Aubergine & Courgette Parmigiana

PREP TIME: 40mins


‘Parmigiana’ or ‘melanzane alla parmigiana’, is an Italian dish made with fried, sliced aubergines layered and baked in a tomato sauce.

This aubergine parmigiana recipe makes a great alternative to lasagne. With layers of aubergine and courgette in a quick but rich tomato sauce, salty parmesan and oozy mozzarella, it takes comfort food to the next level! Most definitely a new favourite aubergine recipe for the whole family to enjoy.

It’s a fantastic dish to make late summer early autumn when the last of the summer produce is in full abundance including wonky aubergines and enormous courgettes!

Buffalo mozzarella (made from buffalo milk) or ‘fior di late’ (made from cows milk) are normally in little plastic punnets with brine (one ball per punnet) with the other cheeses. They have a high water percentage and will ‘ooze’ (spread) when baked (see pic). If you can only find regular mozzarella, that is no problem, simply grate finely and top as per the recipe.

Salting your aubergine: see kitchen note below.

If you are conscience about using too much oil,  you can lightly brush your veggies with olive oil and grill under a full grill (in batches) in single layers in your oven. Remember to turn your veg every 5-10minutes until golden and cooked through.

Getting ahead: The dish will benefit being made 2 days ahead – simply reheat and enjoy.


Serving Suggestion:

I find the dish filling, but a simple fennel salad will be a good addition as would a piece of good ciabatta to mop up the juices.


What you'll need:

a small/medium ceramic dish or ovenproof pan (like the pic)


  • olive oil
  • 2 very large aubergines (or 4 normal size), cut roughly into 1cm thick rings or in strips lengthways to resemble pasta sheets
  • 4 large courgettes, topped & tailed, cut into 0.5cm strips lengthways
  • 1 x quantity Quick Tomato Sauce
  • handful basil, roughly torn, to layer and garnish
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 x buffalo mozzarella (ball), torn or grated
  • salt & pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 180c. (or switch to full grill if you are grilling your veggies instead, see note in introduction).
  2. Optional step: lay your aubergines and courgettes on large baking sheets and sprinkle with some fine sea salt. Leave for 30min to an hour, wipe the salt with some kitchen roll and continue the recipe.
  3. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a large non-stick pan (or use two pans to speed up the process) over medium heat. Start to fry your courgettes in batches until golden and soft, drain on some kitchen towel. Continue with your aubergine slices, drain on some kitchen towel, until all your veggies are golden and cooked.
  4. Now with your tomato sauce ready, your veggies cooked, your cheeses ready and your basil at hand it is time to assemble.
  5. Add some tomato sauce to the bottom of your dish or pan, followed by a thin layer of aubergines and courgettes, a sprinkle of parmesan and some basil leaves. Continue until all the sauce and veggies are layered, finally add the mozzarella and remaining the parmesan and basil.
  6. Bake for 20minutes until the mozzarella is golden and the aubergines are incredibly soft (use a knife to check) or place back in the oven for and extra 10 min like mine did. Enjoy!

Kitchen Notes:

Salting your aubergine: To salt or not to salt, traditionally sliced aubergines were salted to extract their bitterness and also to help prevent them for absorbing too much oil. Modern day cultivars of aubergines are less bitter (if any) but I still prefer to salt my slices as it adds to the overall flavour of the aubergines as the salt draws into the flesh but you can easily ad a pinch of salt to your slices after frying. Up to you, feel free to skip the salting step!

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