Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

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Eggplant Parmesan CasseroleEggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish that Alex and I are quite fond of, but we find the richness is a bit too much for everyday eating. Here’s a remix we created to turn it on its head. There’s no frying or breading the eggplant and no mountain of gooey cheese. Instead, the eggplant is mixed with white beans, tomatoes, and Italian spices, then baked with basil breadcrumbs and just enough cheese until the kitchen smells divine. It’s a cozy casserole that’s fitting for a dinner party, since it makes a substantial amount of servings with relatively simple prep. Leftovers also save well for meals throughout the week.

  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large, thick slices artisan bread (or 6 small slices)
  • 1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Prepare the vegetables: Cut the eggplant into ½-inch rings, then into small, bite-sized chunks. Drain the tomatoes. Drain the beans (no need to rinse). In a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, mix together the eggplant, tomatoes, beans, oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper.
  3. Start the baking: Slide the baking dish into the oven, then place the bread slices on the oven grates next to the pan. After the bread is lightly browned and toasted,
  4. about 8 minutes, remove the bread and continue baking the casserole another 17 minutes (for 25 minutes total).
  5. Make the breadcrumbs: Meanwhile, tear the toasted bread into pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor; process with the basil for a few seconds until reduced to fine crumbles. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and pulse several times to fully combine.
  6. Finish the baking: After the casserole has baked 25 minutes total (above), remove it from the oven and sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella cheese, then the Parmesan cheese. Top with an even layer of breadcrumbs. Bake for 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

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