Eggplant Parmesan And Chicken Parmesan: What You Should Know

Chicken parmesan and eggplant parmesan are meals that seem so alike but are quite different, for obvious reasons. In recent years, guests have been ordering eggplant parmesan more frequently, while chicken parmesan has been around for centuries. What is the difference between the two though? Why has the popularity of eggplant parmesan grown?

Let’s dig deeper into the history of both dishes so that way you can choose the perfect meal for you!

Where Did Chicken Parmesan Originate?

Yes, chicken parmesan is considered an Italian meal, however, the dish originated in the Northeastern United States. Italian immigrants brought it to the U.S., making it a popular dish served in Italian-American cuisine by the 1950s. This dish was created with the thought of combining two cultures, American and Italian. 

So, chicken parmesan isn’t originally from Italy, but it is heavily inspired by Italian cuisine. Chicken provides the American feel, while the pasta and the red sauce add an Italian flare. The name comes from a cheese named after the Italian city of Parma. 

Chefs today have modernized the meal by making it in the form of a sub or hoagie, which includes all the ingredients except the pasta.

Where Did Eggplant Parmesan Originate?

Believe it or not, eggplant is a fruit. Eggplant parmesan arrived in Italy in the 7th century. It was brought to Italy by traders from India. In Italy, they call it “melanzane.” No one truly knows where the meal originated from. Chicken parmesan has been a popular meal for decades. However, not everyone is a fan of chicken, or meat in general, so there needed to be a green alternative. This is where eggplant made its debut. This dish was made by vegetarians and even doubles as a vegan-friendly meal. 

Differences In Preparation

The biggest key difference between the two is that one is a “fruit” that offers a completely different taste to chicken. It also has completely different nutrients, vitamins, and proteins that change how it tastes and interacts with the sauce and pasta.

Another key difference between the two is how they are made. When it comes to preparing it, the chicken has a lot more variety, so two chicken parmesan dishes can look and taste completely different. The most popular recipe that people are familiar with is where the chicken cutlet is breaded and fried. 

When you are preparing eggplant parmesan, it takes longer to make the dish. The eggplant is sliced and salted before it sits for an hour to remove excess moisture. This helps when it is time to fry it so it doesn’t soak up too much oil. However, sometimes people use vegan cheese when making eggplant parmesan.

Which One is for You?

Eggplant parmesan tends to be lighter on the stomach and is considered to be more healthy. Eggplant is also less expensive. Restaurants find that it is a much cheaper option for guests. In addition, eggplant parmesan isn’t a great meal when it comes to leftovers. Italian food is often served in big portions, and eggplant can become soggy from soaking up all the moisture. 

Chicken parmesan is filled with protein and very filling on the stomach compared to eggplant. If you are looking for a meal that will leave you full, chicken parmesan is the best option.

Try Rikasa’s Parmesan Dishes Soon!

Whether you decide you want to enjoy a filling chicken parm meal or a healthier eggplant parmesan option, we have you covered. If you’re looking for any other classic Italian dishes, come to Rikasa in Pittston, PA. We have all your Italian favorites and maybe some you haven’t tried. Take a look at our menu and make a reservation today!