Long before the eggplant emoji made the aubergine the most suggestive of all fruits (yes, fruits), I always thought of eggplant parmesan as a romantic meal. Elegant cuisine that isn’t as heavy as most Italian dishes, eggplant parm is a perfect date night meal. This super easy vegan eggplant parmesan over quinoa is a delicious clean recipe that makes your favorite Italian food diet friendly.
Italian food has always been my all-time favorite. From mom’s homemade spaghetti and meatballs to authentic gnocchi and tiramisu, I love just about everything Italian cuisine has to offer.
Of course, while Italian food is famously delicious, it is also infamously unhealthy. Often loaded with carbs and calories, piled high with heavy sauces, creams, and cheese, it can be tough to fit Italian food into a healthy diet.
That’s why I love finding vegan versions of my favorite Italian meals. Of course, “vegan” is not universally synonymous with “healthy.” But it’s true that vegan cooking is often an easier way to stay on top of your clean eating goals.
As far as Italian fare goes, eggplant parm is usually a lighter option to begin with. Make it vegan, and you’ve got a completely guilt-free meal. This easy vegan eggplant parmesan over quinoa recipe really kicks things up a notch for a light and clean Italian dinner.
Making vegan eggplant parm is actually pretty easy. While some dishes require lots of substitutions for a vegan version, eggplant parm is already over halfway there. Almond milk and vegan cheese are really the only two ingredients you’ll need to swap in. The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard.
The vegan parmesan cheese used in this dish is super easy to make. So save yourself a trip to any overpriced specialty food stores by just making this simple five-minute recipe at home. Dairy-free and paleo-friendly, this cashew based “cheese” is also simple and delicious. This vegan cheese is a must-have in this eggplant parm recipe, but it’s also great sprinkled on any of your favorite dishes.
Sometimes cooking with eggplant can be intimidating. It’s such a unique ingredient, and cooking with it for the first time can feel like foreign territory. But this recipe actually makes this dish super simple. With only fifteen minutes to prep and thirty to cook, it’s easy enough to throw together on a weeknight. Meanwhile, it’s also elegant enough for special occasion or date night meal.
While many eggplant parm recipes serve this dish over pasta, I recommend serving over quinoa to complete this light, healthy dinner. Enjoy with a glass of red wine for a romantic evening in!
Yields: 6 servings | Calories: 249 | Total Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 394mg | Carbohydrates: 42g | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Protein: 8g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 7
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons vegan parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup plain almond milk
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch circles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups cooked quinoa, cook according to package instructions
- 1 1/2 cups hot marinara sauce, no-sugar added
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the whole wheat flour in a small bowl and mix with half of the Italian seasoning and salt. In a second small blow, place the Panko and mis with the vegan parmesan, the remaining Italian seasoning and salt. Last, place the almond milk in a third small bowl.
- Dip each circle of eggplant into the flour. Next, dip in to the milk, and last dip the eggplant into the panko mixture making sure the eggplant is covered each time it’s dipped. Once coated, place the eggplant onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 6 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and turn over and cook another 5 minutes or until the second side is golden.
- Spoon the quinoa into serving dishes and place the eggplant on top. Pour the marinara on top. Top with additional vegan parmesan cheese if desired.