Keto eggplant parmesan is pure comfort food! This easy yet super tasty dish requires only 5 main ingredients. Layers of eggplant combined with tomato sauce and plenty of melted cheese make for a wonderful low carb family dinner.
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I'm a huge fan of casserole dishes and anything that can be topped with a good measure of gooey cheese (just check out my Keto Mac and Cheese!). Naturally, I'm often drawn to Italian cuisine and its effortless simplicity. The Italians always get it right - minimal ingredients, maximal taste. Italian food is like a happy hug!
When I order Italian these days, parmigiana di melanzane - or aubergine parmesan - is always one of my go-to choices. Its pure comfort food yet awesomely healthy (plenty of vegetables!). Plus, it's low carb!
What is keto eggplant parmesan
In short, it's heaven in a casserole dish! We're talking layers of roasted aubergine drenched in tomato sauce and topped with plenty of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
However, you'll find a small difference depending on which side of the pond you live on:
If you order eggplant parm in a restaurant in the US, it's likely that the eggplant is breaded. Therefore, many keto eggplant parmesan recipes you'll find by US bloggers are using gluten free low carb "breading" in their low carb keto adaptations - almond flour, coconut flour or pork rinds.
The European / Italian original version is more pared back. There's not a shred of breading in sight, just lush aubergine, marinara sauce and a topping of gooey molten cheese. Which means that I have not had to change the recipe that much at all to lower the carbs. Here is what I used:
- keto marinara sauce
- 3 cheeses - ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, shredded mozzarella and buffalo mozzarella
- olive oil, pepper, salt and fresh basil.
- That's it!
Note - I'm using fresh mozzarella cheese as well as the shredded mozzarella because I think it takes the taste up a notch! However, if you don't have fresh mozzarella, you can leave it out.
How to make keto aubergine parmigiana
Trim the eggplant and slice lengthways (3 - 5 mm thick). Place in a bowl and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and allow to rest whilst you make the tomato sauce.
The salt draws out the water from the aubergines, which prevents them going soggy in the bake. It also removes any bitterness in the eggplant.
Now, rinse the aubergines to remove the salt and pat dry on kitchen paper. Brush the eggplant slices generously with 5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Heat a non stick pan and fry for about 1 - 2 minutes per side on a medium heat, or until golden.
Note - It’s best to do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the aubergines, about 5 slices per frying pan.
Spread a little marinara over the bottom of the baking tray (mine measured 26 x 21 x 5cm) and layer ⅓ of the eggplant on top. Top with ⅓ of the sauce, ⅓ of the black pepper and ⅓ of each of the cheeses.
Repeat twice more until you have 3 layers of each finishing the top layer with the cheese and pepper. I didn’t add any more salt to this recipe as there is salt in the sauce but feel free to add if you prefer.
Bake in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden on top. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves to serve.
Low carb eggplant parmesan vs keto
A note about the tomato sauce - which is super easy to make and totally delicious! I made it to top my Almond Flour Pizza Crust (Keto), but it's perfect for any casserole dish and also works as a pasta sauce.
I recommend to make the full recipe and use half the amount in this aubergine parmigiana. Freeze the other half for later and use on pizza or as a tomato sauce for zoodles.
In my first version of this recipe, which you can see in the photos, I used almost the entire batch (600ml) of marinara sauce. I actually found it was a bit much tomato. Also, as tomatoes are fairly high in sugars, the net carbs came to 12.5g per portion. This is still low in carbs, but may not suit people on a keto diet.
My second attempt with half the amount tasted perfect and allowed the eggplant to shine. Also, the recipe came in at a low 7.5g net carbs per serving.
Next time I want to make this recipe with my Low Carb Bolognese Sauce and turn it into a keto eggplant lasagna!
Side dish suggestions
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
More keto casserole recipes
Easy Keto Taco Casserole Recipe - all the great flavours we love in a taco combined in an easy casserole.
Keto Chicken Curry Casserole - With a homemade easy curry paste, this chicken casserole is such a tasty family dinner.
Fish Pie with Cauliflower Mash - the English classic Friday night dinner tailored to suit a low carb diet! This recipe has been on my blog for years and gets consistent 5 star reviews.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating below!
keto eggplant parmesan
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary. ***As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- ½ portion keto marinara sauce
- 3 medium aubergines sliced lengthways ½ cm thick (700g / 1.5 pounds) - yields 24 slices , 6 per layer
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup grated parmesan 55g
- 4.4 oz mozzarella ball 125g, drained (buffalo or cow)
- 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella 170g
- 5 g fresh basil
- Trim the eggplant and slice lengthways (3 - 5 mm thick). Place in a bowl and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and allow to rest whilst you make the sauce.
- Make tomato sauce whilst the aubergines rest.
- Rinse the aubergines to remove the salt and pat dry on kitchen paper.
- Brush the eggplant on both sides generously with 5 tbsp of olive oil. Heat a non stick pan and fry for about 1 - 2 minutes per side on a medium heat, or until golden. It’s best to do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the aubergines, about 5 slices per frying pan.
- Preheat oven to 180C /350 F.
- Spread a little marinara over the bottom of the baking tray (26 x 21 x 5cm) and layer ⅓ of the eggplant on top. Top with ⅓ of the sauce, ⅓ of the black pepper and ⅓ of each of the cheeses. Repeat twice more until you have 3 layers of each finishing the top layer with the cheese and pepper. I didn’t add any more salt to this recipe as there is salt in the sauce but feel free to add if you prefer.
- Bake in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden on top. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves to serve.
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