Vegan Eggplant Parmesan – Soy-Free

by on October 21, 2015
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Lightly breaded eggplant is smothered between layers of vegan cheese sauce and tomato sauce in this soy-free vegan eggplant Parmesan. 

This Low-Fat, Vegan Eggplant Parmesan is Soy-Free and Gluten-Free

In mid-September, My husband D and I joined a local CSA that will be delivering a big box of vegetables to us every Thursday for the next 3 months. Because it’s still warm here in Mississippi, summer crops are still pouring in, so every week the box has been full of zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant. We try to finish up the bounty from one box before the next one arrives, but we aren’t always successful. The veggies have made their way into stir-fries, fajitas, and spaghetti sauce and have been pan-fried and roasted in half a dozen ways, and frankly we’re both in danger of losing our taste for the summer squashes, in particular. And you know I love eggplant (it has its own category on this blog, with 49–no make that 50–recipes) but there are limits to how often even I want to eat it.

But we have to eat it. It would be wasteful not to (and our cats won’t!) and I’m not really fond of frozen squash, so I’ve been resisting freezing it for future use. As for the eggplant, I had been making a lot of baba ganoush and re-making some of my old favorites, such as this incredible Eggplant Paprikas, when D asked me to try using the Oven-Fried Eggplant that he loves in a vegan eggplant parmesan.  Well, I already have a great eggplant parmesan recipe that doesn’t call for battering the eggplant, so I decided to adapt it a little and, while I was at it, make it gluten-free and soy-free to boot.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan - Soy-Free

We loved it! I used white beans to make a sauce that adds just a touch of creaminess, and I replaced the homemade tomato sauce in the original recipe with a jarred sauce to save time. It was still quite a production–the breading of the eggplant means added steps and dishes to clean up–and it’s not a recipe you should attempt if you’re short on time. For a much simpler version, see the notes in the recipe below.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan - Soy-Free

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan - Soy-Free

Simply use gluten-free bread to make this delicious main dish soy-free and gluten-free. See notes below for a simpler variation.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 219 kcal
Author Susan Voisin


Breaded Eggplant

  • 1 large or 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ounce raw cashews (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 slice bread gluten-free or whole grain


  • 1/2 cup cooked great northern beans well-drained
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch or potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt if desired
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 generous pinch cayenne pepper



  1. Peel the eggplant and trim off the ends. Slice it into rounds about 1/2-inch thick. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, brown rice flour, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, and black pepper. Add the almond milk and lemon juice and stir until smooth. You should have a batter a little thicker than pancake batter. If it seems dry, add a splash of non-dairy milk; if it's too liquidy, add more flour.
  3. Dip each eggplant slice into the batter and turn it to coat both sides and edges well. Holding the slice between two fingers, allow any excess batter to drip back into the bowl, and place the eggplant on the baking sheet. Repeat with as many slices as you can fit on the baking sheet, being careful that they do not touch. (If your baking sheet is small, you may need to make two batches; batter can thicken between batches, so add more liquid if necessary.)
  4. Place in the oven. After 20 minutes, remove and gently turn each slice–you may have to hold the parchment paper and peel it from the eggplant. Replace and cook until outsides are brown but not burning, about 15 more minutes.
  5. While the eggplant is baking, make the cashew parmesan and the sauce: Place the cashews in the food processor along with the nutritional yeast and process until finely ground. Remove half to a small bowl and set aside. Add the bread to the cashews remaining in the processor and pulse until crumbled.
  6. Place all sauce ingredients in blender and blend at high speed until completely smooth. Blend again briefly just before using.
  7. When the eggplant is done, assemble the casserole: Reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Oil an 8x8-inch or similar sized casserole dish. Place half of the eggplant slices on the bottom of the dish. Spoon half the tomato sauce and pour half the cheese sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle lightly with cashew parmesan (the bowl without the bread crumbs). Repeat the process with the remaining eggplant, spaghetti sauce, and cheese sauce and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. Bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes, until slightly browned. Sprinkle with fresh basil just before serving.

Recipe Notes

For a much simpler recipe, skip the breading of the eggplant by sprinkling it with the seasonings and baking it until it's tender, about 20 minutes. Use 2 slices of bread instead of one, and process it with all of the cashews and nutritional yeast; use between layers and on top. This will reduce the calories by 53 per serving and the fat by .81g.

Exact nutritional content will vary depending on the type of spaghetti sauce and other ingredients you use.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan - Soy-Free
Amount Per Serving (0g)
Calories 219 Calories from Fat 40
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.4g 7%
Sodium 947mg 39%
Total Carbohydrates 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 7.2g 29%
Sugars 6.6g
Protein 10.6g 21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Please pin and share!

Lightly breaded eggplant is smothered between layers of vegan cheese sauce and tomato sauce in this soy-free vegan eggplant Parmesan.



Leave a Comment

Thanks for visiting my site! All comments are read and appreciated, and if you have a question, I will try to respond within a couple days. Note: If you are leaving a comment for the first time, it will be held for moderation. Be patient and it will appear as soon as I have a chance to approve it.

Want to have your photo alongside your comment? Sign up for a Gravatar!

