These Mediterranean-inspired baked eggplants melts are easy to prepare and can be served as a side dish or a vegetarian main. Think of this recipe as a deconstructed, healthier version of eggplant Parmesan. You get all the delicious flavors of eggplant Parmesan with a lot less fat and calories, and it’s much less time-consuming to prepare than traditional eggplant Parmesan too.
Eggplant Parmesan is one of those quintessential Italian comfort foods and it often reminds me of nonna’s home-cooking, bringing me back to her basement kitchen where she spent the majority of her time whipping up homemade meals. Eggplant Parmesan is a labour of love, but it’s so worth the effort and time it takes to prepare it. Having said that, as much as one might want to, we don’t always have the time to prepare such labour and time-intensive meals. With this dish you’re essentially making that same comfort food, just a lighter and less time-consuming version of it. You can also feel good about making this recipe because you are reducing the amount of fat and calories by using less mozzarella and by baking the eggplant as opposed to deep-frying it. Although (in my opinion) the fresh tomato sauce is a key ingredient in this recipe, you can cut more corners by preparing this with jarred tomato sauce. This dish might seem less flavourful than the traditional recipe but I can assure that the flavour of the eggplant really shines through and is the perfect canvas for the tangy tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and refreshing basil leaves.
If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!
Baked Eggplant Melts
: Serves 2-4
: 10 min
: 25 min
These Mediterranean-inspired baked eggplants melts are easy to prepare and can be served as a side dish or a vegetarian main. Think of this recipe as a deconstructed, healthier version of eggplant Parmesan. You get all the delicious flavors of eggplant Parmesan with a lot less fat and calories, and it’s much less time-consuming to …
2 large eggplants, ends removed and sliced into 3/4 inch pieces
2 cups tomato sauce
4 whole mozzarella packed in water (or 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup basil leaves, whole or roughly minced
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the eggplant then score each piece by making shallow cuts diagonally both ways. Garnish lightly with salt. Transfer the eggplant to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (You might have to work in two batches).
Bake the eggplant for 20-25 minutes, or until fork tender. In the meantime, slice the mozzarella. Remove the eggplant from the oven then switch the oven to broil. Top each eggplant slice with 2-3 tablespoons of tomato sauce, 1-2 slices of the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle each slice with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and cook for another 5 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and bubbly. Serve on a bed of tomato sauce, garnished with more Parmesan cheese, fresh basil leaves, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.