Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
This cheesy, saucy Eggplant Parmesan Casserole is my kind of comfort food. The sauce is fresh and tomato-y, the sour cream/cream cheese layers are creamy and tangy and indulgent, the breaded eggplant slices are tasty and “meaty” and the overall effect is warm, cheesy and delicious. It’s also one of those vegetarian meals that’s hearty enough that you’ll never miss the meat!
The recipe has a few steps, but the initial baking of the eggplant slices can be done at the same time as you make the tomato sauce and mix the sour cream and cream cheese together, so I promise it doesn’t take as long as it looks. I served this with a side salad and I was stuffed afterwards – a great “bargain” at just 257 calories or 7 Weight Watchers SmartPoints!
If you’re looking for more Italian comfort food recipes, have a look at my Sausage Tortellini Skillet, Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Bake, Bubble Up Pizza Casserole, Spaghetti Pie, Slow Cooker Meatballs & Marinara, Four Cheese and Sausage Stuffed Shells and more in the Italian section of my recipe index!
Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
Yield: 8 servings
- 1 ½ lbs raw eggplant, sliced into ½” thick rounds (for me this was about 2 medium eggplant)
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup fat free sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup shredded 2% Mozzarella cheese
- Pre-heat the oven to 375. Line 2 large baking sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lightly mist with cooking spray.
- Beat the egg whites in a bowl with a whisk until well combined. In a shallow bowl or dish, combine the bread crumbs and grated Parmesan and mix together. Dip each slice of eggplant into the egg whites, coating all sides and then allow excess to drip off. Then dip the coated eggplant into the bread crumb mixture, coating all sides and transfer the breaded eggplant to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for all eggplant slices. Spray the tops of the breaded eggplant slices with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the eggplant slices over, spray with cooking spray and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
- While the eggplant is baking, bring the teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the chopped onion and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until onions are softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, sugar and the bay leaf to the onion mixture and reduce heat to low to simmer. Stir to combine and let simmer for 15 minutes or until eggplant is done from step 2. Remove the bay leaf before using the sauce in the casserole.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese and egg and mix until smooth (easiest using a hand mixer but you can do it by hand with a spoon as well.)
- When the breaded eggplant is done baking, lightly mist a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread about 2/3 cup of the sauce across the bottom of the dish and place a single layer of the eggplant rounds on top. Drop spoonfuls of the sour cream mixture (using about half) across the eggplant layer and spread with the back of a spoon. Spread about a cup of the tomato sauce over the top of the sour cream mixture and follow it with a layer of the remaining eggplant rounds. Follow with another layer of sour cream mixture (use the rest) and another sauce layer (use all remaining sauce). Top with the shredded mozzarella and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until heated through and cheeses are melted.
Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints:
7 per serving (SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Weight Watchers Points Plus:
7 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
257 calories, 32 g carbs, 10 g sugars, 9 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 14 g protein, 6 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)
an Emily Bites Original