In this tasty eggplant casserole, eggplant cubes, tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella combine to create a delicious, pizza-like experience. An excellent side dish, or a very filling vegetarian entree.
- Olive oil spray (make your own using a spray bottle)
- 1 large eggplant (total weight 1 lb), unpeeled, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup prepared tomato sauce (I like Rao’s Tomato Sauce for its clean ingredients list)
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup (2 oz) shredded part-skim Mozzarella, divided
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with olive oil cooking spray.
- Transfer the cubed eggplant to the baking sheet. Spray with olive oil spray. Sprinkle pepper and garlic powder. Roast, tossing once, 15 minutes, until golden.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the marinara sauce, cayenne and basil. Spray a 1-quart casserole dish with olive oil spray.
- When eggplant is roasted, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Add the roasted eggplant to the tomato/basil mixture. Add half of the Mozzarella and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Mozzarella and the Parmesan on top. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
When I'm out of fresh basil, I use instead ½ teaspoon dried oregano.
If you wish to double the recipe, bake it in a 9 X 13-inches baking dish.