So you have some marinara leftover, and you’re off the carbs for the rest of the week. You think about what to do with the sauce… Then, eggplants come to mind, because they’re in season, and voilà! Let’s have some baked eggplant marinara for dinner! I took my inspiration here from the Love & Lemons cookbook, with Jeanine’s Crispy Baked Eggplant. I streamlined the breading part, to make it simpler, and I subbed my marinara where Jeanine asks for a can of diced tomatoes. Feel free to just use the can of tomatoes instead if you don’t have some marinara. It therefore makes for a quick and easy dish that even non-vegans will love!
- 1 large eggplant (or 3-4 smaller ones), cut into 1/4″ rounds
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 cups marinara sauce, divided
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, leaves torn
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 400°. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with a little bit of salt and let rest, on a paper towel while you prep your other things. Pat dry regularly.
To make the breading, mix all ingredients together in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix the milk and the cornstarch.
Oil a 9×13″ roasting pan with olive oil. Add 1 1/2 cup marinara sauce to the bottom of the pan. Spread evenly. Dip each eggplant slice in the milk and cornstarch mixture. After shaking off excess liquid, dip the slices in the breading. Place in the roasting pan, overlapping the slices slightly. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 18 minutes, until the eggplant is crispy and the breading is golden. Once ready, top with the fresh basil and serve with the half cup marinara on the side. Done and done! Bon appétit!