Casseroles/ One Dish Meals/ Vegetable Sides

Best Eggplant Manicotti Casserole

Best Eggplant Manicotti Casserole by 2sistersrecipes.com

Best Eggplant Manicotti Casserole ~ is a smart way to eating your favorite manicotti without all the calories and carbs! Cleverly swap out crepes or pasta noodles for eggplant slices that have been roasted, filled with ricotta, rolled and topped with tomato sauce and cheese.  Baked in one casserole to resemble manicotti, it’s gluten-free and delicious while it cuts the carbs, fat and calories to more than half, makes this the Best Eggplant Manicotti Casserole!

Traditionally, mom would always serve manicotti as the first course on holidays and Sundays, followed by 10 other dishes as the main course.  And she would work her fingers to the bone making homemade manicotti from scratch.

But, ever since a Costco opened up (and I’m taking about years ago) my mom would buy them already made.  Throw them into a baking dish, add sauce and cheese on top and bake.

Back then, my parents were so obsessed over Costco, they would shop there weekly.  They would constantly tell us how they much money they saved!  And we’d rolled our eyes, and say, Ok, we get it,  yeah – we know – you go broke to save money!  Haha…

So true.

 

Best Eggplant "Manicotti" Casserole by 2sistersrecipes.com

Anyway, after making this eggplant manicotti casserole for my family, I realized how amazingly delicious and heatlhier is was too!  It was so good, I had to share it with you.

My daughter Lizzy loved the idea of serving these eggplant “manicotti” as the first course instead of pasta.  Good idea for everyone.  And, since I have been testing a few recipes this past week in order to decide on new dishes for our holiday dinner, the decision was unanimous!

Best Eggplant Manicotti Casserole will be served as the first course.  Hands down!

 

With a little planning in advance, you can make this casserole of eggplant manicotti very easily.

First, you will need 2 cups of tomato sauce (marinara sauce is best to use), ricotta cheese, fresh basil, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and shredded mozzarella. Good quality ingredients is what makes this dish so amazing!

You will taste the freshness of each ingredient as the flavors will burst in your mouth with every bite.

The dreamy creamy ricotta cheese melted, nestled inside of tender eggplant make this dish so irresistible, you won’t miss the crepes (or pasta) for sure!

Best of all, these eggplant manicotti are so light, you’ll have plenty of room to enjoy the rest of your Easter dinner.

 

Best Eggplant "Manicotti " Casserole by 2sisterecipes.com

My family now believes it’s the BEST eggplant manicotti casserole they have ever had!  Who are they kidding, … it’s the only one they ever had!   Haha   …Enjoy!

Try this recipe!  Let us know how it turns out.  Have a great Tuesday!

 

*You can follow along below or jump down to the bottom of this post for the full recipe card.


Best Eggplant Manicotti Casserole

  • 2 large eggplants, (about 8 or 9-inches long and 5-inches in diameter)

  • 1 + 1/4 cups of ricotta cheese, (such as Polly O, or Galbani)

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese -divided

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley

  • 2 cups Mom’s Quick Marinara Sauce – divided

  • 3/4 cup shredded whole milk (or reduced fat) mozzarella cheese

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil – divided

1.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  Using a large, sharp knife, slightly square off the tops and slightly the bottom of each eggplant. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 8 to 10 slices that are about 1/4-inch thick.  Don’t worry if they are not the exact size or thickness. When they bake, no one will notice any difference.

NEXT, lay the eggplant slices on the prepared baking sheets. You can overlap them slightly.
Season with some salt and black pepper to taste.

3.  BAKE eggplants in oven for about 10 minutes, remove and lightly drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each baking sheet.  Return them back to the oven to continue roasting for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the eggplant is golden and tender.  Remove and set aside to cool slightly.

4.  REDUCE oven to 350 degrees.  While the eggplant is cooling down, prepare the ricotta filling. Combine and blend the ricotta with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, fresh basil and dried parsley.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of an 9 x 6-inch baking dish.  Set aside.

6.  Lay the roasted eggplant slices on a work surface, two at a time.  Spoon about 1 tablespoon (a good dollop) of the ricotta mixture onto an end of the eggplant slice and roll it up.

Place each eggplant “manicotti,” seam side down, in the baking dish, side by side and in two rows ( if you can).  Place as many as you can into the baking dish.  Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the eggplant evenly.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese on top, then with shredded mozzarella.

