This delicious Baked Eggplant Parmesan Pasta is one of the best things to come out of my kitchen this year! I’ve always been intimidated by eggplant – if not cooked correctly, it can be pretty tough. Eggplants are little sponges, so the traditional fried version is extremely greasy. This recipe is so easy, it will be sure to be a family favorite!
Today I’m partnering with Chickapea Pasta ~ Chickapea Pasta produces organic, gluten free pasta made from just 2 ingredients – chickpeas and lentils. Thanks for supporting me and the brands I work with. I only share this space with the very best ~ and that’s a promise.
I worked in restaurants throughout college, and learned a lot about food in the process.
At that point, I had already began my healthy eating journey, and because of being overweight and having to lose weight as a teenager, I already knew all about calorie counting and was fairly knowledgeable about nutrition.
My first job serving tables was at an Applebees. The most popular lunch item by far was the Oriental chicken salad. I used to silently laugh when women would come in and make a big deal about having a “light lunch” and then order it. It had more fat than a cheeseburger and fries — fried chicken, fried crunchy noodles, all saturated in a dressing whose main ingredients were sugar and chicken fat.
My roommate at that time worked at The Olive Garden. She also had access to the restaurant’s nutrition facts (at the time, these weren’t available on menus like they are now). The equivalent of the Oriental chicken salad at the Olive Garden was the eggplant parmesan. I wasn’t happy to hear that, because it was my favorite dish!
The first time I tried to make eggplant parmesan at home, I tried to lightly pan fry it – only to find that as I added slices of eggplant, the oil in the pan would quickly disappear. Eggplants are little sponges, and they absorb whatever liquid they are put in – so if you’re adding them to a pot of oil, they become completely saturated with oil.
I have long been wanting to come up with a recipe just as delicious as a restaurant version of eggplant parmesan, but infinitely healthier.
To keep this recipe gluten free (and nutrient packed!), I subbed breadcrumbs for some ground up brown rice cereal (my favorite trick for gluten free breadcrumbs!) and almond flour (because healthy fats are a good thing!).
I had planned on lightly spraying these with olive oil, but I forgot — and discovered it’s really not necessary. The parmesan cheese and gluten free “breadcrumbs” browned nicely and made the eggplant slices perfectly crunchy and flavorful.
Instead of serving pasta on the side, I added gluten free Chickapea Pasta into the baking dish, and covered it with a layer of eggplant slices and cheese!
- 1 Other Delicious Chickapea Pasta Recipes
- 2 Tips for Baked Eggplant Parmesan Pasta
- 3 Baked Eggplant Parmesan Pasta
Chickapea Pasta is a favorite – it’s an excellent alternative to white pasta for anyone, not just those requiring a gluten free diet. It is made from only 2 ingredients- chickapeas and lentils (I love a short ingredient list!), meaning it is high in protein and fiber.
Creating this Baked Eggplant Parmesan Pasta with Chickapea Pasta makes it extra good-for-you, but it’s still packed with all the delicious and comforting flavors and textures of the original dish!
Other Delicious Chickapea Pasta Recipes
If you’re looking for other healthy and comforting pasta dishes made with Chickapea Pasta, try one of these ideas!
- Sausage Stuffing with Pasta, by Simply Fresh Dinners
- Chicken Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce, by Cooktoria
- Healthy One-Pot Enchilada Pasta, by Peas and Crayons
- Vegan Farmer’s Market Pasta Alfredo, by Vitamin Sunshine
Tips for Baked Eggplant Parmesan Pasta
- Chickapea Pasta has 27 grams of protein per serving — meaning it’s ideal for vegetarian dishes. Subbing this pasta keeps a vegetarian pasta dish from being overly-carb laden. This dish has 30 grams of protein if using Chickapea!
- Make it Gluten Free: This recipe is made gluten free by using blended brown rice crisp cereal in place of breadcrumbs, and with organic Chickapea Pasta.
