Make your dinner special with this vegan Eggplant Parmesan made with homemade plant-based parmesan and mozzarella cheeses for a delicious and wholesome meal.
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I am so excited about this recipe, friends!
This vegan eggplant parmesan has been hanging out in my drafts folder for about a month now and finally, today, I get to share it with you.
This recipe is a vegan take on a classic Italian eggplant parmesan. Featuring parmesan-breaded eggplant, two different kinds of homemade cheese, and a sweet and savory marina sauce, I am fairly certain you will love this decadent meal.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
How to Make Vegan Eggplant Parmesan (Video)
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Chickpea Flour – When mixed with water, it creates a chickpea egg. This works as the binder between the eggplant and the bread crumbs.
- Panko Bread Crumbs – For a gluten-free alternative, use gluten-free panko bread crumbs. (<<affiliate link)
- Vegan Parmesan– For this recipe, I recommend using my homemade vegan parmesan. However, store bought will do.
- Spices – Oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, salt
- Raw Cashews – You could also use raw macadamia nuts.
- Tapioca Starch – You can replace this with 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
- Nutritional Yeast
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Marinara Sauce – Either homemade marinara sauce or store bought are fine.
- Fresh Basil
For this recipe, you will need a baking sheet and a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, colander, a high powered blender (like a Vitamix), a small saucepot, mixing bowls, basic kitchen utensils, and a 7×11 baking dish. (<<affiliate links)
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to Make Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
Step One – Prepare the Eggplant
To begin, slice the eggplant into 1/2″ slices. Generously salt the eggplant and place it in a colander over the sink for about 30 minutes. The salt will pull out some of the eggplant’s moisture along with the bitter taste.
While the eggplant is sitting, mix together your breading components.
First, you will want a binder that will act as the glue between the eggplant and the breading. My favorite binder for breading is the chickpea egg. That’s equal parts chickpea flour and water. When mixed together you get a protein-rich egg-like consistency that will fully coat the eggplant allowing you to get a good bread crumb on each piece.
The second component is the bread crumb mixture. I mixed Panko crumbs with my homemade parmesan and dried oregano for a breading bursting with Italian flavors. It’s so good, you might just want to eat it with a spoon!
To bread take one sliced eggplant at a time and dip it in chickpea flour mixture until it’s fully submerged. Transfer the eggplant into the panko mixture, making sure each side is completely covered in bread crumbs. Place breaded eggplant on the prepared baking sheet and continue the process until all the eggplant slices are breaded.
Bake for 30 minutes, until lightly brown and crispy, flipping halfway through.
Step Two – Make the Vegan Mozzarella
While the eggplant is baking, it’s time to make your vegan mozzarella. This cashew-based mozzarella is similar to the one you’ll find on my Grilled Pizza Margherita.
It’s a simple process of blending cashews in a high-powered blender along with tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, and spices. Once the mixture is smooth, transfer it to a saucepot and heat it over the stove to allow the tapioca starch to activate, stirring constantly. When you’re all finished you’ll have a nutty, salty, and slightly tangy mozzarella that is perfect for this vegan eggplant parmesan.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a high powered blender, soak the cashews in water for at least 6 hours or overnight so that the cashews are soft before blending them in a blender or food processor.
Step Three – Assemble and Bake
Once your eggplant is baked and your cheese is made, it’s time to assemble the eggplant parmesan. The assembly is fairly straight forward. Similar to lasagna, the eggplant parmesan is layered beginning with a base of marinara sauce. Top with breaded eggplant, marinara sauce, homemade mozzarella, and repeat.
Finish the dish with that vegan parmesan and bake.
Serving and Storing
Serve eggplant parmesan immediately with a Caesar Salad and crusty bread. Alternatively, you can serve eggplant parmesan over noodles for a heartier meal
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! If you don’t plan on eating this eggplant parmesan right away, it can be stored in the freezer before baking. To store it, tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake, place it in the refrigerator the night before to let it thaw then bake it according to the directions below. It may take a few minutes longer to bake as the eggplant parmesan will be chilled.
For sure! Just use gluten-free panko bread crumbs instead.
More Vegan Eggplant Recipes
- Moroccan Stuffed Eggplants
- Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
- Eggplant and Caramelized Onion Pizza
- Eggplant Chickpea Curry
- Kung Pao Tofu with Eggplant
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 (24 ounce) jar of marinara sauce
- fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tbsp vegan parmesan
To make the Breaded Eggplant
- Preheat the oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Liberally sprinkle salt over the sliced eggplant and place in a colander over the sink. Let them set for 30 minutes. This will remove any bitterness from the eggplant.
- Transfer eggplant to a paper towel and top with another paper towel to remove any excess liquid.
- In a shallow dish combine the chickpea flour and water, whisking together until thick and smooth. In a separate shallow dish combine the Panko bread crumbs, vegan parmesan, and oregano.
- Taking one sliced eggplant at a time, dip it in chickpea flour mixture until it's fully submerged. From there, dip the eggplant int the panko mixture, making sure each side is completely covered in bread crumbs. Place breaded eggplant on the prepared baking sheet and continue the process until all the eggplant slices are breaded.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until lightly brown and crispy, flipping halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool.
To make the vegan mozzarella
- Combine all the ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth.
- Transfer to a saucepan heated over medium heat. While the cheese sauce heats, stir constantly with a large wooden spoon. Within 2-3 minutes the cheese will start to get very thick. Keep stirring until the cheese begins to move together, separating from the sides of the pan, while stirring.
- Remove from heat and let cool while preparing the other ingredients.
To assemble the Eggplant Parmesan
- Spread 1/2 cup of marinara sauce evenly in the bottom of a 7×11 baking pan. Place 8 breaded eggplant over top, layering them slightly over one another. Top eggplant with 1/2 cup of marinara. Using a spoon, scoop about 1 heaping tbsp of mozzarella over each of the eggplants. Top with remaining eggplants, marinara, and mozzarella one more time. Sprinkle about 2 tbsp of vegan parmesan over the top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes until the sauce underneath starts to boil.
- Remove from oven and let it set 10 minutes before sprinkling with basil and serving.