Cheesy, tomatoey keto eggplant parmesan layers crispy breaded eggplant, tangy marinara sauce, and melty mozzarella cheese into a delicious, low-carb Italian meal. Pair this meatless entrée with palmini pasta, or make it a side dish for your favorite chicken or meatball recipes. Either way, it’s delightful change of pace, without all the carbs.
🍆 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, pork rinds, and parmesan to bread our eggplant slices. If you can’t use almond flour, just replace it with even more pork rinds.
- 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.
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- 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
- Crockpot Marry Me Chicken
- Creamy Jalapeño Popper Dip (Low Carb, Keto)
- Keto Tacos with Homemade Keto Tortillas
- Reuben Casserole (Low Carb, Keto Option)
- Keto Stuffed Peppers
- Marry Me Chicken
- Keto Whipped Cream
- Keto Chicken Noodle Soup
For the Eggplant
- 2 medium eggplants approximately 1 ½ pounds, even in size and thickness
For the Egg Wash
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
For the Keto Breading
For the Eggplant Parmesan
- 2 cups keto-friendly marinara divided
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced into 12 quarter-inch-thick discs, divided
- fresh basil chopped or chiffonaded
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife or mandoline slicer
- large baking sheet
- Paper towels
- 1-2 wire cooling racks
- running water
- parchment paper
- 9×13 baking dish
- Cooking spray
- 2 shallow bowls
To Prepare the Eggplant
- Place 2 medium eggplants on cutting board. Cut away and discard both ends of each eggplant, then slice eggplants into 12 discs. Each disc should be approximately ½-inch thick. Alternately, use mandoline slicer to ensure discs are uniformly thick.
- Cover large baking sheet with layer of paper towels, then place wire cooling rack(s) on top. Arrange eggplant slices on top of wire racks in one single layer. Slices can touch but shouldn't overlap. Generously sprinkle salt over eggplant discs, then flip discs over and salt other side.
- Leave eggplant to sit 1 hour, allowing salt to sweat out any bitter juices. After 1 hour, rinse eggplant discs well under running water to remove excreted juices and any excess salt.
- Dry eggplant discs very well. Discard paper towels and wipe down baking sheet, then proceed with recipe.
For the Breaded Eggplant
- Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Lightly grease baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Crack 2 large eggs directly into first shallow bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water and whisk until ingredients are fully combined and eggs are no longer streaky. Set bowl aside.
- Add ¾ cup blanched almond flour, ¾ cup finely crushed pork rinds, ½ cup grated fresh parmesan, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to second shallow bowl. Whisk until ingredients are well blended. Set bowl aside.
- Dip one dried eggplant disc in egg wash, coating both sides fully. Hold eggplant disc over bowl to allow any excess egg wash to drip back into bowl, then place eggplant disc in bowl of breading.
- Flip eggplant disc in breading mixture 2 to 3 times, pressing eggplant into breading gently to ensure breading sticks on both sides. Shake excess breading back into bowl, then place eggplant disc on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Repeat process until all eggplant discs have been fully breaded and placed on baking sheet in one even layer without stacking or overlapping.
- Place filled baking sheet in preheated oven. Bake eggplant discs 15 minutes, then carefully remove baking sheet and flip each eggplant disc over. Return baking sheet to oven and bake 10 minutes more, or until eggplant is tender.
For the Keto Eggplant Parmesan
- When eggplant discs are tender, carefully remove baking sheet from oven and set aside.
- Add ½ cup marinara sauce to greased baking dish. Spread marinara out to cover bottom of dish, making sure to reach each corner.
- Arrange 6 eggplant discs on top of marinara sauce in one flat, even layer, being careful not to stack or overlap discs.
- Cover eggplant layer with ¾ cup marinara, spreading marinara out to cover eggplant evenly.
- Top marinara layer with 6 mozzarella discs, placing each on top of one eggplant disc beneath marinara.
- Stack remaining 6 eggplant discs on top of mozzarella discs.
- Cover new eggplant layer with remaining ¾ cup marinara, spreading marinara out to cover eggplant evenly.
- Top new marinara layer with remaining 6 mozzarella discs, placing each on top of one eggplant disc beneath marinara.
- Place baking dish in oven still heated to 400° Fahrenheit. Bake 10 minutes or until mozzarella is warm and melted.
- Optional: Turn broiler on high. Broil eggplant parmesan 2 to 3 minutes or until top layer of mozzarella is just browned.
- When cheese has melted, carefully remove baking dish from oven. Portion eggplant parmesan onto serving plates and garnish with fresh basil. Serve warm with desired sides.
- 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: Use an almond flour with the lowest carb count possible. If you can’t use or don’t have almond flour, you can replace it with more pork rinds.
- Pork Rinds: For crushed pork rinds, just pulse the pork rinds in the food processor until they’re the texture of breadcrumbs. You can also use a product like Pork King Good’s pork rind crumbs.
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.