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Casserole is a always a favorite and the Eggplant Pasta Casserole is one hearty rich recipe that everyone will love – even those who dislike eggplant! It’s a cheesy vegetarian meal that is sure to please the whole family!
ingredients to make the recipe
- Eggplants: The eggplants are chopped into pieces and roasted to enhance the flavor and get rid of any excess moisture.
- Oil: To roast the vegetables. We like to use olive oil, but vegetable or canola will work well.
- Seasonings: Salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and fresh basil leaves.
- Onion and garlic: No Italian style dish is complete without onion and garlic! They add a nice base level of flavor.
- Pasta: This pasta casserole is great with rigatoni, a large tubular pasta. Other pasta shapes like penne of fusilli will work well too.
- Marinara sauce: This is where this yummy pasta bake gets it’s rich tomato flavor. You can use your favorite store bought, or make your own marinara instead.
- Cheese: We use parmesan and mozzarella for a cheesy pasta dish. You can use other shredded cheeses like mozzarella or jack if that’s what you have to hand.
how to make eggplant pasta casserole
roast the eggplant
- Chop the eggplant and toss in olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Halfway through roasting, add the onions and garlic. Roast til golden brown.
assemble the casserole & bake
- Add the marinara sauce to cooked pasta.
- Stir to coat the pasta well in the sauce.
- Stir in the cooked veggies, parmesan and basil leaves and topped with shredded mozzarella.
- Bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling.
Tips to make this recipe
- Cook the pasta in heavily salted water. This will help to add flavor to the dish right from the beginning of cooking. Be sure to check out these other tips to help you cook pasta perfectly!
- Don’t toss the water when you drain the pasta. This is perfect for thinning out the marinara sauce. It’s more flavorful than plain water and the starch in it helps it to stick to the pasta.
- Add different veggies. This is a great dis that is easy to adapt to suit whatever you have in your fridge. Other vegetables like mushrooms or bel peppers can easily be added to this recipe.
- Add in some protein. For a meatier main course, you can easily stir in some cooked shredded chicken, or even brown some ground beef to stir in.
Frequently Asked Questions
This eggplant pasta casserole recipe makes enough for 6 hearty servings, and the leftovers are perfect the next day! Let the casserole cool completely before covering and storing in the fridge. It’s best eaten within a day or two, but will keep well for up to 4 days.
Preheat the oven to 360F and cover the dish loosely with foil so that it doesn’t dry out or brown to much. Cook in the oven for around 15 to 20 minutes til warmed through and bubbling.
For more eggplant recipes:
More casserole recipes:
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Eggplant Pasta Casserole
- 2 medium eggplants cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 1 28-ounce jar marinara
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus more for serving
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves torn, plus additional for serving
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the eggplant, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper in the prepared sheet pan. Roast for 20 minutes, then flip halfway through, add the onions, garlic, crushed red pepper and return to the oven until the eggplant is golden brown and caramelized, 15 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook pasta until barely al dente. Reserve 1 ½ cups pasta cooking water, then drain and rinse pasta under cold water.
- Transfer the pasta to a 9×13 baking dish. Add marinara and stir as much reserved pasta cooking water as needed until the sauce is glossy.
- When the eggplant is done cooking, transfer it on top of the pasta. Fold in the Parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella and 1 cup basil. Top with remaining 2 cups mozzarella.
- Lower the oven temperature to 375°F and bake until the sauce is bubbling on the sides and the cheese is melted, about 25 minutes. Top with more grated parmesan and torn fresh basil to serve.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.