Easy Eggplant Parmesan Casserole


Most eggplant parmesan recipes require quite a bit of hands on time to dredge, bread and fry the eggplant. They also require a lot of oil and cheese, adding lots of fat and not much nutrition. But not this one! Besides being vegan, this recipe is low in oil and can be put together in less than 15 minutes before being baked in the oven for a fuss-free entrée that can even work on busy weeknights.

But wait, you can't have eggplant parmesan without parmesan cheese, can you? Well, you can when you make your own parmesan. And you won't believe how easy and delicious it is.

We start with raw Brazil nuts. I love Brazil nuts for their rich, creamy taste, but they also happen to be mineral rich and high in both vitamin E and B vitamins. They are the richest source of selenium on the planet. I love to keep a bag of Brazil nuts in my fridge for an easy snack. (Do it, you won't regret it!) If you don't have Brazil nuts though, not to worry, cashews work too.

Next, we add nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that happens to be a great source of B-12, as well as B-6, thiamin, niacin and and riboflavin. It's like a B super vitamin. (It's an important ingredient in my Movie-Worthy Popcorn too.) Then a little sea salt and garlic powder and a whirl in the food processor and there you have your parmesan, ready to layer in with your eggplant, sauce and breadcrumbs.

Use gluten-free breadcrumbs to keep this recipe gluten-free and vegan mozzarella (I used Daiya) to keep it vegan. Pair with a big green salad with cucumbers, red onions, carrots and cannellini beans and a slice of toasty garlic bread and dinner is served.

One last tip: if you love this parmesan as much as my family does, I suggest doubling that part of the recipe and keeping half to use on other recipes during the week. It makes a great flavor enhancer on pasta dishes, soups, salads and cooked vegetables. Refrigerate the leftover parmesan for 3-4 days.

Easy Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

Serves 4-6

1/4 cup raw Brazil nuts (or cashews)

1 1/2 TB nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp olive oil or oil sprayer

26 oz jar marinara sauce

1 1/2 lbs eggplant, peeled and sliced into ½” rounds

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzerella (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a food processor, combine the nuts, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder. Process until the nuts are broken into tiny pieces and you have an even consistency. This will be your dairy-free parmesan. Set aside.

Thinly coat the bottom and sides of a 9x13" baking pan with oil. Cover the bottom on the dish with 1/3 of the marinara sauce. Layer 1/2 the eggplant slices on the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Next sprinkle on a ¼ cup of the breadcrumbs and half the parmesan mixture.

Repeat the layers with another 1/3 of the sauce, the remaining eggplant, breadcrumbs and parmesan mixture. Top with the last 1/3 of the sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella.

Cover with parchment and foil and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the eggplant is tender. Cool 10 minutes, cut into squares and serve.


Hi there! 
I’m Jennifer Haubrich, wife, mother, certified natural food chef & health coach (AADP).

 

I help smart families re-chart their path to create a delicious, healthy lifestyle by including more plant-based foods in their diet.

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