce, store-bought is fine.
- Remove the eggplant from the oven pour a generous amount of sauce over the eggplant boats. Top with mozzarella, cover with foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- As a final step, you will remove the foil, and broil your cheese for 2 minutes until it gets a touch crispy on the top.
- Finish with extra parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil.
- Serve and Enjoy.
Author: Sarah Thomas-DrawbaughSarah Thomas-Drawbaugh is a recipe developer and creator of the brand, Healthyish Foods®. Sarah makes plant-based, fish and chicken recipes that are simple and delicious. Her work can be seen in Healthy-ish by Bon Appetit and Bon Appetit Magazine (digital), Women’s Health Magazine (digital) and Mind Body Green. Sarah is a Pittsburgh, PA native but currently lives in Vail, Colorado with her husband, Dan and rescue dog, Graci!