This vegan eggplant parmesan is so rich and creamy that you won’t believe it contains no cheese or dairy and is oil-free, too!
I haven’t had eggplant parmesan in so many years that I’ve literally forgotten what it tastes like, so I can’t promise that this tastes like the “real thing,” but I can promise that it is delicious–rich and creamy inside and a little crunchy outside.
The method I used is taken from a recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan that I found online. Actually, I messed up the layering a little, but I think I like the results. When putting the dish together, I forgot to add the second layer of bread crumbs and wound up putting them on top, where they browned nicely and got a little crunchy. Try it my mistaken way or put most of the bread crumbs inside and save a few for the top.
If you don’t have vegan parmesan, feel free to leave it off. The cheese sauce provides most of the flavor anyway. Or instead of parmesan, try finely ground almonds; just put a quarter cup of almonds in your food processor and pulse to finely chop.
If you can’t eat soy, be sure to try my Soy-Free Vegan Eggplant Parmesan. And check out my 50 other eggplant recipes!
Vegan Eggplant “Parmesan”
- 1 large eggplant sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2 pieces of whole grain bread toasted and made into breadcrumbs
- 2-3 tablespoons soy parmesan or 2 tbsp. ground almonds mixed with 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- fresh basil leaves chopped or torn
- olive oil spray optional
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup extra-firm silken tofu
- 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons cashew butter or tahini
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt optional
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoon corn starch
- Salt the eggplant slices and put them in a colander to drain.
- Prepare the tomato sauce by sautéing the onion in a non-stick saucepan until it becomes translucent (you may use a little water if you like). Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add the remaining tomato sauce ingredients, and cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Prepare the cheese sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Blend again right before using to make sure that the ingredients haven’t separated.
- Rinse the eggplant slices and pat them dry with paper towels. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the slices on it (you may have to do this in two batches). Place under the broiler. Watch carefully, and remove when the slices start to brown, about 3 minutes.
- Assemble the casserole: Preheat the oven to 350. Spray or wipe an 8×8-inch non-metal baking dish with a small bit of olive oil or line it with parchment paper.
- Place half of the eggplant slices on the bottom of the dish, edges overlapping. Sprinkle with half the breadcrumbs. Spoon half the tomato sauce and pour half the cheese sauce over the breadcrumbs and sprinkle lightly with soy parmesan. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients (reserving some bread crumbs for on top, as mentioned above).
- Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, until slightly browned on top. Sprinkle with fresh basil just before serving.
Nutritional info is approximate.
Thanks to Bryanna for helping me figure out how to put together a dish I haven’t eaten in so long!
SueJune 30, 2014 at 1:30 pm
Thankyou! This is unbelievably good. I used almond milk instead of soya and ‘cashew parmesan’ and cooked it for longer, probably because my sauces weren’t as thick as yours but it was amazing nonetheless!
JenJuly 18, 2014 at 7:26 am
Could this be assembled ahead of time and kept in the fridge until baking?
Susan VoisinJuly 18, 2014 at 7:37 am
EmmaAugust 6, 2014 at 6:45 am
I made this (a few alterations in recipe) for a vegan option at a lunch I hosted.
I am not vegie or vegan but am absolutely in love with this recipe that with the left over ingredients I made it again all for myself to enjoy for my work lunches!
I also added some baby spinach to each layer!
LauraAugust 23, 2014 at 7:50 pm
Wow, Susan, this eggplant casserole rocks!!
I had 4 roma plum tomatoes that I had to do something with so I used them in place of the canned tomatoes. Sautéed mushrooms in the beginning with the onion and garlic. So good that I had to refrain myself from licking my plate clean!!!!!! Next time I’m definitely doubling the recipe!!
Your recipes never disappoint!
BrittneyOctober 6, 2014 at 1:18 am
The hubs LOVES LOVES LOVES this dish. He was very concerned and kept asking if I’ll be able to replicate this dish. I’ve been creating my own recipes with some hits-n-misses, so he was concerned that it was one of my recipes where I didn’t take good notes to repeat it. 😉
LisaNovember 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm
This is now my go to recipe for eggplant parma. I have served it to my non-vegan friends who absolutely love it.
rimaNovember 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm
Thanks for this. My husband and I are going vegan, and I was sitting here wondering about eggplant parm! Cannot wait to try it. Love the site, it is so helpfuL
AlexandraSeptember 13, 2015 at 7:23 pm
Excellent. used fresh tomatos.
