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How To Reheat Eggplant Parmesan – I Test 4 Methods [Pics]

Eggplant parmesan is one of those great Italian feel-good dishes, and proper reheating is the key to recreating this tantalizing dish. 

You don’t want the dish to dry out, but you also don’t want to end up with a soggy mess.

I have tested four methods to find the best way to reheat leftover eggplant parmesan. 

I’ll also cover ways to store and freeze the dish.

Ready? Let’s get to it.

A note on my experiment

I baked a big casserole dish of eggplant parmesan and placed it in the refrigerator overnight. 

The next day, I cut the eggplant parmesan into sections and used a different reheating method for each slice.

These are the methods I tried:

  • In the oven (the best method)
  • On the stove (not recommended)
  • In the microwave (not recommended)
  • In an air fryer (a good option)

The best method was the oven.

Use a conventional oven for larger portions and a toaster oven for smaller sliced portions.

The air fryer also gave satisfactory results. The edges of the cheese became crispy, giving the dish a nice texture.

The microwave was my least favorite method. 

The cheese was rubbery, the breaded eggplant was mushy, and the whole dish was pretty soggy.

Reheating eggplant parmesan in the oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Place the eggplant parmesan in an oven-safe dish and cover loosely with foil. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Add extra sauce and cheese as desired. Remove the foil and bake it for a further 5-10 minutes until the edges of the cheese start to bubble.

How to reheat eggplant parmesan in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F (177 °C) or 325 °F (163 °C) for the toaster oven.
  2. Place the eggplant in an oven-safe dish.
  3. Cover the dish loosely with foil.
  4. Bake the dish for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Add extra sauce and cheese as desired.
  6. Remove the foil and bake the dish for 5-10 minutes to crisp the top.
  7. When the edges of the cheese start to bubble, the dish is ready.
  8. Serve and enjoy.

Wrapping the eggplant casserole too tightly with foil can cause the dish to sweat and become soggy.

Loosely wrapping prevents this from happening by allowing steam to escape.

The exact amount of time it takes to reheat depends on the size of the portion. 

Larger portions will require more time in the oven. 

If you’re using a toaster oven, keep an eye on the dish to make sure it doesn’t burn.

My verdict

This was my favorite option. It recreated my original eggplant parmesan almost perfectly.

The one downside is that it’s a little slower than other methods. 

The oven is the only method that will work well for reheating an entire dish and also gives you the chance to refresh the casserole with some extra cheese.

Reheating eggplant parmesan in the microwave

Place your eggplant parmesan on a microwave-safe plate. If the dish is very dried out, cover it with a damp paper towel. Heat the eggplant parmesan in 30-second intervals until it’s warmed through. The total reheating time is usually 60-90 seconds.

How to reheat eggplant parmesan in the microwave:

  1. Use a microwave-safe plate to reheat the eggplant parmesan.
  2. Cover the dish with a wet paper towel (optional, advised if the dish seems very dried out).
  3. Heat the eggplant parmesan in 30-second intervals until piping hot all the way through.
  4. Leave the dish to stand for 60 seconds before serving.

Try to stick to reheating one to two servings at a time in the microwave. 

This allows the pieces to reheat evenly.

Be careful biting right into the eggplant parmesan as soon as it’s out of the microwave. The middle will be very hot, and you risk burning your mouth on the steam.

My verdict

I was disappointed with the eggplant parmesan out of the microwave.

The cheese was rubbery, the eggplants and breadcrumbs were mushy, and the sauce was watery.

If the microwave is your only option, it will do. But there is a choice, avoid the microwave!

Reheating eggplant parmesan on the stove

Remove your eggplant parmesan from the fridge and slice it while it’s still cold. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 3-4 tablespoons of water. As the water starts to bubble, add the eggplant and cover the pan with a lid (alternatively, you can use foil). Steam the eggplant for 2-3 minutes.

The above method sort of steams the eggplant parmesan. 

You can also fry thin slices of eggplant parmesan on high heat, but I found that my dish just fell apart and stuck to the pan, so I don’t recommend doing this.

How to reheat eggplant parmesan on the stove:

  1. Heat a pan over medium heat.
  2. Very lightly spritz the area where you’ll place the eggplant parmesan with oil (optional).
  3. Add 3-4 tablespoons of water to the pan and wait until the water begins to bubble.
  4. Add the eggplant parmesan.
  5. Cover the pan with a lid. If you don’t have a lid, use some foil.
  6. Steam the eggplants for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Check its piping hot all the way through before serving.

Be careful when removing the foil or lid after steaming. You don’t want to burn yourself!

I’d stick to heating 1-2 servings in the pan at a time. Larger portions will take longer to heat through, and you might end up burning the bottoms. 

The oil step is optional, but I found there was some sticking if I didn’t lightly grease the pan first.

My verdict

I’d say I got okay results from steaming my eggplant parmesan in a skillet.

The cheese was nicely melted, but the breadcrumbs were a little soggy. There was also a tiny amount of my eggplant stuck to the bottom of the pan, but nothing drastic. 

