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Keto eggplant parmesan on a table with tomatoes and cheese around.
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5 from 1 vote

Ultra Comforting Keto Eggplant Parmesan - Melanzane alla Parmigiana

My ultimate recipe for a Melanzane alla Parmigiana a.k.a - a keto eggplant parm. This recipe doesn't use onions, breadcrumbs or flour making it suitable for keto, vegetarian and gluten-free diets.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 257kcal
Cost $14/12€

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Italian eggplants (about 3 eggplants)
  • 200 g fresh mozzarella (2-3 mozzarella balls)
  • 20 g Parmigiano Reggiano (about 4 tbsp)
  • 10 g garlic (3 cloves)
  • 800 g peeled whole tomatoes, canned 1 large can
  • 60 g olive oil for frying
  • 50 g peanut oil for frying
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Making the Tomato Sauce

  • Peel the garlic and sweat it gently in a little olive oil in a pot with high sides. Do not brown.
    Making the garlic oil.
  • Add the peeled whole tomatoes to the oil and stir. Season gently with a little salt and pepper.
    Continue cooking on low heat for about 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Stir frequently to avoid burning the bottom.
    Adding the peeled tomatoes to the pan.

Purging the Eggplants

  • Slice the eggplants into ⅜" (1cm) slices. Try your best to get the slices as even as possible.
    Showing the size of the sliced eggplants.
  • Purging using the microwave method (see notes below for oven method)
    Season all the eggplant slices with salt but be careful not to overseason them.
  • Line a plate with a clean kitchen towel. Add the salted eggplant slices in an even layer on the towel. Fold the towel over so that the slices are sandwiched in between towels.
    Lining the plates with kitchen towel to purge the eggplants.
  • Cover with another plate and repeat the process until you can get all of your eggplant slices covered with towel. Finish the last layer with a heavy plate.
    The eggplant stack covered with a heavy plate.
  • Microwave the plates for 3-5 minutes on high or until eggplant slices begin to soften slightly. You may need to work in batches.
    *Be careful as the plates will be super hot.*
  • Remove the slices from plates and gently press out any moisture using paper or more kitchen towels. Set aside on another plate or tray.
    Compressing the eggplant slices.
  • Slice and drain the mozzarella on paper towel.
    The mozzarella draining on paper towel.
  • Rough chop the basil and set aside.
    The chopped basil on a cutting board.
  • Set oven temperature to 375°F/190°C.
  • Once thickened, use a hand blender to quickly pulse the tomatoes into a sauce. Alternatively, you can use a food mill to also remove the seeds.
    Pulsing the tomato sauce.
  • Get a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat and have another tray with paper towel ready.
    Fry the eggplant slices in half vegetable oil and half olive oil until golden brown. Drop the slices in the pan away from you.
    *Make sure the slices are dried well otherwise the oil may splatter.*
    Frying the eggplant slices..
  • Drain the seared eggplant slices on paper towel.
    The fried eggplant slices on paper towel.
  • Add a little tomato sauce to the bottom of the casserole dish.
  • Layer the fried eggplants in an even layer, allowing them to overlap slightly. Then add the ⅓ of both kinds of cheeses, basil and a little freshly cracked black pepper.
    Repeat 1 more time.
    Layering the melanzane with cheese and basil.
  • Finish the top of the Melanzane with some tomato sauce and cheese but no basil.
  • Bake at 375°F/190°C for 25-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
    The finished melanzane with cheese tomatoes and basil in the background.
  • Let the eggplant parm sit for 10 minutes at room temperature to allow it to soak up any excess moisture.
    Serve with fresh basil leaves and more fresh Parmigiano cheese on top.
    The finished keto eggplant parm with fresh basil on top.t

Notes

Alternative Methods to Purging Eggplants:
  • The Oven:  Salt the eggplants and cook in the oven on a tray lined with kitchen towel at 375°F/190°C for 30 minutes to dry them out. 
  • The Classic Cure:  Slice the eggplant and season heavily with salt. Line up over a colander and drain over the sink for 1 hour. Rinse quickly and dry off again.
*Depending on your casserole dish size, you may need more or fewer eggplants. 
*You can also use paper towel instead of kitchen towel during the microwave purge but keep in mind you'll need A LOT of paper towel.

Nutrition

Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 504mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 387IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 202mg | Iron: 1mg
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