In my house, we love Italian food. Pizza, pasta and all the other staples always seem to find their way onto our dinner table. As good as those dishes are, I wanted to make something a bit more waistline friendly (and also vegetarian for my husband). This Sicilian eggplant casserole didn’t disappoint.
For this rustic casserole, I took fresh eggplant that I sliced into rounds and lightly breaded them in panko breadcrumbs, then layered the slices with tomato sauce and creamy ricotta cheese.The eggplant bakes up perfectly tender and has a slight crispiness without being at all dry.
You can easily serve this on top of pasta or next to a side salad for an even heartier meal.
Easy Sicilian baked eggplant casserole recipe
Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 40 minutes | Total time: 1 hour
For the Sicilian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
For the eggplant
- 2 cups any tomato pasta sauce
- 2 large eggplants
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
- 12 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F, and spray a medium casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Sicilian seasoning, and mix well.
- Slice the eggplant into 1-inch rounds, and place them between 2 layers of paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Meanwhile, spread 1/2 the tomato sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish, and set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the eggplant, and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle the Sicilian seasonings on top, and toss the eggplant with your hands to evenly coat with the spices.
- On a large, shallow plate, place the breadcrumbs, and lightly coat all the eggplant slices.
- Layer the bottom of the baking dish with 1/2 the eggplant slices, then top with the ricotta cheese.
- Place the remaining eggplant on top of the cheese, and cover with the remaining tomato sauce.
- Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until the eggplant is tender and the cheese is golden brown. Garnish with fresh parsley, and serve warm.