I also tried frying the slices, and as I mentioned above, this didn’t work well. The slices fell apart or stuck to the pan.

Reheating eggplant parmesan in an air fryer

Set the air fryer to 350°F (177°C). Place the eggplant parmesan in a loaf tin or on a piece of parchment paper. Make sure you fold the edges of the parchment paper up. This will make it easy to lift the eggplant parmesan out. Heat it for 4-5 minutes per slice.

How to reheat eggplant parmesan in the air fryer:

  1. Set the air fryer to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Place the eggplant in a bread pan.
  3. Alternatively, you can place the eggplant on parchment paper.
  4. Fold the edges of the parchment paper up so you can easily remove it.
  5. Heat the slices for 4-5 minutes each.

Using parchment paper prevents the eggplant parmesan from dripping all over the air fryer. 

It’s also much easier to remove with parchment paper.

If you fold the edges up, all you need to do is grab onto the paper and lift it. 

Be sure to check the center of the eggplant before you remove it from the air fryer. 

Air fryers tend to heat the outside very quickly, so the food can feel super hot to the touch even is the center is still cold. 

Use a fork or thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the eggplant parmesan.

My verdict

This air fryer was faster than the oven and yielded similar results.

The dish had some texture to it. The cheese started to get crispy, and the exposed breadcrumbs had crunch.

I recommend trying this method if you have an air fryer.

How to store eggplant parmesan

To store eggplant parmesan in the refrigerator, place it in an airtight container. To separate slices and layers, use parchment paper. Alternatively, keep the eggplant in its baking dish and cover it tightly with foil. Eggplant parmesan will last 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Wait for the eggplant parmesan to cool to room temperature before covering it.

If you put a lid on it while it’s still hot, condensation will build-up, and you’ll be left with a soggy dish.

Can you freeze eggplant parmesan?

You can freeze eggplant parmesan before and after baking, but it will preserve better if you freeze it before baking. Eggplant parmesan will last for up to 6 months in the freezer at best quality. After that, the quality will start to deteriorate, but the dish will remain safe to eat.

How to freeze leftover eggplant parmesan:

  1. Cool the eggplant parmesan in the fridge overnight to make it stable.
  2. Cut the parmesan into individual portion sizes.
  3. Wrap each piece in high-quality plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil. 
  4. Place the wrapped slices of eggplant in the freezer and use within 6 months.

Portioning the eggplant parmesan before you freeze it makes reheating later easier. 

You’ll only need to defrost what you’ll eat, and the slices will thaw/reheat more quickly than a whole casserole dish.

Related: Freezing Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

How to freeze unbaked eggplant parmesan:

  1. Prepare the eggplant parmesan according to your recipe and place it in a freezer-safe baking dish.
  2. Do not bake.
  3. Cover lightly with plastic wrap followed by foil.
  4. Place in the freezer and use within 6 months.

Eggplants are notorious for absorbing oil and water. Always salt your eggplant slices to remove excess moisture before assembling the dish.

Using a freezer-safe baking dish means you can take the eggplant parmesan out of the freezer and pop it straight in the oven. 

Aluminum trays are great for this because they’re not affected by sudden changes in temperature.

How to reheat frozen eggplant parmesan

To reheat frozen eggplant parmesan, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). If the dish is in a plastic container, transfer the contents to an oven-safe dish. Cover the dish with foil to retain some moisture and heat until the sauce starts to bubble in the corners, around 60 minutes from frozen.

Alternatively, you can thaw the dish before baking it.

Take the eggplant parmesan out of the freezer the night before and place it in the refrigerator to thaw. 

You can also use a microwave to thaw the dish but keep an eye on it to avoid overcooking.

Do not let the dish thaw on the countertop. The outside of the eggplant parmesan will thaw faster than the interior, and it may be left sitting in the temperature ‘danger zone’ for too long.

When food sits out and reaches a temperature of 40°F (4.4°C) to 140°F (60°C), bacteria can grow, causing food-borne illnesses.

Once the eggplant parmesan has thawed, reheat it in a 350°F (177°C) oven until steaming in the middle. Slices will take 10-20 minutes. Whole dishes will take 30-40 minutes, depending on size.

The BEST Way To Reheat Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant parmesan is one of those great Italian feel-good dishes, and proper reheating is the key to recreating this tantalizing dish. 
You don’t want the dish to dry out, but you also don’t want to end up with a soggy mess.
I have tested four methods to find the best way to reheat leftover eggplant parmesan. 
No ratings yet
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 person
Calories 160 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion eggplant parmesan
  • 1 handful cheese optional extra

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 °F (177 °C) or 325 °F (163 °C) for the toaster oven.
  • Place the eggplant in an oven-safe dish.
  • Cover the dish loosely with foil.
  • Bake the dish for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add extra sauce and cheese as desired.
  • Remove the foil and bake the dish for 5-10 minutes to crisp the top.
  • When the edges of the cheese start to bubble, the dish is ready.

Notes

The exact amount of time it takes to reheat depends on the size of the portion. 
Larger portions will require more time in the oven. 
If you’re using a toaster oven, keep an eye on the dish to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 160kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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