Vegan Eggplant Skillet ‘Parmesan’

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Eggplant parmesan is sooo good. Normally this dish is full of layers of cheese, but since we are dairy free here at Bad to the Bowl, we have came up with a great way to maximize flavor! This vegan eggplant skillet parmesan is so delicious. I know you will love this one pot meal. 

How Do You Maximize Flavor in Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

SoWell, a little of this and a little of that later and ta-da here is a skillet eggplant parmesan that both plant based and non plant based eaters will appreciate! But I know you want more cooking details than a pinch of this and that.
So what did I use? I sought inspiration from Instagram and saw that a friend had used white beans in tomato sauce and raved about it. I filed that away for using later…and now it is appearing here in this dairy free recipe!


Before my plant based eating days, we used to grill eggplant slices and topped them with pesto…that was super good. So I incorporated that idea into this recipe and a Vegan Oil Free Super Pesto was born.


An absolute must for this dish is making the tomato sauce from scratch. It adds a depth of flavor to the dish. This homemade sauce uses pantry ingredients, meaning that it comes together quickly. 

This Seems Like A lot of Steps for a One Pot Meal

I understand that sentiment! If you plan ahead and meal prep this eggplant dish does come together quickly. Make your tomato sauce and vegan pesto on the weekend. You could even do this weeks ahead and freeze the tomato sauce and pesto. 

Once you have the tomato sauce and pesto made, all you need to do is put the eggplant dish together! I love to use my cast iron skillet as I can start it on the stove and finish it in the oven. 


Baking this dish really lets the flavors meld together into a super tasty dish. It also browns the panko so don’t skip this step! If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, after your sauté your eggplant, transfer it to an 8 inch pan and bake.

So yes, a little of this, a little of that and I hope you enjoy! If you make this we would love to know! Tag @badtothebowl on social media.

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Vegan Eggplant Skillet ‘Parmesan’

Full of flavor, this vegan eggplant skillet parmesan will quickly become a new favorite.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 300kcal


Homemade Tomato Sauce

  • 1 can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 1 can tomato sauce (no salt added)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp crushed fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pinch of pepper

Oil Free Vegan Super Pesto

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups kale
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tblsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 6 Tblsp hemp seeds
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tblsp. Basil (fresh or )

Eggplant ‘Parmesan’

  • 1 medium eggplant peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 a sweet onion sliced
  • 13.4 oz. cooked cannelli beans
  • large handful of spinach
  • panko breadcrumbs (gluten free if needed)


Homemade Tomato Sauce

  • Mix all ingredients in a pot on stove and stir and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Vegan Oil Free Super Pesto

  • Put all ingredients in food processor and process, scraping down side of processor often.

Eggplant ‘Parmesan’

  • In cast iron skillet, put a little olive oil.
  • Layer eggplant rounds in skillet with onion. (you may need to do in batches). Cook over medium high heat, flipping to evenly cook both sides. Cook until eggplant is soft and tender.
  • Slowly add tomato sauce, lifting each piece of eggplant so sauce can flow under eggplant. Add in spinach and let wilt. Add in beans. Top each slice of eggplant with pesto. Sprinkle on panko breadcrumbs.
  • Bake dish under broiler for 10 – 15 minutes to brown breadcrumbs.


Calories: 300kcal

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