Eggplant, Mozzarella and Pesto Gratins recipe
Put those eggplants to use with our breadcrumb-crusted, pesto-laden take on the classic eggplant Parmesan.
  • Makes: 4 servings
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

  • Nutrition Highlights: The tomatoes used in the marinara sauce are extremely nutrient-rich. They’re an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K plus potassium and fiber, and cooked tomatoes have even more of the phytonutrient lycopene.

  • Recipe Created By:
  • Recipe From: Tennessee Home & Farm


  • ¼ cup plus 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (18-ounce) eggplant, sliced lengthwise into eight 1/2-inch thick slices
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 extra large egg
  • ½ cup panko
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • unsalted butter
  • ½ cup pesto sauce (pre-made or store-bought)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (see our recipe below or you can use store-bought marinara sauce)
  • 2 8-ounce balls buffalo milk mozzarella cheese, each cut into six 1/4-inch thick slices

Marinara Sauce:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled Italian tomatoes with their juices, crushed by hand
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 fresh basil sprigs
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper

See Also:  Schnitzel and Späetzle


  1. Prepare marinara sauce, if needed. Combine ingredients in saucepan over low heat, stirring to combine. Yields about 4 cups. Use as needed below, and freeze any extra.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a dinner plate.
  3. Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water on a second plate.
  4. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese on a third plate.
  5. Dredge the eggplant on both sides in the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and roll in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing lightly to coat.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan, and cook the eggplant on medium-low for about 3 minutes on each side, until just cooked through. Don’t crowd the pan.
  7. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the eggplant. Allow eggplant to drain on paper towel.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place four slices of eggplant on baking sheet. Top each with ¼ cup marinara, three slices mozzarella cheese, 1 tablespoon pesto and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Top with remaining eggplant slices.
  9. Bake until heated through, about 8 minutes. Serve hot.


  1. I made this last night, and it was delicious! My fiance, who doesn’t really like tomato-based sauces or non-meaty dishes, also was a fan. I was out of panko so I substituted Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. I didn’t realize until there was no turning back that I was also out of Parmesan, but it tasted fine without using it in the breading. Instead, I added some shredded mozzarella to the tops of the eggplant after the 8 minutes of cooking and broiled for 1 minute. Then I served with a little extra marinara on top.

  2. A tip I learned from my friend Valerie – take the skin off the eggplant first. It’s pretty, but it’s bitter – and the eggplant tastes better without it.

  3. I’m a vegetarian , this sounds awesome I will try it tonight, my only alteration to this would be to no butter and no breadcrumbs !!!! Thanks


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