Smoky Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan

Smoked mozzarella is the star of this crunchy, layered eggplant Parmesan casserole.


  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • One 15.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish lightly with oil.

Spread the eggplant slices on paper towels and salt both sides. Let sit for 15 minutes. Using fresh paper towels blot away the excess moisture from the eggplant.

Beat the eggs and milk together in a shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dip the eggplant slices in the egg and then the breadcrumbs and then spread the slices out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until nicely browned.

In a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the garlic. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Saute the chicken, stirring frequently, until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Put one-third of the eggplant in a single layer in the dish. Top with half of the chicken, half of the tomatoes, sprinkle half of the basil, half of the mozzarella, and one-third of the Parmesan. Repeat with another third of the eggplant, the remaining chicken, tomatoes, remaining basil and mozzarella, and another third of the Parmesan. Top with the remaining eggplant and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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