This $19 Tool Is the Secret to the Best Eggplant Parmigiana You’ll Ever Have

You have to trust me on this.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

This $19 Tool Is the Secret to the Best Eggplant Parmigiana You’ll Ever Have

Food & Wine / Reese Herrington

I was born and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey — one of the few places studded with some of the best red sauce joints you can find. Certain dishes, like eggplant parmigiana, are done differently than they are in Italy, and the best ones you’ll find are made with thinly sliced, breaded, fried, and layered pieces of eggplant with way too much cheese stuffed in between. 

It has always been my favorite meal, and my family has been baking our own browned and bubbly versions for decades. Though I’ve tasted a few bad ones with a less than undesirable texture, when it’s done right, it's comforting in every way. And the secret to that satisfying bite in my opinion, is a mandoline, and I love this one from OXO

OXO Good Grips Handheld Mandoline Slicer


To buy: OXO Good Grips Handheld Mandoline Slicer, $19 at

In my experience, this mandoline is the only way to slice the eggplant thin, since you ideally want each slice to be an eighth- or quarter-inch thick, though the slimmer the better. This nifty tool is long, flat, and wide with a blade built in, which allows you to glide the eggplant over to get even, thin pieces. A knife can’t achieve this level of precision. 

On its thinnest setting, this mandoline slicer is perfect for slicing eggplant for parmigiana. The pieces take on a meaty texture when they’re that thin and fried. Each piece of eggplant is coated with seasoned breadcrumbs, then layered like a lasagna after that — homemade sauce, eggplant, more sauce, grated pecorino, shredded salty mozzarella, basil, and repeat. 

To use it, I secure it by placing it over a bowl or sheet tray before gliding the vegetable over it. I use smaller eggplants to fit the surface area, or slice larger ones in half lengthwise. I also love that there’s a see through panel at the top of the slicer to see what you’re cutting underneath. Though it's dishwasher safe, it’s quite easy to clean by hand. 

It also comes with a guard to hold, so that your hands aren’t directly exposed to the blade. But for eggplant parm, I typically don’t use it, since I never slice all the way to the end (the pieces become too small). 

But when I’m not making eggplant parmigiana, it’s just as useful. I love that I can adjust the blade thickness and use it for a ton of other tasks, like slicing radishes for salads or potatoes for homemade chips. 

For your very own slice (or massive slab) of my perfect version of this dish, grab this mandoline slicer. Think of it as spending just $19 for a lifetime of really good Jersey-style eggplant parmigiana. 

At the time of publishing, the price was $19.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles