The only eggplant dish that most people (myself included) learn/try to make is eggplant parmesan. It’s not fast, but it’s easy and a crowd-pleaser. If you can get past the name and the texture – eggplants have little seeds – you can find that it’s actually a pretty tasty vegetable, especially smothered in tomato sauce and cheese.
We got a few eggplant in our CSA this past week and I wanted to cook them up, rather than try to freeze them – AND, I wanted to make something other than eggplant parmesan. Furthermore, with the change in the weather, I was craving something oven-baked, that would pair well with the breaded chicken I was making as the main dish.
I found this recipe on an old-favorite of mine, Allrecipes.com*. I tell ya, if you’ve never tried this website before, do so! It’s a great hub of tried & true recipes (and some terrible ones, to be honest) that people all over the world post, cook, and rate. It’s a great go-to when you have a vegetable and/or ingredients and you’re just not sure how to pair them together. That being said…here’s a great side dish & casserole that helps you use that eggplant you receive in your CSA, when eggplant parm just won’t do!
Cheesy Eggplant Casserole – adapted from Allrecipes.com
- 1 eggplant (or several smaller ones), peeled and diced
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (not pictured, oops! I used a new cheddar blend from Sargento*)
- 1 cup dry bread stuffing mix
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- dried Italian seasoning, to taste
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 can diced tomatoes (not pictured, read review below!)
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- Place eggplant in a medium microwave-safe dish. Cook for 3 minutes, stir, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer to a square baking dish.
- Mix in tomatoes, stuffing, garlic, onion, egg, and 1/2 cup cheese. Season with Italian herbs, salt & pepper.
- Bake for 15 minutes in the oven. Top with remaining cheese, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
You will notice right away that there isn’t any tomatoes in my casserole. This was an addition that should have happened, but realized after the fact. While the original recipe does leave this out, the original recipe also turns out decently dry; I read several reviews on the website that all stated that this addition was a good idea.
Still…the end result of this dish, tomatoes or not, is delicious! All the flavors blend really well together and it was a nice compliment to the breaded chicken I had baked. Don’t be afraid to add too much spices or garlic, as they really make the dish pop. The cheddar blend I used was also really great. Furthermore – the casserole was filling! Always a plus 🙂
If you’re weary about making eggplant, or are in need of a new idea for it…try this recipe! You won’t be disappointed.
* NOTE: I was not asked nor paid to talk about Allrecipes.com, nor mention the Sargento brand. These opinions are solely my own and for the enjoyment of my readers.