Skillet Eggplant Parmesan

TOTAL TIME : 40 mins
SERVINGS : 4 servings

1 medium (1 pound) globe eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Prepare the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 350°F. If you have time, salt both sides of the eggplant with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse the eggplant briefly under cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel. If you’re short on time, you can skip salting and resting the eggplant.

Bread the eggplant: To a shallow bowl, add the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. To a second shallow bowl, add the eggs and milk, whisking to combine. To a third bowl, add the breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme, and garlic powder.

Dip a slice of eggplant into the flour mix, coating both sides. Dip the dredged eggplant into the egg mixture to coat, then into the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the crumbs to coat. Set aside on a plate while you bread all the eggplant slices.

Cook the eggplant: Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat to a deep, 9 or 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Once hot but not smoking, add the eggplant 3 to 4 pieces at a time, careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Once cooked, set aside on the plate. Repeat with the remaining eggplant—you will likely have 2 batches. If needed, add more oil to the pan between batches.

Turn off the heat and carefully use a paper towel to wipe out the pan (I like to grip a paper towel with tongs and wipe to avoid burning myself).

Make the sauce: Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until the onions have softened slightly, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sugar, chili flakes, and salt.
Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, and reduce to low heat and simmer until slightly thickened 10 to 12 minutes.

Taste and season with additional salt, if needed.

Arrange the eggplant and add the cheese: Return the cooked eggplant to the skillet, overlapping slightly in a circular pattern and nestling it into the sauce.

Top the eggplant with the mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper.

Bake and serve: Place the skillet in the preheated oven and bake until the cheese has melted and everything is warmed through, about 10 minutes.

Top with fresh basil and serve.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave, or transfer to an oven-safe dish and reheat at 350°F until warmed through.