Here are our top picks when it comes to vegetarian dinner recipes! These meatless meals please everyone around the table.
- 2 pounds eggplant (about 2 medium large)
- 3/4 cup flour*
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 cup plain panko (or purchased or homemade breadcrumbs)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano, divided
- 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 28 ounces fire roasted crushed tomatoes*
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 handful fresh basil, chopped, plus more to garnish
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese***
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut off the ends of the eggplant and cut it into 1/2-inch slices (to make approximately 18 slices). Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt divided between the slices, and allow them to sit for 10 minutes while you prepare the breading ingredients. (Don’t wipe off any salt or extra moisture.)
- Place the flour on a plate. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl and set it aside. In another shallow bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and set it aside.
- Dip both sides of each eggplant slice into the flour, then the eggs, then the Parmesan cheese mixture. Place each slice onto the prepared baking sheets. (Note: This gets messy; you may need to wash or wipe your fingers off after every few slices.)
- Place the trays in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until tender and golden brown.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a medium bowl, mix the fire roasted tomatoes, grated garlic, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, chopped fresh basil, and olive oil. Mix well until all the olive oil is incorporated.
- Remove the eggplant from the oven. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ pan. Add half the baked eggplant in a layer (about 9 slices), then top with 1 cup tomato sauce and 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Add the second layer of eggplant (we like to add them right on top of the first layer to make 9 stacks). Top with another 1 cup tomato sauce and 1 cup shredded mozzarella on each stack. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then top with additional chopped basil and serve. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days (or frozen for 3 months); reheat in the oven until warm.
*You’ll have about 1/3 cup flour left over and about 1 egg, but it’s easier for the breading. There also may be some panko left over. These items are not included in the nutritional info.
**Fire roasted tomatoes make the best flavor: they taste sweet and smoky right out of the can. If you can’t find them, substitute best quality tomatoes with 1 teaspoon sugar and ½ teaspoon smoked paprika. Or, use 1 ½ cups best quality marinara sauce.
***Whole milk mozzarella cheese melts much better than part skim mozzarella, and has a richer flavor. It also melts better when reheating leftovers.
- Category: Main dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: Vegetarian dinner recipes