Eggplant Parmesan Bake Celebrates Summer

Eggplant Parmesan Bake in a casserole dish on a checkered dish towel
Photo: Katie Schmidt

It’s time to include this purple healthy-eating sensation on the menu. The name eggplant simply describes its shape — not its nutrition value, which is very low in calories and carbohydrates. A half cup of cooked eggplant only has 20 calories and provides a wide variety of nutrients as well as fiber.

Eggplant is best baked, sautéed or stir-fried  and has a mild flavor and will absorb the seasoning that is utilized. This Eggplant Parmesan Bake recipe has traditional Italian flavors with oregano, garlic, marinara sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Eggplants are cut in half into edible “boats” that hold sautéed eggplant, sauce and topped with melted cheese. It’s super easy and is fun to prepare.

Eggplant Parmesan Bake

Makes 8 Servings ( 23 cup each)

Ingredients

  • 112 cups marinara sauce, divided
  • 2 medium eggplants, halved
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 Tbsp. fresh)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 212 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 14 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 14 cup basil or parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Spread about 1 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of a medium baking dish.
  3. Using a paring knife and spoon, hollow out the eggplants leaving about a 12” thick border around skin to create a boat. Roughly chop scooped out eggplant.
  4. Drizzle 1 cup marina sauce in baking dish and place eggplant boats on sauce.
  5. In a large skillet over medium temp., heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in chopped eggplant and season with oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the eggplant is golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
  6. To the bowl with the eggplant mixture, add chopped tomatoes, egg, 34 cups shredded mozzarella, and ½ cup marinara. Mix until just combined. Scoop mixture into eggplant boats. Top with remaining mozzarella, Parmesan and bread crumbs. Finish with dollops of the remaining marinara sauce.
  7. Bake until the eggplants are tender and the cheese has melted, about 50 minutes (test with a fork). Garnish with basil and serve warm.
Ruth Lahmayer Chipps
Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RDN, CD, is a registered dietitian nutritionist at Black River Memorial Hospital in Black River Falls, WI, and provides medical nutrition therapy services, wellness programming, recipe development and media outreach for healthy living. She coordinates diabetes education programs, manages the website and blog for JacksonInAction.org, a community healthy living coalition, and produces Harvest of the Month education series. Ruth completed her nutrition degree at San Diego State University and master’s at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She is a former Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics spokesperson for the Atlanta region.