With layers of crispy breaded eggplant, tangy marinara sauce, and creamy mozzarella cheese, this keto eggplant parmesan is a delicious Italian meal that no one will believe is low carb. Work this meat-free entree into your keto meal rotation for a delightfully delicious change of pace.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- All the delicious Italian flavors you love from a typical eggplant (or chicken) parmesan are present and accounted for in this recipe! The breading is perfectly seasoned, plus you’ve got a rich tomato-y marinara sauce and creamy mozzarella cheese.
- What makes this eggplant parm keto-friendly, when the traditional version isn’t? It’s all in the breading! Traditional breadcrumbs and wheat flours are a no-go on a keto diet, but here we’re using almond flour and parmesan to bread our eggplant slices. If you can’t use almond flour, you can make this with finely crushed pork rinds, which also add a little protein to the dish and eliminates a few more carbs.
- The leftovers are great for lunch the next day! Refrigerate any leftover eggplant parm in an airtight container up to 4 days. To reheat, bake it in the oven at 350° Fahrenheit or pop it in the air fryer. You can also microwave it, but the breading won’t be as crisp.
Eggplant – You might be surprised to learn that eggplant is totally keto-friendly! It’s low in carbs and high in fiber, which makes it perfect if you’re counting net carbs. Bonus: it’s also a great source of antioxidants. Avoid mushy or watery eggplants, or you’ll end up with a soggy eggplant parm.
Marinara – Make sure you choose a marinara sauce that doesn’t have any added sugars, or any sugar substitutes that aren’t keto. Since marinara is made from tomatoes, it contains natural sugars, but that’s fine as long as you watch how much of it you use.
- Make sure your eggplant slices are all the same thickness. If they’re not, they won’t cook evenly, and the thinner slices will burn (or at least dry out) while the thicker slices will be undercooked. I like to use a mandoline to ensure all my slices are all evenly thick.
- Want to make a keto eggplant lasagna instead? Just leave off the breading entirely! Layer the baked, unbreaded eggplant with marinara and mozzarella as you would here. You’ll save a few carbs that way, too, though you’ll lose a little of the crunch you’d get in a traditional eggplant parm.
- A technique called sweating helps cut down some of the bitterness of the eggplant. To sweat the eggplant, slice it into discs, then arrange them on the baking sheet, unbreaded. Sprinkle salt on top of the discs, then flip them over and repeat, then go do something else for about an hour. The salt will draw out any bitter juices, which you’ll see on top of the discs. Rinse them well to remove the juice and excess salt, then dry them really well before proceeding with the recipe.
More Keto Recipes You’ll Love
- Keto Big Mac Recipe
- Creamy Jalapeño Popper Dip (Low Carb, Keto)
- Reuben Casserole (Low Carb, Keto Option)
- Keto Stuffed Peppers
- Keto Whipped Cream
- 2 large eggplants approximately 2 pounds; sliced into ½"-thick discs
- 2 cups keto-friendly marinara divided
- 16 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced into ¼"-thick discs
- fresh basil chopped or chiffonaded, for serving
For the Egg Wash
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- Baking sheet
- Parchment Paper
- 2 shallow bowls
- 9×13 baking dish
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In one shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and water to create egg wash.
- In other shallow bowl, whisk together almond flour, parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper to create breading mixture.
- One by one, dip eggplant disc in egg wash, being sure to coat both sides. Let excess egg wash drip back into bowl, then place eggplant disc in breading mixture. Flip eggplant 2-3 times to coat both sides in breading mixture, then shake off any excess breading and transfer breaded eggplant disc to baking sheet. Repeat until all eggplant discs have been breaded.
- Place baking sheet in preheated oven. Bake 15 minutes, then flip each eggplant disc over. Return pan to oven and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until eggplant is tender.
- Remove baking sheet from oven. Spread ½ cup marinara sauce in bottom of lightly greased baking dish. Arrange eggplant discs on top of marinara in one flat, even layer.
- Top eggplant with ¾ cup marinara, then place half of total mozzarella slices on top of marinara. Repeat with remaining eggplant, marinara, and mozzarella.
- Place baking dish in oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted. Remove dish from oven and serve warm with fresh basil and desired sides. Optional: Place dish under broiler for 2 to 3 minutes to brown cheese after baking, if desired.
- Marinara: Make sure your marinara sauce doesn’t contain any added sugars or sugar substitutes that aren’t keto-friendly. Natural sugars from the tomatoes are okay.
- Parmesan: You’ll want to grate your own parmesan from a block of fresh cheese. Prepackaged grated parmesan contains added fillers and starches to prevent clumping, which also add unnecessary carbs to the cheese.
- Almond Flour: You could also use finely crushed pork rinds instead.
- Make sure your eggplant slices are all the same thickness. You may want to use a mandoline slicer for this.
- Optional: sweat the eggplant to reduce bitterness. Slice eggplant into discs, then arrange them on a baking sheet, unbreaded. Sprinkle salt on top of the discs, then flip them over and repeat. Let sit about an hour. The salt will draw out any bitter juices, which you’ll see on top of the discs. Rinse them well to remove the juice and excess salt, then dry them really well before proceeding with the recipe.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.