7.  BAKE (at 350 degrees) for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cheese is heated through, bubbly and golden on top.  Remove and set it aside for 2 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Serves: 2 Eggplant “Manicotti” per person (yields: 5 to 6 servings)

Cooks Notes:

  • This eggplant casserole comes together quick if you have marinara sauce already made.

  • When slicing the eggplant, don’t worry if they’re not exactly 1/4-inch thick, you may have extra eggplant slices, and that’s Ok.

  • Some slices may get charred if too thin and cannot be rolled into manicotti, is the reason why I use 2 eggplants.

  • Make two rows of the “manicotti” in the baking dish, this will make it easier for serving.

  • Also, you can prepare this casserole the night before (do not bake it), cover with foil wrap and chill over night. Then take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes, or more (to warm up to room temperature) before baking, then bake it uncovered.

                                                      Thanks for Pinning! 

Best Eggplant "Manicotti" Casserole by 2sistersrecipes.com

More Eggplant Recipes?  Try these: 

Individual Roasted Eggplant Parmigiano

Roasted Eggplant Parm -Lightened!

4.0 from 2 reviews
Best Eggplant "Manicotti" Casserole
Recipe type: Side Dish / Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 to 6
 
Best Eggplant Manicotti Casserole ~ is a smart way to eating your favorite manicotti without all the calories and carbs! Cleverly swap out crepes or pasta noodles for eggplant slices that have been roasted, filled with ricotta, rolled and topped with tomato sauce and cheese. Deliciious and gluten-free!
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggplants, (about 8 or 9-inches long and 5-inches in diameter)
  • 1 + ¼ cups of ricotta cheese, (such as Polly O, or Galbani)
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese -divided
  • ½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 cups Mom's Quick Marinara Sauce - divided
  • ¾ cup shredded whole milk (or reduced fat) mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil - divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Using a large, sharp knife, slightly square off the tops and slightly the bottom of each eggplant. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 8 to 10 slices that are about ¼-inch thick. Don't worry if they are not the exact size or thickness. When they bake, no one will notice any difference.
  3. BAKE eggplants in oven for about 10 minutes, remove and lightly drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each baking sheet. Return them back to the oven to continue roasting for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the eggplant is golden and tender. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. REDUCE oven to 350 degrees. While the eggplant is cooling down, prepare the ricotta filling.
  5. Combine and blend the ricotta with ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, fresh basil and dried parsley. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of an 9 x 6-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  7. Lay the roasted eggplant slices on a work surface, two at a time. Spoon about 1 tablespoon (a good dollop) of the ricotta mixture onto an end of the eggplant slice and roll it up.
  8. Place each eggplant "manicotti," seam side down, in the baking dish, side by side and in two rows ( if you can). Place as many as you can to fit into the baking dish. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the eggplant evenly. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese on top, then with shredded mozzarella.
  9. BAKE (at 350 degrees) for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cheese is heated through, bubbly and golden on top. Remove and set it aside for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
  10. Serves: 2 Eggplant "Manicotti" per person (yields: 5 to 6 servings)

This post contains affilitate links.  Recipe adapted from Rocco Dispirito

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Happy Cooking! 🙂

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Massimo
    April 11, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Hreat recipe. May I suggest a slight variation? Use smoked mozzarella instead of plain one and you will not regret it!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      April 11, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Caro Massimo!! I love your suggestion and will definitely try it next time! Thanks so much for taking the time and leaving a comment. Buona Giornata!'

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    April 12, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    What a wonderful way to enjoy eggplant, heading to the farmers market this morning, will now pick up some eggplant, thanks so much.

  • Reply
    annaliz
    April 12, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Thank you Cheri! Have a great week!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    April 14, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I am going to try growing eggplant once again this summer so will be pinning this one, Ladies! Looks delicious and I love Massimo's suggestion of using smoked cheese.

    • Reply
      annaliz
      April 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Thank you Sue! Have a wonderful and Blessed Easter !!

  • Reply
    old school new body
    May 5, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Wonderful fitness here

  • Reply
    Davis
    March 7, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    This is really wonderful recipe. I really love it.

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      March 7, 2018 at 11:16 pm

      Thank you Davis!

  • Reply
    manifestationmasterkeypdf
    March 13, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    I really enjoyed having this Eggplant “Manicotti” Casserole. Thanks dude

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      December 22, 2018 at 9:00 am

      you are welcome!

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