Eggplant is one of my favorites so it was important for me to figure out an easy plant-based version of eggplant parmesan. And this recipe definitely does the trick. Every time I make it, I tweak it a little bit. But, for the most part, this recipe rocks. And, most importantly, the whole family enjoys it! And my 19-year old son uses the extra cashew ricotta as a dip! I am not great at documenting the exact amounts for each ingredient – so feel free to seek out recipes that provide very specific details.
Here is a list of ingredients:
- Panko Chips
- Sea Salt
- Herbs – garlic, onion, basil, oregano
- Almond Milk
- Nutritional Yeast
- Fresh Garlic
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Black Pepper
- Oil-free tomato sauce (the Forks Over Knives Recipe App has a simple and delicious tomato sauce recipe)
Preparing the Cashew Ricotta
This should be prepared in a food processor. I don’t currently have one, so I use my Vitamix blender. It won’t be as smooth as desired, but it does the trick. Combine all the ingredients and blend:
- Prepared Cashews (Cashews must be soaked for a few hours. I use cashew halves which take a shorter time to moisten. However, there are ways to speed up this process by placing your cashews into a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, remove from heat, and cover. Let sit for 15 minutes. How many cashews? Approximately 1 cup.
- Nutritional Yeast – 1/2 – 1 teaspoon depending on how much taste you prefer.
- Black Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
- Lemon Juice – 1/2 lemon squeezed
- Fresh Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
- Onion powder – I added a little onion powder to the mix.
- Some water
Prepare the Eggplant
- Peel the eggplant (some people don’t peel the eggplant, but I prefer it peeled)
- Slice the eggplant into thin slices.
- Please on parchment paper and spread some sea salt. Sea Salt draws out the water. After a few minutes, turn the pieces over and spread the salt again.
- After waiting for about 10-15 minutes, begin the process of ‘breading’ the eggplant.
- Prepare a bowl of panko chips with herbs. Add whatever seasoning you like including some sea salt, garlic, and pepper.
- There are several ways to do this without oil and egg. Some dip the eggplant in almond milk and then into the panko chip mixture. Some use a chickpea flour, mix with water, and dip the eggplant in that mixture before placing it in the panko chip mix. I sometimes don’t use anything and just dip into the panko chip mixture. The eggplant still has moisture and holds enough of the mixture. Traditionally many people also use flour but I try to minimize the use of too many extra ingredients that don’t seem to add much value to the recipe.
- I do not fry the eggplant. I place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees. This will take aobut 20 minutes but you want to remove the eggplant from the oven before it gets crispy.
Creating the Eggplant Parmesan Dish
- Use a glass dish.
- Add a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.
- Add a layer of eggplant.
- Add a layer of cashew ricotta.
- Add sauce
- Depending on how much eggplant you have, create 1-2 more layers.
- You can add plant-based mozzarella cheese if you would like. It usually contains coconut oil so if you are avoiding oils just be mindful of that. But a little plant-based cheese doesn’t hurt! And it tastes pretty good!
- Cover and place in the oven on a low heat for about 20-30 minutes or until hot!
- Mangia – plant-based style!
Read more about our plant-based soups and follow our plant-based journey!