Switching out the traditional chicken and pasta, this eggplant parmesan is a garden-ready version that leaves nothing to be desired! When cooked in slices with Parmesan cheese on top, it's a hearty weeknight meal that feels truly Italian!
Preheat oven to 450°F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
Lay the pieces of eggplant on two baking sheets and drizzle with 1 tbsp oil. Flip over the pieces and drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the preheated oven until browned, 15-20 minutes. Once browned, remove from the oven and place approximately 1 tbsp (adjust for the size of the slice) of Parmesan cheese on each slice. Return to oven and roast until the cheese is melted and golden, 3-5 minutes.
While the eggplant is roasting, prepare the sauce. Heat 1 ½ tbsp olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan. Add the onion and salt. Sauté until the onion is translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir and sauté for 1 minute. Add the cans of tomatoes. Break up or mash the tomatoes, if using whole, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half, 25-35 minutes. After the sauce is reduced, add the basil and oregano and remove the sauce from the heat.
1 medium onion, 1 ½ tsp salt, 1 ½ tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 2 28-oz cans whole or crushed tomatoes, ½ cup chopped basil, 3 tbsp oregano
To assemble, cover the bottom of the baking dish with ½ cup of sauce. Layer with half of the prepared eggplant, shingling or cutting pieces as necessary. Layer half of the sliced mozzarella on top of the eggplant, ripping it into pieces for an even layer. Pour half of the remaining prepared sauce on top then repeat the layers one more time, ending with the remaining sauce on the top.
8 oz fresh mozzarella
Turn down the oven to 375°F. Bake until the sauce is bubbling throughout, about 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes before serving to redistribute the juices.