This Eggplant Casserole is my very favorite way to cook eggplant. It is a Baked Eggplant Parmesan that is stacked in a deep casserole dish. Cooking is all done in the oven, so the recipe is not greasy at all. Great as a vegetarian main course, buffet item or fabulous side dish for a big Italian meal.
While I enjoy regular Eggplant Parmesan, preparing fresh eggplant as a casserole in delicate stacks of many layers makes for an ample homey dish, perfect for sharing with family and friends. It is a big and filling recipe, so even with guests there are sure to be lots of leftovers. It also reheats very well (though I've been know to eat it cold straight out of the fridge).
A small slice will be satisfying for most people, but they will be likely to want a container to take home for later. Due to the reduced fat in this vegetarian casserole, and how filling it is, I've deemed it a light (Skinny) recipe.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Though I love Eggplant Casserole, many times it is far too greasy or the eggplant is tough and chewy or too dry. The ingredients to make the casserole are inexpensive, but it can be quite costly to buy ready made. For both reasons, I prefer to make it at home, despite how time consuming this baked eggplant parmesan casserole can be to make. I completely think it is worth the extra effort, and although it takes some time, the casserole isn't difficult to make at all.
How to Make Eggplant Casserole
A visual guide to making the baked eggplant parmesan. While there are quite a few steps, the recipe is actually easy to make, just time consuming. Baking the eggplant slices makes burning or loss of coating far less likely. Full printable casserole recipe below.
Tips for Preparing Eggplant Casserole
Two things make this hearty Eggplant Parmesan Casserole recipe an foolproof success:
- Baking rather than frying the eggplant , allows you to easily time the cooking process, to avoid burning. This also keeps your finished dish from being greasy.
- A very simple thick sauce featuring crushed tomatoes & paste, keeps things from getting soggy & guarantees plenty of tomato flavor.
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With eggplant Parmesan like this, you are sure to have a stack of clean plates at the end of the meal. One of my friends ate 4 servings!
Eggplant Casserole Recipe
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 4 eggs
- ⅔ cup low fat milk
- 4 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup oil 2 tbs per sheet pan and some for misting or basting
- 8 oz. reduced fat sliced provolone
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend
- 2 tbs oil
- 1½ cups sweet onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 56 oz Crushed Tomatoes (2 large cans)
- 12 oz Tomato Paste (2 small cans)
- generous handful of fresh basil coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut off the top & bottom of each eggplant, and slice lengthwise into ¼-1/3 inch slabs.
- Pour 2 tbs of oil onto baking sheets (you will probably need to do 3-4 sheets, so I do it in 2 batches)
- Set up for breading the eggplant: Place flour in 1st bowl, beat eggs and milk in second bowl, and the crumbs with Parmesan cheese are mixed in the 3rd bowl.
- Dredge each slice in flour, the egg wash , then crumbs, paying attention to keep one hand dry, while the other gets wet. (Keep a towel handy, as this is rarely a perfect process).
- Place the slabs on baking sheets. Stack any that won't fit on a plate, to bake in a second round. Mist or baste the sheeted slabs with oil.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then flip and bake another 8 minutes. (if you need to do a second set, wipe the sheets pans down re-oil and repeat the rest of the process.
- While eggplant is baking start sauce. Saute onion and garlic over med-high heat until caramelized. Add the crushed tomatoes and paste, cook until the sauce starts to bubbles, reduce to low and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes, then shut off burner and stir in the basil.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Cover the bottom of a 2 quart lasagna pan with 1 ½ cups of sauce. Then arrange a layer of eggplant, overlap a little if you need to to ensure gaps are filled, top with more sauce, then ½ the provolone. Top with eggplant then sauce then provolone again. Final layer is remaining eggplant and a generous layer of sauce, but no cheese when it goes in the oven.
- Place the lasagna pan on a baking sheet (just wipe on of the ones you used down) and bake for 30 minutes. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake 10 more minutes.
- Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.
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