Eggplant Parmesan is one of those comfort foods that don’t take much time to prepare. It’s a delicious meal that combines simple ingredients into a pro-like dish. With your fresh eggplants, cheese, and tomato sauce, you can make a family favorite that’ll be enough to feed everyone. One interesting detail about preparing the eggplant parmesan is that you don’t need to fry it. Instead, you can reduce fat content by baking the eggplant instead.
Baked eggplant has a crispy and delicious taste that’ll go along well with other ingredients in the eggplant parmesan.
Considering how easy it is to prepare this meal, you may be thinking of making a large batch all at once. This large batch of eggplant parmesan will serve you and the family on later dates in the future. However, you’ll need a way to preserve the eggplant parmesan; how do you do that?
Lots of people have asked me if it’s possible to freeze eggplant parmesan, and here’s what I tell them – Yes, you can freeze eggplant parmesan. If you know you’ll be freezing your eggplant parmesan, try as much as possible to use the freshest ingredients; possibly hand-picked from your garden. Eggplant parmesan made from fresher ingredients will last longer in the freezer.
There are more important secrets to properly freezing eggplant parmesan. Keep reading for more details.
Freezing Eggplant Parmesan
Before you freeze your portions of eggplant parmesan, you must have considered some things. For instance, the eggplant used for the parmesan should have been baked instead of fried in oil. Oil-fried eggplant has a higher probability of getting soggy when frozen. You need to reduce oil content in the parmesan and also avoid ingredients like cottage cheese and ricotta.
It is advisable to salt and drain your sliced eggplants before going ahead to bake them for the parmesan dish.
When the portions of baked eggplant parmesan are ready to go in the freezer, set the temperature to 0⁰F – make sure that the parmesan hasn’t spent more than 120 minutes at room temperature since you baked it. Baked eggplant parmesan can be kept frozen for up to three months.
How to Freeze Eggplant Parmesan
Right from picking the freshest ingredients to wrapping the baked eggplant parmesan, you need to follow the right steps when planning to freeze the dish.
Step 1: Allow the Baked Eggplant Parmesan to Cool
Generally, it isn’t safe to freeze foods while they’re still hot. In this same sense, you need to give your baked eggplant parmesan some time to cool before freezing it. However, you must also keep in mind that the eggplant parmesan can’t be left out for too long. At room temperature, you have a safe window of about 2 hours, after which the parmesan is to be placed in the freezer.
Step 2: Cover the Eggplant Parmesan in Plastic Wrapping or Place in Freezer Bag
I’d like to share that it’s possible to also wrap uncooked eggplant slices in plastic and place in the freezer. The idea here is to slice up the eggplants, layer them with tomato sauce and cheese, then place in the foil/plastic wrapped dish and freeze. The assembled dish can be brought out of the freezer on a later date (anytime within 3 months of freezing), and then baked to completion.
If you’ll be doing the baking before freezing, make sure to eliminate moisture by salting the eggplant slices for up to an hour and draining them. You may partially bake the eggplants, so that they don’t get too soft, and then bake them to completion when you bring them out of the freezer later.
Step 3: Refrigerate Overnight and Freeze After
After wrapping up the dish of eggplant parmesan, place it in the refrigerator overnight. This gives the parmesan a chance to set up nicely. After that, put it in the freezer at a temperature of 0⁰F.
How to Reheat Frozen Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant naturally absorbs oils and moisture greatly. That means it has tendencies to get real soggy if care isn’t taken. When you’re ready to remove the eggplant parmesan from inside the freezer and reheat, you need to follow some key processes. First off, thaw the frozen parmesan by placing inside a refrigerator overnight.
If you don’t want to wait all night for the frozen eggplant parmesan to thaw in a fridge, thaw it in a microwave instead. However, you must be cautious so that the parmesan doesn’t get burned in the microwave. You can then proceed to heat the parmesan in an oven up to a temperature of 160⁰F.
One thing you shouldn’t do is leave the frozen eggplant parmesan out on the countertop to thaw at room temperature. At room temperature, there is an uneven thawing of frozen foods. This means that the outer layers of the dish get thawed before the inner parts, which results in an increase of the food’s temperature. At that point, bacterial action increases and the eggplant parmesan becomes unsafe to eat.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When it comes to freezing eggplant parmesan, here are a few questions you’d likely ask:
How Long Can You Keep Frozen Eggplant Parmesan?
Eggplant parmesan can be safely stored in the freezer for about 3 months. However, you must keep in mind that its quality begins to deteriorate over time.
To reduce the speed at which its quality reduces, make sure you wrap the dish properly. You can also partially cook the eggplant parmesan so that the vegetables don’t get too soft.
In case you tend to lose track of time, you can write the date on the wrapped parmesan dish – this reminds you of how long you’ve kept it frozen.
Can You Freeze Uncooked Eggplant Parmesan?
Yes you can! All you need do is assemble the dish with the sliced eggplant, cheese, green peppers, and tomato sauce. After that, wrap the assembled dish nicely and place inside the freezer till a later date.
Frozen uncooked parmesan can be thawed later on and baked freshly.