Eggplant and cream come together in this rich and delicious eggplant gratin with parmesan custard.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Silk. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me inspired in the kitchen!
eggplant gratin in parmesan custard

I am so over eggplant parm.

As a vegetarian, this is like…sacrilege of some kind because it is basically the token vegetarian option at every restaurant EVER. So obviously I’m supposed to adore it and be so excited that someone had the decency to consider my dietary preferences when making their menu.

Except, really? You couldn’t think even a little outside the box?

::shakes head:: Not impressed.


My mom had to practically restrain me when the owner of the restaurant where we had the bridal shower suggested it as one of the entrees. It was about to be a very diva moment in which I screamed at him, “Do you even know who I AM” and stormed off but my mom was all like “Hmmm, maybe we’ll just stick to pasta”.

Smart move, mom. Smart move.

To be clear, it’s not that I don’t like eggplant parm. I mean, even the eggplant haters of the world (cough the.boy cough) go gaga for it. It’s pretty much a universally loved dish.

But it would also be kind of nice if there was an option that did not require all the oil in the tri-state area, 12 pounds of cheese, and six kinds of breadcrumbs to make it.

Some of us are trying to perpetuate the illusion that we’re still on wedding diets, after all.


Lightbulb moment.

What about a gratin stuffed with eggplant, the fresh flavors of summer-ready tomatoes. and a cheesy parmesan-infused soy milk-based filling instead? This way you still get the homemade decadence feeling of eggplant parm but without all the mid-day food coma napping.

Sometimes I really like the way I think.


I love adding Silk soymilk to recipes in place of heavy cream because it has the thick creamy mouth-feel of actual cream but without all the calories. This little party trick works especially well in dishes like this that have a lot going on already flavor-wise, so you don’t even miss the dairy. If you haven’t tried Silk yet, then head on over to their website and register to get free coupons and a chance to win a tablet!

Eggplant Gratin in Parmesan Custard
Eggplant and cream come together in this rich and delicious eggplant gratin with parmesan custard.
Yield: 4-6 servings
  • 2 lb eggplants, peeled and diced
  • 1½ tsp salt, divided
  • 1 cup Silk original soy milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  1. Heat oven to 375. Grease an 8x10-inch baking pan or Dutch oven. Set aside.
  2. In a large colander, toss the eggplant with 1 tsp of salt. Let rest while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the soy milk, eggs, and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  4. Pat the eggplant dry. In a large nonstick or cast iron skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the eggplant to the pan and saute for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the skillet to a large bowl and set aside.
  5. Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining olive oil. Saute the onion for 4-5 minutes, or until golden. Add in the garlic and remaining salt. Saute for 30 seconds. Pour in the eggplant and tomatoes. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
  6. Pour the parmesan custard over the pan and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until starting to brown on top. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl

Still looking for ways to use up your end of summer eggplant? Check out these:

roasted eggplant bisque with harissa and parmesan crisps

Roasted Eggplant Bisque with Harissa

rigatoni with eggplant and pine nut crunch

Rigatoni with Eggplant and Pine Nut Crunch

grilled eggplant subs with fontina and tomato jam

Grilled Eggplant Subs with Fontina and Tomato Jam

From Around the Web:

Crispy Eggplant and Harissa Flatbread with Greens from The First Mess

Eggplant Fries with Honey and Sea Salt from Sippity Sup

Stuffed Miso Eggplant from Oh My Veggies

Vegan Caramelized Onion Mac and Cheese from Minimalist Baker

Quinoa Crusted Baked Zucchini and Eggplant Parm from Half-Baked Harvest


This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

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43 Responses to Eggplant Gratin in Parmesan Custard

  1. Sune Moolman says:

    You nailed it with the title of this post.
    Who would want to have a look at this dreamy dish after reading that?
    Loving the eggplant!

  2. Is it sad that I’m usually happy when I at least see eggplant parm? At best I usually find a cold sandwich (that’s basically just lettuce, cucumber, and tomato) or a frozen veggie burger (which is even kind of rare, too) — otherwise, I’m basically just ordering 3 vegetable sides. I’m going to start packing this in my purse when people try to drag me out to shitty restaurants 😉

  3. Sues says:

    I LOVE eggplant parm, but agree with you that it’s often way too oily and soggy at restaurants. This is pretty much a perfect eggplant option instead. Restaurants should start consulting with you 🙂

  4. *Faceplant* great recipe – I’m in the middle of writing a post about how I don’t love eggplant, but this might be the game changer!

  5. I do love me some eggplant parm but I’ve made a couple different versions and I’m definitely ready for some other eggplant options. One of my favorites was your eggplant manicotti.

  6. dude, I love that you made an eggplant gratin!!! love love love eggplant. . this is my kinda comfort food. . love this, Joanne!

  7. This looks delish! I’m all about eggplant and can eat it every day.

  8. I really like the way you think, too, because HOLY YUM BUCKETS this gratin looks good.

  9. I’ve never tried subbing in soy milk for heavy cream, but now I’m intrigued! This looks delicious!!

  10. I’m sorry–I got completely distracted by the mention of PARMESAN CUSTARD. Dying.

  11. danielle says:

    I love this idea – I am always looking for new ways to use eggplant. I actually have an eggplant waiting to be used.

