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Easy and Delicious Eggplant Casserole: A Family Favorite


 
Craving something warm, cheesy, and comforting without the guilt? This Eggplant Casserole recipe might just be what you’re looking for. It’s a lighter take on traditional comfort food, featuring layers of roasted eggplant with marinara and melty cheese—a simple dish that's perfect for a cozy night in. Plus, it’s quite straightforward to whip up, making it an excellent choice for both weeknight dinners and special occasions. All you need are a few basic ingredients and a little love.

This recipe uses avocado oil, a heart-healthy fat, and part-skim mozzarella, which cuts down on the fat without sacrificing the beloved cheesy texture and flavor. Get ready to transform that humble eggplant into something truly delicious!

Ingredients:

  • Avocado oil spray (for greasing)
  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds), unpeeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat and Prepare:

    • Heat your oven to 500 degrees F. Grab a large, rimmed baking sheet and line it with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Spray the parchment lightly with avocado oil spray.
  2. Prepare the Eggplant:

    • Cut the eggplant into even 1/4-inch thick slices. Arrange these slices on the prepared baking sheet. Give them a generous spray with the avocado oil and season each slice with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Roast the Eggplant:

    • Place the eggplant in the oven and roast for about 15 minutes. Then, take the baking sheet out, flip the eggplant slices over, spray them again with a bit of oil, and roast for another 10-15 minutes until they're nicely browned and tender.
  4. Layer the Casserole:

    • Once done, remove the eggplant from the oven and reduce the temperature to 425 degrees F. Spray a 1-quart casserole dish with some more avocado oil.
    • Begin layering by placing half of the roasted eggplant slices at the bottom of the dish. Spread half the marinara sauce over the slices, then sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese on top.
  5. Build the Second Layer:

    • Layer the remaining eggplant slices over the first cheesy layer. Top these with the remaining marinara sauce and then the rest of the mozzarella cheese. Finally, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly on top.
  6. Bake the Casserole:

    • Put the casserole dish into the oven and bake until the cheese on top is golden and bubbly, around 15 minutes.
  7. Cool and Serve:

    • Let the casserole stand and cool for about 10 minutes after baking. This wait helps everything set nicely, making it easier to serve.

Serve this delightful Eggplant Casserole hot from the oven, and watch as it becomes an instant favorite. It’s great on its own or paired with a crisp salad or some crusty bread for dipping in that delicious sauce! Enjoy your meal!

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