Eggplant is something I never cared much for until this past year. I’m not sure why, I never really gave it a chance. Dennis and I had our daughter, Kylie’s boyfriend’s parents and family for dinner for this first time this past summer. Jacob loves my lasagne and when I asked him what he thought they may enjoy for dinner, he recommended my lasagne. Jacob’s mom, Pearl, is a vegetarian and I could’ve made cheese lasagne, but I wanted to make something that both his mom and dad would enjoy, as well as Kylie and Jacob. So, with that in mind, I decided to make a meat lasagne and an eggplant parmesan bake. I I decided to have the eggplant along with Jacob’s mom, and I found that I really enjoyed it.
In deciding what to include in my dinner plans for the week, I was craving the eggplant again, so made it for Dennis and I Sunday night.
After peeling and slicing the eggplant, I coated the slices in egg first and then a mixture of panko breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, dried basil and red pepper flakes.
After breading the eggplant slices, I placed them on two large baking sheets that I lined with parchment paper (I do this with everything for easier clean-up) and brushed with olive oil.
I baked the eggplant at 375 degrees for 30-32 minutes, turned the slices over and continued to bake them for another 32 minutes. The eggplant was nice and golden brown and crispy when it was done cooking.
While the eggplant was baking, I prepared my baking dish and ingredients for the bake.
I used a 28 ounce can of whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes, as well as a 25 ounce jar of marinara sauce, 1 bunch of fresh spinach, 2-1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella, and grated parmesan. I started by coating my 9×12 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and then sprinkling grated parmesan on the bottom of the dish.
On top of the grated parmesan, I added 1/3 of the jar of marinara. On top of that I placed the first layer of eggplant.
I drained the whole tomatoes and cut them into large chunks with a kitchen shears. I added the San Marzano tomatoes onto the top of the eggplant slices and then added the fresh spinach to the top of that. On top of the spinach, I sprinkled grated parmesan (just a hefty sprinkling) and then added 1-1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella.
I then repeated my layers, starting with the rest of the eggplant. I cut the last couple pieces of eggplant to fit them in nicely among the rest of the top layer so there would be no open areas without eggplant. I added the rest of the marinara to the pan and sprinkled with the remaining 1-1/4 cups of mozzarella. I raised the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees and baked it for 40 minutes.
The eggplant parmesan came out perfectly golden brown and was delish!
I sprinkled the eggplant bake with fresh basil and let it sit for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving it.
- 3 large eggplant
- olive oil, for brushing pan
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup grated parmessan, plus more for pan and sprinkling over eggplant when layering
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 bunch fresh spinach
- 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 25-ounce jar marinara
- 2-1/2 cups shredded mozarella
- fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper and brush with oil.
- Whisk three eggs and three tablespoons water in one shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs, grated parmesan, kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried basil, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.
- Peel and slice eggplant into 1 inch rounds. Dip each slice into egg and then breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides. Place onto sheet pans.
- Bake for 30 minutes on first side, turn and bake another 32 minutes on second side.
- Coat 9×12 baking dish with non-stick spray and sprinkle with grated parmesan. Add 1/3 jar of the marinara to the bottom of the pan.
- Place first layer of eggplant into pan, topping with fresh spinach and a sprinkling of grated parmesan. Add San Marzano tomatoes and top with 1-1/4 cups of mozarella. Top with another layer of eggplant, a sprinkling of parmesan and cover with remaining marinara. Add the remainder (1-1/4 cups) of mozzarella and place in oven for 30-40 minutes until browned.
- Sprinkle fresh basil over eggplant parmesan. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
Until next time, Kris