This article was updated on 31st August 2023 for clarity and freshness, and to incorporate new info.
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.
The best way to reheat eggplant parmesan is in the oven.
How I tested reheating eggplant parmesan
I baked a big casserole dish of eggplant parmesan (yuuum, here’s the recipe I used) and, after eating my fill, placed it in the fridge 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: Okay, but can be messy.
- In the microwave: Not recommended.
- In an air fryer: A good option if you have one.
See Also: How To Reheat Chicken Parmesan
Reheating eggplant parmesan in the oven
Time: 10-15 minutes
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F (180 °C) or 325 °F (160 °C) for the toaster oven.
- Place the eggplant in an oven-safe dish and cover loosely with foil.
- Bake the dish for 5-10 minutes, adding extra sauce and cheese as desired.
- Remove the foil and bake the dish for a further 5 minutes to crisp the top.
- When the edges of the cheese start to bubble, the dish is ready. Whole trays will need longer.
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 some steam to escape.
The exact amount of time it takes to reheat will depend on the size of the portion. Larger portions will require more time in the oven. And if you’re using a toaster oven, keep an eye on the dish to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Results: This was my favorite option. It recreated my original eggplant parmesan almost perfectly and I was able to extra cheese (yay!). The one downside is that it’s a little slower than other methods.
Reheating eggplant parmesan in the microwave
Time: 1-2 minutes
- Use a microwave-safe plate to reheat the eggplant parmesan.
- Cover the dish with a damp paper towel (optional, advised if the dish seems very dried out).
- Heat the eggplant parmesan in 30-second intervals until piping hot all the way through, around 1-2 minutes.
- Leave the dish to stand for 30 seconds before serving.
Try to stick to reheating one or two servings at a time in the microwave so each piece reheats evenly.
And be careful biting right into the eggplant parmesan as soon as it’s out of the microwave because the middle will be very hot, and you don’t want to burn your mouth on the steam.
Results: 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 if you have a choice, avoid it!
Reheating eggplant parmesan on the stove
Time: 4-5 minutes
- Heat a pan over medium heat and very lightly spritz it with oil.
- Add the eggplant parmesan and sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of water around the edge of the pan.
- Cover the pan with a lid. If you don’t have a lid, use some foil. And steam the eggplants for 4-5 minutes.
- Check it’s piping hot all the way through before serving.
The above method 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.
Be careful when removing the foil or lid after steaming. You don’t want to burn yourself! And if you notice the pan starting to dry out before the dish is heated all the way through, add some more water.
The oil step is optional, but I found there was some sticking if I didn’t lightly grease the pan first.
Results: 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.
Reheating eggplant parmesan in an air fryer
Time: 4-5 minutes
- Set the air fryer to 350°F (180°C) and place the eggplant parmesan in a small tray. Alternatively, you can place the eggplant on parchment paper.
- Fold the edges of the parchment paper up so you can easily remove it.
- Heat the slices for 4-5 minutes each.
Using parchment paper prevents the eggplant parmesan from dripping all over the air fryer. And folding the edges up makes it super easy to get the eggplants out.
Always check the centre of the eggplants before taking them out of the air fryer. Air fryers heat the outside of dishes very quickly, so the food can feel super hot to the touch even if the center is still cold.
Results: The air fryer was faster than the oven and yielded similar results. The cheese started to get crispy, and the exposed breadcrumbs had a great crunch to them. If you have an air fryer, I’d say use it.
How to store eggplant parmesan
To store leftover eggplant parmesan, let it cool to room temperature and place it in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper. It will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also keep it in its baking dish covered tightly with foil.
Can you freeze eggplant parmesan?
You can freeze eggplant parmesan before and after baking, but it will work better if you freeze it before baking. Eggplant parmesan will last for up to 6 months in the freezer.
How to freeze leftover eggplant parmesan:
- Cool the eggplant parmesan in the fridge overnight to set.
- Cut the parmesan into individual portion sizes and wrap each piece in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil.
- 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 want to eat, and the slices will thaw/reheat more quickly than a whole casserole dish.
How to freeze unbaked eggplant parmesan:
- Prepare the eggplant parmesan according to your recipe and place it in a freezer-safe baking dish. Do not bake.
- Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap followed by foil.
- Place in the freezer and use within 6 months.
Eggplants are known 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.
Related: Freezing Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
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 fridge to thaw. Then reheat it in the oven.
Read next: What To Serve With Eggplant Parmesan
How To Reheat Eggplant Parmesan [Tested Methods]
- 1 portion eggplant parmesan
- 1 handful cheese optional extra
- 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.