Bobby Flay’s Healthy Eggplant Parmesan (Plus a New Cookbook!)

Cook, Dinner, Learn, Mains, Recipes, Uncategorized

Bobby Flay Fit

If you’re the sort of person who wants to start cooking more healthful food without losing the booming flavors you’re accustomed to—bacon, butter, olive oil, and other yummy, not-so-healthy add-ons—know that Chef Bobby Flay is right there with you. Though he doesn’t want to give up those foods, either, he likes to incorporate “flavor bombs” that happen to be low-calorie. Think: Rubs, relishes, and marinades packed with fresh herbs and then slathered on lean proteins like beans or chicken. He’s also got a way with fresh produce and whole grains, all of which he showcases in his new cookbook, Bobby Flay Fit.


This month’s Williams Sonoma Cookbook Club selection contains some downright dreamy recipes. We’re particularly partial to the eggplant parmesan “redux” below—so much healthier than what you’re accustomed to that it’s honestly a little shocking. (Gone are the puddles of mozz and deep-fried breading, but you won’t miss either.)


Chef Flay let us reprint his recipe below, but if you’re curious to see a few more of, or learn his technique, be sure to join us tomorrow night, Wednesday, January 10 at 6pm, for our next Cookbook Club class! For $60 per person, you’ll get to sample and learn how to make “Grilled Cheese” and Tomato Soup and Mustard-Marinated Kale Salad with Caramelized Onion and Spicy Chickpeas—and then get to take a copy of Bobby Flay Fit home with you!


Classes are available in all stores, but space is limited and reservations are required. Request more information or get in touch with your local store for more details. Meantime, here’s that recipe to get your mouth watering.


eggplant parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan. Photo credit: Ed Anderson


Eggplant Parmesan Redux


In Italy, eggplant Parmesan is actually a rather healthy dish of eggplant sautéed in olive oil and then layered in a simple tomato sauce with fresh herbs and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. We Americans were the ones to coat that eggplant in breading, deep-fry it, and weight it down even further with pools of mozzarella. I’ve titled this recipe Eggplant Parmesan Redux, but actually, this is the way it was meant to be.


Bread Crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ cups panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 medium eggplants, sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices
¼ cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce (See Below)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Fresh basil, for garnish


Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, preferably Calabrian
4 jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained, patted dry, and chopped
2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and juices, crushed with your hands
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Make the Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce: In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the roasted red peppers and cook for 1 minute.


2. Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and reduced by half, about 30 minutes.


3. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot, add the parsley, basil, and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Use immediately or let cool and then cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


4. Make the bread crumbs: In a large nonstick pan, heat the oil over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly, until pale golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove to a bowl and stir in the cheese, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste.


5. Roast the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 425°F.


6. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and divide the eggplant between the 2 pans in a single layer. Brush both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven.


7. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.


8. Spread ¼ cup of the sauce into a 9-inch square baking dish. Add a layer of eggplant, another ¼ cup of the sauce, more eggplant, and a little of the cheese, and repeat until all of the ingredients have been used.


9. Put the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the sauce begins to bubble, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top, return to the oven, and bake until the crumbs are golden brown, 10 minutes longer.


10. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil.


PER SERVING: Calories 279; Protein 6g; Carbohydrates 24g; Dietary Fiber 6g; Sugar 8g; Total Fat 18g; Saturated Fat 3g


Reprinted from Bobby Flay Fit: 200 Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle by Bobby Flay, Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson. Copyright © 2017 by Boy Meets Grill, Inc. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Ed Anderson. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

One comment about “Bobby Flay’s Healthy Eggplant Parmesan (Plus a New Cookbook!)

  1. Rita Gano

    This was the best and easiest eggplant Parmesan I’ve ever made I have made it three times given the recipes to my friends and they love it thank you. We are all Sicilian our mothers were all born in Italy they would be proud of us.


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