- Make it Ahead: This is the perfect meal for the upcoming holiday season! Baked dishes are great for company because it’s easy to make them in a large batch, and easy to prepare ahead of time. Chickapea pasta absorbs a lot of liquid, so if preparing this ahead of time, I would recommend baking your eggplant slices, and cooking the pasta, but not assembling the casserole until ready to put in the oven. This will keep the dish tasting as fresh as possible!
Baked Eggplant Parmesan Pasta
Baked Eggplant Slices
- 1 eggplant large
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 cup brown rice crisp cereal blended into flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 box Chickapea Pasta
- 1 jar marinara sauce organic, if possible
- 1/2 cup parsley chopped, optional
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat, or with baking paper. If neither of these options is available, use olive oil to generously grease your baking tray.
- Slice eggplant into 1/3-1/2 inch slices.
- In 1 bowl, add an egg and beat it.
- In a 2nd small bowl, add the rest of the eggplant ingredients (parmesan, blended brown rice crisp cereal, almond flour, Italian seasoning and sea salt).
- Dip a slice of eggplant into the egg, and then coat with the parmesan breadcrumb mixture. Repeat until all eggplant slices are coated and laid out on the baking sheet. Allow a little space in between each slice of eggplant so they get crispy all around.
- Bake the eggplant for 15 minutes, then flip, and bake for another 15 minutes, until slices are golden brown and crispy.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
- Cook Chickapea pasta in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. You'll want your pasta a bit undercooked, because it will continue to cook in the casserole.
- In a casserole dish, add the pasta, and then pour on 2/3 of a jar of marinara sauce. Top with chopped parsley, and then arrange crispy baked eggplant slices across the top. Top eggplant slices with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake casserole for 20-25 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and the cheese is beginning to brown.
- The leftovers of this dish are amazing, but if you're preparing this ahead of time for a gathering, I recommend precooking the eggplant slices and pasta, but assembling the dish just prior to baking for best results.
Recommended for Baked Eggplant Parmesan Pasta
I am always asked where to buy Chickapea Pasta — it is now available at over 1500 retailers across the US and Canada – but it’s easy to order online if there’s not a store near you carrying it yet.
You can order the pasta through Amazon, or off Chickapea Pasta’s website (<– and they offer free shipping, too!).
Also, if you follow Chickapea Pasta on social media (Facebook or Instagram), they often run specials for 20% off a featured product, making it easier to stock your pantry!
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage of any purchases made.
This looks wonderful and so comforting – I need to make this for our midweek dinners.
It’s so delicious – I hope you try it!
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry says
I love eggplant and so do my kids – will definitely have to give this a try for a family meal! Love that it is gluten free too!
This is just a classic Christmas dish, and you really can’t go wrong with it can you. I love aubergine.
I love it too! And yes, this is so Christmasy — perfect for winter!
This looks like a delicious and healthy recipe for sure. I’ve tried chickpea pasta before. I don’t need to be gluten-free but I liked it!
I think chickpea pasta is for everyone — it’s just a much more nutritious option! It’s a wonderful recipe.
Tracy | Baking Mischief says
I love lightened up comfort food. This looks absolutely delicious and perfect for a cozy December dinner!
Exactly! Have it planned for a cozy lunch today — I couldn’t stand putting together this post and knowing it had been gone for over a week 🙂
Michelle this pasta looks so cozy and filling! I’m going to have to give it a try over the holidays!
What a fantastic recipe and Holiday dish! I loved reading your tip about the brown rice-never tried that! What a brilliant way to indulge in comfort food❤️ Can not wait to make this!
Thanks Mahy! I use brown rice crisp for so many things — it’s a great gluten free sub 🙂
Brown rice crisp flour – well aren’t you a genius! I actually thought you might use chickpea flour, cause you know…. 😉 hahaha! Regardless, YUM! This looks bomb! I have actually NEVER had eggplant parm before… And sadly, now I can’t – but that doesn’t mean I can’t DROOOOL over this!
