When you’re looking for comfort food, this keto eggplant parmesan casserole with gluten-free breading is a delicious, cozy dish that’s loaded with cheese and authentic Italian flavor!
Eggplant parmesan fans - you are going to think you’ve gone to heaven when you try this dish! Or, if you’re someone that hasn’t tried cooking with eggplant yet, this will be the perfect recipe to get you started!
It always surprises me that some people don’t cook with eggplant regularly. My father used to cook eggplant a lot when I was growing up. And, my favorite pizza flavor as a kid was the moussaka pizza made at the Greek restaurant near our house.
So the first time I was able to grow a few in my garden, I knew I needed to create a keto eggplant parm!
Why You'll Love It
I honestly think this recipe turns out much better than the one I used to get at my favorite Italian restaurant. The crispy eggplant slices smothered in melty cheese and marinara are so delicious!
Plus, this dish is gluten-free, low in carbs, and very simple to make.
If you are looking for a delicious low-carb recipe, then baked eggplant parmesan is just for you. You will love how the gluten-free breadcrumbs add an amazing texture, and the Italian seasoning complements the entire dish.
All the exact ingredient amounts for this baked eggplant parmesan recipe are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. First, here is a bit more information about what I used, along with any substitutions you can make.
I like to use a ricotta cheese mixture in an eggplant parmesan casserole. It gives the dish a richer taste and texture like lasagna. If you don’t have ricotta, you’re welcome to substitute for a cheese you have on hand.
You definitely want to use some mozzarella cheese. It melts so beautifully! Any type will work, even fresh sliced mozzarella.
I use pork rinds as part of the gluten-free bread crumbs breading. However, I know some people don’t care for the taste of pork rinds. If that includes you, I recommend freezing them. I’m not sure why, but freezing helps remove the taste.
My husband doesn’t like the taste of pork rinds, but with my freezing method, he hasn’t been able to detect them in this recipe at all.
Use coconut flour, too - it rounds out the flavors perfectly. Whatever you do, do not use panko bread crumbs - they are not keto-friendly.
For the spices, I used garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and dried basil. For a fresher taste, use fresh basil instead of dried. You can also use red pepper flakes if you want this delicious eggplant parmesan to have a little heat.
When it comes to cooking eggplant, you want to make eggplant slices that are even, so they bake at the same rate.
Use your favorite kind of spaghetti sauce in this recipe. You can even make your own homemade sauce with olive oil and tomato sauce. As long as the marinara sauce is sugar-free, you can use it in this eggplant parmesan recipe.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
- Remember to salt the eggplant slices and let them set before you add them to the baking dish.
- Add more parmesan cheese if you want it to have a cheesier taste.
- Garnish the top with fresh basil at the end.
All the exact directions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. First, here are some photos showing you how I made this delicious baked eggplant parmesan recipe.
When it comes to prep, this dish is very simple. You’ll peel and chop the eggplant, coat the slices in the egg and breading, then either fry or bake them.
Once they’re done, you layer the casserole ingredients, bake, and enjoy!
Ready to see how it’s done?
Prepare The Eggplant
Peel and slice the eggplant. You want to slice pretty thin and lengthwise down the eggplant. To help release excess moisture and remove any bitterness, salt the pieces and then let them sit in a colander for about 30 minutes.
Rinse the slices and pat them dry.
Make The Breading
In a large frying pan, add your oil and heat over medium-high heat. While it’s heating up, combine the pork rinds, coconut flour, garlic powder, and spice mix in a wide, shallow bowl.
In a separate shallow bowl, beat the eggs.
Bake The Breaded Eggplant
Dip each eggplant slice first into the beaten eggs, then into the pork rind mixture. Once the slice is nice and coated, fry it in hot oil until browned, then set on a paper towel to drain.
Alternatively, if you’d rather avoid the mess of frying, you can bake the slices instead.
Once breaded, place them on a prepared baking sheet covered in tinfoil. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, turning after 10 mins.
Combine Cheese Mixture
Mix together beaten egg, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, dried basil, and pepper until well combined.
