This recipe is baked with layers of whole wheat-breaded eggplant, creamy cashew ricotta, and your favorite marinara sauce. Bonus: eggplant is high in antioxidants! Slicing into this hearty eggplant parmesan creates a delicious oozy mess, so make sure to let it rest for 30 minutes before serving.

Prep Time: 1 hour | Makes 5–6 Servings

Cashew Ricotta Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

Eggplant Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/4-in rounds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper

Assembly Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
  • Fresh basil leaves (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 425F. Soak cashews in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes to soften while you prepare the eggplant.

Lightly season eggplant slices with salt and place in a single layer on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Let them sit for 20–30 minutes to release excess liquid. Dab with paper towels to dry.

Drain the cashews and add to a high-powered blender. Add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, 2 Tbsp water, salt, and garlic. Pulse until it’s a smooth and creamy consistency. Add more water if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and gently fold in chopped fresh basil.

Place flour in a shallow bowl and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Beat eggs in a second shallow bowl, and put bread crumbs into a third one. Mix the Italian seasoning with the breadcrumbs. Dredge one slice of eggplant at a time in flour, followed by egg, and then coat it in breadcrumbs. Set them aside on a plate until ready for assembly.

In an 8×8 pan, spread a few tablespoons of marinara across the bottom. Top with eggplant slices. Spread a few tablespoons of cashew ricotta on top of the eggplant. Top with marinara and spread evenly. Repeat layers with remaining eggplant, cashew ricotta, and marinara, making sure to reserve enough marinara and cashew ricotta for the top layer. Bake for 25 minutes uncovered until the top layer starts to brown.

Cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Top with fresh basil.   

Kristen Rosania is a meal prep chef, recipe developer, and the creator behind @forlemonsake, a social channel showcasing that home-cooked is always best. She believes in cooking real food with real ingredients, giving your body what it truly deserves. Find more information about her, her services, and her recipes at and follow along @forlemonsake on Instagram and Facebook.