This hearty eggplant casserole is a great side dish but can also serve as a filling meatless entree.
The combination of eggplant, tomato sauce, and melted cheese is lovely. And the leftovers are excellent, too!
I love eggplant. Much like grilled portobello mushrooms, it's wonderfully flavorful, almost "meaty." I regularly make several eggplant recipes, such as eggplant pizza, grilled eggplant, eggplant chips, and keto eggplant parmesan.
I especially like this eggplant casserole. Flavorful roasted eggplant slices, tangy tomato sauce, and melted mozzarella combine to create a superb eating experience!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this eggplant casserole. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Eggplant: Look for a large, firm eggplant with smooth skin. I don't peel the eggplant, but you can peel it if you want.
- To season: Kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Marinara sauce: Try to find a no-sugar-added sauce such as Rao's.
- Shredded Mozzarella: A good alternative to mozzarella is provolone.
- Grated parmesan: Shredded parmesan works in this recipe, too.
- If you'd like to add meat, you can brown a pound of ground beef separately and layer it with the eggplant layers.
- As mentioned above, you can use provolone instead of mozzarella.
- Add a handful of baby spinach leaves to each of the eggplant layers. Not too much, as they tend to release water into the casserole.
- If you enjoy spicy food, add ¼ or even ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the marinara sauce.
- You can use ½ teaspoon of fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder.
Eggplant Casserole Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
Start by slicing the eggplant into rounds and seasoning them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Next, roast the slices on both sides in a hot oven. You want the eggplant fully cooked at this point.
Layer the eggplant slices, marinara sauce, and mozzarella in a baking dish.
Bake the casserole until golden and bubbly, for about 15 minutes in a 425°F oven. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before digging in.
The leftovers of this casserole are excellent, so it's not a bad idea to double the recipe. If you wish to double it, simply bake it in a 2-quart baking dish.
You'll need two baking sheets for the initial step of roasting the eggplant slices.
You could, but it's unnecessary. The peel is beautiful. While some worry that the peel will have a bitter taste, I find that high-heat roasting, as we do here, takes care of that.
Sure, but salt the eggplant slices first to draw out excess water, and prepare to use a lot of oil - eggplant really soaks up oil. Personally, I find that oven-roasting is far easier than frying.
Yes. Japanese eggplants are small and elongated. You'll need several to equal one large eggplant (1 ¼ pounds). But they can definitely work in this recipe.
This casserole is an excellent side dish. But it is so filling and substantial that I often serve it as a meatless entree.
When I serve it as an entree, I divide the casserole into two servings instead of four and serve it with any of the following:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. You can gently reheat them in the microwave or simply eat them cold.
It's a bit like eating cold leftover pizza. It's different than hot but really good!
More Eggplant Recipes
👩🏻🍳 I publish a new or updated recipe every month. Want these recipes in your inbox? Subscribe today! You can unsubscribe at any time.
Eggplant Casserole Recipe
- Avocado oil spray for pan
- 1 large eggplant (1 ¼ pound), unpeeled
- ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella shredded, part-skim, divided (4 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon parmesan dry-grated
- Preheat your oven to 500°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with high-heat-resistant parchment paper (or nonstick foil). Spray the parchment with avocado oil spray.
- Slice the eggplant into ¼-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheet. Spray with avocado oil. Season with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Roast the eggplant for 15 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Turn the eggplant slices to the other side. Spray again with oil. Return to the oven and roast until browned and tender. This should take about 10 more minutes, but keep a close eye on the eggplant to ensure it doesn't burn.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 425°F.
- Arrange half of the roasted eggplant slices in the bottom of a greased 1-quart casserole dish. Spread half the marinara sauce on the eggplant pieces and sprinkle them with half the mozzarella.
- Arrange the remaining eggplant slices on top. Spread them with the remaining marinara sauce and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and with the parmesan.
- Bake the eggplant casserole until golden and bubbly, for about 15 minutes. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- This casserole can make an excellent side dish. But it is so filling and substantial that I often serve it as a meatless entree, in which case I divide the casserole into two servings instead of four and serve it with a green side, such as arugula salad or steamed broccoli.
- You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. You can gently reheat them in the microwave or simply eat them cold. It's a bit like eating cold leftover pizza. It's different than hot, but it's good!
- Since the leftovers are so good, it's not a bad idea to double the recipe. If you wish to double it, bake the casserole in a 2-quart baking dish.