  12. Sarah says:

    I love using soymilk in dishes to substitute anything creamy! It’s the best!

  13. This is the kind of dish that I will totally enjoy every day without guilt! The grilled eggplant subs looks divine!

  14. Pam says:

    Amazing! I would eat a bowl of it right now for breakfast.

  15. OMG this sounds even BETTER than eggplant parm- please fork go through the screen and capture me some!

  16. Love the twist on the parm – and as I just started planning my wedding I’m pretty sure I’ll be tempted to have a diva moment (or 6). Silk is literally the only non-dairy milk I drink!

  17. I want to swim in this! I’m over eggplant parm big time too. Need this!

  18. What a great alternative to Eggplant Parm! I agree – be a little more creative! This sounds so delicious!

  19. Trisha says:

    Yum! I feel ya on the eggplant parm. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s greasy and rubbery. I think I’ll just make this instead. Also, you had me at Parmesan Custard. YUM.

  20. Mary Frances says:

    Joanne, your diva moments are hilarious. I’ve never had one over eggplant parm, but I must confess, I’ve never tried it before. Seriously though, people seem to think veggies need more butter, cheese, and fat than anything else, like they have to make up for their healthiness. Nuh uh buddy.
    I DO like the way you think … in fact, this is genius. Love it! Pinned!

  21. omigosh this gratin is GEEEENIUS!!! I only like eggplant in things like this. So yeah. LOVIN IT

  22. parmesan custard! What! That is insane! LOVE IT

  23. Kelly says:

    This looks eggplant gratin looks amazing! I would totally vote for this over eggplant parm too – awesome idea and love how creative you got 🙂

  24. alyssa says:

    This is the 2nd delicious sounding eggplant recipe I have seen this AM. Now I am craving it!

  25. This looks and sounds absolutely delish!! I adore eggplant and this a great recipe to enjoy it.. 😀 Love it!!

  26. Deena Kakaya says:

    This is just texture heaven! Easy on the eye too 😉 x

  27. Eileen says:

    Yeah, eggplant parm is definitely up there with pasta primavera and portobello burgers as the standard veg entree choice! This sounds like an excellent way to get your eggplant on without all the deep-frying.

  28. Oh man when I was a vegetarian I loathed eggplant parm too! So few places van do it justice. It just ends up being a soggy rubbery mess! I looove the decadence of this dish instead. Geesh, if only Italian restaurants could be as clever as you!

  29. I am a big eggplant fan. My Mom only made breaded eggplant once in awhile. That is THE only eggplant recipe I ever had until probably my 30’s. So I was trained to like eggplant. So since I have had arrested development as far as variety and eggplant, I am an avid explorer right now. So far I love them all!!!!! This looks like another winner to me.

  30. I like the way you think too — this sounds too good, lady! Parmesan custard = DREAMY

  31. Well I always like the way you think even if I am hanging my head in shame over the fact that eggplant park is a fav of mine…… Well, eggplant anything is a fav of mine and you are def right that it’s not creative vegetarian option…. o.k. now I’m gonna get dramatic next time there’s not a better option on the menu!!! Bad influence Jo 😉

  32. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love the look of your dish and I’m sure this is great comfort food and really suited to Fall weather. I know my Archie loves eggplant parmiagana and every time we go to a pub you can be guaranteed that that’s what he’ll order. I’ve never substituted soy so I’d like to try this. Your eggplants are very pretty xx

  33. Reeni says:

    The only eggplant parm I like is my Mom’s so if I encountered this while eating out I would be overjoyed! It’s 100x better – I LOVE all that Parmesan!

  34. Rivki Locker says:

    LOVE love love that this isn’t soaked in oil. Like you, I never order eggplant parm because it’s usually just WAY too heavy. This looks wonderful.

  35. Oh, I totally agree! And also? Most eggplant parmesan dishes I’ve experienced in restaurants have been so mediocre, so it jaded me for a long time. Love this gratin!

  36. Isadora says:

    You had me at parmesan custard! That sounds heavenly! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had eggplant parm before and I’ve never really been interested in it, but this eggplant gratin sounds amazing and I’m so on board!

  37. Parmesan crust? Eggplant? Dream dinner much 😀
    This looks delicious!

    Choc Chip Uru

  38. Hi, this recipe was mentioned in our Midweek Food and Cooking Inspiration #23 – The Best in Food Blogging This Week. I really like it and thought our readers should check it out too! If you want to see the link back to here, other links and delicious food photos go here:

  39. Kate says:

    I was going to make moussaka this weekend, but now I’m thinking of this instead.

  40. Johanna GGG says:

    I wouldn’t mind if every second restaurant thought they should serve vegetarians eggplant if only they would cook it properly – I actually love a good well made eggplant parma but there are too many second rate ones about – and I am sure your dish is perfect for a healthier version

  41. grace says:

    eggplant parm? meh. involve some sort of custard, nay, a cheesy custard, and i’m all over it!

  42. This looks wonderful! I totally converted my former eggplant hater of a hubby to a fan through lots of hard work and creativity. He’d love this!

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