One of the ways we save on our meals is we don’t have meat at every meal. My meat-lovin’ mother gasps at the idea – how can you live without meat at every meal? But we seem to be surviving. ?One of my favorite vegetarian recipes is Eggplant Parmesan – anything coated in bread crumbs and smothered with cheese is good right? Especially as the weather starts to get a little chillier and you’re craving those comfort foods!
This recipe is adapted from the Weight Watcher’s recipe – so I think it’s a healthier version of your typical eggplant parmesan recipe. Most eggplant parmesan recipes have you pan fry the eggplant before it’s baked – but this recipe bakes them. Disclaimer: This particular time we made it – my hubby added extra cheese, so the version pictured above is not quite as healthy as the recipe listed below – but you’ll be surprised how a little cheese can go a long way with this recipe.
- 1 spray(s) cooking spray (I don’t personally like cooking sprays, so I use an olive oil spritzer or just wipe the pan with a paper towel dabbed in olive oil)
- ⅓ cup(s) seasoned bread crumbs, Italian-style
- 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 medium raw eggplant
- 2 large egg white(s), lightly beaten
- 1½ cup(s) canned tomato sauce (or spaghetti sauce)
- ½ cup(s) (shredded) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Optional: Pasta – We like to enjoy our eggplant parmesan on a bed of pasta.
- Optional: Mushrooms – I like adding mushrooms to the mix sometimes. I’d recommend slicing them and giving them a quick saute in olive oil in another pan. Add them to the layers you’ll be doing before baking.
- Optional: If you have fresh basil – add it to the mix! It’s divine.
- Optional: Fresh garlic – minced and added to your tomato sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray (I use an olive oil spritzer); set aside.
- If you plan to serve your eggplant parmesan over some pasta – get your water boiling and start your pasta.
- Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a medium-size bowl; set aside.
- Remove skin from eggplant and trim off ends; slice eggplant into ½-inch-thick slices.
- Dip eggplant first into egg whites and then into bread crumb mixture. Place on cookie sheet.
- Bake eggplant on a nonstick cookie sheet until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes, flipping once.
- Once they are baked, place a layer of eggplant on the bottom of prepared baking dish, then add ⅓ of tomato sauce and ⅓ of mozzarella cheese. Repeat with two (2) more layers in same order. (Our eggplants are usually too stubby to do this many layers, so we just do two).
- Bake until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling, about 10 minutes more. Serve on pasta if you like!
I’d love to hear what you think! What are your favorite eggplant recipes?
Recipe credit: Weight Watchers