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche October 21, 2015 at 4:31 pm

This looks fabulous, can’t beat eggplant parmesan! I’d love a big wedge of this with a slice of garlic bread on the side 🙂


2 Food Wine Fit 40 October 21, 2015 at 5:04 pm

This looks so delicious!!
I absolutely love eggplant, it is one of my favourite vegetables. Your recipes looks fabulous.
Thanks so much for sharing
Food Wine Fit 40


3 Maria October 21, 2015 at 9:05 pm

Hi Susan–

This looks great! Since I want to cut down prep time in the kitchen these days, the short cut version looks great is an ingenious way to go–I will definitely try that sometime. The photos are gorgeous–love the colors of the prepared dish against that bright blue casserole!! A feast of color as well as taste. xo


4 Michelle October 21, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Looks great! I am pinning it to try soon!


5 Jon October 22, 2015 at 4:59 am

Hymm it looks good I must try it out.


6 Janet October 22, 2015 at 8:51 am

I can’t wait to try this. I love several of your eggplant recipes. I actually buy a box of eggplants in the fall & peel/blanch & freeze just so I can make the recipes in the winter months. I freeze in 1″ slices, then cut into chunks when partially frozen. Makes meals cook faster. Also roast the whole eggplant puree & add lemon juice & freeze. Thaw & add ingredients to make baba gnoush.


7 kd October 22, 2015 at 11:05 pm

What could I use to replace the cashews? I follow Chef AJ’s Ultimate Weight Loss program, no nuts. This looks so good!


8 Susan Voisin October 22, 2015 at 11:08 pm

You could just leave the cashews out and blend the nutritional yeast with the bread.


9 cynthia October 25, 2015 at 5:16 am

forget the eggplant “parmesan” – GO FOR THE BABA GANOUSH


10 Sofie October 25, 2015 at 8:57 am

This looks amazing!


11 Lee at Veggie Quest October 26, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Hi Susan, I am ridiculously excited to try this recipe. It’s a quad-fecta (is that a word?) for me: Gluten free, soy free, low fat, and vegan. Yay! Thanks for posting!


12 Juliana October 27, 2015 at 12:48 pm

I love Eggplant Parmesan but hadn’t made it since changing my diet. This is fabulous! My husband, who doesn’t love eggplant parmesan, gobbled it up! He loved it and ate all the leftovers too. Delicious!


13 Cornelia Södergren October 30, 2015 at 2:34 am

That looks gorgeous!


14 Stephanie November 2, 2015 at 7:53 am

I made this last night and it was fantastic!


15 Fran Cikk November 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm

I made this today exactly as you said, making your tomato sauce recipe as well. I’ve been trying to find an eggplant recipe I liked, and this was it! A bit labor intensive, but worth every minute and every dirty dish I washed. So flavorful and absolutely delicious!! I froze it into portions to keep myself from eating the whole thing. Thank you!!


16 Martha November 10, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Don’t forget your “Creamy Zucchini and Basil Soup” recipe to use up that zucchini! I made a lot of it this summer and froze it. Every once in a while we pull out a container for lunch. It’s a great recipe!


17 Tanya November 13, 2015 at 11:48 am

I am cooking this recipe for dinner tonight. For the eggplant layers, does the eggplant overlap or side by side?


18 Susan Voisin November 13, 2015 at 2:37 pm

I had them side by side, but if you have enough eggplant slices, you can overlap them, too.


19 Jill November 17, 2015 at 7:54 pm

Susan: I made this casserole for dinner tonight; but the cheese sauce didn’t thicken like I think it’s supposed to when it baked. What did I do wrong? I baked it at least 45 minutes, starting at 350 degrees and and then for about 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Should I have cooked the sauce a bit first before assembling the dish?

BTW It was delicious! Neither of us generally like eggplant, but we both loved this dish, thin as it was.


20 Roy November 18, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Good Afternoon,
You have done an outstanding job with this site.
I look forward to exploring further.


21 Sheena Yap Chan November 24, 2015 at 10:25 am

love eggplant parmesan and this looks amazing!!!!!


22 Cheryl November 24, 2015 at 12:07 pm

I made this last Sunday. WOW! Amazing! So rich and creamy. Thank you very much for taking the time to keep this web site active and sharing your talent with us less talented in the kitchen.


23 Sue December 4, 2015 at 8:56 am

What an amazing recipe. Made it last night and it is sooo good. Can’t wait to eat it again tonight! Thank you. You are such an out-of-the-box recipe creator. I love that you share with us.


24 Angela Portela February 17, 2016 at 4:20 am

I finally tried this, it was delicious!. Took a fair amount of time to make but would definitely make this again. Thanks!


25 Archana Baikadi February 28, 2016 at 2:17 am

Awesome recipe luks simply delicious will try soon I m big fan of urs I hv tried many of your recipes and came out really well. thanks.


26 Hilma Jones June 7, 2016 at 8:35 am

This is absolutely delicious!


27 Pamela Chamberlynn October 21, 2016 at 11:16 pm

Susan – thank you so much for your blog and wonderful recipes. I want to share that I have just discovered a truly amazing plant-based milk product that does not have nuts in it. ripple (with a small r) is pea and hemp protein. It honestly tastes like milk and has 50% MORE calcium and one gram more of protein per cup. I am glad for a plant-based calcium source to add to my wellness plan. I am thrilled because I wasn’t really liking almond or coconut milk on my breakfast cereals. I went back to try their chocolate milk and it is a very good product also. Well, I’m off to try one of your eggplant recipes this weekend 🙂 Thank you again.


Previous post:

Next post: