6-Ingredient Eggplant Casserole Recipe With Smoked Mozzarella: Best Recipe Yet for This Foodie by Donna John
While I've made a lot of favorite new recipes this year that I've loved – oatmeal pie, orange baked chicken, Cajun chicken, sausage and cabbage, crunchy pork chops, cabbage curry and crunchy-as-hell chicken, to name a few – this eggplant casserole is officially my favorite to date. When you close your eyes while chewing the first bite, smile and say, "Damn, this is good." Well, it's good.
This is another from the six-ingredient magazine from America's Test Kitchen that I'm currently obsessed with. "For a more hands-off and less tedious take on eggplant parmesan, we ditched the deep fryer and instead roasted our eggplant to evaporate its liquid and concentrate its flavor," they write. "Jarred arrabbiata sauce made a lively, spicy alternative to tomato sauce, and big dollops of ricotta added an ultra creamy texture. Rather than using the usual mozzarella, we opted for the smoked variety, which contributed deep, smoky flavor and gooey, cheesy richness."
Cuisine: Italian / American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
- 4 medium eggplants
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup panko
- 1 3/4 cup ricotta
- 1 jar (25 ounces) arrabbiata sauce (I used Vera Gusto Arrabbiata Sauce)
- 4 cups (1 pound) shredded smoked mozzarella
Here's how to make it:
- Slice the eggplants into 3/4-inch thick rounds.
- Put the sliced eggplants into a bowl. Add the olive oil and toss to coat. Lay the eggplants onto aluminum foil-covered baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated 450-degree F oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Remove and allow to cool.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet. Add the panko and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Spread 3/4 of the pasta sauce on the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish. Arrange half of the eggplant in a single layer over the sauce, then top with 3/4 cup of the pasta sauce. Dollop half of the ricotta over the top and flatten with a spoon to cover. Sprinkle with 2 cups of the mozzarella and top with 3/4 cup of the arrabbiata sauce.
- Repeat layering with remaining eggplant, sauce, ricotta and mozzarella.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake until eggplant is tender, about 40 minutes.
- Remove the foil, sprinkle with the panko and continue to bake until topping is golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Note: Because there's just the two of us, I cut this recipe in half and baked it in a casserole dish.
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