Olive Garden Eggplant Parmigiana
This copycat Olive Garden eggplant Parmesan recipe delivers restaurant flavor for an affordable price.
An Italian staple, Olive Garden's eggplant parmigiana is a wonderful take on the ageless time piece. Breaded with Parmesan cheese and baked until it's crispy and golden brown, it is then topped with your favorite marinara sauce and mozzarella. This delicious recipe will inspire you to skip the restaurant and spend a little more quality time at home this week. You and your family can enjoy making this delicious Olive Garden recipe from scratch, and you can pair it with whatever side dishes you like best. We love it with a simple side salad and cup of soup, but the possibilities are endless.
When the meal is over, you can even indulge in one of these delicious Italian dessert recipes. If you're tired of cannoli (and even if you're not), you need to check out this recipe collection.
How to Make Eggplant That Isn't Soggy
We've taken a few important steps in this recipe in order to make sure that the eggplant turns out crisp and delicious. You definitely don't want your dish to turn into a mushy disaster.
First, precooking the eggplant makes it less absorbant, so it doesn't soak up so much of the butter when cooking. We recommend blanching here, but microwaving can work well also.
Second, we coat the eggplant in a milk and egg mixture and then let it dry. This process seals the porous surface of the eggplant and keeps it from absorbing moisture during cooking. Less moisture means a crispier finished product!
These tips are great for this recipe, but keep them in mind when you're cooking other eggplant recipes as well. They are useful tips for keeping your eggplant recipes crisp!
Preparation Time2 hr
Cooking Time30 min
- 1 large eggplant
- Flour, for dusting
- 1 egg
- 1/2 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon clarified butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Eggplant Parmigiana Olive Garden Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Blanch and peel eggplant. Cut into 1/2" thick slices. Place the slices in a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle salt over all the slices. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse. Pat dry. Set aside.
Mix egg, milk and olive oil and place into a bowl.
Mix bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese in another bowl.
Dip each slice into flour, toss lightly to remove excess flour and then dip quickly into the egg and milk mixture. Allow excess milk and egg coating to drip off and then place the slice in the cheese and bread crumb mixture. Coat each slice thoroughly.
Place the coated eggplant slice on a rack and allow to dry for at least an hour.
Saute in clarified butter until golden on each side. Remove from skillet and place in a baking pan heavily greased with olive oil.
Cover each slice of cooked, coated eggplant with as much mozzarella as needed. Pour tomato sauce over the cheese covered eggplant slices and bake for about ten minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Sprinkle lightly with ground oregano and serve with additional tomato sauce. Serve with pasta.
Olive Garden Trivia!
This Olive Garden Eggplant Parmigiana is a traditional and popular dish. Over the years, Olive Garden has become a staple in Italian fare in America.
The first Olive Garden opened in Orlando, Florida in 1982. In less than four decades, the chain has grown to be international and has almost 900 locations nationwide.
The chain was originally owned by General Mills, the company famous for cereal. Spaghetti for breakfast, anyone? They are now owned by Darden, the same company that owned Red Lobster. They tried a hybrid restaurant between the two, but it flopped and Red Lobster was sold.
During their "Never-Ending-Pasta-Bowl" promotion in 2013, the company sold over 13 million bowls of pasta. That's a lot of noodles!
In 2014, it was estimated that over 675 million breadsticks were sold. It seems like no one can say no to Olive Garden breadsticks!
Late-night television host Jimmy Fallon is such a big fan that he now owns the rights to the former Olive Garden slogan, "When You're Here, You're Family."