Eggplant Chicken Parmesan | Gluten-Free

Make one of your favorite comfort foods, like Chicken Parmesan, a little healthier by adding eggplant.  More veggies always make it better for you!  Plus it add a really nice texture and flavor.

gluten-free eggplant chicken parmesan

We love fried comfort foods around here.  And this eggplant chicken parmesan shows up on the menu often!

As do many other gluten-free fried foods.  Since I could start eating goat’s milk again we’ve been frying up all sorts of stuff.  

Like fried goat cheese mozzarella sticks, and we used goat’s milk yogurt to make chicken fried steak.  And I just love fried chicken tenders in a healthified fried chicken salad!

Eggplant Chicken Parmesan

So for this eggplant chicken parmesan recipe, the chicken will be coated with a gluten-free rice cereal ground up to substitute for panko or Italian bread crumbs.

Rice cereal really makes makes a fantastic coating that can be baked or or lightly fried.  

I really like the gluten-free brown rice crisps cereal from One Degree Organic Foods.

Here we are going to use the method of dipping the chicken in gluten-free flour first, then the egg wash, then Parmesan bread crumbs to prepare the chicken.

Sometimes we can find pre-cut thin chicken cutlets, which makes this dish even easier.  But if you can’t find thin-cut cutlets, use boneless breasts instead.

Jut cut boneless chicken breasts in half and pound out the chicken pieces so that they have an even thickness and are thinner.

Then we want to season and prepare the eggplant by heavily sprinkling with Italian seasoning.  

You can either buy organic Italian seasoning or make our own from bulk spices.

To make Italian seasoning you will need:

  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage

Mix together the Italian seasoning and store in an air-tight container.  

Roasted Eggplant

The eggplant is thinly and drizzled with EVOO.  Then sprinkle on the organic Italian spices and a little salt and pepper.  

It is browned under the broiler for about 4 minutes on each side.  

Then the eggplant slices go on top of the fried chicken so that the chicken doesn’t get soggy from the red sauce when baked in the oven.

I usually have a 1-cup jar of marinara in the freezer so that I can thaw and reheat for a dish like this!

gluten-free eggplant chicken Parmesan

Extra Eggplant Slices?

Sometimes if the eggplants are good, there will be more than what you need for the chicken parmesan.  So use it as a side dish!

The extra eggplant is fantastic tossed with gluten-free pasta and a little EVOO and a spoonful of red sauce.  So good!

We are usually just cooking for two, but I always make extra so we have leftovers the next day.

Such a delicious comfort food for sure!

Gluten-Free Eggplant Chicken Parmesan

A lightened up, gluten-free version of our favorite comfort food Chicken Parmesan with eggplant and rice cereal as a substitute for Panko.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword eggplant chicken parmesan, gluten-free fried foods
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Deana Larkin Evans


  • 2 small eggplants, cut into slices about 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • olive oil, for spraying
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup GF all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup GF organic rice cereal
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
  • 6 skinless boneless thin-cut chicken breasts cutlets
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil, for frying
  • 1 cup spicy marinara sauce


  1. Preheat the broiler. 
  2. Wash and dry the eggplant. Spray both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil then sprinkle with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until browned and tender, turning once, about 4 minutes per side. Set aside and reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.

  3. Combine the rice cereal and 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese in a mini-prep so that it is finely crushed. Put the flour, eggs and cereal mixture in three separate shallow bowls. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, dip in the eggs then thoroughly coat with the cereal mixture. Set on wax paper on a plate. Repeat for the rest of the chicken cutlets.

  4. Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess oil.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the marinara sauce in a small saucepan.
  6. Place the chicken on a baking sheet or cast iron grill pan. Place 1-2 eggplant slices on each fried chicken cutlet and top evenly with the sauce and remaining Parmesan. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

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Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I also create weekly menus to save time and money while reducing stress and food waste. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010 and dairy/casein-free (except for the occasional Parmesan or goat cheese) in 2014. I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm studying the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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1 Response

  1. UPDATE: Since we’ve moved away from using rice chex as a breading for chicken, one of the most successful alternatives is to lightly dust the chicken in non-GMO cornstarch first. Then dip it in an egg wash. Then coat it with a mix of oat flour and ground oats (plus any seasonings you’d like mixed in). Then we fry it in coconut oil and EVOO. It is amazing and a little bit healthier alternative! And now we just dip the artichoke hearts in certified gluten free oat flour, too. SO GOOD!

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