Lazy Eggplant Bake
If you're looking for a delicious and easy-to-make side dish, this lazy eggplant bake is a must-try! Not only is it packed with flavor, but it's also a great way to incorporate more veggies into your diet. Plus, this recipe is a fantastic alternative for people who are looking for a gluten-free or low-carb option to add to their meal. In this recipe, we'll be swapping the usual starchy base for a healthier and more nutritious option: eggplant. And to add a touch of Italian flavor, we'll be using marinara sauce and a combination of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that can be cooked in many ways, and this recipe is one of our favorites. To start, we recommend using medium-sized eggplants, or one large one. Slice them into 1/4 inch circles and sprinkle them with sea salt on both sides. This step helps to remove excess water and bitterness from the eggplant, resulting in a better texture and flavor.
After allowing the eggplant to sit for about 15-20 minutes, pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Next, arrange the eggplant on a greased baking sheet and top with dried basil, oregano, onion powder, and garlic powder. These herbs and spices will add a burst of flavor to the dish and complement the marinara sauce.
To assemble the eggplant bake, start by spooning a layer of marinara sauce onto the bottom of a square baking dish. Then, layer the eggplant circles on top and add another spoonful of marinara sauce. Sprinkle with a combination of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and repeat until you've used up all the eggplant. Finish with a final layer of sauce and cheese, and sprinkle dried basil and oregano on top.
Bake the eggplant for 15-20 minutes in a preheated 425-degree oven, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Once it's done, top it off with fresh basil leaves for an extra pop of flavor.
This lazy eggplant bake is perfect as a side dish or even as a main dish. It's also a great make-ahead option that can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. So the next time you're looking for an easy and healthy way to add more veggies to your diet, give this recipe a try!
2 Medium eggplants (or 1 large)
2 Cups Marinara Sauce (use jarred sauce of choice)
1 Cup Mozzarella cheese
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp Dried basil
1 Tbsp Dried oregano
2 tsp Dried onion powder
2 tsp Dried garlic powder
9-10 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Preheat your oven to 425 and line a greased baking sheet.
Peel the skin off the eggplant and slice into 1/4 inch thin circles. Spread the eggplant out on a paper towel lined plate or cutting board and sprinkle with the sea salt on both sides. Allow the eggplant to sit for 15-20 minutes and pat with a clean kitchen towel to remove excess water.
Spread the eggplant out on the greased baking sheet and top with the pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Bake for 25-30 minutes and then remove from the oven.
Assemble the eggplant bake in a square baking dish. Start with a spoonful of marinara sauce on the base of a baking dish, then layer the cooked eggplant, top with more marinara and about 1/3 of the mozzarella and parmesan.
Repeat until you use all of the eggplant and top with a layer of sauce and cheese. Top with the dried basil and oregano.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
Top with fresh basil leaves and enjoy!
Storage: store in an airtight container in the fridge of up to 5 days.