Chickpea flour might not be a bad idea in this! I actually use almond flour to “bread” things without the brown rice crisp and it’s delicious, too — but not sure if you can have cheese? No one can keep track of your food issues, Gigi! Lol. I am the same way – not even my mom knows how to avoid my allergies while shopping 🙂
HAHAHAHA! We are just unicorns!! 😉
Yes, I think we must be 🙂
Tania Sheff says
I am seriously craving your scrumptious Eggplant Parmesan, Michelle!!! I love how you used brown rice cereal to sub the breadcrumbs. What a great idea!
Robyn Gleason says
Oh man, I don’t cook eggplant enough and I absolutely love it. This is such a healthy way to prepare it and it looks so delicious! Sharing 🙂
Thanks for the shoutout, Michelle!
I am thinking I need to start baking just the eggplant every day and snacking on it. So addictive and yummy and.. weirdly enough, creamy inside! I bought more eggplant today so we can make this tomorrow – Jessie needs to try!
We’re loving this recipe at Chickapea HQ! Huge advocates of healthier versions of comfort food. And a huge bonus for most of our office, is it’s gluten-free! Eggplant parm is a favorite! Thanks Michelle!
Yay! So glad to hear that Kim. I wish I could bring you in one — I bought more eggplant today because our assistant is working with me tomorrow and she can’t wait to try Chickapea 🙂
I used to eat big giant salads like that when I was younger and had no idea how bad they were! I was enlightened years later and always made smarter choices. Eggplant parm is one of my favorite dishes and your dish is just brilliant Michelle! I love how you lightened it up and I know it’s got to be even better with Chickapea pasta!
Right! Those salads were always tempting but I had behind the scenes access to the nutrition info. 🙂 It is better with Chickapea – it melds into this dish so well!
Sarah | Well and Full says
This pasta looks delicious!! Way better than anything at a restaurant, and healthier too 🙂
Oh, thanks Sarah! It is really delicious — not very many restaurants do healthy food as well as you can do it at home.
This is such a beautiful dish! I love eggplant parmesan and know that Chickapea Pasta would be such a great addition!!
Exactly– adding Chickapea always makes things better 🙂
I’ve seen this pasta at my local Costco but never tried it. It sounds quite yummy and the whole recipe with the eggplant and the cheese looks absolutely delicious.
Wow, I didn’t realize they were sold at Costco — that’s awesome! And yes, topped with cheese, it’s perfection.
Jessie Gunaseelan says
Wow! Looks delicious and healthy. Can’t wait to try it.
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy says
There was a time I did not like eggplant. However, I have not come to like it very much. This recipe sounds like the perfect way to enjoy it too.
I’m pretty sure I have always loved eggplant, but this is certainly my favorite way to serve it!
Izzy @ She Likes Food says
It’s crazy how many calories some restaurant dishes have that you would never realize! I love that you made a lightened up version or a normally heavy fried dish! This looks delicious and will definitely be going on the menu soon!
Awesome Izzy — It’s been at least 15 years since I’ve had eggplant parm at a restaurant, but I still think this recipe is actually better!
Jenn - Peas and Crayons says
Omg isn’t it crazy how restaurant salads can have more calories than greasy burgers and desserts?! It always blows my mind!
I have been craving eggplant Parmesan fiercely lately and love that this version is so packed with healthy goodness! Totally trying with a box of chickapea pasta! <3 Thanks for the recipe!
Absolutely Jenn! Yes, restaurants sure know how to make you feel like you’re eating healthy without actually serving you something healthy 🙂 It’s a great trick, those 1,200 calorie salads! I hope you enjoy this!
You outdid yourself Michelle!! Love this idea of eggplant parmesan and pasta bake in one
Thanks Regina! I had several ideas for this post, and I am so glad I chose the eggplant. We have really been enjoying it!
This looks so good! I love eggplant parmesan, and pasta is a natural fit. I haven’t tried chickpea pasta, but now I’m going to look for it.
Awesome Colleen! It’s such a great pasta, I know you’ll enjoy it.
