I love pasta shamelessly with all of my heart. If it were up to me, I would eat it everyday of the week; Mac n not Cheese Mondays, Cashew Alfredo Tuesdays, Pesto Wednesdays, Fettucine Fridays, Lasagna Saturdays…. but last weekend, I had an EGGPLANT PARMESAN SUNDAY.
Vegan eggplant parmesan is one of the first dishes I learned to make as a vegan that I felt could really impress non-vegans. First of all, my original recipe, which I adapted from VegWeb back in the day required very limited ingredients…mostly an eggplant, flour, bread crumbs, and all of the ingredients for a marinara, which can really be found anywhere. This factor was always important to me growing up in a small town. Secondly, it’s fried, and I don’t know any kind of monster that doesn’t (at least secretly) enjoy food that is breaded and fried. Vegan cheese wasn’t even a thing (at least not where I lived), so this dish really stood alone on its own! Albeit a little messy, it is fairly simple to make.
Since I have become obsessed with nutritional yeast and eating as much of it as often as I can, I have modified my recipe over the years to accommodate. While I don’t often use precise measurements for this dish and you can definitely play along with the measurements a little, here is how I roll when I make my eggplant not-parmesan!
Breaded Eggplant Cuties
1 cup unsweetened, plain soy milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
dash of salt
1 cup bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into thick slices
Enough oil to coat about 1/2″ of frying pan
- If preparing other components as well, reheat oven to low temperature 150-200 degrees fahrenheit, to keep your eggplant cuties nice and crispy while you fry in batches
- In one bowl, pour your soy milk. In separate bowl, combine flour, salt, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast. Finally, keep bread crumbs in another separate bowl.
- Take peeled eggplant slices and with each one, do the following…
-Dip in soy milk. Dredge in flour mixture until coated.
-Dip in soy milk again, and dredge in breadcrumbs until completely coated.
You can place these cutlets on parchment paper.
- Heat oil in frying pan on medium-high.
- Place breaded eggplant on frying pan and allow to cook for about 30 seconds to a minute on each side, or until crispy and golden brown.
- Keep warm in oven if needed
I served this atop spaghetti noodles with an easy, kinda lazy tomato sauce. If you’d like to make it, it’s like this:
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
handful of chopped fresh basil
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
- In saucepan on medium heat, sautee yellow onion.
- Once translucent, throw in your garlic and cook for another minute until onions are browned, adding oregano, thyme, and rosemary in at the end.
- Next, add crushed tomatoes. Allow to bubble, toss in chopped basil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
I ended up broiling Daiya mozzarella shreds on top of my eggplants before placing it on top of my pasta and sauce, but this is an optional step. I also sprinkled on cashew parmesan, which is 2 parts raw cashews to 1 part nutritional yeast, plus some garlic powder and a sprinkling of salt for good measure!
It was actually kind of tricky to write this recipe as I’ve always just winged my eggplant parm, but I hope you’ll try it out and shamelessly fry some babely eggplants for dinner tonight. These would also be excellent on sandwiches (think classy replacement for a “meatball sub”), or even served atop some greens. Have a lovely weekend darlings!