Here is how you do eggplant Parmesan on a weeknight. This twist on the classic is just as comforting as the original, without any of the fuss. There’s no frying involved and the whole dish comes together in just one skillet, meaning less mess and less cleanup — both of which are always a win. You still get those crispy, crunchy breadcrumb bits, lots of sweet, garlicky tomato sauce, and all that gooey, melty cheese. Served alongside pasta or simply with a good amount of garlic bread, this Italian-American favorite has never looked better.
A One-Pan Parm for Those Red Sauce Cravings
This take on eggplant Parmesan takes all the best elements of the dish but streamlines them into something that’s a whole lot easier to get on the table. The traditional dish calls for breading and frying slice and after slice of eggplant before layering them into a baking dish with tomato sauce and cheese. It’s delicious but messy, between all that frying and the stack of dishes used.
Instead, this version loses the fried slices in place of small whole eggplants, which are halved and roasted in a skillet filled with simmering tomato sauce. Once tender, they’re piled with breadcrumbs, fresh mozzarella, and Parmesan and then placed under the broiler until golden-brown and bubbling. Scoop an eggplant half out from the skillet, with all that goodness on top, and serve it atop pasta or simply in a shallow bowl to catch all the sauce.
Skillet Eggplant Parm
1 cup fresh or panko breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
4 small eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total), halved lengthwise
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
Arrange a rack in the top third of the oven and heat to 400°F.
Place the breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of oil, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in an ovenproof 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, oregano, and pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes. Increase the heat to high to bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until it just begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place the eggplant halves in a large bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, sprinkle with a big pinch of salt, and toss to coat evenly.
When the sauce is ready, nestle the eggplant halves in it cut-side down. Cover and place in the oven to bake until the top of the eggplants look collapsed and puckered, and the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the oven and heat the broiler. Carefully flip over each eggplant half to be cut-side up. Spoon a little of the sauce over each half, then top evenly with the mozzarella. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan evenly over the top.
Return the skillet to the oven and broil uncovered until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden-brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve immediately.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.