Are there certain dishes you order when you dine out, but generally don’t make for yourself at home?
Authentic eggplant parmesan is one of those recipes for me. I think it’s all the slicing and breading and frying of the eggplant that just feels too cumbersome for me. This eggplant casserole is far less hands on. Whole eggplants are sliced in half and roasted. Then they are stuffed with fresh mozzarella, covered in tomato sauce and baked with more fresh mozzarella and home made parmesan breadcrumbs. All the comforting flavors of a classic eggplant parmesan in one easy dish.
This baked whole eggplant parmesan would be a great side dish to your Italian meal or a perfect simple supper.
These beautiful eggplants are cut in half and peeled. Cut each half almost in half to create a space to hide some fresh mozzarella. Roast the eggplants until they are soft and golden.
When they are cool enough to handle, place a slice of fresh mozzarella in each “pocket” that you’ve created. Place the eggplants in a casserole dish. Spoon your favorite tomato sauce or marinara over the eggplants. Top with more fresh mozzarella. And sprinkle the eggplants with some freshly made parmesan breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and bubbly!
Time to dig in! Soft, creamy eggplant. Warm, melted cheese. Tangy tomato sauce. Crunchy, cheesy breadcrumbs. A wonderful contrast of flavor and texture in each bite.
If you are a fan of eggplant as I am, and you love eggplant parmesan as I do, then I hope you will give this easy baked eggplant a try.
You can’t find happiness at the end of your journey if you didn’t bring it with you all along.
- ⅓ cup plus 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, divided
- 2½ cups of tomato sauce or marinara
- 4 small eggplants, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 cup of coarse, fresh breadcrumbs
- 10 ounces of fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- ½ cup of grated parmesan
- fresh basil if desired
- salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Slice each eggplant half almost in half, stopping before you reach the stem.
- Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and drizzle ⅓ cup of olive oil over the eggplants, turning them to coat, season with salt & pepper, then place them cut side down on the pan.
- Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the eggplants are very soft.
- In a medium bowl, toss the breadcrumbs and grated parmesan with 2 Tablespoons of oil.
- Transfer the eggplants to a large shallow baking dish.
- Top the eggplants with tomato sauce and mozzarella.
- Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden, 25-30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil before serving.