Oven-Fried Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo

by Erin

Oven-fried eggplant parmesan stays extra crunchy when topped with cheese and marinara only just before serving. Served alongside orzo seasoned with parsley.

Oven-Fried Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo.

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For how much I enjoy eggplant there seems to be a shortage of eggplant recipes only my blog, only five to date and now the sixth today. Most of the recipes are pretty creative though with things such as eggplant veggie burgers, eggplant stuffed shells, and also eggplant manicotti. I do also already have a recipe for the classic baked eggplant parmesan but the oven-fried eggplant parmesan I am sharing today is a little different.

The classic version was layered in a casserole after the eggplant was breaded and oven-fried. This oven-fried eggplant parmesan is served separately in order to preserve the crunchiness of the breading. Slices of fresh mozzarella cheese are thrown on at the end and placed under the broiler just long enough to get all gooey. Served with warm marinara and orzo seasoned with parsley.

Oven-Fried Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo, Roasted Green Beans, and Focaccia.

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Oven-Fried Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo.


Yield: 4 servings Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/3 cups marinara sauce, warmed
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  1. Arrange oven rack 10 inches below broiler element. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Line a cooking sheet with aluminum foil, place a cooling rack on top and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and return to pan. Add parsley, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss.
  4. While orzo cooks, cut top and bottom off eggplant. Partially peel eggplant lengthwise with a vegetable peeler, leaving long purple stripes. Cut eggplant crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  5. Place flour in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl whisk together 1 teaspoon water and egg. Combine panko, oregano, and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a third shallow bowl.
  6. Dredge eggplant in flour, dip in egg mixture, and then panko mixture, gently pressing mixture to adhere. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Lightly coat tops of eggplant slices with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes on each side or until browned and tender but firm. Top evenly with mozzarella; broil 1 minute or until cheese melts.
  7. Arrange 1/2 cup orzo mixture on each of 4 plates, top each serving with 2 eggplant slices and 1/3 cup marinara. Sprinkle evenly with pepper.
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Source: Adapted slightly from Cooking Light, May 2014.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see! Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE
Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo

Post updated 11/16/2023, photo above is the original.

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[…] Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo […]

Kayle (The Cooking Actress) June 19, 2014 - 10:56 am

This is the only way I’ll eat eggplant-I LOOOVE Eggplant Parm-and the orzo is genius!

Emily of Sugar Plum June 16, 2014 - 1:10 am

Oh my goodnsss – I absolutely love eggplant parm. This looks fantastic!

Colleen, the Smart Cookie Cook June 14, 2014 - 8:33 pm

Eggplant parm is my favorite food! I love that you served it with orzo instead of plain spaghetti.

Emily @ Life on Food June 14, 2014 - 3:03 pm

Great idea to serve with orzo. I love eggplant and my husband does not. Sometimes he is a good sport but most of the time I save this for a night out. Too bad we don’t live closer so I could enjoy eggplant galore more often with you.

spiffycookie June 14, 2014 - 11:09 pm

That would be amazing yet dangerous!

How to Philosophize with Cake June 13, 2014 - 8:37 am

That looks amazing! I love eggplant parmesan, paring it with parsley orzo sounds great. :)


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