Eggplant Parmesan, Lightened Up

by in Meal Makeovers, July 13, 2010
Eggplant-Parmesan Sauce
Pasta with Eggplant-Parmesan Sauce - Photograph by Kang Kim/Food Network Magazine

Growing up in an Italian family, eggplant “parm” was a staple in my house. While it was cheesy, fried and delicious, nowadays I’d rather cut back on some of the calories and fat and focus on the delicious fresh ingredients.

Nutrition Facts
Breaded and fried eggplant packed in layers of oily cheese can make for a casserole with upwards of 300 calories and 20 grams of fat PER CUP (and we all eat more than a cup serving). And that’s not counting the hefty portion of pasta that usually comes along side it.

Baked (or Grilled), Not Fried
Cooked eggplant has only 30 calories per cup, so the easiest change to make is to forgo the frying and enjoy the eggplant roasted or grilled. When it’s not drenched in oil,  the natural flavors really come through. Season thick slices of eggplant with a little olive oil, salt and pepper,  then grill or roast until just tender. Add more flavor with dried oregano and a pinch of red pepper flakes. If you prefer to have the eggplant breaded, follow the traditional method of dredging in flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs — transfer to a sheet pan sprayed with nonstick spray and bake until golden.

Top cooked eggplant with large spoonfuls of marinara sauce and a small amount of cheese. Place under the broiler to melt and you’ve got a cheesy (yet sensible) dish. Use one tablespoon of both part-skim ricotta and mozzarella per slice. Cutting back on the calories from oil and cheese makes room for a smart portion of pasta – figure about 1 1/2 cups of cooked pasta per person. Another twist would be to add cubes of eggplant to marinara sauce (pictured) and serve that over pasta with a sprinkle of cheese.

Recipes to Try:

Neopolitan Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Parmesan Sauce
Baked Eggplant
Grilled Eggplant and Ricotta Crostini

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Similar Posts

How to Build a Better Chicken Pot Pie

Order this classic dish at a restaurant and you’re in for a 900-calorie meal (that’s without appetizers or dessert!). Opt for frozen and you won’t do much better at around 700 calories a pop. For both options, fat ranges from 40 to 60 grams and sodium can double the recommended daily amount. Instead, cozy up to a homemade version Healthy Eats style.

Comments (45)

  1. Allison says:

    Looks good, but what are the calories per cup? It would be helpful to clearly compare to traditional eggplant parm.

  2. CyNoff says:

    My eggplant parm recipe does not include breadcrumbs and seems lighter. Shake slices in a bag of seasoned flour, dip in an egg wash, brown in a little olive oil. Layer in a casserole dish with tomato sauce and parm cheese and bake at 350, covered tightly with foil, for 45 minutes. I would think this could be lightened up easily by using egg beaters and a healthy, low fat, low sodium tomato sauce. Made it last night with eggplant from my garden and served it as the main course with a tossed salad. My family loves it and it's even better the next day…makes a great sandwich!!

  3. c note says:

    the best it was greatest ever

  4. Lori says:

    I love eggplant and always get some in my CSA each week. This is a great recipe to bypass extra fat! Thank you for this!!

  5. MaryAnn says:

    I love eggplant parm. Next time, I will try to bake the eggplant instead of frying. Makes me hungry for some now!

  6. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So good to seek out any person with some authentic thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is one thing that is wanted on the web, somebody with slightly originality. useful job for bringing one thing new to the web!

  7. Hmm it appears like your site ate my first review (it was super prolonged) and so i guess I’ll just conclude what I wrote and say, I’m carefully enjoying your blog. I also am an aspiring website blogger but I’m still new to the slide. Do you’ve any guidelines and ideas for inexperienced blog freelance writers? I’d genuinely regards.

  8. Information and facts is fairly presented, almost everything as it must be. Photos of a good quality, fine suppliers underlined. Available as one expression: great! You’ll will revise your website, chcetnie find out more of this threads.

  9. Thanks for the very exciting site. What otherwise could I get that kind of info written ordinary perfect signifies? I’ve difficult that I am simply now taking care of, and I have been previously on the be aware of such information.

  10. Macy Castin says:

    Can easily someone describe exactly what solely occurred? I used to be over the article aided by the information and facts Someone said, as always, have media worth almost nothing and even unexpectedly I noticed that pill! One thing fantastic!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>