CherySeptember 14, 2015 at 5:45 pm
My only 8×8 baking dish is metal. Would that work?
ConnieSeptember 22, 2015 at 9:59 pm
Susan, like others have commented, this is really delicious.
My only wish is that I had read all of the comments before making it because my eggplant never got 100% done even after an additional 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees and another half hour at 400 degrees.
Have you considered changing the recipe directions so new folks don’t struggle with this? Should the broiling directions say to broil on both side until the eggplant is tender?
Judi SweatJuly 14, 2016 at 8:56 am
I wonder if I could use almond butter instead of cashew butter. I also wonder if I could make cashew butter in my food processor. I have to say that I love your blog and your recipes. I use them all the time. You are one of my “go to” websites when I am looking for something new and different to try. I am going to make this for lunch today! I am baking my whole wheat rolls for hubby and the oven will be on anyway. It is 100+ here in Texas!
Susan VoisinJuly 14, 2016 at 9:09 am
I’m so happy to hear that, Judi (not the part about the temp, LOL. It’s in the mid 90’s here in Jackson, but the humidity makes it feel worse, so I feel your pain.). Almond butter would probably be your best option. You can make cashew butter, but only if you have a Vitamix or high speed blender. It won’t get smooth enough in most food processors. Hope you enjoy it!
BeckyAugust 31, 2016 at 6:36 pm
Thanks so much for a fantastic recipe. Made this a few weeks ago and I plan on making it again. Just purchased some ore eggplant. Just deliciousness goodness all around. 10 out of. 10!
BeckyAugust 31, 2016 at 9:39 pm
Someone left a coment about his Italian mother in law adding extra steps to this recipe. Just follow the recipe! You’ll be fine! Recipe is very simple! No need to complicate; plus who has time to dredge, shake and bake and than make? No, no, no! This recipe cancels all of the above; so that you get the job done in half the time. Takes under an hour and still turns out great. Enjoy. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, lol!💥😝
Susan VoisinAugust 31, 2016 at 10:35 pm
Thank you, Becky! I feel the same way about extra steps!
Mary CokerSeptember 19, 2016 at 5:24 pm
I’ve been plant based for8 months now, and I’m always looking for new recipes.
My husband and I both love eggplant,so I will definitely try this recipe!!
Thanks for posting it!!
SgcOctober 1, 2016 at 3:27 pm
Made it today and it was gone at lunch time (thanks to 3 hungry teenagers). It tasted good, but unlike eggplant parmesan.
Please call it what it is: eggplant with tomato sauce, bread crumbs, nutrional yeast & tofu cream. Yes not a very entertaining name !
MaryApril 27, 2017 at 7:39 pm
Wow! This looks absolutely scrumptious, but—how to make the cheese sauce without soy?
Susan VoisinApril 27, 2017 at 9:29 pm
I have a soy-free version here: https://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2015/10/vegan-eggplant-parmesan-soy-free.html
DianeAugust 10, 2017 at 12:38 am
I am recently vegan and was looking for a good recipe to go with the baby egplants I picked up. This was fantastic! Now that I have made it once, I think it would be fairly quick and easy to repeat. I used Dave’s killer bread for the bread crumbs and put some on top. The meal looked gorgeous and tasted better. My family gobbled it. My kids are 5, 7, and 9. The 9 year old said he really liked it. The 7 year old ate it without complaint and the 5 year old whined a bit at first, but did eat it without too much drama. This one is going in the recipe book.
robinOctober 21, 2018 at 11:19 am
I live alone…Can this be frozen?
robinOctober 22, 2018 at 10:17 pm
It was really good. I was a little concerned about the consistency of the cheese sauce (seemed much thinner than i was expecting it to be), especially after reading the reviews from people who said it was a runny gloppy mess. But in the baking process it thickened nicely. Good flavors. /will have it for lunch tomorrow & I did freeze the other half of it for another time.
MyraJune 11, 2019 at 8:58 pm
Made this tonight and it was amazing! My only regret was not having enough ingredients to double the batch! It was a tad bit time consuming but so worth it even with using store bought marinara sauce!
Mary JoyFebruary 14, 2023 at 12:20 pm
I am so excited to try this vegan eggplant parmesan recipe! I love eggplant and can’t wait to see how tasty this turns out. I’m especially intrigued by the use of silken tofu and am wondering if it gives the dish a creamy texture or a more egg-like flavor? Where can I find silken tofu? It’s not something that my local grocery store typically carries, so any advice would be much appreciated!