Easy Eggplant Parmesan

July 24, 2013

  D and I love eggplant and it makes a great vehicle for fried-crunchiness and cheese but since making real Eggplant Parmesan is pretty time consuming, we haven't made it since we started our family.  I found this recipe in a Real Simple magazine recently and was pretty excited to try it.  It was easy to make and only took an hour and the best part- no frying! The kids ate it and D and I had seconds. I hope you like it too! We served ours with some home-made garlic bread I modified the recipe a little with instructions on making your own sauce, but the stuff in the jar would work fine too.  You could also add some sauteed onions and mushrooms, or some cooked Italian sausage to round out the meal.

Ingredients:
- 2 medium eggplants
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 1 can of Italian-style diced tomatoes
- Italian seasonings to taste
- 12 oz mozzarella, sliced
-1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F.  Slice eggplants into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rounds and place in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Cover bowl and toss to coat eggplant.  Lay eggplant rounds out on baking sheets and bake until tender, about 20 minutes.
While the eggplant is baking, combine the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes in a saucepan.  Add any Italian seasonings to your taste (Mrs Da$h Garlic and Herb is a good go-to at our house) and simmer until you're ready to assemble everything.
Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of an 8x8 casserole and top with eggplant rounds (I used two layers since I sliced my eggplant on the thinner side). Top eggplant with half the remaining sauce, half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan cheese.  Add another layer of eggplant, sauce, and cheeses and then sprinkle the panko bread crumbs on top.  Bake at 400F for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the bread crumbs are browned (I had to run mine under the broiler to finish browning the bread crumbs).
   

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