Hearty eggplant casserole can easily serve as a filling meatless entree. The combination of eggplant, tomato sauce, and melted cheese is wonderful.
I love eggplant. Much like portobello mushrooms, it's not just nutritious but also wonderfully flavorful, almost "meaty." 🍆That's why I have quite a few eggplant recipes on this blog. But this is definitely one of the best.
If you like eggplant, I think you will love this cheesy eggplant casserole. The combination of deeply flavorful, roasted eggplant slices, tangy tomato sauce, and melted mozzarella combine to create a delicious, pizza-like experience.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty casserole (this is an overview - the exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Eggplant: Look for a large, firm eggplant with smooth skin. I don't peel the eggplant, but you can peel it if you want.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use, or the casserole could end up too salty.
Garlic powder: Make sure it's fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish. You can also use fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder.
Marinara sauce: Try to find a no-sugar-added brand. I like Rao's.
Shredded Mozzarella: A good alternative to mozzarella is provolone.
Grated parmesan: Shredded parmesan works too in this recipe.
How to make eggplant casserole
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. You start by slicing the eggplant and roasting the slices in a hot oven.
2. Next, you layer the eggplant slices, the marinara sauce and the mozzarella in a baking dish.
3. Bake the casserole until golden and bubbly.
How to serve eggplant casserole?
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 salad.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep great for 3-4 days in the fridge, in an airtight container. So it's actually not a bad idea to make double!
If you wish to double the recipe, simply bake it in a 2-quart baking dish. You can gently warm the leftovers in the microwave, or simply eat them cold.
More eggplant recipes that you might enjoy
If you like eggplant, you should definitely try another wonderful eggplant recipe that I make often - eggplant chips. They are so good!
And this low carb moussaka is out of this world. Though it does require a bit more work than most of my other recipes.
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- Avocado oil spray for pan
- 1 large eggplant (1 ¼ lb), unpeeled
- ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella, divided (4 oz)
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 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 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, 10-15 more minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
- Arrange half of the roasted eggplant slices in the bottom of a greased 1-quart casserole dish. Spread half the marinara sauce on top and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella, as shown in the video.
- Arrange the remaining eggplant slices on top. Spread the remaining marinara sauce on top. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and with the Parmesan.
- Bake the eggplant casserole until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.