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Melanzane alla parmigiana.jpg
Melanzane alla Parmigiana
Place of originItaly
Region or stateCampania, Sicily
Main ingredientsEggplant or breaded meat, cheese, tomato sauce
VariationsVeal, Chicken

Parmigiana (/ˌpɑːrmɪˈɑːnə, -ˈʒɑː-/, Italian: [parmiˈdʒaːna], also called parmigiana di melanzane [parmiˈdʒaːna di melanˈdzaːne; -ˈtsaːne] or melanzane alla parmigiana, is an Italian dish made with a shallow or deep-fried sliced eggplant filling, layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked. The origin of the dish is claimed by both the Southern regions of Campania and Sicily. Other variations found outside Italy may include chicken, veal, or another type of meat cutlet or vegetable filling.


The dish consists of sliced eggplant, pan fried in oil, layered with tomato sauce and cheese and baked in an oven.

In some versions, the sliced filling is first dipped in beaten eggs and dredged in flour or breadcrumbs before frying. Some recipes use hard grated cheeses such as Parmigiano, while others use softer melting cheeses like mozzarella, or a combination of these.

Italian variations[edit]

In Naples, Parmigiana is also prepared using zucchini or artichokes in place of eggplants.[1]

International variations[edit]

Variations made with breaded meat cutlets, such as veal and chicken, have been popularized in other countries, usually in areas of Italian immigration. In such areas the original dish may be called eggplant parmigiana to distinguish it from the meat versions.[2]

In the United States and Canada, chicken parmigiana and veal parmigiana are often served as a main course often with a side of pasta. Chicken parmigiana is also served as the filling of a submarine sandwich.[3] The alternate anglicization Parmesan is sometimes used instead, and the abbreviated form "parm" is common.[2] The use of meats as an alternate to eggplant originated in the United States, where it was influenced by similar Italian dishes. A similar veal dish is known in Italian as Cotolette alla Bolognese;[4] however, traditional Italian recipes exclude tomato sauce from the dish. Costolette Parmigiana is another similar veal dish, but in Italy it is generally served without sauce or cheese.[5]

Chicken parmigiana is also a common dish in Australia and is often served with a side of chips or salad.[6][7] In Australia, where the name is often shortened to parmi or parma,[8] it may also contain a variety of toppings, including sliced ham or bacon.[9][10]

In Argentina and in other neighboring South American countries, veal or chicken parmigiana is topped with ham and served with french fries. It is known as milanesa a la napolitana.[11][12][13][14] If the dish is topped with a fried egg, then it is known as a súper milanesa or suprema napolitana.

A similar dish, the parmo, which uses either pork or chicken, has developed in England.

In Brazil, Parmigiana is a popular restaurant dish, which was brought over by Italian immigrants. There are three kinds of Parmigiana in Brazil: filé de frango a parmigiana (chicken fillet parmigiana), berinjela a parmigiana (eggplant parmigiana) and bife à parmigiana (beef parmigiana), the latter of which may specify a prime cut if used, with filé mignon à parmigiana (tenderloin parmigiana) and contra-filé à parmigiana (sirloin steak parmigiana) being common. In Brazil, Parmigiana dishes are usually served with either white rice and french fries or with pasta in a tomato sauce.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Francesconi, Jeanne Caròla (1995) [1965]. La vera cucina di Napoli (in Italian). Roma: Newton Compton Editori. pp. 219–20. ISBN 8881830213.
  2. ^ a b Clark, Melissa (January 30, 2015). "Parmigiana Dishes to Warm Weary Souls". The New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  3. ^ Ostrosky, Marie. "Veal Parmigiana Recipe". Food Network. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  4. ^ Phillips, Kyle (2014-03-03). "Veal Parmigiana Recipe – Cotolette alla Bolognese – Easy Veal Parmigiana Recipe". Archived from the original on 2014-07-12. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  5. ^ Kaminski, Margot (October 12, 2006). "Fake Accent". Chowhound. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  6. ^ "America's Best Chicken Parm Sandwiches". The Huffington Post. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  7. ^ Pisarro, Marcelo (2012-05-11). "Milanesa napolitana". Clarín (Argentine newspaper) (in Spanish). Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2017-05-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Levin, Darren (2004-08-07). "Keeping abreast of the Parma best". The Age. Melbourne, Victoria. p. A2.2.
  10. ^ Peucker, Christie (2011-01-02). "They're the parmi police Duo in quest for Adelaide's best". Sunday Mail. Adelaide, South Australia. p. 20.
  11. ^ Pisarro, Marcelo (2012-05-11). "Milanesa napolitana". Clarín (Argentine newspaper) (in Spanish).
  12. ^ "Milanesa a la napolitana". El Reporte (in Spanish). 2013-04-25.
  13. ^ "El origen de la milanesa". ABC Color (in Spanish). 2013-04-13. Archived from the original on 2014-05-17.
  14. ^ Asier, Soren (2012-07-13). "Clásica milanesa napolitana de Argentina". iMujer (in Spanish).

External links[edit]