There was a time when we thought it impossible to enjoy pizza without a heavy blanket of cheese. While we’re not yet able to give up that last little bit of Parmigiano Reggiano, we do believe that pizza—especially this Eggplant Parm version—is utterly delightful without the gobs of mozzarella that you might typically find on a pizza like this.
Making The Dough for Eggplant Parm Pizza
To make Eggplant Parm Pizza, start by making Homemade Pizza Crust, which you can make at your leisure anytime throughout the day. We particularly love making this dough first thing in the morning and forgetting about it for the rest of the day. The first few times you make Homemade Pizza Crust, it might take you ten or fifteen minutes to throw the dough together. After internalizing the formula and technique, however, you’ll be able to make this simple dough in a mere five minutes. If you’ve ever made Effortless Homemade Bread, you’ll recognize the formula. This pizza crust is the same recipe with the addition of two tablespoons of olive oil.
Simple Pizza Crust
You’ll notice that the dough rises directly on the same rimmed sheet you’ll bake it on, saving time and dishwashing. Don’t punch down the dough, simply stretch it into place. In its relaxed state, the dough is super cooperative.If you don’t have time to make the dough, simply use store-bought dough—you’ll need about two pounds. Just remember that it’s a bit cranky right out of the refrigerated case, so let it come to room temperature before stretching it. You also have enough toppings in the recipe for two large store-bought baked crusts.
Roasting the Eggplant
Before baking the crust, start by preheating the oven, cutting a couple of eggplants into a smallish medium dice, tossing them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spreading them on a rimmed baking sheet. As soon as you’re done prepping the eggplant, take advantage of the preheating oven’s heat to quickly roast the eggplant. While the eggplant roasts, stretch the dough into the place and make Seasoned Panko. When the eggplant is fully roasted, which usually happens just as the oven is coming to temperature, remove it from the oven. Pop the pan of stretched dough in the oven and in just ten minutes you’ll be ready to top your pizza.
Assembling Eggplant Parm Pizza
Spoon Garlicky Tomato Sauce or your favorite store-bought Marinara over the crust. Then scatter the eggplant over the sauce. Finally, sprinkle with Seasoned Panko, and a little pecorino Romano or plant-based parmesan and bake. In ten minutes, you’ve got the equivalent of two large pizzas emerging from the oven, and unlike the ones you might order from your local pizza joint, you know exactly what’s in this pie and feel good about eating it!
The Eggplant Parm Pizza
- 1 recipe Homemade Pizza Crust, or 2 lbs store-bought dough
- 2 cups Garlicky Tomato Sauce, or good quality Marinara
- 2 medium-large eggplants, about 2 pounds, cut into ½-inch dice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigianino-Reggiano
- Fresh basil leaves (or dried oregano and dried basil)
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1/4 teaspoon each: dried basil and oregano
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- Make Homemade Pizza Crust and let it rise.
- If you haven't made Garlicky Tomato Sauce, do it now.
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 550 degrees. Drizzle eggplant with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat. Set in preheating oven and roast until impressively brown, at about the time the oven is reaching temperature, 20 minutes or so.
- While eggplant roasts, make Seasoned Panko by mixing panko, dried basil and oregano, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a small bowl.
- When oven reaches temperature, bake pizza crust until golden brown, about 10 minutes. When crust emerges from the oven, spread with Garlicky Tomato Sauce, top with eggplant, Seasoned Panko, and Parmesan.
- Reduce oven temperature to 500 degrees and bake until toppings are heated through and crust is crisp and brown, about 10 minutes. Slide pizza onto a cutting board, garnish with basil, cut into squares, and serve.