What Meat Goes with Eggplant Parmesan?

When it comes to eggplant parmesan, the options are almost endless. You can go classic with nothing but eggplant and breadcrumbs, or you can get a little experimental and add some extra crispy toppings or even some roasted vegetables.

But no matter how you top it, the classic version remains the same: eggplant parmesan. This Italian-American classic is usually made with eggplant, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese.

There are a few other ingredients you can use, but those are the classics. The most versatile way to serve it is with a crusted breaded eggplant Parmesan. The best part about it is that you can tweak it to your own taste. Are you a fan of the classic version?

Or are you looking to get your hands on some of the secrets behind authentic parmesan crusts? Well, this article is for you. We discuss the many ways you can use meat in your eggplant Parmesan, which you should add and which you should avoid.

What Meat Goes with Eggplant Parmesan?

The main ingredients in an eggplant Parmesan are eggplant and breadcrumbs. These are topped with Parmesan cheese, which can be a key factor in determining which meats you can add to your crusted eggplant Parmesan.

While you can use any kind of meat in your Parmesan crust, there are certain meats that pair especially well with the Italian classic. We’ll discuss these below.


Bacon is an obvious choice when you’re making an eggplant Parmesan. The smoky meat is a classic addition to a pasta dish and can add a great dimension to your crusted Parmesan. If you’re a vegetarian, you can use vegetable oil instead of bacon grease when you fry the eggplant.


Sausage is another classic Italian ingredient that you can use in your eggplant Parmesan. It works particularly well with the other spices and flavors in the dish. If you’re not a vegetarian, using a good quality sausage that is not overly reliant on the pork for flavor can add depth to your crusted eggplant Parmesan.


The classic Italian ham, prosciutto, is terrific when paired with Parmesan in an eggplant Parmesan. As with all cured meats, be sure to use the leanest ham possible and watch your portion size. That said, some flavor and color from the ham will definitely be appreciated in your crusted Parmesan.


Shrimp is a colorful and protein-rich seafood that goes beautifully with the traditional Italian flavors of bread, garlic, and olive oil. While shrimp is a great addition to so many dishes, it’s especially delicious paired with Parmesan in an eggplant Parmesan.


Eggplant Parmesan is a Mediterranean dish traditionally made with eggplant, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and other spices and baked or fried until the eggplant is soft and the cheese is melty.

To make it more accessible, you can often find pre-packaged meatless Parmesan crusts at the supermarket. The most versatile way to serve it is with a crusted breaded eggplant Parmesan.