This Eggplant Parm Casserole was inspired by Alison Roman’s “Little Eggplant Parm” which has the taste of Eggplant Parmesan without all the work. Tedious breading and messy frying is not required, and that’s what drew me to this dish. I’ve doubled her recipe because it’s just too good to make little, and tweaked it to save some time while making it a tiny bit my own, but mostly Alison’s. I highly recommend that you sign up for Alison Roman’s weekly newsletters which is where I found this recipe.
- Roast Eggplant
- Combine thinly sliced onions with garlic and a jar of tomato sauce.
- Toast the breadcrumbs
- Assemble the layers
We are going to layer in some toasted breadcrumbs or panko, or a mix of both, with thinly sliced and sauteed onions, a good quality jar of tomato sauce, thick eggplant rounds roasted to a char, capers, seasoning and Parmesan cheese. And for all the cheese lovers out there, you can even add some mozzarella into the mix too, if you’d like! I opted to omit the mozzarella because we are watching our dairy and meat intake at the moment in hopes to get Adam’s cholesterol down. We generally eat healthy and stay active, but high cholesterol runs in his family and medication was effecting his liver. So you will see lots of plant forward, dairy-free(ish), high fiber dishes in the coming weeks. Wish us luck!
Anyways! Without the extra cheese, this Eggplant Parm Casserole is still full of flavor. Garnish with fresh parsley and let this large and healthy casserole feed you for days. Eat it as is, with pasta, or inside a torpedo roll as a sandwich. I promise you will not get sick of it!
Eggplant Parm Casserole
- 2 large eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch - 3/4 inch thick
- 1 cup olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 onion (yellow or white), thinly sliced
- 2-4 garlic cloves
- 1 jar of marinara sauce (good quality)
- 1 1/2 cups of panko breadcrumbs or plain breadcrumbs
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 4-5 tablespoons of capers
- 4 tablespoons oregano
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley, divided into two
- 8-16 ounces of fresh mozzarella torn apart (optional)
- Step 1 Line your oven racks with tin foil because we are not using sheet pans. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle thickly sliced eggplant rounds with most of the olive oil and season with s + p. Roast the eggplant on the tin foil and turn halfway through using tongs or a fork. When both sides are brown and the middle is tender, they are done. About 25 minutes. We want the eggplant brown for flavor, so keep roasting for a total of 30 minutes, if needed.
- Step 2 While the eggplant is going, chop the parsley, slice the onions, mince the garlic, and get the rest of the ingredients ready to go. Heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add the onion and minced garlic to the pan and season with s + p. Cook and stir occasionally until onions are tender, and then add the jar of tomato sauce. Let it simmer until the eggplant is ready.
- Step 3 The last and sort of annoying step is toasting the breadcrumbs but it’s so necessary and makes the whole dish, so don’t skip it! Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet, add the breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Keep stirring and toasting for 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
- Step 4 For assembly, do half of the following ingredients and layer them in this order: Onion-y tomato sauce mixture, eggplant (overlap and gaps are fine!), parmesan, capers, oregano, breadcrumbs and lastly mozzarella (if using it). Repeat those layers one more time with the remaining ingredients.
- Step 5 Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until bubbling. Remove from the oven and finish with more parsley. Enjoy!