Eggplant Parmesan Stacks with Sundried Tomato Marinara

Thick slices of eggplant are fried until crispy and layered with a flavorful sun-dried tomato marinara sauce and melted cheese, and baked until golden and bubbling!

I admit, I’m one of those people who has a hard time thinking it’s a meal if it doesn’t contain some kind of meat or seafood in it.

It’s just, I need my meals to be hearty. I need them to be satisfying. And big hunks of protein usually do the job pretty well.

But there are some vegetarian dishes that do all these things for me, and eggplant parmesan is one of them.

Layers upon layers of thick pan-fried eggplant slices, ladles of marinara, and mozzarella cheese.

But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill marinara. Adding sundried tomatoes gives it a much deeper, complex tomato flavor, and it really does wonders for the sauce.  Next time you’re making a tomato dish, try it. You’ll be impressed by the results and wonder why you’ve never done it before.

Let me walk you through this recipe:

Start by slicing an eggplant, dredging them in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, and pan-frying until golden brown.

Layer up those eggplant slices with tomato sauce and cheese.


Send into the oven until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Here’s the recipe!

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5 from 4 votes

Eggplant Parmesan Stacks with Sundried Tomato Marinara

Thick slices of eggplant are fried until crispy and layered with a flavorful sun-dried tomato marinara sauce and melted cheese, and baked until golden and bubbling!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword eggplant parmesan, eggplant parmesan stacks
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 572kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants about 2 lbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup italian bread crumbs
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb shredded mozzarella/provolone blend
  • chopped basil or parsley for sprinkling garnish
  • salt

For the sundried tomato marinara:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery rib
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil and herbs, roughly chopped
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes or use fresh if the tomatoes look good
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick rounds and rub all the surface area of each slice with lots of salt. Set them in a colander and let drain for 30 minutes. This process is called purging and it not only pulls out bitter juices, but also collapses the eggplant’s sponge-like structure so it doesn’t absorb too much oil.
  • In the meantime, make the sundried tomato marinara. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes until softened. Add both tomatoes and the thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes, covered. Let the sauce cool, then puree in a blender until smooth.
  • Rinse the salt off the eggplant and dry very well with paper towels (really squeeze that water out of the eggplant).
  • Set up a breading station with the flour in the first bowl, whisked eggs in the second, and the bread crumbs in the third. Take all the eggplant slices through with the flour first, then the eggs, then the bread crumbs, letting the excess drip off very well before moving on to the next bowl (if you’ve ever had breading fall off, this means you didn’t let the excess drip off).
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Heat up a skillet over medium high heat. Add about 2 tbsp of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) and fry the eggplant slices for about 3 minutes on each side. They should be nice and golden brown, but keep your eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Move them to a paper towel to rest, as you work in batches. When all the eggplant has been cooked, get out an 8×8 pan, and spread a thin layer of marinara on the bottom of the pan, then add one layer of eggplant. Spread more marinara on top, then sprinkle a big handful of the mozzarella provolone cheese on top. Now do more sauce, then more eggplant, then more cheese, and so on. Make sure to end your top layer with cheese, then pop it into the oven for 30 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. This gives the eggplant time to soften up and the cheese to brown. I like to pile two squares up on top of each other in stacks, then serve with extra marinara on the plate and a little sprinkling of fresh basil on top. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 849mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g