Monday, August 27, 2012

Meatless Monday: No-Fry Easy Eggplant Parmesan

This is the only way I've ever made Eggplant Parmesan, so I'm not sure how it compares to recipes that involve frying, but I am sure that it's delicious. And apparently ever-so-slightly healthier, thanks to baking the eggplant rather than frying it. I neglected to plant any eggplant in the garden this year, so I've been excited to see them popping up in abundance at the farmer's markets! This recipe takes a little over an hour including prep and cooking time and serves 8. I haven't tried freezing it since the left overs are delicious and it's usually gone the day after I make it! This recipe is based on this one from with just a few very slight "tweaks".

What You'll Need:

  • 3 Medium/Large Eggplant (to prepare: peel, slice in 3/8-1/2 thick slices, salt slices and allow to "sweat" in a colander, rinse and gently pat dry)
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 4 cups breadcrumbs (Italian seasoned)
  • 1-24oz Jar spaghetti sauce of your choice (or equal amount home-made sauce)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil)
What You'll Do:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Dip prepared eggplant slices in egg, then toss in breadcrumbs to coat.
  • Place breaded slices on cookie sheets in a single layer (I always need 2 cookie sheets).
  • Bake slices in preheated oven for 10 minutes, flip slices and bake an additional 5 minutes.
  • While the slices are baking, I toss my cheeses together and also toss in any left over bread crumbs from the breading process.
  • In a 9X13 inch baking dish, spread enough sauce to cover the bottom. Place a single layer of eggplant slices on the sauce layer, then cover with a layer of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers (sauce, eggplant, cheese), ending with cheese on top. You'll have 2-3 layers depending on the size of your eggplant.
  • Sprinkle with basil. (Using fresh basil really makes this dish, but dried will do!)
  • Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until top is slightly browned and bubbly. 
  • Allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

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