Vegan Eggplant Parmesan. A classic dish made with eggplant, tomato sauce, and vegan cashew cheese. Another dish where I texted my mom to ask for her traditional recipe, much like the vegan stuffed artichokes we love.
Some eggplant parmesan recipes use breadcrumbs but not this one. This is one that my mom has made for many, many years. She only uses flour and egg. However, since this is a vegan recipe, I subbed almond milk to replace the egg and allow the flour to stick to the eggplant slices.
Peel your eggplant first. You can choose to leave the purple skin on, but I prefer the texture to an eggplant without the skin. Then, place the eggplant on its side and slice it into very thin circular pieces.
It’s important to sweat the bitterness out of the eggplant before using it in your recipe. It’s a simple technique that really makes a difference in the flavor of your final dish. Lay out the slices on a large baking sheet or maybe on some paper towels on the counter. Don’t overlap them too much. Sprinkle salt over the slices and let them sit for about 20-30 minutes, until they start to “sweat.” Then, use a paper towel and dab the beads of water off the eggplant.
While you’re waiting for the eggplant, you can make your cashew cream sauce. Blend soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and water in a high-speed blender or food processor, until creamy.
With two separate bowls, one filled with almond milk and one filled with flour, dredge your eggplant slices. First in the almond milk, then in the flour. Heat a skillet with a little olive oil, and lightly fry the eggplant slices on both sides until brown. Don’t crowd the pan, do about 5 or 6 eggplant at a time, depending on your pan size. Place fried slices on some paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Then, layer it up. Put some tomato sauce at the bottom of a baking dish. Eggplant on top of that, overlapping so there aren’t any holes. Pour some cashew crema on top and spread with a spoon to cover. Then another layer of sauce. Keep layering until all your ingredients are used up.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in an oven preheated to 350°F for about 25 minutes. This is optional but you can remove the cover for an additional 10 minutes of baking to crisp the top a bit. Sprinkle with vegan parmesan and serve warm.
This eggplant parmesan recipe is a vegan way to enjoy a traditional, favorite meal. Perfect for family holidays or cozy and warm dinners. If you like this recipe, be sure to try our Vegan Lasagna too!
Traditional Italian Baked Eggplant Parmesan made Vegan. Layered with marinara sauce, lightly fried fresh eggplant slices, and a creamy cashew sauce. Warm. Comforting. Classic.
- 1 medium purple eggplant/aubergine
- 1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other plant milk)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup soaked cashews
- 3/4 cup filtered water
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Using a peeler, peel the purple skin off the fresh eggplant. Using a sharp knife, slice eggplant into very thin, round slices.
Place eggplant slices on top of paper towels or in a colander. Sprinkle with salt on both sides. Let sit to "sweat" for 20-30 minutes. Blot with paper towels to soak up the beads of water.
Meanwhile, make your cashew cream sauce. Use the quick-soak method for the cashews if you need to. In a food processor or high-speed blender, add soaked cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar), water, salt and pepper. Blend on high until creamy
Fill a bowl with flour and a separate bowl with almond milk. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Dredge each eggplant slice, first in the almond milk then in the flour. Place the slice into the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until browned.
You can add several eggplant slices to the pan at a time, but don't overcrowd. Add more olive oil as necessary. Once browned, place eggplant on some paper towels to cool and soak up any excess oil
Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare an 8x8 oven-safe baking dish. Add a layer of your favorite marinara sauce on the bottom. Then layer the fried eggplant slices, overlapping them slightly to leave minimal holes. Layer a few tablespoons of cashew cream on top. Keep layering--sauce, eggplant, cashew cream--until you run out of ingredients.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble.