Italian-Style Eggplant Casserole

This is one of our favorite ways to prepare eggplant - similar in flavor to eggplant parmesan, but with less work, less fat and fewer calories. Made with cubes of roasted eggplant, a sprinkling of panko crumbs, homemade marinara and melted provolone, it's great served with pasta for a meatless meal and the leftovers make fantastic sandwiches.

Italian-Style Eggplant Casserole

Italian-Style Eggplant Casserole

  • Ingredients:
  • 3 small eggplants (2-1/2 to 3 lbs)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 4 to 6 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Peel the eggplants and cut them into 3/4-inch cubes. Place half the cubes in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and quickly toss to coat. The eggplant will absorb the oil almost immediately, so don't get concerned if doesn't seem to be distributed evenly.

Spread the eggplant in a single layer on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat the process with the remaining eggplant and olive oil.

Place both sheets in the oven and roast until the eggplant is tender and lightly caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate the position of the sheets at least once to ensure even cooking. Remove the eggplant from the oven and reduce the heat to 375°F.

Coat a small casserole (9 x 9 x 2) with nonstick spray and spoon 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce into the bottom. Add half of the eggplant, then top with another 1/2 cup of sauce. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the panko crumbs evenly over the top, the add a layer of provolone cheese.

Add the remaining eggplant, another 1/2 cup of sauce, the remaining panko crumbs and more cheese. Bake uncovered, until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with pasta if desired.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe Notes:
The quantities of sauce and cheese are somewhat flexible in this recipe. If you like a lot of sauce, feel free to use more. The same applies to the cheese. You can also use shredded cheese if you prefer.

Homemade Marinara Sauce
  • Ingredients:
  • 3 cups good quality diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh basil

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant and pale golden in color - do not brown! Stir in the tomatoes with their liquid and season to taste with salt, pepper and oregano. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes, adding the fresh basil during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Makes 2 to 2-1/2 cups

comments & replies

search our recipes

dinner tonight

Get the recipe

weekly recipe newsletter

popular posts

what to drink

Read Now!

unique finds

Shop Now!