Note that this does not include the mozzarella - you’ll be layering that separately.
Assemble The Casserole
Assemble the casserole in a 9×13-inch casserole dish by layering half the marinara sauce, half the eggplant slices, half the cheese mix, and half the mozzarella. Then, repeat the layers.
Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese on top, if desired.
Finally, bake in the oven at 350°F for 35-45 minutes or until cheese has browned.
️ Serving Suggestions
This eggplant parmesan casserole is the perfect entree cuisine and tastes delicious with your favorite keto-friendly side dish. I like to serve this keto eggplant parmesan with a light strawberry and spinach salad.
You can also serve a keto kale avocado salad - sprinkled with more parmesan cheese, of course.
If you like bread, then add some keto rolls on the side with your eggplant parmesan. Everyone will love it!
Before we get to the printable recipe card, here are some questions people often ask about how to make it.
Eggplant is an excellent low-carb vegetable to eat on the keto diet. It’s very useful for low-carb recipes like eggplant lasagna and easy eggplant appetizers. Plus, it’s high in fiber!
A one-cup serving of eggplant has about 20 calories, 5 grams of total carbs, and 2.5-3 grams of fiber. This means that there are only 2-2.5 grams of net carbs per serving. That's why it's so popular in keto dishes.
If you order eggplant parmesan at a restaurant, it will definitely be very high in carbs. The one from Cheesecake Factory has over 100 net carbs! This keto eggplant parmesan has just 8.2 net carbs per serving.
When baking in a 9×13-inch casserole dish, you should have no problem cutting the dish into 12 slices. Each slice will be very filling. But if you share with friends and family, don’t be surprised if this casserole goes quickly!
Yes! Just be aware that it will increase how many carbs the recipe has.
If you enjoyed this keto eggplant parmesan recipe, here are some more delicious low-carb recipes you should try next. They all use this delicious vegetable in creative new ways.
- Stuffed Eggplant Rolls Wrapped In Bacon feature eggplant stuffed with ground meat, wrapped in bacon, and then topped with tomatoes and cheese!
- Eggplant Burger is a filipino style burger recipe that’s super tasty and best served with lime.
- Keto Bread Pudding is so delicious, you’d never guess the bread was replaced with eggplant!
- Eggplant Casserole with Ground Beef has a hamburger crust topped with layers of eggplant, tomato, and cheese.
- Eggplant Ground Beef is a low carb, gluten-free skillet dish meal that’s simple, delicious, and budget friendly.
- Keto Moussaka is a dish that can be made in under 30 minutes right on the stove so there's no need to turn on the oven.
- Eggplant Fries are so delicious even the kids will be asking for more!
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Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
- 2 pounds eggplant sliced lengthwise
- 1 ¼ cup crushed pork rinds
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian spice mix
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 jar marinara sauce 25 ounces
- 16 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 large egg beaten
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- ⅔ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Peel eggplant and thinly slice lengthwise. Salt pieces and allow to sit in colander for about 30 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.
- In wide shallow bowl, combine pork rinds, coconut flour, garlic powder, and spice mix.
- Beat eggs in another shallow bowl.
- Dip eggplant slices into egg, then into pork rind mixture. Fry in hot oil until browned then drain on paper towels OR (for less mess) put the breaded eggplant on a sheet pan wrapped in foil and bake at 400 for 20 minutes, turning after 10 mins.
- Mix together all of the cheese mix ingredients until well combined.
- In 9x13-inch casserole dish, layer half the marinara sauce, half the eggplant slices, half the cheese mix, and half the mozzarella. Repeat the layers. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.
- Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 35-45 minutes or until cheese has browned.
Low Carb Sweeteners | Keto Sweetener Conversion Chart
Array ( [serving_size] => 239 [calories] => 329 [carbohydrates] => 12.6 [protein] => 22.4 [fat] => 22.2 [saturated_fat] => 9 [cholesterol] => 83 [sodium] => 719 [fiber] => 4.4 [sugar] => 5.2 [serving_unit] => g )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
© LowCarbYum.com - Unauthorized use of this material without written permission is strictly prohibited unless for personal offline purposes. Single photos may be used, provided that full credit is given to LowCarbYum.com along with a link back to the original content.
