This casserole is one of my favorite weeknight dinners. If you prepare the baked eggplant ahead of time, it’s very quick and easy to put together. The spices are what really make the Mediterranean flavors come out- a nice twist on eggplant if you want to try something besides eggplant parmasan and don’t mind going non-vegetarian. Eat it as a stand-alone entree or with rice (or cauliflower rice if you are on a keto or other low-carb diet). It’s so delicious you will find it hard to believe it isn’t packed with carbs!
Preparation Time (not including pre-roasting the eggplant): 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour
Makes 4 servings
- 1 medium eggplant, oven-roasted (see Baked Eggplant recipe)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 3/4 pound ground lamb
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Muir Glen diced tomatoes, including juice
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmasan cheese
- Prepare the eggplant and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and when it’s hot, add the onion. Saute the onion until it’s soft, then add the garlic and saute another minute. Remove the onion mixture to a bowl and return the skillet to the heat.
- Crumble the lamb into the hot pan and saute until it’s beginning to brown. Pour off any fat that’s accumulated and add the spices and salt and pepper. Stir and saute until the lamb is completely brown. Return the onion mixture to the skillet and add the tomatoes. Let simmer until most of the juices have evaporated.
- In a large gratin dish, make a layer of eggplant slices. Cover with half the lamb mixture and crumble feta cheese on top. Add another layer of eggplant slices and the remaining lamb mixture. Sprinkle the top with the Parmasan.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
Tags: Easy Weeknight Dinners, Gluten-Free, Italian Cuisine, Low-Carb
This baked eggplant is great as a stand alone side side dish or as part of the Mediterranean Eggplant Bake recipe (also from Fran McCullough). If you like Italian food, nothing is more satisfying! This is a healthier way to prepare eggplant than frying and breading it it as is done in Eggplant Parmasan.
Preparation Time: Up to 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Ready in: Up to 50 minutes
Makes 6 servings
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds eggplant, in 1/2 inch slices
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450F. To make the first batch of eggplant: Pour half the oil into a 15×12 inch roasting pan and spread it around the bottom. Dip half the eggplant slices in the oil to coat both sides and arrange them in the pan in one layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the slices and bake another 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is golden brown. Remove the eggplant to a serving platter and sprinkle with half the lemon juice. Crumble half the oregano on top and add pepper to taste.
- Repeat the procedure with the remaining eggplant slices. The eggplant tastes best at room temperature; if it’s been refrigerated, let it come to room temperature before serving. The flavor just improves day to day, up to about 3 days.
Chef’s Tip: The author suggests peeling and salting the eggplant for 30 minutes prior to cooking if it’s store bought. She says that garden-fresh eggplant does not require salting.
Tags: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Italian Cuisine, Low-Carb, Vegetarian
I came across this recipe online while searching for a no-fuss week night meal that is easy to throw together and will not expand my waistline. This casserole is so delicious you would never guess that it is low-fat, low-carb and vegan or that the ingredients can be compiled in the amount of time it takes to pre-heat the oven. The bean spread in the middle is what gives the vegetables their flavor. The best part is that this stand-alone entree is quite filling. You don’t need to prepare a side dish to accompany the casserole unless you are inspired to.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Makes 4-6 servings
- 2 medium eggplants
- 1.5 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (The original recipe calls for 1.5 zucchini, but I use 2))
- 2 cups leftover homemade chili OR pasta sauce
- One 15-ounce can navy (great northern) beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup spinach (optional)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- Vegan parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450F. Peel the eggplants and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Lay on a lined baking sheet and pre-cook eggplant only for about 15 minutes, or until shrivelled. Remove from oven and cool. While the eggplant is cooking, slice the zucchini and set aside. Now prepare your bean filling, by processing the drained beans, herbs, salt, garlic, olive oil, and nutritional yeast (optional) in a food processor until smooth. Gather the eggplant, zucchini, sauce, and bean filling and get ready to layer your casserole.
- Preheat oven to 425. Grease a mid-sized rectangular casserole dish with oil. Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish. Arrange 1/3 of the eggplant slices over the sauce. Spread 1/2 of the bean filling over the eggplant, and put half of the zucchini on top. Add a layer of the sauce. Repeat eggplant, bean filling, zucchini, and sauce. Place the final layer of eggplant over the top and pour the remaining sauce evenly over top, spreading with a spoon.
- Bake for about 40 minutes at 425F. Once zucchini is cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle on some vegan parmesan cheese if desired.
Tags: Dairy-Free, Easy Weeknight Dinners, Gluten-Free, Italian Cuisine, Low-Carb, Vegetarian