Layers of eggplants drenched into a meat sauce, before being topped with cheese and baked to have a gorgeously golden crust, this comforting Italian casserole is no wonder a favorite for many.
Eggplant parmigiana is an Italian dish, traditionally made by coating the eggplants with flour or bread crumbs and then deep frying them, before layering them with cheese and tomato/ meat sauce and baking into a casserole. For my version, I bake my eggplants in the oven, which makes it a low carb and keto friendly casserole, but doesn’t compromise with the taste.
Its one of my family’s favorite meals and is enjoyed by the young and old ones equally. To compliment it, I serve a mixed salad, which brings the much needed lightness to the dish and provides a nice crunch as well.
The eggplant parmigiana tastes even better the next day. Its excellent for meal prep also, because it freezer really well and could be taken out a few hours before consumption, and heated in the oven for half an hour covered with a foil.
Here is the recipe (written instructions below):
Ingredients I Serves 4 I Preparation time 20 minutes I Cooking time 90 minutes
• 2 big sized eggplants/ aubergines
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 500 grams beef mince
• 1 chopped red chili
• 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic
• 1 chopped onion
• 2 rosemary twigs (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)
• 4-5 basil leaves (or 1 tsp dried basil)
• 1 cup tomato puree
• 1 Tbsp tomato paste (or 1 more cup tomato puree)
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup grated mozzarella
• 1 cup grated gouda
• 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Slice the eggplants about half centimeter thick.
- Place in a single layer on a baking tray.
- Brush lightly with olive oil on both sides and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Heat a pan on medium heat with the remaining olive oil.
- Add the onion, garlic and chili and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the minced meat and season with salt and pepper.
- Now cook the meat, until it turns brown from all sides (about 4-5 minutes).
- Add the tomato paste and mix well (if not using tomato paste, skip this step).
- Add tomato puree, rosemary and basil, along with 1 cup of water.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, take the pan off heat. Remove the rosemary twigs (if used) and let the meat sauce cool down for a few minutes.
- Beat the eggs in a big mixing bowl and add the meat sauce. Mix well.
- Mix the grated mozzarella and gouda.
- Now that all our components are ready, its time for the assembly.
- Take a big oven safe casserole and start by adding a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom.
- Add a layer of baked eggplant slices, tightly covering the bottom layer.
- Add the grated cheese layer.
- Repeat the above 3 steps three times.
- Add grated parmesan (if using) for the top layer.
- Cover with an aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven on 180 degree Celsius for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, take the foil off and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the crust turns lightly golden.
- Wait for at least 10-15 minutes before digging in, to let the casserole settle.