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Eggcelent Eggplant Showdown

So, I think the universe was telling me I should use up all of that Sunday Funday Pasta Sauce by exploring some fantastic Eggplant Parm recipes. I not only purchased eggplant at Wegmans last week, but received it in my Hungry Harvest delivery...

So, this called for an Eggcelent Eggplant show down! I explored a few different ways to make the perfect Eggplant Parmigiana dinner. Thank god John is part Italian or I'd worry he may get sick of eating eggplant parm all week! As you can see...his plates are clean and all options were very much approved by this critic!

I've got a few recipe ideas up my sleeve so read till the end! You can pair any of these recipes with your favorite pasta or try it with delicious spaghetti squash! You can even put it over a beautiful arugula salad for an extra healthy take! Ok, let's talk about the traditional eggplant parmigiana.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan on Gluten Free Pasta
Baked Eggplant Parmesan on Gluten Free Pasta

A traditional eggplant parm recipe is dredged and breaded with bread crumbs. This shallow fried option is crispy and delicious even after baking in sauce and under a layer of yummy mozzarella cheese.

Fried Eggplant for Eggplant Parm
Fried Eggplant for Eggplant Parm

Although this is a delicious path to beautiful Eggplant Parmesan, it isn't for everyone...and honestly the clean up isn't my favorite. Good news is that you can very easily take the same steps and bake the eggplant instead! (WHEW!) John actually said he preferred the baked eggplant because it retained more of the seasoning and flavor of the eggplant!

Then there is the naked eggplant parm! I grew up with this healthy, but delicious, alternative to the traditional eggplant parmigiana. I tried two different was a Rachael Ray inspiration and the other, well....that's the one I grew up eating when we needed a super quick dinner option! Now, Rachael Ray does a naked eggplant parm by seasoning and shallow frying the eggplant rounds before putting them in the casserole. I tried this and actually prefer keeping it simple and not going through the mess of frying.

Either way, sauce does matter so make sure your sauce is seasoned well and has a good amount of flavor. Also, skip the pre-shredded mozzarella because it will not melt as well. If you want the cheese to look like the image below then go with the logs or rounds of mozzarella. Plus, those pull double duty and you can make a delicious caprese salad to go with your eggplant Parmesan!


Eggplant Parmesan
Naked Eggplant Parmesan

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