Jan 092013
 
Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

One of my family’s favorite meals is my eggplant parmesan casserole. It’s an eggplant parmesan that’s layered like a lasagna! It’s warm and hearty and perfect for a cold night, but a great casserole for any time of year. When I make this, my hubby tends to hang around the kitchen a lot, trying to get at the breaded eggplant pieces before I add them to the casserole. I usually save him a couple of pieces if I can. Our twins love this one too and will ask for it.

This eggplant parmesan casserole is even better the next day. This recipe usually makes enough for leftovers for my family’s dinner the next day and enough for my lunch the following day.

I haven’t tried freezing it yet so if you do and it turns out well, leave me a comment below and tell me about your experience.

I did make a gluten free version recently using brown rice crumbs and it was just as delicious!

If you want to make the recipe lighter, try it with low/non fat ingredients and let me know how it turns out.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants peeled and sliced lengthwise. (Make the slices a little thinner than 1/4 inch if you can.)
  • 2-3 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoned bread crumbs (or Panko or Gluten Free – whatever your preference is).
  • 2 jars pasta sauce (I like Bertolli’s organic pasta sauce, but you can use your favorite or make your own)
  • 2 cups of shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • extra virgin or regular olive oil for frying
  • 9×13 glass oven pan

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs together and mix in the salt, black pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning. Set aside.

Mix together equal amounts of grated parmesan cheese and bread crumbs and set aside. I usually start with about 1/2 cup of each then add more as needed.

Add oil to your skillet, just enough to coat the bottom.  (You’ll need to add more oil as needed through the process.) Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture then bread crumb mixture. Lightly brown on both sides in the pan then remove and let soak on paper towels until you are done with all the slices. Layer paper towels between each layer of browned eggplant slices.

After you are done breading and browning the eggplant slices, cover the bottom of your oven pan with a light layer of sauce. Add a layer of the breaded eggplant slices then a light layer of marinara sauce. Keep layering until you use up all of the eggplant slices. I like to add a light sprinkle of parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese in between the layers to season and allow the layers to stick better. You can change it up and add ricotta cheese to the recipe to make it more like a lasagna too – this is a very versatile recipe!

Finish off the top layer with the rest of the marinara sauce and add a thick layer of the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over that and then bake in oven uncovered for about 15-20 minutes until cheese melts and browns slightly on the sides. Once done, let eggplant parmesan casserole sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a salad, bread or just have it by itself.

Enjoy!

 

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