What a beautiful, comforting dish! I’ve never had chickpea pasta, but I’ll look for it at the store. I love how much protein it has. 27 grams is a great boost!
It really is a great boost — and for a carb lover like me, it’s a life saver 🙂
Jessie Gunaseelan says
My perfect guilt-free food!
This recipe is amazing. I love that you baked the eggplant slices. I have never heard of chickapea pasta. I’ve tried some other gluten free pastas, but many of them tend to fall apart if there are leftovers you’re trying to reheat. Does this bean based pasta hold up better?
I love it leftover in casseroles like this — and I’ve made a few pasta salads where it’s great in the leftovers. It’s definitely better the next day then most gluten free pastas.
That’s good to know. I will definitely be looking for it for my next gluten free pasta salad.
Dominique | Perchance to Cook says
Eggplant parmesan is a serious weakness of mine. I would just love love love this meal for dinner tonight. Time to go grocery shopping!
Gosh this looks good! I have eggplant parmesan for the first time this year and I loved it. I want to try making it at home. 🙂
prasanna hede says
Love eggplant,looks like a great holiday dish!chickpea pasta is new to me,will check that out.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says
It is amazing how many calories are in so-called light dishes! I laugh at that all the time. I love how you prepared the eggplant — it sounds like it would be a great alternative to the fried recipe.
It is a great alternative — it’s so delicious, there is absolutely no need to fry it. Plus, who wants to deal with cleaning up the splattered oil all over their stove? lol
I love eggplant! I have to make this soon, it looks ah-mazing!
Thanks Sarah! It is amazing. I can’t wait to make it again 🙂
I’m always looking for new things to do with eggplant and this looks so homey! Yum!
Thanks Caitlin — eggplant is one of those things — you have to have a plan for it. It doesn’t just go in the grocery cart!
A pasta made with chickpeas and lentils, wow! we get all kinds of pasta variations here since most locals are vegan but I had not seen anything like what you mentioned. I agree too, eggplant is like a sponge it takes in all flavor and unfortunately oil as well. I am going to try your recipe soon!
Where is here? 🙂 Chickapea is just in North America now, but they have plans to expand internationally — so maybe you will get the chance to try it! I hope you enjoy this!
This reminds me my hubby loves eggplant parmesan and that I should make more of this. Yours looks delicious, thank you for sharing the recipe!
My husband does as well — maybe not as much as I do 🙂 I don’t know why I never think about making it!
Tim Gascoigne says
This looks great. Love the story you weave through your photos and recipe. Hope to be able to make it and eat it one day!
Thanks Tim! It’s such a great recipe — you would love it!
prasanna hede says
I came across this post before too i guess…not so sure..but would love this for weeknight dinners!
Saima Zaidi says
I love your story of how you’ve taken a calorie rich and high fat recipe and adapted it to be so healthy! I really like eggplants but I’ve never had them with pasta. Will give this a try for sure.
It’s so delicious! How do you normally have eggplant?
Eggplant parm is one of my favorite meals. Adding a gluten free pasta makes it even better!
Yum, one of my favs, too!
Eggplant Parmesan is such a hit in our home! Love your version, so comforting and yet lighter that the usual one!
Nicole @What She Ate says
You’re making my mouth water! I love eggplant parm!!
Thanks! So do I and this baked version turned out amazing. We’ve made it 5 times in the past month.
Eggplant parmesan has always been my favorite! I love that you used Chicapea in here. Making this for sure!!
This is one of my favorite recipes of the year 🙂 Those creamy eggplant slices! They get super crispy if you have the patience to bake them for the whole time!
Monica Le says
oh this Eggplant Parmesan looks so delicious… wish I had some right now!
This eggplant is super delicious! Your comment is making me want to make it again.
I adore eggplant – baked, fried, however you wanna make it. I love how you’ve made it here! I’m intrigued by your breading mixture – I bet it tastes amazing!
I love eggplant too! Totally an under rated veggie 🙂 The eggplant in this recipe turns out so crispy — and addicting!