First published August 24, 2016... Last updated December 28, 2021.
Lisa I bake the eggplant slices and then cool, wrap, and freeze I later put the casserole and bake. this works well
Thanks for the tip Gin!
Really good! Very tasty
I love eggplant. How can I decrease the net carbs without sacrificing the flavor?
Most of the carbs are from the eggplant. So you could slice them thinner. The other thing you could do is replace coconut flour with more pork rinds.
Hi Lisa I was wondering, can I put meat in this dish and what kind? Also coconut flour is a little pricey, do you recommend something else or does someone else have any suggestions?
You can add in some chicken or ground beef. Almond flour should work. You'd likely need only 1 egg if you don't use coconut flour.
I love eggplant and wwant to make this recipe but the marinara sauce has many carbs...which jar
of sauce are you using ??
I like Rao brand
Do the calorie counts per serving include the oil for frying?
It does, but it's hard to add as not all the oil is absorbed.
sounds delicious, minus the pork rinds as we are vegetarian. Love the combination of cheeses.
I made this tonight and it was delicious! A tad time consuming though. Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Lisa, Growing up as first gen Italian, my father always had a garden and always had eggplant in it. We had Eggplant Casserole (the hi carb recipe), so I was happy to try your lo carb recipe...it was just as good as I remember, and I changed something (that my family changed when I lived at home) that you may want to consider for this recipe. Instead of "frying in hot oil" put the breaded eggplant on a sheet pan on non-stick tinfoil and bake at 400 for 20 minutes, turning after 10 mins. That eliminates the mess of frying...try it - you'll like it !!!
Thanks so much for that tip! I'll definitely add it to the recipe card as it's an easier (and less messy) option!
Lisa, one more thing about my past life in the kitchen - we cut the eggplant into rounds just for ease of handling, and believe it or not, zucchini can be successfully substituted for the eggplant without any difference in taste
Good to know!
Any idea what the nutritional value would be if coconut flour and pork rinds were omitted. I made it that way and it was delicious. Many thanks for this receipe.
There's a lot of fat in pork rinds so the fat would be reduced without them as would be the sodium and protein. 1/4 cup coconut flour has about 4g fat, 4g protein, 16g carbs, and 10g fiber.
Tried to calculate the omission of pork rinds and coconut flour per serving and came up with substracting 12g protein, 9g fat and 6 net carbs. Does this sound reasonable?
Is that total recipe or servings? It seems high for each serving.
Servings, was thinking the same which is why I asked. I'm wondering if I miscalulated the pork rinds as I first calcuated the 1.5 cups to ounces and then did the calculations on that. I'm fairly certain that 1.5 cups of dry ingredients does not equal the same in ounces. Guess I'll need to calculate it per ingredient and then divide by serving which is difficult.
Some ingredients are a bit tricky to calculate, but weight is always more accurate.
Tried this dish last week and it was delicious especially since I seldom cook for myself. My only issue is that I can't seem to cut even slices so wondering if you or anyone else happens to know how many ounces or grams each serving is. Thanks so much for making this a wonderful low carb and keto version and already looking forward to enjoying more of your recipes.
Unfortunately, the software we use for calculating the nutritional data doesn't provide weight per serving. The data is best estimate so it's not a lot if the pieces are off in size a little from each other.
Can this be prepared ready to bake and then frozen to cook another day?
It should work, but I haven't tested it myself.
I’m making this for dinner tonight! Hopefully my 9 year old will eat it. He’s never had eggplant before. It looks delicious!
Hope he likes it! I could never get my kids to eat eggplant.
We don't eat Pork. Would Crushed walnuts or cashews work instead?
You could use dried low carb bread made from almond/coconut flour. I'm not sure how the crushed nuts would work. You could just leave the breading off.
I am vegetarian, do you have an idea what I could use instead of pork rinds? All your recipes are really tasty! Thanks Nat
Almond or sunflower seed flour will work. You could try coconut flour, but it's not a one for one.