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Easy Eggplant Parmigiana (Vegan)

Sharon Palmer

I absolutely adore this healthy, plant-based (vegan) recipe for Eggplant Parmigiana. This comfort food dish was inspired by rustic Italian flavors and the eggplants and tomatoes growing in my garden. If you’ve ever had eggplant parmigiana at a traditional Italian restaurant, you would never likely call it a light, healthy meal! Weighed down with layers of gooey cheese, and deep-fried breaded eggplant, classic eggplant parm is a belt buster for sure! So, I set out on a quest to make a lighter, leaner, plant-based version of this classic Italian dish. Starring eggplant and tomatoes, this simple dish can hit your dinner table in less than 40 minutes, and it’s absolutely scrumptious. All you have to do is boil up some whole grain pasta and toss a green salad to complete your meal. Bring it to your next potluck and watch it disappear. Pack up the leftovers for your lunch the next day, as this dish is even better after the flavors meld together the next day.

Roast eggplant with breadcrumbs.
Layer marinara sauce, roasted eggplant, and cashew cheese.

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Easy Eggplant Parmigiana (Vegan)

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(3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 38 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 58 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This comfort food dish for Eggplant Parmigiana was inspired by rustic Italian flavors and the eggplants and tomatoes growing in my garden.



Cashew Cream Cheese:


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain bread crumbs

Herbed Marinara Sauce:


  1. To Make Cashew Cream: Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 2 hours. Drain cashews. Place cashews in a blender with lemon juice, soy milk, garlic, salt and pepper (optional), and nutritional yeast. Process cashews until very smooth. May have to pause and scrape down sides a few times. Texture should be thick and creamy.
  2. To Make Eggplant: Preheat oven to 400 F on the broiler setting. Chop eggplant into thin vertical slices and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle evenly with salt and bread crumbs. Place in oven on top rack and broil for 8 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 375 F bake setting.
  3. To Make Herbed Marinara Sauce: Mix marinara sauce with garlic, basil, oregano and black pepper in a small bowl.
  4. To Assemble: In a 9×9 baking dish, place ½ cup marinara sauce on bottom and spread out evenly. Layer half the roasted eggplant on top of the marinara sauce, followed by half the remaining marinara sauce, and half the cashew cream. Repeat layer one more time with remaining ingredients. Place uncovered in 375 F oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove, allow to cool for 5 minutes, slice into squares, and serve.


Learn how to make cashew cream here.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 215
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 352 mg
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Keywords: parmigiana, eggplant, vegan eggplant parmigiana

Check out other favorite plant-based Italian recipes:

Baked Mediterranean Lasagna
Pantescan Potato Salad
Classic Bruschetta
Pasta with Marinara and Roasted Vegetables

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