Editor's Note: Let your slow cooker do all of the work to make this classic Italian-American Eggplant Parmigiana. Slices of eggplant are layered in the slow cooker with a quick homemade tomato sauce, fresh basil, and plenty of Parmesan cheese. Your whole family will love this comforting Italian meal.
Dairy products do not stand up very well to the long slow cooking associated with slow cookers, but of all the cheeses, Parmesan is one of the most robust.
Cooking MethodSlow Cooking
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
Recipe CourseMain Course
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Halal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian
Taste and TextureCheesy, Savory
Type of DishVegetable
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 (14-oz.) cans chopped tomatoes in juice
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. sugar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 small firm eggplants, cut into ¼-inch slices
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, plus more to garnish
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs, to serve
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and gently fry the garlic, shallots, and oregano, being careful not to let the oil get too hot or the garlic will be bitter. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Place half the tomato sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker, and layer the eggplant slices on top, sprinkling fresh basil and Parmesan cheese between the layers, and staggering the slices to fit the slow cooker. Finish with the rest of the tomato sauce and give the pot a shake to distribute the sauce through the layers. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Just before serving, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in the skillet, and fry the breadcrumbs until crisp. Serve each portion sprinkled with the breadcrumbs and freshly chopped basil.
Eggplant Parmigiana with Red Onion et Zucchini: Prepare the basic recipe, adding 1 small red onion and 1 small zucchini, both chopped and lightly sautéed, to the layers in the slow cooker.
Eggplant Parmigiana with Bell Pepper et Pine Nuts: Prepare the basic recipe, adding 1 seeded and sliced green bell pepper and ½ cup pine nuts to the layers with the eggplant.
Eggplant Parmigiana with Spinach et Chili: Prepare the basic recipe, adding 2 cups fresh spinach leaves and 1 finely chopped red chili to the layers with the eggplant.
Eggplant Parmigiana with Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Prepare the basic recipe, adding 1 cup halved sun-dried tomatoes to the layers with the eggplant.
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2012 Quintet Publishing Limited